Cyclical is the term often used to describe the business of pro wrestling, mainly as a way to excuse the lulls and disinterest in the product to its detractors. The industry has experienced several distinct boom periods, as theyre called, when the popularity of the sport reaches a peak. Rock n Wrestling/Hulkamania in the 80s was the beginning of the surge, and then after a significant downturn things picked back up in a major way with the late 90s Attitude Era. It isnt always easy to remain a loyal fan, and its a safe bet that most adults have wavered in their support and interest at least once, tuning out entirely, only to come back when something or someone grabs our attention. Those of us who are longtime fans sometimes feel as if were an abused spouse. The pastime that we love and have given so much of our leisure time to disappoints us time after time, and just when we grow optimistic that this time things will be different, we get smacked upside the head yet again. Its maddeningly frustrating, yet we hang in there and just hope to ride it out. We can all pinpoint years and eras where we loved being a fan. At the height of the Attitude Era, wrestling had captured the zeitgeist and became cool again, largely thanks to stars like Steve Austin, The Rock and The nWo. The product was exciting, cant-miss TV and every week was a rollercoaster. But we can also recall the times where we felt the exact opposite. Where keeping up with it felt more like a chore than something we enjoyed. The performers lacked the same it factor, the creative direction was uninspiring, the matches were paint-by-numbers affairs, whatever the reason, wrestling just wasnt doing it for us. Those dark and dreary days are the subject of this article. Were going to be taking a look at the 10 worst years to be a fan.
Brad Hamilton is a writer, musician and marketer/social media manager from Atlanta, Georgia. He's an undefeated freestyle rap battle champion, spends too little time being productive and defines himself as the literary version of Brock Lesnar.