WWE's Attitude Era is often presented as professional wrestling's golden age, particularly by the company themselves. This is understandable. Not only was Attitude WWE's most successful period from a popularity standpoint, but it was the era that much of the promotion's current fanbase grew up with, and the one that they inevitably compare everything else to.
Attitude was the antithesis of today's product: edgy, violent, and out of control, it helped drive WCW out of business and establish WWE as an unassailable market leader, but dealt plenty of long-term damage, too. Its many excesses spoiled people's perception of what a good wrestling show should be, raising expectations to impossibly high levels, with the modern era inevitably suffering by comparison.
Wrestling will never be like the Attitude Era again. Today's product is often held to a set of standards it can't be expected to meet, and for many, the comparisons have ruined modern wrestling. Some of these criticisms are fair, while others are not.
Either way, each is an unfortunate byproduct of Attitude's success, and will persist for as long as WWE's most prosperous era is paraded as the benchmark.
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