How This Moment Killed WWE's Attitude Era

Sh*t & Run.

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Survivor Series season in the modern age triggers nought but tantalising tussles fought over t-shirts. WWE have taken to removing virtually every element of story across the month of November as Superstars from Raw, SmackDown and now NXT eject their brains but inject every episode with impotent brand-based rage.

It'd be funny and tragic, if the end result wasn't accidentally awesome. WWE are taken with this formula because it works in spite of itself. Since 2016, the old 'Thanksgiving Classic' has become a revived entity in the pay-per-view calendar - a monument of the chaotic second half of the decade with Champion vs. Champion matches that don't decide titles, main events made in the week leading up to the show and amazing elimination matches fought over nothing more than nights of the week.

At the start of the decade, Vince McMahon himself was ready to swing the axe over his lowest-performing Big Four pay-per-view after the elimination format was considered prohibitive to predictive purchases. Reading now like point-proving sabotage rather than an effort to actually generate buys, 2010's event was headlined by Randy Orton defending his WWE Championship against Wade Barrett, whilst the only "traditional" match was an ignoble effort to get the likes of Cody Rhodes, MVP, Jack Swagger, Tyler Reks and Drew McIntyre over by merely appearing, rather than appearing to look good.

The show's decline had indeed been endemic, but it dated back further than the drab expanse of the turn of the decade. After lighting the fuse for the most profitable period in company history in 1997, the November supershow later played host to a moment that foreshadowed the wheels falling off completely.



Michael is a writer, editor, podcaster and presenter for WhatCulture Wrestling, and has been with the organisation over 7 years. He primarily produces written, audio and video content on WWE and AEW, but also provides knowledge and insights on all aspects of the wrestling industry thanks to a passion for it dating back almost 35 years. As one third of "The Dadley Boyz" Michael has contributed to the huge rise in popularity of the WhatCulture Wrestling Podcast and its accompanying YouTube channel, earning it top spot in the UK's wrestling podcast charts with well over 60,000,000 total downloads. He has been featured as a wrestling analyst for the Tampa Bay Times, GRAPPL and Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, and has covered milestone events in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, London and Cardiff. Michael's background in media stretches beyond wrestling coverage, with a degree in Journalism from the University Of Sunderland (2:1) and a series of published articles in sports, music and culture magazines The Crack, A Love Supreme and Pilot. When not offering his voice up for daily wrestling podcasts, he can be found losing it singing far too loud watching his favourite bands play live. Follow him on X/Twitter - @MichaelHamflett