It was twenty years ago today that 17,867 people packed into the MCI Centre in Washington, DC to witness Attitude Era WWF at it’s finest.
With WCW firmly in the rearview mirror as far as competition and the Monday Night Wars was concerned, Vince McMahon was a few weeks removed from his latest heel turn, at the expense of The Rock and the McMahon-Helmsley era was in full flow.
Steve Austin was still on the shelf, The Undertaker was a month away from returning and Mick Foley was recently retired, so the onus was not only on The Great One to deliver as the top babyface, but also on those further down the card looking to make their ascension up the ranks.
Chris Jericho certainly didn’t hurt his chances with a stellar showing against Chris Benoit, while the Hardy Boyz provided plenty of their trademark near-death entertainment in a hardcore melee.
Of course, nostalgically pining for a bygone era may not always be the most productive thing to do, especially when the standard of in-ring performance has arguably never been better across the world. However, with this show celebrating it’s 20th birthday today, and with it being one of the most enjoyable PPV’s the Attitude Era delivered us, with the central storyline arc fixating on whether a certain Rattlesnake was going to strike in the main event, we thought for today’s edition of SAHWW, we’d hit up three of the key bouts from the card for your enjoyment this evening. Or any evening for that matter.
WWF Lightheavyweight Title Match: Dean Malenko (c) vs Scotty 2 Hotty
Good lord, Scotty 2 Hotty was over in 2000. Also, Dean Malenko working a limb is absolute perfection. He treats Scotty’s leg like it owes him money. Can more wrestlers do that when everyone returns to full time schedules, please?
Also, THAT finishing counter is still complete and utter insanity 20 years later.
WWF Hardcore Title Match: Crash Holly (c) vs Hardcore Holly vs Tazz vs Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy vs Perry Saturn
The Hardcore Title was ridiculous amounts of fun and it’s these matches that make us miss Crash Holly a hell of a lot. This division may have primarily been a sideshow with a large amount of slapstick, but it never failed to deliver on an entertainment level, even when the matches were nothing more than overbooked car wrecks.
The inclusion of the Hardyz here makes a lot of sense as, stylistically, they couldn’t be more suited to the Hardcore division, although given they’d already been through a deaf defying tables match at the Royal Rumble and the triangle ladder match a few weeks before this at WrestleMania, maybe giving them the night off or at least a match that didn’t involve swinging off superstructures and being blasted in the head and torso with foreign objects, would have been a more sensible and polite option?
Either way, this may not be a mat classic or anything close to resembling it, but it’s a little over 10 minutes of head bashing fun. Have at it.
WWF Title Match: Triple H (c) vs The Rock
Two things: The double Rock Bottom on Triple H and Shane through the Spanish announce table is an absurd work of art. Secondly, THAT pop when the glass shatters for Austin’s arrival can still be heard from outer space. Everything about this main event is peak Attitude Era and we absolutely adore it.
Until tomorrow, remember: Stay safe, Stay at Home, Watch Wrestling.