Over/Underrated Stars of the Attitude Era
The Attitude Era was a watershed moment for WWE. Since the early 1980s, the company held a monopoly over professional wrestling. It was happenstance that pushed them into a lull and after a while began producing less-than-stellar wrestling. This allowed WCW to move up in the ratings and become the most popular organization in North America… Below we will take a look at some of the most overrated and underrated stars of the Attitude Era!
As a result of the rating losses, Vince was forced to evolve his product. He gave us realistic characters and allowed his wrestlers to show us more of their personalities. This was a great move and helped to produce some of the greatest wrestlers in the world.
On the subject of these wrestlers, no one doubts the impact that Steve Austin and The Rock, for example. However, some had their impact on the Attitude Era overhyped, while others were not given enough credit for their work.
Most Overrated: The Godfather
Look, we all have fond memories of the Godfather. Strutting down to the ring with his ladies in tow was fun to watch, for a bit. His gimmick grew old quickly. It was not something that many could connect with.
Once his gimmick waned the work rate was just not there. It didn’t warrant the length the character got and giving him a short run with the IC title was a detriment to the championship.
Most Underrated: Ken Shamrock
Shamrock was a great addition to the roster that never received the push he deserved. He achieved a small amount of success with IC and Tag title reigns but he should have gone further.
Shamrock was a fantastic wrestler and understood the artform that was professional wrestling. With his background in UFC, he added an air of legitimacy to everything he did and was more than deserving of a world championship run.
Most Overrated: Billy Gunn (And Road Dogg)
It was a dead heat between Road Dogg and Billy Gunn for this list, but Mr.Ass narrowly edged out his tag team partner.
Billy Gunn was a serviceable wrestler but will never be accused of being great in the ring. His match quality depended on who he was against and he was able to be hidden in many tag matches.
What puts him, over the Dogg, on this list is his work on the stick. Gunn was never great on the microphone and his ability was massively overshadowed by his partner’s natural talent.
Most Underrated: Dean Malenko
Dean should make it on any list dealing with underrated wrestlers. His size always worked against him but that shouldn’t take away from how great he was in the ring. He was a master of professional wrestling and few could match his skill.
On top of his skill, he was a surprisingly good entertainer. He understood how to work the crowd and he provided some great moments.
Never getting a run at a mid-card championship was a crime for Malenko. He could have elevated the working man’s championship and established himself as a top star.
Most Overrated: Chyna
The impact that Chyna made on women’s wrestling cannot be understated. That being said she was still an overrated talent during the Attitude Era.
As a valet she was decent. She was an imposing presence that would get some good heat from the crowd. However, WWE should have kept her in that role. Stepping into the ring her skill was lacking and she was exposed against much better talents.
It was also hard to hear her on the mic. She stumbled through her promos and never sold anything for the crowd. There were other women on the roster who could have taken this spot.
Most Underrated: Raven
Raven was a professional wrestler who never got the credit he deserved. In ECW he was great as both a face, and heel, and not many could match his talent in the ring.
When he wasn’t wrestling Raven was captivating audiences with his amazing character work. He developed one of the more memorable characters in wrestling history and WWE squandered this. He was relegated to the hardcore division during his run.
With the talent, Raven possessed he would have been a great addition to the IC championship scene. Alas, WWE kept him on the low card.
Most Overrated: Triple H
This will get some heat but yes, Triple H was an overrated talent. Not for what he was able to do, but for how he is perceived. How his impact is talked about during the Attitude Era.
Triple H was a great talent. He was good in the ring and fairly good on the microphone. Because of this, he is considered a cornerstone of the Attitude Era. This is a shame. Triple H was the guy who worked with the guy. He was never a massive draw and was usually in his position due to his backstage politicking.
Sure, Hunter was an important part of the Attitude Era, but his importance in the era is incredibly overstated.
Most Underrated: X-Pac
Yes, the man who generated the term “X-Pac Heat” is an underrated star. Pac was consistently one of the best performers on the roster. He rarely made a mistake in the ring and was a measuring stick for all others in the company. If you couldn’t work with Pac then you couldn’t work with anyone.
He was also underrated on the stick. Sure, he couldn’t hold a candle to Austin or The Rock but he was able to get his point across and maintain a reaction from the audience.
The fact that he was never given a shot at holding the IC title is a disservice to the great talent he was.
Most Overrated: The Big Show
Paul Wight was a massive human being. The sight of him alone left audiences in awe but that is where the positives ended, during the Attitude Era.
Big Show was still incredibly green when he came to WWE. He wasn’t sure how to work in the ring and he had plenty to learn before hanging with the big boys of the era. That is why there is a lot of frustration that he received a push so quickly.
The Big Show had no business getting the world title so quickly. Eventually, he would become a great addition to the roster but that was when the Attitude Era was in the rearview.
Most Underrated: Crash Holly
Holly was a massively entertaining individual during the Attitude Era. He single handly made the Hardcore division a watchable product. Most of the men, and women, in the division, were there to fill a spot and did little after that. Holly consistently made his segments entertaining and elevated a title that was considered to be a joke by many.
His size did work against him but the work he did for the Hardcore title should have opened doors. Surely, during the era where everyone got a championship reign Crash could have gotten his chance higher up on the card. He could have surprised many.