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Characters / Attitude Era

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Wrestlers closely associated with the Attitude Era include (see also WWE - Attitude Era page for a complete list of wrestlers who debuted in this period):

  • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, who established the tone for much of the era as the biggest and most popular star in the business since Hulk Hogan.
  • The Rock, the first third-generation superstar of the WWF, and the headlining face of the company during the last years of the era.
  • Vince McMahon, who played a larger-than-life version of himself ("Mr. McMahon"), a Corrupt Corporate Executive who primarily feuded with Stone Cold throughout most of the Attitude Era.
    • The Corporation; a stable comprised of hand-picked wrestlers representing Mr. McMahon, their goal was to secure the WWF and "crush the rebels" who did not fit with McMahon's vision of a legitimate business. Includes the following:
      • Shane McMahon, Vince's Real Life son and Co-Dragons with The Rock of The Corporation. Shane later betrays his father to form "The Corporate Ministry" with The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness.
      • Ken Shamrock, a mixed martial artist and "The Most Dangerous Man on the Planet" by way of UFC.
      • Test, The bodyguard of Mötley Crüe turned Corporation enforcer, who was romantically involved with Stephanie McMahon until Triple H came into the picture.
      • The Corporate Stooges, Vince's personal flunkies whose duties ranged from getting his coffee, to wrestling if need be. Comprised of Pat Patterson, the company's first Intercontinental champion and Gerald Brisco, a former NWA champ and tag team legend with his brother Jack. Despite these accolades, they were largely incompetent henchmen and in part because of their ages lost most of the matches they took part in.
      • Big Boss Man, a violent ex-prison guard and Mr. McMahon's personal enforcer.
      • The Mean Street Posse, Pete Gas, Rodney and eventually Joey Abs Shane McMahon's friends and personal flunkies from the mean streets of Greenwich who severed as his own version of the Stooges.
  • The Undertaker
    • Ministry of Darkness; led by The Undertaker, this cult kidnapped wrestlers and performed "satanic rituals", turning them into new disciples of the stable. Includes:
      • Paul Bearer, The Undertaker's long-serving manager and Kane's father. Initially sided with Kane against Taker during his debut, but server under Undertaker again once he started the Ministry.
      • The Acolytes (Bradshaw and Faarooq), a massive, mid-card, Texas brawler and the ousted leader of the Nation respectively turned brutal heel Tag Team. They later becoming the APA ("Acolytes Protection Agency")
      • The Brood (Gangrel, Edge and Christian), A stable of Vampire-like blondes who eventually align themselves with the Ministry. Of note, Gangrel has fangs and drank blood from a golden chalice.
      • Viscera, The former King of the Ring winner, Mabel who was kidnapped by the Ministry and transformed into the group's Gothic heavy.
      • Mideon, The former WWF Tag Team Champion, Dennis Knight aka the wrestling pig farmer Phineas I. Godwinn. Like Viscera, he was kidnapped by the Ministry and he becomes the group's seer complete with an eye in a mason jar.
  • Shawn Michaels; unfortunately, due to his career-stopping back injury, Shawn would only appear sporadically during the "official" Attitude Era timeline, and never in a wrestling capacity.
  • Mick Foley (aka Mankind, Dude Love and/or Cactus Jack), whose first WWF Championship (as Mankind) win coincided with WCW's infamous "Fingerpoke Of Doom" segment and turned the tide of the "Monday Night Wars".
  • Kane, The Undertaker's half-brother, of whom he had an on-and-off feud with.
  • Sable, the first major breakout female star of the Attitude Era, who helped set the standard for future WWE Divas.
  • Goldust, a flamboyant, Ambiguously Gay/Camp Straight Gorgeous George who flirted and groped his (mostly male) opponents. His bizarre and vulgar behavior is often claimed to be one of the things that started the Attitude Era.
  • Stephanie McMahon, Vince's Real Life daughter, who kayfabed married Triple H to seize control of the company from her father, forming the "McMahon-Helmsley Faction/Regime", dominating most of the late era.
  • Kurt Angle, a gold medallist at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games, who had probably one of the most successful rookie years of any WWE superstar in history.
  • Big Show, who was the first major defection from WCW to WWF.
  • Chris Jericho, who jumped ship to the WWF in 1999 after languishing in WCW's midcard for years and went on to become a bigger success than he ever was in WCW.
  • Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero, along with Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn, jumped ship to the WWF from WCW in 2000, signaling the beginning of the end of the Monday Night Wars. Collectively, they were known as the "Radicalz".
  • The Hardy Boyz (Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy), The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von), and Edge & Christian, who feuded with each other on and off for the last couple of years of the Attitude Era and raised the bar for tag team matches of all kinds in the company, including the first "Tables, Ladders & Chairs" match.
  • Val Venis, an ex-porn star who was already one of the WWE's most sexually suggestive superstars, then he slept with someone's wife/girlfriend/sister/valet etc., usually leading to him getting his ass kicked for his troubles.
  • Scotty 2 Hotty and Grand Masta Sexay, better known as Too Cool; the tag team won fans over with their post-match dancing antics. They would eventually be joined by...
  • Rikishi, one of the many members of the famous Anoa'i Wrestling Family. His signature move was the "Stinkface", where an opponent is downed at the turnbuckle of the ring, leading to the "Phat Man" smothering his enormous ass in their face.
  • Right to Censor, a late-Attitude Era stable led by ECW alumnus Stevie Richards that was opposed to the "smut" in the WWF. They were a blatant mockery of the "Parents Television Council", which was leading opposition to the WWF's risque direction. Led by former ECW talent, Steven Richards, the group also consisted of lower mid-card muscle, Bull Buchanan, WWF Divas, Ivory and The Kat (though for the Kat, not by choice), and the reformed Val Venis and the former Godfather here known as The Goodfather. The WWF did eventually go in a Lighter and Softer direction, although that was due more to Linda McMahon's failed political campaigns, the terrible fallout from the Benoit tragedy, and the rise of John Cena.
  • Trish Stratus, who started her career in the midst of the Attitude Era as a standard valet for the midcard tag team "T&A" (Test and Albert) before breaking out as a major wrestler. To date, she still holds the most Women's Championship reigns in the company's history.
  • Lita, a Girl Next Door valet, whose lucha libre and high flying skills as well as showing that Muscles Are Meaningless when it comes to taking on men (as bodybuilder Chyna, who at the time was stronger than Triple H, did before), helped take women's wrestling to the next level. Together with The Hardy Boyz, they formed "Team Extreme".
  • The Brood, a stable based on Vampire: The Masquerade and The Lost Boys, noted members were David Heath (known as Gangrel), Edge, and Christian. They were a midcard stable at best, but are notable for being the start of Edge and Christian's career as a tag team duo.
  • Wrestlers who would fight for the WWF Hardcore Championship (where title matches were Extreme rules and had a "24/7 rule" that required it to be defended 24/7 in any location). Along with Mankind, the first Hardcore Champion, and the Big Boss Man, there was also:
    • The Holly Cousins, Crash Holly and Bob "Hardcore" Holly, "Super Heavyweights" and a part-time tag team, who fought each other as much as they fought opponents. Crash, who won the title 22 times (the second most championships reigns in the era) and was the one who established the 24/7 rule in the first place, would be dubbed the "Houdini of Hardcore" for his quick getaways upon winning or retaining the title.
    • Steve Blackman, a legitimate martial artist nicknamed "The Lethal Weapon".
    • Former wrestlers from ECW including Raven, the sadistic Grunge heel who holds the record for most Hardcore title reigns at 27, Tazz, the Pint-Sized Powerhouse, Human Suplex Machine who provided Kurt Angle one of his earliest known feuds and Al Snow, a Cloudcuckoolander who carried and talked to a mannequin head named Head with him.
  • Vince Russo, the head writer of the WWF from 1996 to October 1999; any of his successes can really be attributed to Vince McMahon's editing and input.
  • The Oddities, a Power Stable that started as a scary circus sideshow Heel act before turning face and eventually going through Redemption Demotion/Badass Decay and being dismissed in early 1999.
  • Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, the signature commentators of the era.


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