Welcome, one and all, to the glorious debut of the Rajah Debates! For years, the best and brightest minds of the Rajah forum have done battle with words about a myriad of fascinating topics from the wrestling world, seeking to answer the questions that plague the wrestling community. Is John Cena actually a good wrestler? What’s the greatest wrestling show of all time? Is anyone as good as Bobby Lashley? (No.) But for the first time ever, we’re bringing the debates to you and letting you guys act as judge, jury and executioner.
The way this works is simple. Each match will involve a maximum of 3 350 word posts from each participant going in order. At the end, you guys and our panel of judges will vote to see you moves on to the next round to get one step closer to Rajah immortality. Over the course of the next month you’ll grow to know and root for these brilliant weirdos until we eventually crown a grand champion.
Sound good? I thought so! So let’s jump right in!
Now, two new combatants will enter the circle of debate from which only one can proceed. And here is the topic that they will do battle over:
The Attitude Era. You loved it, I didn’t. But it definitely happened and there was some cool stuff packed in there amongst the chaos. Austin/McMahon, Triple H/Rock, Rock/Austin, Taz/Sabu, Hogan/Sting, NWO/WCW, every promotion seemed to have at least one awesome defining feud. But now, from some 20 years on it’s time to look back and choose the best of the best once and for all. So tell me…
WHAT WAS THE GREATEST FEUD OF THE ATTITUDE ERA?
Oh, I almost forgot! You can’t use any of the ones I mentioned above. Have fun!
Dudley Boyz vs. Christian & Edge vs. Hardy Boyz
So many parts of the feud are forever etched in wrestling fans’ minds. Who can forget the Terri invitational between the Hardys and Edge & Christian? What about the classic TLC matches all three teams had? There are so many memorable spots in all of their matches. Jeff Hardy dangling, holding on to the titles only for Edge to spear him off a ladder in mid-air.
Jeff jumping off a 30 foot ladder. The matches were insane. The matches were fun. The matches were entertaining.
These three teams helped propel the tag team division to the forefrunt of the WWE. Tag team wrestling was not showcased like this since the 80s/early 90s. And since these teams split or left, tag team wrestling has not been the same.
The TLC matches these guys had were so popular, that there is a PPV named after it!
Each of these six men also had great success even after the Attitude Era. This just shows how talented all six were. Jeff Hardy, multiple time champion. Edge, multiple time champion. Christian, multiple time champion. Bubba Ray, multiple time champion. D-Von and Matt, maybe one day.
Without this feud, I doubt any of these three teams would be as well remembered as they are today.
When I think back to the Attitude Era, I think of Edge and Christian, the Hardy Boyz, and the Dudley Boyz.
When you think of the feuds of the Attitude era, you think of the defining ones that made an impact and we still talk about today. Austin/McMahon, WCW/NWO, Rock/Austin, Hogan/Sting. But what is the one that defines them all? That binds them all together? What is the one feud that if we didn’t have, didn’t feel, didn’t experience would take something away from all of those listed above, if they had happened at all?
It was a feud that didn’t even happen officially (at least in WWE’s terms) until after the Attitude Era but it defined the entire late 90’s in Wrestling. For the first time, we had 2 global wrestling companies operating directly against each other. We had rivalling owners looking to take the other one down, we had wrestlers jumping ship to the opposition for more money and power and we had storylines and characters directly created to take shots at the other company. Both companies looked to push the limits, to create groundbreaking and provocative stories and blood new global superstars. Both companies looked to end the other one.
This wasn’t a storyline feud where one man won and one man lost and both moved onto another feud. This was a real life feud that caused one company to reach heights not seen before in the wrestling world, and forced the other into being sold to their biggest rivals. It lost people their jobs, lost people their livelihood and had real life consequences that are still being felt to this day.
For years the two companies looked to take the advantage. To get higher ratings, bigger buyrates and secure the biggest stars. The feud outweighed Austin vs McMahon, it overshadowed Sting vs Hogan. Whatever feud you can think of from the 90’s, it wasn’t as big, as important, as defining as the feud between WWE and WCW. This was THE feud.
WWE vs. WCW wasn’t in the traditional sense a feud. It was a cutthroat competition to put each other out of business. On screen, there was never any interaction between WWF or WCW talent. Sure, Bischoff challenged Vince McMahon, and DX invaded an arena that WCW was at, but there was never anything on screen about physical talent on screen. All you had was the underwhelming Invasion in 2001 which was solely created to make WWE look dominant.
If you do count it as a feud, then I don’t think it would be the greatest feud of that era as it essentially killed most excitement in pro wrestling. They battered each other week after week until there was a winner. And now there is no competition. WWE has become complacent. There’s no edginess. And there’s no need to be. There’s no one breathing down their neck to push them to be better.
A great feud should be something that helps the business in the long run. The Monday Night Wars only helped in the short term. Edge, Christian, Dudleys, Hardys, they all went on to have significant careers. If you take out all the big names and feuds…these teams are who you think of when you think Attitude Era.
Even today, you still feel the effects of this tag team feud. The Dudley Boyz returned a couple of months ago to reignite the tag team division. If the Hardys weren’t locked in TNA, you can bet the WWE would be calling them back to be in the tag division too. And, if Edge and Christian both didn’t have to retire due to injuries, they would probably be back too. Perhaps to have one last final TLC III match. All three teams were defined by this feud. Watch any DVD set on any of the teams, and it will be full of matches between the three.
The Monday Night Wars helped to kill a little bit of wrestling. The tag team feud helped to elevate tag team wrestling to new heights, which is still felt today through the young teams.
You say there was no interaction between the 2 companies yet list 2 instances where there was direct interaction.
A feud is ‘a prolonged and bitter quarrel or dispute’. WCW v WWE fits that meaning perfectly.
During the Attitude Era both had major impact on the global entertainment industry, not just the wrestling world. Both had primetime shows, both had crossover stars and both had millions of fans spanning the world. The impact of the Monday Night Wars was global.
If this was a debate about ‘The most important tag team feud’ or ‘ The greatest ladder feuds ever’ then I’d be hard pressed to argue against your choice but the truth is that the Dudleys v Hardyz v E&C wasn’t the GREATEST overall feud in either company during that period.
You say it yourself. ‘If you take out all the big names and feuds’. There are still plenty of other great feuds during that time and plenty that were greater than your choice.
Remove this feud from the annuls of history and you’ll still have the Monday Night Wars, you’ll still have Austin v McMahon and you’ll still have Hogan v Sting. But take away the WCW v WWE feud and you wouldn’t. From Hall and Nash jumping ship, to ‘Bret screwing Bret’ and the arrival of Mr McMahon, they all are part of the biggest feud of that era.
The WCW v WWE feud forced the WWE to create new stars which is exactly what they did with the Hardys and Edge & Christian and whilst they had a great feud, it wouldn’t have been possible with the companies being forced to look for new options. Then it easily naturally flows that the feud thaat CREATED all the other feuds must be the greatest. Whilst the TLC feud was a major turning point for tag team wrestling, the ladder match and the careers of six men, the WCW v WWE feud elevated wrestling as a whole to new heights and was a turning point (whether upwards or down) for almost every single person employed by the two companies.