The Attitude Era was undoubtedly one of the best eras in WWE history and it came about from the Monday Night Wars. Someone from that era, Roag Dogg, talked about the differences between today's roster and that of the Attitude Era.
"I actually think they are much more talented especially as far as the work rate and the athleticism and just how fast they go, how long they can go," Road Dogg said on Sean Waltman's podcast. "If you go back and watch the Attitude Era, to be quite honest with you, it was a freaking mess. I can't even go back, like I'll watch our matches every now and then, I will, but there would be a match going on and all of a sudden two other guys would fight out on the stage and they would go down and fight the guy on commentary it was just like, 'what is going on here?'
"It was very hard to delineate the storylines or the story progression so I think it was kind of a mess. But for the time it was really cool and it was must-see. I just think there were some good characters back in the day. Today, I think the industry, that evolution that you talked about is kinda going more towards... there's still characters but it's more of a sporting direction and a kind of a competitive direction and there's no way in hell the New Age Outlaws were gonna be in that conversation."
Road Dogg has worked backstage for WWE since 2011 when he was hired as a producer. He was later promoted to a writer and eventually became the head writer for SmackDown Live before stepping down from that role after WrestleMania 35 but still remaining with the company.
Within those roles, Road Dogg did a lot of teaching and mentoring to talent and he even teaches a promo class. He revealed his best advice to the talent during those classes.
"The biggest thing to me and I tell these people like, 'fail, fail at a hundred miles an hour, fail big, go out on a limb, don't be afraid to make a fool of yourself, that's endearing. Don't be afraid to act a fool, too many people and too often, everyone tries to be strong, and everybody tries to be cool. Well guess what? If everybody is like that nobody is strong and nobody is cool. So step outside the norm, think outside the box,'" said Road Dogg.
A big talking point in WWE recently is scripted promos and how much creative freedom a superstar has with them. Some wrestlers need to be told word-for-word what to say and others only need bullet points and can take it from there.
Road Dogg talked about what it takes for talent to reach that trust level where they don't need everything explicitly written out for them.
"I don't think it's a separate page, I think it becomes a trust issue with who can cut a good promo and who can't cut a good promo," said Road Dogg. "And then it's about trusting who can and who can't. So, do I have to script out the promo for the individual and then kinda be a stickler for sticking to the verbiage that was written? Or do I trust the guy to give him bullet points and the message he needs to deliver and then trust that he can go out there and make that verbiage his own, make that message his own but still stay on story?
"It's very easy to go online, and go 'this sucks, that's great.' There is so much more that goes into this industry than anybody out there knows that isn't in the know. It's very important to have that trust with an individual. Daniel Bryan, you can tell Daniel Bryan the message you want conveyed and he can go out there and deliver that message and do it in his character.
"The big thing for me is that you have to earn that trust, but to develop that relationship where you can trust your talent and trust that you pick out which ones. Hopefully you can trust them all, it's easier to just give them bullet points and let them deliver it in their own individual voice. So, the Road Dogg would not say something that way but Daniel Bryan might say it that way so Road Dogg writing it is not smart because then I am stepping on Daniel Bryan's character, I need to give him bullet points and let Daniel Bryan put that message together. But some people are not so brilliant at it and so you gotta script their promos for them."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit X-Pac 1,2,360 with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.