From 1997 until 2002, WWE ushered in the "Attitude Era" — a time period featuring more adult-oriented content that became a ratings bonanza for the company. With "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Rock, Mick Foley, and others in the spotlight during that time there's always been a debate about what led WWE to make such a change from its more family-friendly content in previous years.
On Twitter, Eric Bischoff was asked about his dislike for WWE's Attitude Era and where it stemmed from. Bischoff believed WCW's product was the driving force that WWE used to change up how the company was presented.
"The Attitude Era was nothing more than a derivative (I'm being elegant) of the nWo and Nitro era, which forced WWE to abandon their previous creative strategy and presentation to compete with a new formula," Bischoff responded.
ECW was also hitting its stride during this time period as Paul Heyman constantly pushed the envelope of how pro wrestling was portrayed on TV each week. Long-time ECW wrestler, Bully Ray, felt liked Bischoff was forgetting where both WCW and WWE got their ideas from.
"And, the nWo, Nitro and Attitude Era were nothing more than a derivative of the ECW era," Bully wrote. "ECW was the Napster of the wrestling business. Both companies may have gone out of business...but both companies revolutionized their respective industries. Fans still chant ECW. Not WCW or WWE."
Jim Ross then joined the conversation and pointed even further back to what he felt influenced ECW — Mid-South Wrestling. Going defunct in 1987 Mid-South/UWF was also known for its controversial stories and inclusion of hardcore-style matches.
"And the catalyst for the Wild West feel of ECW was Mid-South Wrestling...just my two cents," Ross said.
Because the Attitude Era was nothing more than a derivative (I'm being elegant) of the nWo and Nitro era which forced WWE to abandon their previous creative strategy and presentation to compete with a new formula. https://t.co/Iife3ph2oN— Eric Bischoff (@EBischoff) April 25, 2020
And the catalyst for the Wild West feel of ECW was Mud South Wrestling....just my two cents. ?? https://t.co/Wyv1WzKfe6— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) April 25, 2020