The Rock, Stone Cold, The Undertaker: Greatest WWE Superstars from Attitude Era ranked

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It is hard to argue against the Attitude Era being the peak of the WWE.

The entertainment and showmanship are still unmatched, there were a plethora of Superstars adored by millions.

Bad language and constant inappropriate remarks means it would struggle in the current climate, so for nostalgia reasons, it is always fun to cast your mind back to these times.

Our trip down memory lane brings us to some power rankings, thanks to Bleacher Report, who were the 25 best stars of the Attitude Era?

What are the ground rules?

The factors considered were as follows; impact and influence on the franchise, marketability, merchandise sales, pop-culture presence and, of course, their ability through the ropes.

So, for the purposes of this article, the Attitude Era is defined as November 10, 1997 until April 1, 2001.

The list is based solely on individual accolades, hence the exclusion/lack of the Dudley Boyz, the Hardy Boyz and so on.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

Female superstars are involved. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

25- Big Boss Man

After a five-year hiatus, Big Boss Man returned to WWE in 1998 in rather mysterious circumstances, as Vince McMahon’s bodyguard. He was tasked with doing Vince’s dirty work in this era and this earned him a very dynamic love-hate relationship with the fans.

Sadly, Big Boss Man, real name Ray Traylor Jnr, passed away in 2004. He certainly made an impact on the industry, though, with several title bouts and iconic moments to his name.

24- D’Lo Brown

Next to D’Lo Brown, who undertook a fascinating rivalry with D-Generation X. After defeating the icon that is Triple H for the European Championship, he was then faced with fellow DX member X-Pac on a number of occasions.

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His successful career was stunted when he dropped Darren Drozdov on his neck, paralysing him in the process. This tarnished his reputation so he is now remembered for the wrong reasons unfortunately.

23- Test

Not many had more hype around them in their early days than Test. It was said that backstage, big things were expected of him.

Test swiftly went from Shane McMahon’s bodyguard to on-screen boyfriend of Shane’s sister Stephanie, a bout between the two men forming off of the back of this.

22- Val Venis

There weren’t many superstars to push the boundaries more so than Val Venis. The adult movie star turned wrestler was somewhat of a lab rat for Vince and co. to test the waters.

Many would say that his controversial antics and backstory take away from his ability in the ring. He had some intriguing fights against the likes of Mankind and The Rock and this shouldn’t be forgotten.

21- Goldust

You will do well to find a more colourful and charismatic superstar than Goldust. He is accredited as defining the 1990s when it comes to wrestling and being at the fore of the Attitude Era.

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He may not boast as much success as others in the ring, but his persona means he is heavily adorned by fans everywhere.

20- Jeff Jarrett

Jeff Jarrett existed long before the Attitude Era and he was an experienced head that helped to bridge the gap.

Controversially, he swapped WWF for WCW only to return rather quickly following that failed stint. It took him a while to endear himself to the fans, but his persistence certainly paid off by hook or by crook.

19- Rikishi

For a man of his size, Rikishi’s mobility in the ring was remarkable. It was this that quickly got the fans on side and he was rewarded with increasingly valuable bouts.

As well as thriving in Japan, he was a big name in WWF, he ran over Stone Cold Steve Austin after all, a truly infamous moment. The search for the culprit lasted forever with Rikishi being an unsuspecting offender.

18- Eddie Guerrero

There aren’t many, if any, deceased wrestlers that are mourned by fans as much as Eddie Guerrero. He had a great storyline alongside Chris Jericho and Chyna, which developed very well over the various shows.

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He was oh so charismatic and thus was a great character both inside and outside of the ring. His passing at just 38 in 2005 rocked the whole industry.

17- The Big Show

The Big Show’s presence in the Attitude Era is quite remarkable when one considers his recent wrestling career. He made his debut in 1999 and it is said that he constantly let huge opportunities slip through his fingers as a result of his own incompetence.

Disciplinary issues plagued him at times, something which was bought into and taken advantage of further down the line. At the same time, Show did play a large part in the Attitude Era whichever way you look at it.

16- Ken Shamrock

Ken Shamrock arrived from the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1997 and brought with him a devout following. This was duly rewarded with some huge bouts in the early stages.

Shamrock was one of the first to regularly perform submissions, something which the likes of Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit went on to hone in on, plus Daniel Bryan in the more modern scene. Injuries constantly set him back, but Shamrock still left his mark in the WWF ring.

15- Shane McMahon

Shane, son of Vince, is a fascinating one. He played up to the character of Vince’s spoilt and arrogant son who expected everything to go his way and thought very highly of himself.

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What Shane may have lacked on the fighting side, he made up for with anticipation and the awareness of what to do and when. His significance goes beyond who his dad is, but that certainly played a major role.

14- X-Pac

The aforementioned X-Pac was a member of D-Generation X. He may not have been as big of a name as Triple H and Shawn Michaels but he certainly played his part.

As a heel, X-Pac was very much hated by the fans and he played up to this well. His rivalry with Kane was a longstanding battle that had everyone on the edge of their seat.

13- Stephanie McMahon

The first female on this list comes in at lucky number 13 and it is Stephanie McMahon. She was often used as a pawn in the storylines of Vince and Shane, but there is a lot more to her than that.

Stephanie, of course, has a relationship with Triple H and that has long since been the case. In the ring for herself, though, she clashed with Trish Status due to an alleged affair she had with dad Vince.

12- Chris Benoit

Eddie Guerrero’s story is very sad and the same goes for that of Chris Benoit, but in a very different manner. Anyone who knows anything about wrestling is aware of Benoit’s demise and duly, his wife and young son, too.

As hard as it is, focusing solely on his exploits in the ring, and he was quite something. A submission specialist and all-round fiery character, Benoit was at the fore of the industry for a number of years and understandably so.

11- Chyna

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The next female on the list is Chyna. She played an integral role in the conflict between Eddie Guerrero and Chris Jericho.

Not only did Chyna battle it out with the male superstars, but she was a trailblazer for other females. Thin, skinny and model-looking was a stereotype broken by Chyna, allowing the likes of Mickie James and Beth Phoenix to thrive when their time came.

10- Chris Jericho

As is the case with The Big Show, Chris Jericho is a longstanding figure in the industry coming into this modern age. He often changed between a loveable rogue and then a generally bad guy.

His showmanship was remarkable and he had an instant impact on proceedings. Whether it be his clashes with Chyna or Chris Benoit, not many have the legacy that Jericho does from the Attitude Era.

9- Kurt Angle

Kurt Angle is another so-called submission specialist. As he would certainly remind you, he won gold for wrestling at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta.

Due to this, he entered the Attitude Era as a very different specimen to his fellow competitors. He reached levels of greatness in such a short time, leaving several big-hitters in his wake.

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8- Sable

Sable’s relationship with on-screen and real-life husband Marc Mero was quite something as the latter was extremely jealous of his wife’s rise to success.

As well as a dispute with Mero, she had one with Vince McMahon, who was no stranger to getting involved with the female superstars.

7- Kane

Kane was a figure of great intrigue. The mannerisms and persona he created was, like his brother, marvellous. The fans loved it!

The feud between Kane and The Undertaker was long-standing and carried on long past the Attitude Era. Not to mention that he trusted Chyna as a close friend only for her to stab him in the back in favour of Triple H.

6- Mick Foley

When you’ve got Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp doing the iconic sock celebration in the Premier League 20 years after the Attitude Era is over, you must be doing something right. The lumberjack vibe mixed with the psycho from Mick Foley worked a treat.

He was made to be somewhat of a gimmick at times, but that shouldn’t take away from his wrestling prowess. Foley went toe-to-toe with the likes of Triple H and Stone Cold, coming out on top occasionally too.

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5- The Undertaker

With the benefit of hindsight, one could make the argument that The Undertaker is the greatest wrestler of all time. In the Attitude Era alone, though, he was still a heavily influential figure.

The aforementioned back-and-forth between ‘Taker and his brother Kane is iconic. Fire and death were the key motifs between the two, as was shown with the casket match. It wasn’t just Kane too, ‘Taker clashed with Mankind inside Hell of a Cell which was a fight for the ages.

4- Triple H

Seeing Triple H’s current association with the industry is shocking really given the figure he cut previously. The man with the sledgehammer, the Cerebral Assassin was a scary character.

D-Generation X has to be the most iconic so-called group in the history of the industry and, along with Shawn Michaels, Triple H spearheaded that.

3- Mr McMahon

Onto the podium now then and the bronze medal goes to the man himself Mr Vince McMahon. Wherever Vince goes, he is closely followed by controversy, but he was and still is THE key figure.

The Attitude Era’s theme was rebelling against the cash-rich ownership, an evil role taken on all by Vince and Vince alone. Stone Cold was one man to clash with Vince often and McMahon in general, was not afraid to thrust himself into the spotlight.

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2- The Rock

The silver medal goes to The Rock, meaning you probably know who tops this list now. Whether it be that entrance theme, The People’s Elbow, The People’s Eyebrow, he is synonymous and legendary within the industry.

The Rock has, of course, gone on to become a movie star, but he was a lot rougher around the edges when he was at the fore of the Attitude Era. The Rock versus the final name on this list is an iconic rivalry within wrestling and was for many years.

1-Stone Cold Steve Austin

Here he is! Stone Cold Steve Austin. The sound of the glass smashing, the sight of him whacking together beer cans. Stone Cold transcended wrestling. He was and still is a pop culture icon. 3:16 was everywhere.

Austin, of course, had issues with The Rock, but it was more so his battles with Vince that were gaining attention. McMahon wanted to control Stone Cold, something which was never going to happen. Vince did his best to make Stone Cold’s life hell, every challenge sent his way seemed to be smashed out of the park in impressive fashion, though…

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