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Top 5: Wrestlers From The Classic WWF Era (1995-2005)

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Steve Austin The Rock

See who stands atop three of WWF’s greatest eras?

The classic WWF era spanning from 1995 to 2005 saw some of the biggest milestones in the history of the present day WWE Inc and heavily influenced the current structure and face of the wrestling industry. The period can be divided into three eras – The New Generation Era (1995-97), The Attitude Era (1997-2002) and the rebranding followed by the Ruthless Aggression Era (2002-05).

The company had reached new lows at the beginning of this ‘classic’ era, as legendary stars and household names such as Hulk Hogan, Razor Ramon and Diesel left the company following the steroid scandal, involving McMahon and several WWF stars including Hogan himself. McMahon in a bid to revive the company started to push young wrestling talents into the spotlight, and also bringing out new events like WWE RAW, WrestleMania and WWE Smackdown to name a few. However, despite this attempt, WWF’s viewers decreased even more, mostly because of the huge success of the nWo (New World Order) which allowed WWF’s rivals WCW to dominate the wrestling scene for more than two years. With the rise of superstars like Steve Austin and The Rock, WWF regained their dominance over WCW and eventually acquired the company in 2001. With the integration of the WCW Championship with the WWF Championship at Vengeance 2001, by Chris Jericho after he defeated both the superstar wrestlers, mentioned previously in a single night, the WWE established itself as the major company in the wrestling industry.

Some of the greatest wrestling names were lost with the advent of the ‘classic’ WWF era. However, some of the greatest names were also created and are still making an impact in the WWE news, as we take a look at five of the biggest names in the WWF/WWE between 1995-2005.

5. Triple H

Both Triple H and Chris Jericho were in their early days during this period with both having their major successes post-2005, the current Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative for WWE, Paul Michael Levesque edges over Chris Jericho despite the latter’s role in the integration of the WCW and the WWF.

Triple H is credited with the foundation of the D-Generation X, along with best friend Shawn Michaels which was created to challenge The Hart Foundation, found itself dominating the scene in The Attitude Era following the departure of Bret Hart in the aftermath of the Montreal Screwjob. Triple H established himself as one of the biggest names of the Attitude Era as he feuded with the likes of Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, The Undertaker alongside Vince McMahon. He dubbed himself “The Game” (a nickname that was intended for Owen Hart and was adopted by Triple H, in his honor), implying that he was on top of the wrestling world.

He went on to win the 2002 Royal Rumble and the Undisputed WWF Championship at WrestleMania X8 and can be truly be regarded as one of the foremost wrestlers of the ‘classic’ era.

4. The Undertaker

Another legendary in the making, the Undertaker comparatively achieved the lesser of his successes during this period and only became much much more outstanding following the ‘classic’ era. However, he commanded a presence big enough to pip superstars like Eddie Guerrero, Kurt Angle etc.

Known for his supernatural and horror gimmick, he won the WWF Championship title thrice between 1991 to 1999. He also won the WWF Tag Team Championship multiple times during that period with several partners such as Steve Austin, Big Show, The Rock and Kane. He won the WWF Undisputed title after defeating Hulk Hogan at Judgement Day 2002.

3. Shawn Michaels

Arguably one of the greatest in-ring performers of all-time, Shawn Michaels is an iconic WWE superstar. The charismatic Heartbreak Kid was dedicated wrestler who performed in classic matches day in and day out exemplifying passion, pain and anguish like no other wrestler. A four time WWE world champion he suffered a huge setback when he was injured in the 1998 Royal Rumble which forced him to take a four year professional wrestling hiatus.

However, he came back even stronger in 2002, becoming a more technical wrestler and even more flexible performer. He was a crucial part of Triple H’s stable D-Generation X which was in its prime during the Attitude Era. During his illustrious career, Michaels won a total of 11 Match of the Year honors reinforcing his status as one of the best-performers in the ring.

2. The Rock

“The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment” saw his prime years during this period. The first third-generation wrestler, he was initially a collegiate football player and a talented one at that, winning a scholarship at the University of Miami. His interest in wrestling bloomed pretty latte and as a result he received a very short duration of professional wrestling. This resulted in Johnson lacking in certain technical qualities despite being trained by his own father, however that didn’t stop him from becoming one of the greatest wrestlers to ever feature in the WWE.

Armed with his sharp and inquisitive words, no wrestler was ever this hilarious and incisive on the mic. Paired with his heel mannerisms, he won over the crowds and his feud with Stone Cold was one of the reasons why the WWF won back dominance from WCW in the Monday Night Wars

1. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Probably the most impactful wrestler in the history of WWE, he ran the show during the Attitude Era to put it mildly. Kicked from the WCW for disappointing results and differences with the-then VP Eric Bischoff, Austin completely reinvented himself in the WWF. His no-nonsense, beer-chugging, anti-authoritarian personality who feuded with his own boss Vince McMahon, was immensely loved by the crowds and viewers alike. The man who was tagged as “unmarketable” at the WCW became the face of WWF during the period which saw the WWF take over the former. He was lauded by Vince McMahon as the greatest WWE wrestler of all time.

An extremely versatile and talented wrestler inside the ring, he never ever disappointed the WWF fans with his match against Bret Hart being one of the most memorable matches. His perfect technique and anti-hero/anti-establishment gimmick made him the most profitable wrestler and probably the most successful wrestler in the history of WWE, inspiring innumerable wrestlers.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Opinion

The Club Taking Over WWE–And How The Undisputed Era vs. The Club Could Impact The Future Of NXT

Chris King takes a look at the resurgence of The Club in WWE, and the possibility of a run-in with NXT favorites the Undisputed Era.

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Chris King takes a look at the resurgence of The Club in WWE, and the possibility of a run-in with NXT favorites the Undisputed Era.

At Extreme Rules Styles and Ricochet did battle once again over the coveted United States Championship, where both competitors put on a wrestling clinic and Styles became a three-time United States Champion!

With Styles holding the United States Championship one must expect, that The Good Brothers are coming for the Raw Tag Team Championships. I already predict that they will win the titles as soon as SummerSlam. Finn Balor recently lost the Intercontinental Championship to Shinsuke Nakamura, perhaps he may set his sights on the WWE or Universal Championship?

How The Undisputed Era vs The Club Will Help The Future Of NXT

Credit: ITNWWE

The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong, and Bobby Fish), have taken NXT by storm since August 2017. All four members have accomplished so much in two short years. Under “Freebird Rule” Undisputed Era are two-time NXT Tag-team Champions, and Cole was the inaugural North American Champion and current NXT Champion.

On July 17, 2019, Club member Karl Anderson sent out a tweet stating that ‘The Club’ is the only club that matters.

A fan responded with a tweet of The Undisputed Era and the leader of The Club Styles found it hilarious, signifying that NXT’s top faction wasn’t a real threat.

Roderick Strong and Adam Cole didn’t waste any time firing back.

Could we witness two of the most popular factions in WWE and NXT battle for brand supremacy?

This has never happened before and it’s something new and fresh, that pro wrestling fans all over the world would be salivating for. Not only would The Club vs. The Undisputed Era be an EPIC dream feud for the ages, it will also have a significant impact on the future of the black and gold brand.

Over the years NXT has morphed from being the developmental territory, into its own brand delivering some of the most exhilarating five-star matches of all time. What was once heralded as a launchpad for up-and-coming talent to make it to the main roster, now is viewed as it’s own entity.

Undisputed Era will be looking to prove that the black and gold brand is the creme of the crop, while The Club, on the other hand, is cementing their status as untouchable on the main roster. Something that their rivals have proved for over two years while holding all the gold at separate times.

The battles that these factions would have would be completely insane, and with two of the best talkers in the industry, the promos would straight fire! In the world of professional wrestling anything is possible, so come on Triple H convince Vince McMahon why this feud needs to happen and that boys and girls is… Undisputed!!!

Credit: Stalkram


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Opinion

Steve Cook’s Top 5: Tall People That Didn’t Make It In WWE

Steve Cook takes a look at the growing list of really tall people that just didn’t cut it in WWE.

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WWE Tall Wrestlers Aloisia

Steve Cook takes a look at the growing list of really tall people that just didn’t cut it in WWE.

Thursday night saw the debut of somebody that could be WWE’s next big monster. Jordan Omogbehin stands 7’3″. He moved here from Nigeria to chase his hoop dreams, but now has his sights set on WWE Superstardom. If his performance against 3.0 in Lakeland is any indication, it’s not going to take him long.

Then again, haven’t we seen this story before? WWE signs some ridiculously big dude. He looks like a million bucks and we all think he’ll be the next champion of everything. Then he washes out without accomplishing much of anything. It happens all the time.

Don’t believe me? Here are five examples!

5. Ming

WWE could definitely use a Chinese Superstar. They thought they might have one when they signed former boxer Gu Guangming to a developmental contract in September 2016. At 6’8″ & 287 pounds, Gu certainly looked the part. With some training, WWE hoped he could help draw billions of his countrymen & make China more of a viable market for WWE. He made his debut on the NXT house show loop in October 2017, and was released in March 2018. WWE has yet to find its Yao Ming.

4. Aloisia

How many women do you know that are 6 foot 8? If you’re like me, the answer is zero. WWE planned on including the tallest potential Diva in history on Season 3 of NXT, a lady that had spent the past couple of years competing on the independent circuit as Isis the Amazon. Her abilities weren’t exactly critically acclaimed at the time, but it was easy to see why WWE was interested in her. She stood out from a crowd.

While Aloisia was announced for Season 3 the week before it started, she was removed & released from WWE before she would have debuted. Allegedly, the reason for her release was some revealing images of her that popped up on the Internet. Hardly seems fair considering that WWE women past & present have had revealing images pop up on the Internet, but a skeptic may infer that they were looking for an excuse & that’s what they came up with.

3. Jackson Andrews

This guy had one of the briefest runs of any big man in the history of WWE. Tyson Kidd needed a bodyguard for his singles push at the end of 2010, and Andrews was chosen out of the FCW crop because he was 6’11”. He had a good look too, so one could see why WWE would think he could be Kidd’s Diesel. The Kidd/Andrews connection didn’t quite work out as well as Michaels/Diesel. After four weeks, Mark Henry gave Andrews the World’s Strongest Slam and we never saw the guy again. We barely saw Tyson afterwards, come to think of it.

Jackson needed more training. Eventually they gave up and released him into the wild, never to be seen again except when we found out he was abusing one of his fiancees (yes I said “one of his”, he had two fiancees at the same time), who was Rosa Mendes.

2. Eli Cottonwood

When you’re 7 feet tall, you’re going to get chances in athletics. Cottonwood played basketball at St. John’s, the NBDL & internationally. After a brief attempt at coaching, Eli decided to get into wrestling. WWE officials liked his size and sent him to Florida Championship Wrestling. He was part of the second season of NXT and was the second man eliminated from the competition. Afterward, Cottonwood went back to FCW. He was Bray Wyatt’s very first disciple, but that was put on ice when he asked for his release.

Is it just me, or could Cottonwood pass for Baron Corbin’s brother? Maybe the guy just came along a few years too early.

1. Giant Silva

Silva started his athletic career in basketball before making the transition to pro wrestling. The WWF thought the sky was the limit for his potential, and tasked Dory Funk Jr. & Tom Prichard with training him. They did what they could. Silva was part of the Oddities stable and did little of note before getting released. He spent some time in Mexico before heading over to Japan, where he worked for New Japan before transitioning into an unsuccessful mixed martial-arts career.

Here’s what I never understood: Giant Silva stood a legitimate 7’2″. He should have stood out in any crowd he was in. Yet wrestling promoters always felt a need to put him in tag teams with people just as big as him. Kurrgan was with him in the WWF, while the man later known as the Great Khali teamed with him in New Japan. How was Giant Silva supposed to stand out as a giant when he was constantly standing with people as tall as him? Add in the fact that he wasn’t much of a wrestler, and the guy had no chance.

Even if he looked like he did.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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