WrestleMania X7 was the real end of the Attitude Era

Hamish Woodward

The Attitude Era is the most fondly remembered era in WWE history, and for very good reason.

Each week, tens of millions of fans tuned in to see the likes of Steve Austin and The Rock in the WWE, while Hulk Hogan, Sting and Goldberg ran the show over on WCW Monday Nitro.

This era heralded a fantastic time in wrestling history, with some of the all-time greatest moments.

From Austin stunning McMahon, the rise of De-Generation X and the iconic formation of the NWO, you could not miss a single week of television during the Attitude Era.

However, even though it is one of the greatest shows in WWE history, WrestleMania X7 also saw the end of the Attitude Era.

We already wrote about how the Attitude Era began, but in this article we’ll reveal when the end of the Attitude Era was.

When Did The Attitude Era End?

WrestleMania X7 is considered the end of the Attitude Era, as it signalled the end of the most popular period in WWE history.

There were many facets as to why that was the end of an era in the WWE (then known as the WWE).

For one, it came just weeks after WWE completed the purchase of WCW. Buying out their biggest competition gave Vince McMahon a monopoly in pro-wrestling in the United States, ending the iconic “Monday Night Wars” for rating supremacy.

The “Monday Night Wars” pitted WWE vs WCW in a battle for TV ratings.

WWE suddenly lost the need to fight for their place at the top. The need to push the envelope was over, and the time of risqué, “Attitude Era” television was over – they could instead focus on more child and advertiser friendly content.

It also saw a huge drop-off in overall viewers of pro-wrestling.

Once WCW closed down in 2001, the millions who tuned in each week didn’t move over to the WWE. No, they simply stopped watching wrestling, not wanting to see Vince McMahon’s product.

However, nothing was more apropos to the end of the Attitude Era than Stone Cold Steve Austin turning heel in the main event of WrestleMania X7, shaking hands with Vince McMahon in the middle of the ring.

During his WWE Championship match with The Rock, Austin accepted the help of his long-time rival Mr McMahon, turning his back on the fans and his morals, in his pursuit of championship glory.

The Attitude Era was personified by Austin vs McMahon – with the rivalry over for good, Austin shaking his hand symbolically closed the lid on the Attitude Era, and the era of Austin.

The next night on Raw, the Invasion of WCW began on Raw. This was a horrible failure creatively, and truly put the final nail in the coffin of the Attitude Era in the WWE.

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