Review for WWE: 1997 - Dawn of the Attitude
WWE 1997: Dawn of the Attitude is a look at the year when WWE arguably started to take back their crown in the wrestling business. After years of awful gimmicks like Doink the Clown, Mantaur and so on, followed by the rise of WCW and the nWo which resulted in the company's flagship show Raw being destroyed in the ratings by WCW's Nitro it was this year when WWE put the pieces in the place to become number one and they did this with a whole new 'Attitude'.
Presented by Renee Young, the main part of this sit is a roundtable interview with a few of the more prominent figures during this time: Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, Ron Simmons 'Farooq', Charles Wright who had been Kama at the time and later became The Godfather and Kane. This is a nice informal discussion between themselves and actually fun to watch them talk to each other.
The choice of people to speak to is an odd one. I understand Shawn and Mick and even Kane and Ron Simmons to some extent, but the inclusion of The Godfather is a little off and considering he spends a time discussing the debut of his Godfather gimmick which actually didn't happen and take off until the year after? However, all five have some great stories and it was so enjoyable to watch.
They talk about the rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin and his feud with Mr McMahon. The rise of Raw is War and the introduction of Shotgun Saturday Night which was a grittier show. It was interesting that they discussed how the creative side changed to how it is now. The Divas are discussed with the evolution to just a Manager to the likes of Chyna. Bret Hart and Montreal is discussed (though they don't include the 'Bret Screwed Bret' promo which is odd) as well as the evolution and rise of D-Generation-X and The Rock. The Three Faces of Foley and the interviews with Jim Ross which really developed him as a star.
The set includes 13 matches and although I will say that none of them are unwatchable there are a lot of matches missing from this set. The most notable missing match is the original Hell in a Cell between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. I don't accept the excuse that this match is included on other sets, simply because if that was the case they wouldn't have included the Stone Cold vs. Bret Hart Submission Match from Wrestlemania 13 which I also have on several sets.
They also include a number of 'Moments' and though they are important, such as Stone Cold's first stunner to McMahon and the amazing interview between Mick Foley and Jim Ross, they still miss out some very important ones. The most glaringly obvious one is of course the 'Bret Screwed Bret' promo which we could argue was how the Mr McMahon character was created in the first place.
That being said, there is a great deal to enjoy about the matches and moments from this set and though not complete, that is not to say that they are not enjoyable. If I am honest, this is one of the few sets like this where I have not wanted to skip every other segment.
Highlights are of course Shawn Michaels against Sycho Sid at the Royal Rumble which is a great match as is his match against The Undertaker at In Your House: Ground Zero-It's just nothing compared to their Hell in a Cell match. His match against Bret Hart at the Survivor Series is an infamous match due to the 'Montreal Screwjob', however I think the ending is more memorable than the match itself.
There are some great matches that I hadn't seen for a while such as Owen Hart against The British Bulldog in the final to crown the first European champion which is a great match, as is British Bulldog's match against Shawn Michaels in the UK PPV which is just insane to watch. They also include the amazing match between The Rock and Stone Cold which is possibly one of the best and craziest matches and one I always enjoy.
WWE: 1997 Dawn of the Attitude is a great set and I do hope that they continue with a 1998 and 1999 edition as it would be amazing to follow each year of the WWE and maybe they can go back further too. If you want a glimpse into what made WWE the winner in the Monday Night War and want to relive some classic memories then this is definitely the set for you.