I’ve been discussing this with someone else and thought it would be a good discussion topic. Or it’ll dissolve into name-calling and RKO Vines. Either/Or.

WWE in Eras

Pre-1984: Grainy Era

Stars Made: Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund.

Sounds like a hell of a time to be a wrestling fan in the New York era. Shame I’ll have to take their word for it due to the lack of access to footage.

1984-1990: Golden Era

Stars Made: Er, all of them.

Vince gambles on Hulk Hogan and wins. Then does the same for Wrestlemania. Then does the same for Wrestlemania II. Then does the same for Wrestlemania III etc. Everything is great and filled with cocaine.

1991-1994: Hangover After The Eighties Era

Stars Made: Bret Hart, The Undertaker, Razor Ramon.

WWF wakes up after the eighties party and before it wakes up properly with some coffee, decides exploiting the Iraq-Kuwait Conflict for Wrestlemania VII is a really good idea. It then stumbles around looking for the next Hogan but realises after protecting him for years, their only option is Hogan. Who then leaves for WCW.

1995-1997: Confused Old Man Throwing Darts At Sticky Notes Era.

Stars Made: Barry Horowitz.

WWF is attacked from both sides, grossly unprepared for a pincer attack from WCW and it’s own creative team. Makes every wrong move, somehow survives due to European support.

1998-2001: Shit Fuck Money Era.

Stars Made: Steve Austin, Kane, The Rock, Mankind, etc.

Vince digs into the XTREMEEEEEE era that all media was degenerating into and finds oil, baby. Millions of stupid kids embrace it, company turns into T-shirt production. Considered by many as the best ever time for WWE because all segments were aimed at one demographic.

2000-2001: Shit, This Is Fucking Good Era.

Stars Made: Triple H,  Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho.

Maturing like most of the audience from the last era, the childish stuff went away but were replaced by great story-telling and awesome characters. Everything made sense on a week-to-week basis and the match quality shot way, way up.

2002-2004: We’ve Shit All We Can Fuck era.

Stars Made: Brock Lesnar, Eddy Guerrero, Kurt Angle.

The point where the company officially decided they know best, rather than the audience. People become disgruntled with the passive-aggressive approach to Booker T, RVD and others and so attempts at shock value (Katie Vick, Vince wrestles Steph etc.) are ignored by most. Old WCW stars are brought in to headline because it’s easier to do that than create new ones.

2005-2006: New Stars, Old Jokes era.

Stars Made: John Cena, Batista, Edge, Randy Orton.

WWE decides to make new stars, does so very well. But spoils a lot of it by treating it like The Attitude Era Part 3 and so for every good match there’s The Spirit Squad or Eddiesploitation.

2007-2008: Better Stars, Better TV era.

Stars Made:Jeff Hardy, Bobby Lashley.

Just like the last two years but the good wrestling and characters is emphasised rather than SHITTY SHITTY POOP POOP angles. Everything is great and well-organised on all fronts. Pretty much exactly the same way 2000-2001 was great.

2009-2012: ALL GLORY TO CENA era.

Stars Made: CM Punk, Daniel Bryan.

One by one, all the stars made during the last two eras leave except for Cena and Orton. Instead of making new talent…the company decides to focus on Cena and Orton. Punk & Bryan rise to the top, kicking and screaming.

2013-2014: Post-Punk era.

The one we’re currently in. Sure, Orton and Cena will be locked to each other until the end of time but if you ignore them there’s Reigns, Rollins, Ambrose, Sandow, Wyatts and a little show called NXT to love.

Perspective-wise, we’ve got it good right now.

What are your thoughts? Agree/Disagree?

  • Codster9

    Great stuff. Should have added “Stars Not Made”. Should also do “Botchamania in Eras”.

  • hoopray

    What were you smoking during 2007-2008 because that must of been some good shit if you thought that era was good

    • MaffewOfBotchamania

      See, this is why we have opinions.

      In mine, 2008 was the last time WWE was very, very good.

      • Ron Deets

        You really considered Bobby Lashley to be a made star? Yeah, he was on the cusp of main eventing, but they pulled back/he left the company before he made that jump. If you consider Lashley a made star, you also have to consider Kennedy and Umaga as made stars.

        • Reality

          Lashley and Umaga were in the match that drew the most at Mania (at this time)

          • kevinmarshall

            That match drew mainstream interest because of Trump. Lashley was an afterthought.

        • MaffewOfBotchamania

          The point was, they tried. Tried with all their might.

          And then he quit.

          • InternetToughGuy

            I’ve recently been watching PPVS from the 2007-08 era again for probably the first time since watching them live (thanks Network!).And I agree, it was a good time to be invested.

  • HardcoreMilkman

    No matter what WWF/E era there has been, I’ve never enjoyed any of them as much as 97-01 ECW, as far as entertainment, hardcore, in ring athleticism, depth in moves that you’d never see on Monday nights and the pure colourful and alternative look of the wrestlers, there were no hoards of guys in just black trunks, from Sal E Graziano to Little Spike Dudley, everyone had something unique about them, and it’s this era of wrestling I grew up on that I compare every other era to, and nothing ever lives up to the bingo hall promotion that beat the billion dollar corporations.

    • Catherine Bouey

      Beat them in what !?

      • HardcoreMilkman

        Entertainment value, fan experience, innovation, overall product, production of talent that would then go on to these giant companies, it was almost a feeder sports club at times, Stone Cold was drinking his first beer in ECW whilst Vince had Doink the clown on Monday night Raw

        • Catherine Bouey

          I don’t know about Entertainment value, fan experience, innovation, overall product, and production of talent…..but yeah on the last bit.

  • WizoOzz

    Perfect summation. Cracked up at “We’ve Shit All We Can Fuck” Era.

  • stunner bah gawd

    2002/3 smackdown was fucking ace, it was raw that was stinking the place out

  • It seems that I like all of the eras that Paul Heyman has had the most hands in… hmm.

  • Ron Deets

    I would consider the time between Andy Kaufman and Wrestlemania to be the War on Kayfabe. That’s when a lot of people starting suspecting that wrestling was fixed, but wrestlers and fans still fought (sometimes literally) to maintain the legitimacy of the sport.

    Wrestlemania I – 1992 was the Rock and Wrestling Era

    1992 – 1994 would be your ’80s hangover era.

    1995 – 1996 was the puberty era. This is the time where wrestling started transitioning from cartoony (in both WWF and WCW) to more mature programming, but not quite to the point of the Monday Night Wars (Attitude) era.

  • Penisisgoodfood

    Jeff Harvey is more like a Christmas star that keeps falling down. No matter how hard you try to keep it in place he’s just gonna fall down cause the mother will never straighten up.

  • Robert E

    well, apparently a fluffy bunny makes for a good perspective 😛

  • Mat Segal

    00-01 is the post Russo, Kreski era. I don’t know why, but details on the behind the scenes, at this time, are really hard to find. All I know is that Kreski was mocked for maintaining relationship maps. I’d kill for more info.

    • MaffewOfBotchamania

      Aye, him.

      When the show realises it’s a weekly episodic show that happens to feature wrestling, it’s awesome.

      2000-2001 is one of the best examples of that.

  • James

    Great summary, not much I’d disagree with. Not to be the “why’d you leave off ‘x'” guy, but I’m curious on your opinion – do you consider HBK to be a star made across 2 eras, or feel he never quite got there? Or is it just a matter of can’t list everybody?

    • MaffewOfBotchamania

      I’d say he made the next step in 1995-1996 (given he’d been a heel as a singles before then and won the title as face) but rather than put him down, I decided to take the piss and put Barry Horrowitz.

      Who was in fairness, very nearly a mini-star after he pinned Chris Candido.

  • polishmissile

    The only star made in the 95-97 era being Barry Horowitz gave me a good laugh, there’s a name no one remembers but those who lived through that era lol. King Mabel probably would be just as comedic.

  • danny

    Stopped watching during the wcw invasion angle. Started in 2011 and although the product has improved since then in some areas, it has a roster of talented people ready to break through if creative would commit to their stories… Last RAW was like 4/5 matches dedicated to advancing stories centered around Seth Rollins… I don’t see this as a good time to be a WWE Fan… just frustrating because the potential is there but not enough pay off. I’m worried that the people i’m following coming up will never meet their potential due to creative failing to make midcard important or entertaining, burying them or firing them. We tend to assume the fan favorites from Raw and NXT will be going places eventually and i haven’t seen much evidence of that besides the SHIELD. I’m looking for more than a good main event picture rly.

  • Scott

    Where’s the DAIVARI ERA?

  • my opinion lol


  • Bobbo

    Punk should definitely return as CM Post-Punk. He could wear grey trunks and change his entrance theme to Love Will Tear Us Apart:

    when routine bites hard
    and ambitions are low
    and resentment rides high
    but emotions won’t grow…


    I feel like 91-97 should be one era

  • Cliff

    I liked the Better Stars, Better TV Era, especially the time between Survivor Series ’07 and No Mercy ’08. You had a lot of great angles and feuds, including the Ric Flair’s last match angle, Edge vs. Undertaker, and probably the best feud of the last 10 years, Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho. The PPVs were generally very good to great. Oh, and John Cena was not booked as Superman for once. He failed to win the WWE title multiple times and lost three PPV matches in a row (to HHH, JBL, and Batista). In fact, the young guys on Raw got a rub in the summer of 08′, with Punk as World Champion, Kofi as IC Champion, and Rhodes and DiBiase as Tag Team Champions. To me, it was the last great period for the WWE.

  • WillemDafoe

    No Shawn Michaels?

  • Hitmonchan

    2015-201X “No one to face Brock” era.

    Stars made: Probably Roman Reigns and Torito

    Vince croaks; his daughter and Shao Kahn turn WWE into Mortal Kombat to go head-to-head with UFC. Bork Lazer serves as their Goro and every Rock catchphrase is turned into a t-shirt as a means of monetary back-up #Hearts2Rip

    WWE Network price rises up $0.01 as well.