10 Most Controversial WWE Attitude Era Storylines

Oh boy...

WWE’s Attitude Era was about moments. 

When you revisit the company’s television output from that time – particularly during its 1998/99 ratings height – you’ll notice that the shows were about 5 percent wrestling to 95 percent whacky angles and storylines. 

This was the era of Jerry Springer-esque car crash TV, where nothing was off limits, more was more and too much was never enough. 

Some of it was very, very good, helped WWE turn the tide in the Monday Night Wars and is rightfully celebrated today. 

A lot of it, though, has aged about as well a bucket of crab meat on a hot summer’s day. 

We live in far, far different times, so it can be easy to look back and say ‘this was bad’ or ‘this was wrong’, but the fact is a lot of people were saying those things about many of the more controversial storylines at the time they were happening. 

Commercially, the Attitude Era might have been a true boom period, but critically, some of what WWE put on the airwaves was rightfully derided, attracting the scorn of advertisers, do-gooder groups and, yes, WWE fans.

These are the 10 Most Controversial WWE Attitude Era storylines. 

10. Burying Mr. Wright

The Big Boss Man’s return to WWE in late 1998 sparked a career renaissance that saw the man from Cobb County, Georgia become a featured part of the show. 

As the hired muscle for Vince McMahon and the Corporation, Ray Traylor had a great role and played it well. 

Once emancipated from the group, however, he was involved in a couple of the era’s most tacky storylines. 

First up was the whole rivalry with Al Snow, which saw the Big Boss Man cook Al’s chihuahua Pepper and feed it to him, leading to the infamous Kennel from Hell disaster. 

Well, that looked like Sunday morning kids TV compared to his dispute with the Big Show. 

The ‘highlight’ was the former corrections officer invading the funeral of Big Show’s father, making some very unpleasant remarks, chaining the coffin to the back of his car and driving away with it while the seven-footer jumped on it and did a little bit of casket surfing. 

But let’s also not forget him invading the home of Show’s widowed mother and coaxing her into admitting that her son was a ‘bastard’. 

Hells these days could never. 

Now, Show’s dad had actually passed away years earlier and his ‘mother’ was in fact played by a very bad actress, but it was still in rather poor taste. 

Amazingly, the feud culminated in a WWE Title match, which Show won and I’m sure made up for having his family literally dragged through the mud. 

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Lewis Howse

Written by Lewis Howse

Features journalist for and script writer for the Cultaholic YouTube Channel.