Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Dude Love, WWF Over the Edge 1998on December 30, 2011 at 8:49 pm
As much as I roll my eyes when internet wrestling fans clamour for the WWE to return it’s product to the curse-laden, blood-soaked, TV 14 days of the Attitude Era, it will always hold a special place in my heart, as I was at the perfect age for it when it began in the late ’90s. The Attitude Era began in 1997, around the time I became a teenager. I had largely stopped watching the WWF regularly after WrestleMania 12 in favour of WCW’s edgy, dynamic product headlined by the heyday of the nWo, and in 1997 the only WWF pay-per-view event I ordered was the Royal Rumble (I could write a whole other article on why I think the 1997 Royal Rumble is the dawn of the Attitude Era.
In 1998 the WWF hooked me again. Having spent 1997 gathering momentum, the Attitude Era began in earnest with Stone Cold Steve Austin’s WWF Championship victory over Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 14. I watched the episode of RAW that followed WrestleMania 14 essentially by accident; I was home from school sick and caught the replay on the Tuesday afternoon after it aired. I was enthralled. Cactus Jack and Terry Funk battled the New Age Outlaws in a steel cage match, highlighted by DeGeneration X interfering and debuting a new member, the returning (but renamed) X-Pac. I started watching more regularly, and two short months later I was ordering my first WWF pay-per-view since the ’97 Rumble.
Over the Edge ’98 saw Stone Cold Steve Austin defending his WWF Title against Mr. McMahon’s hand-picked corporate crony, Dude Love, in what remains one of my favourite matches of the Attitude Era (and also one of my favourite entrance stages in wrestling period). So while I’m working away on rebuilding my buffer of HEAT strips to start again (I’m going to be drawing HEAT 190 a little bit later tonight), here’s one of my favourite Attitude Era matches courtesy the technological miracle that is YouTube. Enjoy!