Previously on the (vintage) Best and Worst of WrestleMania: Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart put on a performance so good it saved an entire WrestleMania, propelled Austin into the superstardom that would lead to him main-eventing the next WrestleMania, and made another important main-eventer go, “actually, can we get rid of Bret Hart forever, k thx.”
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And now, the Best and Worst of WWF WrestleMania XIV for March 29, 1998.
Best: The Attitude Era Has Begun
Sure, it technically started back in March of 1997 when Monday Night Raw became Raw Is War (Backwards), but WrestleMania XIV is the official official beginning of the era, with (20-year old spoiler warning) Stone Cold Steve Austin winning the WWF Championship, Vince McMahon leaning into the “Mr. McMahon” character for real outside of the real-life Bret Hart stuff, and these still-very-cool commercials to give the era a name.
They play two of them during this WrestleMania, and the Legends version is even better than the “bodies have been bruised” precursor you see above. It does something you’d never see WWE do on a WrestleMania today: have the older stars say their time has passed, and that they cheer for the new guys now, because they’re way more impressive. The 2018 version of that would be Triple H grimacing and saying, “WE WERE MEN OF COURAGE, AND AT ANY POINT WE STILL MIGHT SHOW UP AND KICK KEVIN OWENS’ ASS, BECAUSE THESE GUYS JUST SIT AROUND PLAYING VIDEO GAMES ALL DAY, I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S WRONG WITH THEM, ANYWAY, CHEER US STILL.”
The only versions of these that live on the Internet today had “WWF” and “Attitude” scraped off them years ago, so when you watch them, imagine that they end with this transition.