WWE was originally called WWF – World Wrestling Federation – but the name had to be changed as it wasn’t a real federation, and also because it had the same name as World Wildlife Fund. The name change happened in 2002, when the World Wildlife Foundation sued the organization for copyright infringement.
Since the inception of the WWF in the year in the year 1979 (yes, the organization is THAT old!), there have been a number of superstars who have come and gone, but we are focusing on the stars who ruled the roost in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Here’s our list of the favourite childhood WWE superstars:
5. Hulk Hogan:
By the late 90s, Hulk Hogan was a spent force. He was already in his late 40s, and couldn’t do much in the ring. However, he kept coming back for special matches (like the legendary match with The Rock). Hulk Hogan is often considered the face of WWE before John Cena became the face of the organization. Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair were the only wrestlers from the golden age of wrestling – the 80s – when wrestling actually broke out in a major way.
Hulk Hogan didn’t do much in the ring, but his special appearances were quite special, as he took potshots at players, cheated, or provided comic relief.
4. Stone Cold Steve Austin:
Nobody epitomized ‘badass’ as Stone Cold Steve Austin. The man with the most dramatic entrance during the time made it a point to steal the scene every time he came on to the ring.
Steven James Anderson played the role of Steve Austin who liked taking ‘panga’ with the authorities, especially the boss Vince McMahon. The ‘Attitude Era’ was best symbolized by Steve Austin’s results, as he proved that being a ‘good boy’ was of no good in the field.
A favourite with the crowds, Steve Austin would do his trademark move with a beer can, and then proceed to craziness. His finishing move – The Stunner – was also a favourite with the crowds. All in all, Stone Cold Steve Austin was one of the best parts of the ‘Attitude Era’, which was probably the best phase of the WWE.
3. John Cena:
Even though he wasn’t a big star back then, John Cena is the only existing link between our childhood wrestling days and today. John Felix Anthony Cena, who is credited for being a decorated marine officer (but in reality he only trained for the Marines, and didn’t serve with them), is the face of wrestling today.
Ever since WWE dropped the ‘Attitude Era’ policy and adopted a more PG 13, family audience friendly routine, John Cena has climbed up the ladder in WWE and is the main draw for fans across all ages. However, the man is known to be a really good guy off the ring, and is credited with fulfilling the most number of wishes for ‘Make a Foundation’, with over 500 wishes fulfilled.
2. The Rock:
The Rock is probably the biggest superstar in Hollywood today, and the only wrestler to successfully make the transition from wrestling to acting in a big way.
But back in the day, The Rock was known for his swag more than anything else. The Rock had a killer signature line, and used it in the most dramatic way possible. The Rock belongs to a family of wrestlers, with even his grandfather being a professional wrestler.
Even though The Rock made his debut in 1995, he only made it big in the late 90s, when he was crowned as the People’s Champion, and has been entertaining fans ever since. If you ask your school friends, all of them will agree that The Rock was the favourite wrestler in school, except for maybe the No.1 on our list…
DX, comprising of two WWE Hall of Famers – Shawn Michaels and Triple H – was a favourite with schoolboys because they resembled the backbenchers of the school. Forever breaking rules, getting all the female attention, and being completely badass about it.
The DX was voted the greatest Tag Team Champions of all time, and it’s not without reason. DX completely transformed the way wrestling was shown on TV. Earlier, Vince McMahon was the Supreme God of the WWE, and his will was the word. However, with the arrival of DX, all of that changed.
Their antics, and also the fact that Shawn Michaels and Triple H were probably the greatest performers at that time, resulted in DX becoming the most sought after performers in the WWE during our childhood.