What if ALL IN happened during the Attitude/Monday Night Wars Era
Some will argue that the upcoming ALL IN event's success has come from all the right elements being in place at the right time and that an event like ALL IN wouldn't work during any other wrestling era. But what if we change some of the elements in the past to make an ALL IN more feasible? What wrestlers would be involved?
One era that had similar elements was the Attitude Era which was a product of the Monday Night Wars. A major driving force during this period was the fans wanting change. When the Monday Night Wars started, the WWE was still very cartoonish and WCW offered something different and if WCW wasn't what you were looking for, as a fan you could also check out a third option, ECW. ECW showed that fans wanted to see young new talent and were craving a new attitude in wrestling. As WCW continued to use their deep pockets to attract and recruit WWE Superstars and Legends, their roster of next-generation wrestlers got pushed aside and often buried. The fans saw the potential and luckily so did the WWE. As many of these wrestlers left or got dismissed by WCW they not only found a place within WWE but became even more popular than ever.
But what if the WWE didn't open their doors to this next generation of wrestlers? What if after WCW these wrestlers had no place to go. Could they have put on their own ALL IN? Here's a list of wrestlers that could've been part of an Attitude Era ALL IN if they didn't find a spot in WWE after leaving WCW.
Jericho's debut in WWE is still one of the most exciting debuts of all time, generating one of the biggest 'pops' of all time when his name appeared on the Jumbotron. Of all the wrestlers who left WCW to find greater success in WWE, Jericho would likely be the one who spearheaded the idea of putting on their own, possibly even leveraging his relationship with Paul Heyman and ECW for support.
The Radicalz (Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko)
The only 'group' of wrestlers to leave WCW at the same time and in turn, show up in the WWE together. Could this faction have been this era's Bullet Club or Golden Elite?
The Big Show (AKA The Giant)
Of the wrestlers on this list, The Big Show is the least likely to have been part of a version of ALL IN during the Attitude Era. Wrestlers like Jericho, Benoit and Guerrero had experience in the indies and had wrestled in other promotions like ECW and New Japan. The Big Show on the other hand debut as a wrestler in WCW, so he didn't have the fan base outside WCW that the others had or the experience in any promotion smaller than WCW. He was friends with Jericho, so the likelihood of Jericho involving him in his own version of ALL IN is fairly high.
Many forget that Steven Regal was another wrestler who benefited from being let go by WCW, mainly because his initial appearance in WWE was more reminiscent of the cartoonish era of wrestling rather than the Attitude era. Aside from the "Man's man" character, Regal was a solid in-ring performer and would be a great heal wrestler to have on the card with the other wrestlers on this list.
The majority of the wrestlers on this list spent time in both ECW and New Japan and would likely be able to approach either promotion and ask for support to fill out the card for the event. Paul Heyman would have been the most likely to partner with such an event sharing his roster and bringing in the audience the event would need to be successful.
Could an event with these wrestlers have had the same level of success as ALL IN back in the Attitude Era? Some might argue that without a doubt, these fan favourites could have easily pulled it off. Others would say it was a different time and other factors would need to be in place for something like this to work. Either way, if the WWE hadn't opened its doors to these wrestlers after they left WCW, chances are even less likely that we would have even had an Attitude era.