I never thought of Alice In Chains and Soundgarden as grunge bands, to me their sound was way more Hard Rock/Heavy Metal.
I liked Nirvana, thought Cobain was a good songwriter but Pearl Jam was the best band of that era IMO.
When Smells Like Teen Spirit came out, you could tell something big in music was happening. But grunge music was destined to be a short-lived genre. But we did have some great bands come out of that era.
Nirvana's MTV Unplugged session was really good. One of my favorite live performances ever.