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Pro Wrestling as Theatre Part 4: PG Isn't the Problem & the Pixar Comparison

LONG POND, PA - JUNE 06:  WWE champion and co-grand marshal John Cena (L) and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, talk in Victory Lane prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 6, 2010 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
Matthew HemphillCorrespondent IIJanuary 3, 2012

WWE seems to have turned the page this year and has evolved itself from the stale, boring format that has hung in the air for the last few years into something interesting.

It all started with CM Punk's famous shoot promo back in the summer and it has come to change the WWE into what many are calling the Reality Era.

Most feel that it is for the better.

But was the PG rating which the WWE was following so stringently and now seems to be more lax on the reason?  It stopped certain stories and made it so the characters couldn't curse on TV.  It limited what the wrestlers could do, what the creative members could write, and even what the fans could see.

So was that the case?

It might have been, but if it was then it showed the weakness of McMahon and the rest of his writers.

Just because something is G or PG doesn't mean that it has to be impotent and filled with a lack of powerful moments.

The best example of this is Pixar.  Pick almost any movie they have and not only will you see intelligent cinematography but also a compelling storyline that usually encompasses several heavy, adult-themed ideas.

And in this case it really is adult themes.  Not the petty ones of alcohol, sex and drugs, but life, death and mortality.

from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com

Some of the next text will include spoilers to the movies, Up and Toy Story 3.  If anyone hasn't seen these movies, they want to skip this one for now.

Pixar is known for it's ability to sell stories to kids, but at the same time entertain adults.  The one way they can do this is simple.

Subtlety.

In Toy Story 3, at the climax when the main characters are heading for the furnace it is very much an allegory for Hell and death.  As the toys link hands with each other they show a courage in facing death and the unknown.  Not only do they not curse to convey such a moment, they don't even use words.

Kids who saw the movie wouldn't have noticed, but the impact was heavy for adults.

Up's first 10 minutes conveyed the loss of the protagonist, Carl Fredricksen's wife, along with her infertility without the use of words and in a way that children would never know.  

The movie even charts Fredricksen's battle to try and rectify what he thinks was a wasted life.  He spends most of the movie trying to move his house to justify his guilt in never having gone on a dream trip with his wife.

When the villain is introduced, he is shown to be insane and referenced with having torn former travelers apart.  It's never said and only inferred to in one moment.

Both of the stories mentioned above are safe for kids but are just as fun to watch for adults.

All because they rely on subtlety and the fact that adults don't need to be reminded every five seconds of what is going on.

It's OK to have explosions and to have good guys who seem like superheroes.  Just so long as there is something quiet that older fans can enjoy mixed in with the circus-type atmosphere for kids, it is fine.

It's something the WWE has forgotten, which is unfortunate because in many ways it is a key part of pro wrestling and theatre in general.

It's the idea that less is more and that adult themes don't necessarily have to mean explicit ones.

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