Many fans as of late have been sharing their annoyance with the so called "PG Era" of WWE television. I know a lot of current fans like the product. I also know that some of the fans who want programming to be more like the Attitude Era have intelligent points to back up their argument.
However, some fans are not giving WWE a chance. I want to explore in this article the many positives the PG Era has to offer to the entire WWE audience.
For a start, a large portion of WWE’s audience are children. They are the ones who ask their parents to buy the action figures, merchandise and live-event tickets.
As a child who grew up in the Attitude Era, I’m even going to say that I’m slightly jealous of this new generation of wrestling fans.
They have heroes like John Cena, lovable characters like Santino and Divas who inspire them.
When I was a kid, the best I had was a beer-drinking, swearing, disrespectful guy like Stone Cold. Looking back, I obviously appreciate the amazing work of Austin, but at the time, as a young girl, I couldn't connect with the wrestlers personally.
Don’t even get me started on how the Divas were back then; my parents fast-forwarded though more women’s "matches" than a little.
I understand that most adult wrestling fans aren't particularly enthralled with these over-the-top characters, but as I said in my last article, kids absolutely adore them.
On the issue of blood and violence, personally, I don’t think blood should be purposely introduced in a match unless it adds something to the performance.
The issue of blading comes up a lot in arguments against the PG Era as it has not happened over the past few years (or at least, it shouldn't happen).
If wrestlers are talented enough to tell a story with their bodies and bookers are clever enough to construct a match where violence is used for effect, blood is no longer needed.
Little or no blood along with the right level of violence can still make for an excellent match (take Undertaker vs. HHH from this year’s WrestleMania as example).
Some long-term wrestling fans may miss the blood in matches that they were used to during the Attitude Era, but for some casual fans and parents of young children, a wrestler bleeding all the way through a half-hour match may become too much.
Paul Heyman said it right on Raw a few weeks ago—the fans ask for the Attitude Era to return, but when things get remotely controversial, some of the same fans are offended by the content.
Yes, the PG Era wouldn’t allow TV such as the "Katie Vick" incident, or Stephanie McMahon getting sacrificed at the hands of The Undertaker. But it still can and does push boundaries.
Take one CM Punk, who managed to shock the WWE audience last year with his words. No cursing or crude innuendos, just words. This is the perfect example of WWE’s PG product that manages to stay within its limits, without insulting the intelligence of the seasoned wrestling fans.
WWE is the number one wrestling company in the world, and it has been for a very long time. With no competition like they had in the ‘90s, they no longer need outrageous storylines to make people watch the product.
It may be a slightly controversial opinion, but taking into account storylines and wrestling match quality, the Attitude Era definitely had major flaws.
Many people look back on the Attitude Era with rose-tinted glasses. Filled with nostalgia, they can’t help but idolise everything that happened back in the revolutionary days of the WWF.
The product may seem tamer now, but in reality, the wrestling is just as good. Noted wrestlers like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Antonio Cesaro are all current champions. Even the Divas have been getting more air time recently.
Also, it’s something you can happily sit down with your kids to watch, knowing there will be no unexpected female nudity or wrestlers grotesquely pouring with blood.
By no means am I saying that WWE is perfect now; in all honesty, they are nowhere near that.
But at the end of the day, WWE is a business. The decisions they make are to benefit themselves. In an ideal world, every fan would have their arguments listened to, but that is just too unrealistic.
Are we forgetting what happened before the Attitude Era, when millions watched wrestling every week?
So give this PG Era a chance. Enjoy the wrestling, soak in the atmosphere and sit down with your family to watch Monday Night Raw in peace.
What’s so wrong with that?