Welcome, loyal readers, to the latest issue of The Breakdown. After a lengthy hiatus, it is time to continue this series of segments with more frequency than in the past.
The subject that will be started on is simple, and it leads directly into the next issue of The Breakdown.
It seems a hot topic amongst those of the Internet wrestling community; let's bring back the attitude era! Bring on the hot promos, the blood, the weapons, and the great stories! Give us back our TV-14 rating, and let us have our mature product again!
While browsing the many articles written here on Bleacher Report, it seems to be a recurring trend. There are people who are advocating for TNA, because the product is targeted more toward an older demographic.
As such, TNA will obviously more resemble what the Attitude Era looked like, in terms of in ring product, and the type of backstage segments, and promos.
However, it seems as if these people fail to acknowledge several facts, which essentially null the argument of a more mature show being what the public wants, and it being what is best for business.
The ratings of the Attitude Era were phenomenal, there will never be any question in regard to that. However, that is not to say that the marketing techniques of the Attitude Era would be successful today.
With the end of the Attitude Era came the Ruthless Aggression Era, which kept to similar tactics as the Attitude Era.
Blood, Bra and Panties matches, and genuine brutality were all fairly commonplace during this period. The above material was generally considered a large contributor to the Attitude Era's success.
However, the ratings began to decline.
In the television market, ad space is paid for by companies to put into certain time slots. If a show is consistently scoring phenomenal ratings, then the ad space for the show will be with more. If the show is consistently scoring poor ratings, then the ad space is worth less.
With their ratings declining, WWE's ad space was becoming worth less, and thus, the need for sponsors became that much more important. However, sponsorship does not come to such risque material as what the WWE was providing at the time.
Thus, they made the only decision that they could to increase sponsorship; they made the move to PG programming.
However, that doesn't answer the question of why ratings were decreasing when WWE was still marketing a similar product to what they had been during the Attitude Era. Thus begs the question: What changed?
The answer is simple; the performers are what changed.
We cannot produce the same segments that The Rock, Austin, Degeneration X, Mankind, and the like provided without said characters.
Would you want to see John Cena parading around, trying to talk in the third person, and asking "IF YA SMELL.... WHAT CENA... IS... COOKIN'?"
The reason why bringing the Attitude Era back would not work today is simple; we do not lack the quality of in-ring talent. We lack the powerful mic workers who Spear-headed the Attitude Era.
It's bad for business to try and market a product that has lost all its shine, and make no mistake, without the performers who were on the front lines during the Attitude Era, there is no shine for that genre of product.
Instead, lets focus on what can be done for THIS Era of wrestling; an Era that is Rated PG.
There are several things that can be done to improve on the product today; increasing the depth of characters, allowing for more match time, or more promo time for the midcard guys to help them get over, increasing the quality of stories, and elevating young talent are just a few of the things that can be done.
So, this is my plea; to all of you who are still begging for the glory days, the Attitude Era is gone.
Bringing it back now would be spitting in the face of the memories that you love, and cherish of that Era. Do not cry for it to be brought back; cry for changes to be made to the times that we are in.