I use the term "PG" sarcastically some what.
I'm not one of these people who simply believe that by toning down the WWE product's content—it alone is the sole reason why the WWE is experiencing an apparent "slump."
Smackdown has always been a "PG" program. The 1980's and early 1990's—the same.
The last 11 years of Smackdown have been highly successful in establishing the WWE as the dominant international brand it continues to be today.
While the 1980's and early 1990's gave birth and nurtured everything we take for granted. Some what credited as the "Golden Era"—yet PG rated.
While on the flip side, TNA has been attempting to recapture the essence of the Attitude Era with unpredictable programming, crash television style booking, violence, sexuality and offensive language—ironically some even questioned if Anderson is "crossing the line."
These are The 5 Real Reason's why " PG " sucks.
Half the talent—half the interest.
The brand extension to some may have meant opening doors for younger talent to gain exposure.
But to many, it meant splitting up half the guys who we enjoyed watching.
It also meant contender pools for Championships became much smaller. Meaning programs became repetitive, causing titles to lose value.
Initially it proved exciting, as the WWE took advantage of it's vast talent roster. But within a little over a few years, World Wrestling Entertaining had considerably cut back it's roster due to a large number of unsuccessful attempts at new gimmicks and pushing inexperienced wrestlers.
And even to this day, both Raw and Smackdown suffer from a lack of true "Superstars." As mentioned, half the talent—half the interest.
Even with a united WWE. The argument of new talent finding it difficult to break the glass ceiling falls flat. True talent will rise to the top regardless.
A feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, especially when coupled with an unawareness of danger, trouble, or controversy.
The feeling of contentment in winning the Monday Night Wars, and self-satisfaction in building and expanding the global WWE image meant by the year 2003—the WWE's programming began to enter a decline.
With zero competition pushing the creative envelope and a continually growing international touring market, the WWE's core programming became stale.
Story lines became bland and unstructured. While focus continually remained on established talent. At the same time, the WWE experimented with countless gimmicks, often with short term life spans and limited avenues to success.
For much of the early part of the decade World Wrestling Entertainment suffered creativity, while operating almost obliviously—believing people would still watch because they were the only game in town.
In the late 1990's professional wrestling was part of a cutting edge counter culture. It was part of a growing generation of absurd and often offensive television and media programming—Jerry Springer, Howard Stern, South Park, etc.
At the same time, music saw a radical transformation. Often labeled dangerous—gangster rap and hip hop became mainstream. Rock and Roll became Nu (sic) again with bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit & Slipknot.
Meanwhile internet pornography in the early coming decade would begin to cross-over into mainstream media and social conscience.
Social values and moral acceptance midway through this last decade had significantly changed since the late 1990's. Which meant—the line in which you intended to cross, had radically been raised.
By the year 2003—WWE's attempts at toilet humor, sexuality and offensive & controversial themes were vastly behind the rest of mainstream media. Dated in every sense and even then often restricted by it's Guidance Rating, network censorship and the FCC.
It meant, WWE programming came off outdated and stale as new programs were excessively & offensively pushing the envelop.
In part continuing on from changing social values. Ultimate fighting proved to be the next evolution in Sports Entertainment.
In the early to mid-1990's, professional wrestling experienced a real slump—WCW wasn't any where near being the powerhouse it would become. The NWA were merely surviving. While ECW was barely on the map, in regards of influence over mainstream wrestling.
Things didn't look good for the then, World Wrestling Federation. As it's product then, made today's "PG" era look almost M-Rated.
Wrestling desperately needed something new—in 1996 WCW delivered with it's New World Order storyline. By 1997, WWF had countered with it's highly successful Attitude Era, ushered in by Stone Cold Steve Austin.
A cocktail of unpredictability, sexuality and amped up violence proved fans craved a much more mature product. Wrestling companies continued to raise the bar in terms of shock and awe programming, crash television and often dangerous matches and spots.
As the WWF, WCW and ECW continued to push the limits—fans followed and ate up every minute of it. Often demanding more.
By the early part of this decade, wrestling had exhausted all it's options. Like everything—wrestling has limitations. Yet fans craved more.
Meanwhile, ultimate fighting in the United States had cleaned itself up from an often barbaric blood-sport. By 2004, the leading brand in Mixed Martial Arts, UFC had begun it's assault on Sports Entertainment, not only becoming socially accepted, but becoming a rival to the WWE.
Replacing Steve Austin & The Rock were Rampage Jackson & Rashad Evans. As Mixed Martial Arts became the next evolution in Sports Entertainment delivering a much more real product both in the ring and with it's "The Ultimate Fighter" reality show.
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away..
Wrestling fans were vastly ignorant to the world of professional wrestling. Sure you could read dirt sheets & magazines and even go online to discuss your favorite topics.
Even as close as ten years ago the internet wasn't completely full of leaks and planted information. A story on a surprise debut and/or angle details weren't as readily accessible as they are today.
However, this isn't the problem.
Today, its the community that has spawned around this information that hinders professional wrestling.
Gossip, dirt sheet & wikipedia like websites and the access to vasts amount of video footage, interviews and streaming media turns every-second fans into an expert.
Wrestling programs—Raw, Smackdown, and Impact aren't enjoyed for what they are. They are analyzed and critiqued for flaws and questionable decisions.
Sites like The Bleacher survive on opinions. A quick search on Youtube for your favorite wrestler delivers a handful of web-cam "shoots" on why, said wrestler "sucks." While most forums suffer from constant bickering and in-fighting because different groups disagree over John Cena's wrestling ability.
Negativity generates negativity. And if that's all were doing, we're hindering the perception of this industry much more than we think.