WWE's PG Era: Why I Dare To Defend It As The Best Thing for WWE

Joe Burgett @JoEburGett_WESenior Writer IIIJune 1, 2010

Ups and downs, downs and ups, no, I'm not talking about a roller coaster. No, see I'm talking about professional wrestling.

Today, it seems to be all the rage to discuss the WWE's PG era and how it doesn't compare to the WWE's TV-14 era.

Many want to see another Attitude Era, but is it seriously the best thing for the WWE? I'd say heck no. And why is that you ask? Well it's simple, look at all the money they currently make through this era known as the "WWE PG Era."

For every one person it equals out to one ticket, for every family it equals out to three or more tickets, which last time I checked equals more, right math majors?

Some of you may say, well if that's the case, then why is WWE not selling out every arena making a lot of money?

Well, at Over the Limit, they made $650,000 alone for those inside the arena. And you know who I saw in the audience? Families, go figure.

But the arena wasn't sold out, I heard. Good amount of money, however.

The reason the arenas and PPVs aren't selling so much nowadays is not because the WWE Universe doesn't want to buy the PPVs or go to the arenas to see the WWE Superstars LIVE. It's because the economy has been bad since late 2008.

Before 2008, the WWE was doing pretty well in selling out arenas and PPVs also hitting big, it was only after the stock market crash and the huge economic down turn that the WWE as well as many other companies suffered.

However, the WWE stayed a billion-dollar business.

They realized that if they made things more family-friendly, they could attract more to their audience, then build them up. Basically, they wanted to start with those under 10, then make them fans another 10 or more years.

It was like starting over for them really. And if you ask me, it's better going after a family than that one male person in the 18-30 demographic.

While it may tick that 18- to 30-year-old off in seeing it's once controversial program turned into something a family could sit down and watch, it made sense economically.

B/R Writer Sumz wrote an article bashing the PG Era, making some good points along the way, but many I disagreed with. You can see his article here .

His article was basically about the PG kid vs the Attitude Era kid.

He mentioned that the AE kid didn't know what was real and fake, where as the PG kid does.

I think I can speak for all of us when I say that what some think is real compared to others will be different.

Also, if you're 10 years old in the AE era, you'll think many things you see are real, and the same thing could be said for the PG era, kids are gullible people, it's just fact.

Also, a 10-year-old may think wrestling isn't predetermined entertainment either. So, there ya go.

Sumz also mentioned that the women are subjected to their looks and not their wrestling talent in the PG era.

It's obvious that it was the same case in the 90s, heck, Sable was a valet with Hunter Heart Helmsley and then all the sudden she was in Women's Title matches, she wasn't a beautiful in-ring technician.

Look at just about all of the people they brought in, many models. The WWE is actually doing a better job NOW of training their female talent coming through FCW more so than they did before in the 90s.

Trish Stratus may be the best WWE Diva of all time, which many probably wouldn't dispute. But, she was a fitness model and was not a wrestler at all when she came in.

She had to learn on the job and if you saw her wrestle in the 90s, you'd think she was as good as any of you out there. But she got better and better as the years went on, and became one of the best female wrestlers of all time.

So it's blatently obvious SHE worked to become a wrestler, but wasn't brought in for that role. She was brought in to be eye candy.

There were choice people they brought in for wrestler roles, such as Chyna, Ivory, and Lita. The rest were models, the same thing the WWE does today, but like I said, they are getting better on training them to become good in the ring nowadays.

Some are also saying that the PG era is to blame about the brand split, but it's obvious that is wrong, because that was way before the PG era.

That was pretty much after the Invasion angle in 2001. In 2002, I believe, is when the first WWE Draft happened where the WWE split the roster.

If you ask me, it was a smart idea because it gave people who'd never get a chance in the main event scene, well, a chance. Guys like Jeff Hardy, CM Punk, Randy Orton, John Cena, Sheamus, Jack Swagger, RVD, Edge, and countless others may have never gotten to the main event scene without the brand split, because while they were good mid-card guys, they wouldn't of had a chance to do so with such a crowded roster.

Heck, we could still be seeing the same guys with a World Title, at least now we are seeing new stars built. Mid-carders who have the talent to main event would never see it, now they do, which makes more stars that the WWE can market, so brilliant move business wise for WWE.

If people think that's dumb, you must have bumped your head this morning on the way out of bed. I mean, there are more known stars of this era than there were from the AE. Many still in the WWE. One's made outside the '90s, and one's made in the 2000s.

There is talk that promos are not as good in the PG era as they were in the TV-14 world. Obviously it's pure opinion here, but it takes a good mic worker in any era to give a good promo. Guys like Chris Jericho are terrific on the mic, as are The Miz, John Cena, Edge, Triple H, etc.

So while guys like Austin and The Rock are some of the best of all time, they would have done just as good in this era of the WWE, just minus a few curse words. Many good mic workers tell good stories out there, I'm loving how The Miz is doing it on WWE NXT currently.

Sumz also mentioned two things in which I really disagreed with. One being you have to be a heel or face in the PG era, back in the '90s is when a "character" was.

 I don't know if anyone knows this, but this guy named Adam Copeland plays a character named Edge on WWE TV. I know, weird right? A character in WWE? I'm just as shocked as you.

Everyone plays a character, sure some of them use their own name, but the man Randy Orton doesn't go around RKOing everyone in site when he feels like it, as his character does on TV.

So there is plenty of people who play characters on TV in the WWE, just as many that did in the '90s, if not more.

We don't have to see stupid one's like The Gooker or the Shockmaster for this to be a good era of characters. It doesn't have to be so obvious that's it's a character like those were either. They can be good without so many gimmicks added on.

And the other was that the WWE's PG era is dull because of the lack of chair shots, blood, and foul language.


Chair shots to the head are outlawed, chair shots as a whole are not, by the way.

Also, with the rise of knowledge about the head, something that wasn't as well known in the '90s, it's better for chair shots to the head to be outlawed.

Even if one puts their hands up, there is still a chance that one can be hit in the head.

I for one do not want to see another Benoit incident in the WWE again.

Blood was overused for years, everyone whose anyone knows this. Guys like Ric Flair would bleed for the heck of it. It does nothing to put over a match, the pure WRESTLING out there is what does it.

I'm not a huge fan of match stoppage as a result of the sight of blood. However, the WWE only does this if the blood is excessive.

This means that the wrestler does have a real injury that the blood platelets (which clot blood) are not stopping the blood well enough.

Heck, look at the Rey Mysterio/CM Punk match. It was terrific, but there was a match stoppage in it. It was because Punk had a serious, and I mean serious wound that could have caused him to loose a lot of blood, something that is not a good thing.

He had to end up getting 13 stitches as a result, what does that tell you? The WWE trainer got out there and taped it up well enough for Punk to continue the match.

While it did take WAY too long for the trainer to get out there, Punk probably needed him to come out, otherwise there is a chance Punk could have bled to death or lost so much blood he would pass out in the ring, how do you think that would have turned out, eh?

Also, Punk had to get his head shaved too. Could have been a tough deal with so much blood in the hair, and with such a wound, the electronic shaving utensil may have cut his wound up even more, causing more blood loss.

So while I hate it when a match stops, it is for the better most of the time. Little cuts are nothing to worry about.

But, you guys want realism? That's real-life blood caused without someone scripting it in the PG era, no one tells Batista or John Cena to make sure to gig 12 minutes into the match.

If it happens, then it happens, but it's NEVER planned to go down like it was in the '90s.

Half the time, the blood had no realism, people just bumped heads and bleed. I can tell ya, I've bumped heads with many people in my life, and hard ones.

And let me just say, I NEVER bleed after like the wrestlers did. And I'm not nearly as fit as them either, which makes it all the more unbelievable.

Now, if you do a "conchairto" where a chair is on the ground and a guy's head is on top and another chair comes down to hit the head, then I could believe from a mark standpoint that this guy may bleed.

The conchairto is also done with two people hitting a guy in the head when he's standing up, on both sides of the head.

Case in point, blood was overused in the '90s, now it's real. Which should be something people who clamor to see more realism in the WWE should love. But I digress.

Also, Sumz mentioned that the WWE is giving us "The product has become too much of a Disney program or sitcom where there are more skits then anything else."

WWE RAW is like this, yes, but I can tell ya that SmackDown, Superstars, and NXT as well as ECW when it was around were not varity program based.

So while Sumz may be correct that more wrestling probably should happen, RAW is the one that needs it. SmackDown is adding as many segments and wrestling as they always have, nothing more, nothing less.

He also mentioned Commentators in the WWE in this excerpt.

"Commentators don’t give a sh** about calling a match, I hate it when they put on there serious voices for an injury angle yet everyone knows its kayfabe, so they come of as ignorant to the viewers."

All I gotta say is dude, it's always been this way, that's how the WWE always has and always will operate. They sold an injury a talent suffered, real or fake, just the same. It's all about the story, why break it?

Wouldn't it be weird is Jerry Lawler talked about an injury to Evan Bourne, (who he mistakenly called by his real first name on Superstars the other day) while the camera was on him, and say something like, "Evan looked to have (and he held up his fingers doing air quotes) hurt himself on that move"

I mean, it kills off the whole part of the match where the climax is him getting hurt and taking time off for some reason or having his opponent get the win.

There is nothing different about that end of things today as there was 15 years ago.

Now, I do hate that the announce table talks about stories too often instead of the match itself.

However, like I said about injuries, they've always done that. Jim Ross was the exception, but the reason he was never repremanded was because of how freakin' over he was with fans.

When he was fired, he was rehired faster than anyone could believe. He was over talent relations too, so it would also be too hard to fire a guy who does so much for your company.

Ross knew this, so he went out and called a match and told a story, which makes him better than Johnny Cash at walking the line. This is why Ross is the best announcer of all time.

People also want to talk about the lack of competition the WWE has.

I would love to argue this, but it's obvious the WWE is in a league of their own, overshadowing every promotion in the world today. But I guarantee you that competition would be still just as little if WCW never went under.

Sure, there would be a competition, but nothing as big as the '90s because of the rise of TiVO and DVR. Ratings are all the two cared about, and if a show is recorded and watched within a certain time period, it counts toward the rating for the show.

All in all, the PG era is probably more successful in terms of money because of how much a PG show can do in marketing.

Also, people older still watch it. It's not like we're seeing Barney out there, if we did, Orton would just RKO him anyway.

Here is something to also think about for those 18 and older.

You grew up in one era of the WWE, of which you loved. And I'm 20, so I was able to see both, which is why I can say this.

The Attitude Era was when many of you feel in love with the WWE, it's what caught your eye to wrestling. And you saw many things you liked, and just like everyone else, the product developed.

They did hundreds of different things to get people to watch, then calmed down in 2000 and beyond. This is why I feel the WWE became great from 2000 on. They controlled themselves and did what worked best.

Also, they now have more shows to do stuff on now, where as on RAW only they tried to put out too much at one time, it was like going to a party and trying to listen to every conversation.

But because they did some things you liked, you tuned in to see them every week.

They narrowed things down in 2000 and went with what people liked best, and that made them wonderful to watch.

So, if you ask me, the '90s Attitude Era was overrated, because it was basically like a try out, the WWE would do whatever they could to get people to watch, they'd attract every interest and many times, it just didn't make sense.

But you watched, and why, because you were impressionable kids who saw a revolution of sorts. You were like moths to a flame, brought in by the site and sound it made, but the same thing is going on today with kids just like you were in the '90s.

Kids nowadays are saying "You can't see Me" instead "If you smell what the Rock is cookin", but this is their Attitude Era, something THEY will grow up on and probably be like we are today, complaining in 2020 on how great the PG era was to what their seeing in their day.

Sure, the product isn't edgy with LIVE sex on TV like with what Edge and Lita did. Nor are we seeing a Katie Vick thing (thank God).

Many of the things we saw in this Attitude Era had no real belonging in professional wrestling, now we are seeing pure entertainment and focus on storylines. Something that the Attitude Era probably should have focused more on, and could have been even better.

I don't think cursing is always needed to put something over, I mean one or two could be alright, but in the TV-14 world we saw way too much of it which did nothing to put over a storyline, only made me think, WOW this guy lacks a vocabulary if he has to use "asshole" every other minute.

The WWE currently does need to give us more compelling storylines, which is something all of us can agree on.

But, if you don't open your mind to what you see and fold you arms and say, I want my Attitude Era, you'll never see greatness in front of you, as you'll surely be blinded.

This was in no way an article to bash a writer, but Sumz did mention things I didn't agree with and I think some of you think the same things from time to time. But what do you think, am I off here in some cases?

Obviously all have their own opinion on the PG and Attitude Eras, but I feel there are some great things some are not seeing in this PG era that they should, but won't because their too busy complaining about an Attitude Era not being here.


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