Don't Blame PG: Why the PG Rating Is Not the Death of Wrestling

John DiBonaContributor IJune 15, 2010

I am active on wrestling message boards, listen to numerous wrestling podcasts and am friends with some wrestling fans. In all of my experience the one thing I here so often it makes my ears bleed is the WWE is terrible because of the "PG" rating. People are quick to jump on the rating as the cause for the decline of the product when in reality they should look deeper.It is not the PG rating that has hurt the quality of the product but rather a lack of creativity by the writing team.

The PG rating has given us story-lines like HBK working for JBL, HBK v. Undertaker, Orton v. Kofi, Jericho v. HBK, The Straight Edge Society and most recently the NXT invasion. All of these stories in my opinion are on par with some of the great writing and matches WWE gave us during the always praised attitude era. In these cases the writers came up with ideas and thought out the story and in each case it worked.

The attitude era gave us such story-lines as Mae Young having Mark Henry's hand baby, Triple H raping Katie Vick's Corpse and Big Boss Man killing Al Snow's dog only to have him eat it. Sure these story's were hilarious but was anything about them good? Were they believable? Did they lead to classic matches? I feel that the answers to all of these questions is no.

Sure TV-14 allows for the use of blood, sex and more leeway with language but those are essentially the only differences. I do think these factors can add to story-lines in some cases like the Wrestlemania 25 feud between Triple H and Randy Orton. However these factors have never single-handedly made a story line good or bad. It has never made a match great of horrible. On the other hand the writing really has. John Cena having the same character for 4 or 5 years is not the fault of the company being TV PG but the fault of laziness and content on the part of the writers. Plus TNA shows us that the over use of blood and strong language does nothing but take away the impact they have and dilute them as factors in story's and matches. 

I realize that some people think wrestling has gotten much worse over the years (personally i think it has remained stable with both high and low points) but blaming it squarely on the rating is ridiculous. TV-PG is only one ratings step down from TV-14. It is the end of wrestling as we know it, the creative team is.