Cutting WWE Some Slack: My List of Top 10 Great Things In This PG Era
Hello, Deal-A-lites, I am back!!! Now, being a part of the IWC for a considerable amount of time and having read many articles on many forums about the absolute hatred shown toward the PG Era, I thought why not talk about a few good things the PG Era has given us, so for, a change? So, in this show of mine, I have enlisted “my” top 10 list about the best things the PG Era has given us so far. Now, I would however like to say a few things before I begin: First of all, this show is not to ignite the whole “Screw PG” Debate! Secondly, I am just trying to look at a few good things we have seen from the PG Era, thus far. I would love to see as to what all the PG Haters say about this thing! Last but not the least, I have written this article because the last time I wrote an article in which I praised WWE was way long ago and since then I have ranted like “crazy” against them. With that said, I am sure that if Vince reads my stuff, he would be pretty much on the verge of going insane, so just to calm him, I am making a face turn for him and for a change going to be sugar coated in this article! BTW! Do sign the petition to have Jim Ross call the 900th episode of RAW! You can find the petition at this link: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/jrforthe900thepisodeofraw/ I also advice you to check out a very talented and classy writers work here, check them out at his profile page at this link! http://bleacherreport.com/users/146770-devon-givens All right, guys, so here we go, hope you enjoy it.
10. Pushing New Stars
I guess you all are going to agree with me on this that Vince is indeed doing a great job by trying to push new guys and trying his level best to vault them into main eventing as soon as possible.
Now, this might surprise you, but the apparent pushing of new stars has been far better in this PG Era than in the Ruthless Aggression Era, which was from 2002-2007.
Let’s look at the Ruthless Aggression Era first; I mean we had just a bunch of guys who won titles, i.e., Triple H, John Cena, Brock Lesnar, and Kurt Angle.
As a result of this, there were many occasions when they were out of talent to push, two finest examples are:
John Cena defending his title against “under developed” guys like Umaga, Great Khali etc. in 2007.
This was because they were short on talent to push easily and hence had to give us feuds where in we knew what was going to happen.
One more example is the Cinderella story of JBL!
As I learned from another article here, at that time, SD was running out of superstars to be in the main event scene.
As a result of this, they were “forced to” push JBL to the top in time.
While in the PG Era, at the moment we have got many superstars who are being pushed.
Even if the big guns like Cena, Orton, Edge, or Jericho take a break for some time, we have enough of talent to fall on and not be “forced” to make decisions.
The reason why this has made to my list is because, the WWE has guys for its “emergency days” and also is catering really well for the future.
Add to this the fact that, there won’t be a huge void created like it was last time when guys like Rock and Austin left.
I mean the WWE had 2-3 guys hold the title for the first 2 years after they left but now one generation can easily sink in to the other one with great amount of ease.
Now, the reason why it is at No.10 on my list is because...
The current list of top shots like Cena, Orton etc are still pretty much main eventing, and hence the impact by the new guys is yet to reach its peak.
Also they are not yet “certified” main eventers and in the league of aforementioned Superstars, hence this point makes its way at No. 10 on my list.
9. A Few Really Good Creative Angles!!!
Who says that PG can’t give us good storylines and great angles to nudge us to “necessarily” watch the WWE despite all our odds.
Now, in this list of mine, I am going to speak about a few story lines which were really good, or rather should I say were worthy enough for me to say “Kudos, Creative Guys, Kudos!!!”
First of all we have the “JBL Owns HBK Angle.”
In my opinion, this was a great way to handle both these man before their bouts at Mania. I agree that JBL’s was a fail at Mania, but still this was a nice creative decision.
The reason being that we guys always love to see “unexpected” things happen in WWE.
I mean in the first place, we knew that JBL was not going to get Shawn to do it, hence, we were not showing any “intense” signs in the first place.
But then when we came to know the truth, we were pretty damn surprised at this move and hence were excited to see this!
For a change it was nice to see HBK be someone who he is actually not!
Then there was the whole Randy Orton-Triple H story line.
Now let me just say that I do agree that it became stale indeed but it was not stale in the beginning at all.
I mean the whole creative idea of giving Orton that crazy viper gimmick, born to punt and nothing else, was actually good.
Then they had him beat up the entire McMahon family and those were really intense too. Now add to it the fact that we even saw Trips broke into Orton’s house and really showed us as to why he is The Game.
Then we had the Jeff Hardy and CM Punk angle, which was pretty great too, and TBH could really have done wonders had Jeff not decided to leave the company at that time hence putting an abrupt end to that feud!
Also, we had a really nice feud between Jericho and Rey Mysterio for the IC Title last year, which too got really intense and made us tune in every week.
The best part is that we were not critics as well, so I have to give them a heads up for this as well.
The reason why I put them in this list is because such kind of things always make us fans want to defy all odds and watch WWE and also such angles for some time really made us watch it with a lot of excitement and hype.
Now, the reason why I had to put them at this spot on my list is because of the fact that even though, we enjoyed these feuds, they still might not make it to my 10 feuds list and hence this point goes against them.
These will be remembered no doubt but, the impact of many was way more than them!
8. The NXT Invasion
I think that finally after a long time, the WWE gave us something really great to make us stop ranting for once and sit back and enjoy!
To me, this was a really surprising thing which really, came about at the right time and was really good thinking on there part.
The fact that had the entire NXT Rookies, both face and heel team up together and gang up on Cena to make their presence felt all of a sudden leave the WWE Fans and the IWC awe stuck!
At the same time, that deserves a hats off for sure.
With that said, I feel that it has the potential too really go way ahead and make for a great story line!
Now, as I have already said above, I have included this thing because of its high amount of unpredictability.
Also it was nice to see them make a faction of their own and go against the entire WWE, I mean that speaks volumes for sure!!!
However I do have a reason to include it at No. 8 on my list as well:
The reason being that first of all this story line is at it’s infant stage yet and I for one am yet to feel that intensity which I did in some great matches like the Rock and Austin bout at Mania 19 or Trips and Shawn had in there back and forths in the ring.
One more reason is that we have not seen a huge fight back as yet from Team WWE “on air” as yet.
I mean I agree that too much face domination is not good, but too much heel domination too starts getting more stale after some time.
So, due to this, I am going to keep it at this spot and hope for the best thing to happen!
7. Jeff Hardy Finally Wins The WWE Title!!!
Say what you may, but I for one really want to thank Vince for allowing Jeff to realize his dream and making his path to the top so great that, it could actually make a good inspirational Hollywood flick.
I mean the way his way to the top was managed and played out always kept us on the edge of our seats.
They did a great job by making his way to the top, full of bumps and unexpected yet exciting turns.
They actually made our minds wonder with this, at one moment we would give up any hopes and on the other we would make peace and believe that it is going to become reality soon.
Also, they did a great job in giving him good scripts for his promos and air time and “apt” opponents to make his push really realistic and simply brilliant.
One more thing I would like to add to it is the fact that, I for one am totally behind him getting the push.
I agree that his brother Matt is underrated but this does not mean that Jeff did not deserve to win, Hell Yeah, he did!
Now the reason why I am placing this on my list is because of the fact that in spite of it being the PG Era, the WWE Creative guys really gave it a lot of consideration and left no stone unturned.
Furthermore, it was great to see him get pushed above guys like Trips and Edge and beat them clean, something that WWE does not do on a regular basis!
Last but not least; I liked the angles put in his path and the way they allowed an IWC Favorite and much loved Jeff to finally get what he “frankly” deserved.
The reason why I have placed it at this position on my list though is because of the fact that, even though he won, his title reigns were never that big and long as we wanted them to be.
When we add to it the fact that Jeff left WWE after that and hence did not enjoy much time at the top, it pulled this positive coming out of The PG Era down.
Still, nothing away from WWE, but this is pretty tough a list to assign ranks too!
6. The HBK vs. Jericho Feud in 2008
At No. 6 on my list is the “one of the last” great feuds to take place since the PG Era and that is indeed the intense and hot feud between Jericho and HBK!
This was a great feud with both these guys playing out their roles with perfection and putting on A-class matches on every occasion they met.
This battle between the two proved that if things are managed well and are well thought out you can do wonders in a “kid targeted” Era.
The reason why I have included this on my list is because of the fact this was a really well choreographed feud which had many essentials of a great back and forth, they are:
First of all it had many great twists and turns, which is always necessary because just like a movie, you need them at right intervals to make it more fun to watch.
They were given a nice amount of time, with the story line and hence as a result of this the feud was really hot and intense.
They gave ample time to both men to put on great matches every time they met. In fact, their ladder match at No Mercy was just brilliant and has to go down as one of the best.
Now, as for the reason that it was low on my list in spite of being great is that, there are a few other things which outshined it and had a greater impact.
Not only this but this feud, though memorable, did not last for like ever and the legacy of the other things was just simply more.
5. Chris Jericho Becomes A Self-Proclaimed Honest Man!!!
What do I say about Jericho? The guy has got the Midas touch and can really turn the worst possible things into gold.
His gimmick has been really well managed by him and him alone, and he really has made a lot out of something which could have really been a huge failure.
The reason being that such kinds of gimmicks are really difficult to enact and hence if not portrayed well can really go against you.
But Jericho really put a lot into this and now will be proud to see that he was able to give us fans something to look out for even during the worst time periods of this PG Era!
His gimmick was something new and fresh and hence was really well-received.
I do admit that the PG Tag indeed puts many restrictions, but this gimmick just proves that restrictions mean nothing if you can come up with such new and great ideas.
The reason why he made it my list is because frankly speaking, his is one of the two gimmicks in a long, long time which will be actually going down in history as one of the best.
Not only this but his promos were really interesting and on many occasions were the ones that saved the grace for WWE.
I have to admit that at times when RAW was miserable thanks to the guest hosts, but he was the only reason which made me watch RAW, because he was just great.
Jericho is “indeed” the best in the world at what he does.
Now for my reason for putting him at this spot is that, of late, Jericho has not been given so much of air time and not been allowed to do what he usually does.
The point is that by first involving him in a tag team with The Miz, they had the both of them be in the ring at the same time, hence we had to listen to The Miz at the same time as well.
Now, he is jobbing to Evan Bourne and not in any feud at all, so that also sort of negates the impact of his persona and hence puts him at No. 5.
However I will add to it the fact that his position can be easily swapped and go up, so it’s just based on his position as of this date, but all said and done, hats off to Jericho. He is the best!
4. The Rise of CM Punk and the Formation Of The SES
Let me just start by congratulating WWE, for giving us such a great and talented performer and utilizing him in the best possible way.
On a side note, hats off to CM Punk for pulling off a gimmick which was really difficult and could have easily gone astray.
Now, this gimmick, just like Jericho’s honest man gimmick, was a difficult one to enact and I am sure that had they given it to someone like Swagger, then he would have ended up doing a WWE with it i.e. Screwing Things Up!!!!!!
The reason being that whether we are Straight Edge or not, we all hate to be preached the same thing over and over again.
It’s like attending a class on a subject which bores you to tears every damn day!
However we also have to agree that in spite of that we people look forward to it, don’t we?
I mean his promos are fantastic and he always brings something new to the table.
He never makes us feel the need to change the channel.
Also, I am happy to see him getting the push at the right time.
Last year when Edge got injured and Jericho was feuding with Mysterio, SD really needed a top heel to go against Jeff Hardy, and the two of them did a great job.
However, I would give the edge to Punk here, as Jeff already was a top face before that feud while Punk on the other really was pushed just a small while ago.
Yet he gracefully merged into main eventing and did not leave that gap just like in the case of Swagger who went from Jobber to World Champion in five days.
With that said, the reason why this made it my list is because:
First of all the WWE finally gave us a superstar, pushed well enough to enter the league of Cena-Batista-Edge-Orton!
Secondly they gave us a never imagined and well managed gimmick which along with Jericho’s is the saving grace for the WWE in the gimmick department.
To top it all, we were given a great stable in the form of the SES, perhaps a great stable which surely can give Evolution a good run for their money.
Now, for the reason as to why it was at No. 4:
Well the reason is that Punk was mysteriously de-pushed after his feud with Jeff Hardy came to an end and since then he has not been allowed to main event.
This is nothing against the creative guys or Punk but this move surely upset his position just a tad bit and hence it could not make it to my top 3.
One more thing that I have to add is the fact that WWE needs to stop having Taker win titles every now and then.
I mean Taker was a face and after going against Punk he did not have any major storyline up until the met Shawn at Mania this year.
So, I guess that mysterious de-push which kept him away from the WHC, kept him away from breaking into the top three things, also the next three were pretty more impact causing than this as well.
3. No More Blood!!!
Let me just say that I am really happy of the fact that the WWE banned blood and cut down on violence by reducing chair shots to the head, etc.
Look, I for one agree that blood makes things all the more realistic and adds a factor of “greatness” to the match, however I don’t like the flip side of it.
The flip side of it, though is that the Wrestlers Are Human Beings.
With that said, I for one surely see eye to eye with the WWE for having cut down on blood so that the personal lives of all these wrestlers don’t get blown away like smoke.
I agree that, they do have some motives behind it as well and that is for sure!
But look at the bright side, it will prolong their careers and will allow them to entertain us for longer time.
Then the banning of chairshots to the head is a great choice as well, because at times, if gone wrong, they can lead to concussions’ and “actually” make wrestlers mad.
So, I am giving this point a heads up and including this in my article.
One thing that I have say, though, is that I am not a fan of matches being stopped to clean a wrestler and bandage him if he is bleeding!
However if a wrestler himself throws a bottle of water onto it and wipes it with his T-Shirt then, it is fine, so that the momentum of the match is not destroyed.
I am not saying that it should be banned but I will say that this can be restricted for the major cuts only, and not for the minor baby cuts so that we can continue on with the match.
One more thing is that, there is no drawback associated with this point and the only reason why it could not make it to the top 2 is because, well believe me and I mean believe me, those are even better than this!!!
2. Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker Wrestlemania 25 & 26
Do I need to say anything about this?
I feel that not only these two matches are going to go down in history, but I am pretty sure that they are going to go down as “the” best in this Era so far.
I mean these two guys went at it two years in a row and on both the occasions had us on the edge of the seats with their super fantastic moves.
I mean there were tombstones, Flying Moonsaults, Sweet Chin Musics, counter after counter after counter in both; the matches were all awesome!
Not only this but the way the momentum kept shifting every now and then really made us wonder as to what was going to happen in the end.
The fact that we had the best two guys wrestling, always made us believe that Shawn could be the guy who ends his streak and on the other side we had that feeling that Taker’s streak is never going to be broken.
Then the amount of time given to these matches was good enough for them to put on 5 star matches on both occasions.
With that being said, this has to be surely added to my list of positive and rather great things to have happened since the PG Era.
So, thanks to such epic performances from two legends has earned them a spot in my list.
Now, for this slide there is no counter argument as to why did not make it to the top of my list, well the reason is that the best thing to hit this PG Era, just went past it but just by a mini inch!
1. Randy Orton becomes the next Anti Hero-Epic Thing Indeed!!!
I guess that the entire IWC for once is going to agree with me on this, won’t you?
To me this has to be a crowning achievement of this Era so far and in according to me, will be really tough to push down from this spot in a long, long time to come.
The funny part though is that, the seeds for this were laid in 2009, which was by far the least interesting year the WWE has presented us with, according to me!
One more thing is that, being made an Anti-Hero and could have been only possible in the Attitude Era, because there all this edgier stuff was allowed.
Hence, people would have easily loved a heel that is a bad ass for the business’ reputation but brings a lot for the fans to cheer about.
So, in way Randy Orton becoming an anti-hero would have been more difficult as it would have been for Stone Cold as he had the Attitude Era by his side to support him.
I would also like to thank none other than one of my favorites, John Cena, for actually having been the man who brought this out.
I mean let's accept it, had Cena not been such a face, people would never have liked Orton like crazy and hence he was cheered in spite of being a bad ass heel.
So, with that said, we can proudly say that the much hated and very often cursed PG Era, has given us a lot many things in a short amount of time after all!
That’s it guys, my list of great things which have happened in the PG Era thus far, we have had a few great creative decisions which gave us good story lines, some really intense and hot feuds, a very surprising NXT Invasion, Epic Matches, Anti-Heroes, Less of Violence, Pushing of Stars, Allowing people to live their dream!
BTW! Check out my Honorable Mentions slide in the next slide as well
Whoa! That’s a hell of a lot isn’t it?
That’s all folks, tell me as to what do you think about that!
Do you agree with me on this or you don’t? Please tell me!
Was I right in assessing its worth or have overrated it?
Please do comment and let me know for sure!
Also, the pick tells a thousand things indeed!
Special Mention-Austin gets inducted into the HOF!
The Unified Tag Team Titles-I agree that there are 4 titles and same number of guys, but I guess that it was a good creative decision for some time.
The return of Bret Hart after a long, long time.
Kane becomes a demented and crazy monster again.
The formation of The Legacy, which was a nice heel stable indeed.
The Reformation of DX: I agree that they were a bit stale this time but still it was great to see them reunite.
Above all, having Shawn Michaels retire with grace and drawing the curtain on a legends career, in the best way possible!!!
That’s all guys, the end of this show, do tell me how was it for sure.
There are a few more honorable mentions which I would like to add to this as suggested by some com mentors here-
The Induction of Stu Hart into the HOF
WInning the Monday Night Wars
And! yeah, I will be taking a two-week break from writing here on B/R because of my exams but I will be back for sure with more articles for all to read.