Right at the top, I have to say that I'm okay with the PG Era existing. On paper, it looks like a great idea. By taking away the sensationalism of vulgarity and over the top teases of nudity and scantily clad women, we can actually focus on the two things that make Sports Entertainment awesome: drama and fighting! It's like comparing the Clerks movies to the Clerks cartoon. Clerks: The Animated Series was silly, off the wall, and genius compared to its animated competition. What did it in? Clerks fans felt it wasn't edgy enough simply because there was no cursing...are you kidding me?
On the whole, this has happened in WWE. The girls have nicer, more interesting outfits and aren't dressed like strippers (admit it, it's better this way...you want to see naked girls and eye candy, internet's a click away, and they're just not in bikinis there, they're having sex...divas don't need to be hookers), the promos are more guided to what's relevant, and there's more of a focus on match quality (even if that focus is on the fans' part, and not on WWE's part).
But this is like comparing hardcore rap to Will Smith. He never curses in his songs, but in a community where performers need to be hard...not cursing makes you look like a garden of pansies...
The PG Era isn't that bad, but...have you ever watched a TV show or movie, and thought to yourself...something just isn't gelling here? After reading articles on this site about this issue, I finally had that moment. While I don't consider taking the weapons and blood away from wrestling to be inherently a bad idea either, there seems to be a huge number of "injuries" occurring, way too many to be had WITHOUT weapons.
Brief stop on memory lane...back in times like the coveted Attitude Era, a guy could get smashed in the forehead by a steel chair (multiple times even) and not only finish the match but talk about in an interview. This isn't a comment on how much tougher or weaker guys are these days, and it isn't even a dig on PG or a boost for Attitude, but after watching that happen so often on TV in the past, then seeing guys nowadays get punched in the leg and sustaining an injury that keeps them off TV for a few weeks, it's really hard to suspend my disbelief.
This has been going on primarily in WWE, although I'm not sure how much better TNA is doing in the same arena. I didn't see Hardcore Justice, however if it was as "hardcore" as the Impact that preceded it, you probably saw lots of trashcans, cookie sheets, trashcan lids...they project an extreme persona, and frankly, they weren't even half as extreme as extreme once was.
At least WWE is giving you what they say. Incidentally, did Brother Ray set anything on fire at the PPV, like he said he wanted to? That'd be great if he didn't.
Fact is, it's really cutting into storylines a lot in WWE. They're overusing it to the point of being unable to ignore it. WWE has two major shows airing on Monday and Friday. Used to be that if someone got a bit injured, twisted their ankle wrong, pulled a shoulder, not something major...they gave them a week or two to heal up, let them hang out backstage with a camera, and by the next subsequent week, they'd be back to competing no problem, but we either didn't notice they were gone or they weren't gone entirely.
R-Truth takes one tiny beatdown and we don't see him for weeks? That couldn't have been real. I understand the concept behind a kayfabe injury, but I saw that beatdown. It wasn't grounds for an injury.
If I recall correctly, the R-Truth thing was part of Nexus' rise to being a group that's either feared or respected, which I understand, but this is also something that was done back in the day far differently. Real easy fix from the past...just don't film it! Someone's walking around backstage, they find R-Truth on the ground, big yellow N spraypainted on his back! We don't see what happened, that means we can't make any judgments on what injuries could result. He could've been laying there for 30, 40 minutes before he was found, point is, we don't need to see the actions to believe they happened. We see him laying there "unconscious"...good enough, we can assume what happened and take away from it that Nexus was responsible.
And it would mean Nexus could carry spraypaint...which is a bit nostalgic of a big group of powerful thugs, wouldn't you say?
However, from what I've heard, this is still going on! I haven't seen Monday's Raw yet, but from what I read, the Harts and Mark Henry and Khali were all "attacked" by Nexus...and as a result, we're supposed to believe that they're too injured to participate as part of Team WWE at Summerslam! This is sucking all the life out of the programming and it's an inconsistency in history that's easily remedied.
Just use your imagination! Maybe it's because I'm an author, and I'm always looking for interesting ways to mess with situations...but couldn't Nexus kidnap the Harts? Chloroform Mark Henry? Even Kurt Angle shot Big Show with a tranquilizer dart to take him down when he was having trouble with him in the ring!
Creative needs to really step up and stop injuring everyone on WWE's roster. These guys are tough! Some of them are young, too. I understand a guy like Hunter needing to take some time off, he really pushes himself. He may not be elderly and gray, but he's no spring chicken anymore. But come on, R-Truth and the Harts? How are their youthful resiliencies up already? I understand the desire to push Nexus, I really like seeing them on TV and hope the Nexus dynamic lasts, changes, and morphs just like NWO...but when it gets old...someone needs to put it to bed fast.
Point? Stop with the kayfabe injuries! Use your noggins, deepen your characters and make us want to come back and watch. Taking talent off TV isn't cutting it. If they're really injured, great, it means they pushed themselves to the limit. If they're not? Tell them to get back to work!
Picture taken from http://cityhits.blogspot.com/2008/06/wwe-big-show-injury.html