WWE's “The Rock Has Come Back”: Does the PG Show Hamper His Showmanship?

Vanda RamkissoonContributor IIIFebruary 15, 2011

NEW YORK - JANUARY 20:  Actor Dwayne Johnson attends the NHL Powered by Reebok Store to promote 'Tooth Fairy' on January 20, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

After a long wait the WWE universe has been graced by the most electrifying man in entertainment, Dwayne Johnson on  Monday Night Raw. After a week of guessing games it was revealed that the Rock would be the host of Wrestlemania 27.

The response from the crowd was phenomenal. There were happy faces all around and the welcoming cheers and screams visibly moved the man who has become one of the most loved (and missed) superstars in WWE history.

There are certain elements needed to be a successful sports entertainer. Sure you need certain moves in the ring, but you also need to elicit a response from the crowd by your words and actions even when you are not in the physical act of wrestling.

As usual, The Rock was amazing on the microphone.  His intonation, body language and emotions were right on key. He judged the audience very well, knowing when it was OK to let them do the talking for him. This is something that you cannot rehearse, it comes with experience and natural talent.

However, I am of the view that the PG rating does little to enhance the man’s natural aptitude for talking the talk.

I lost count of how many time that annoying ‘beep’ came on while The Rock was ripping The Miz and John Cena apart. The catch phrases that we have grown accustomed to really lost some of its effectiveness when they had to be edited out.

I am sure that most of us wanted to tell Michael Cole to stick the laptop up his candy a** (yes I am editing it out as well) a long time ago. Yet when it was finally done, we couldn’t actually hear it because it is a PG show.

On a related note, the word a** is edited out, but we all know what he means and the kids know what it means even if the actual sounds are not heard. What is the more important aspect, the sound of the word, or the meaning it conveys? Just because the ostrich’s head is under the sand and he cannot see us does not mean that we can’t see the rest of his body sticking out.

Now my real problem is that WWE takes PG to a whole other level. I understand that PG means that it should not offend families and in particular children of a certain age, but come on, the little kids are using the terminologies that are edited out all the time. They may not use it when parents are around, but they use it with each other.

Times are changing and some words are losing some of the typical offensive qualities that they may have had in the past. In fact other things that may be viewed as offensive are allowed, e.g Cena forcibly kissing Vickie. In this case we have the 'word' versus the action, with the 'word' being seen that the more offensive of the two. But as we all know, actions speak louder than words.

The true beauty of his gift of words is being harmed by the PG rating, and it became truly apparent to me when I compared his speech to the one Cena made earlier. Usually I do not complain when people say that Cena’s Jokes are corny etc because I think “Hey what can the guy say on a PG show?” However, when I was given the alternative, all the flaws were highlighted with a fluorescent highlighter.

If given the choice I would prefer to listen to the Rock’s jokes because it is more entertaining even if a little more offensive, like the point made earlier Cena’s use of the term ‘rectum’ (see it didn’t have to edit it) and The Rock’s use of the term a** signifies the same thing. Yet one takes preference over the other.

I guess the PG rating is educating our children that there is a right way to say a wrong thing when they should be teaching them that these things exist and there is a forum for using it. If the kids are already able to use critical thinking skills because they know that they should not use it in front of their parents, so what are we so afraid of?

The point is that some of the extremes taken are not logical in my mind. I know there are legal consequences that will mean that these precautions may continue, but I just wanted to show how really stupid it seems at times. I prefer hearing the message alert for the GM’s laptop than hearing half-catch phrases from The Rock. Think about it, which do you find more offensive: The Rock using the word a** or Vickie and Dolf making out?

(On a happier note, there is the possibility that this mean that the show will now stretch the boundaries of the PG era a little.)