The WWE has been PG for a couple of years now, which has garnered a lot of heckling from "hardcore" fans due to its apparent over-caring for the kids, as well as "Super Cena" and foolish segments.
Frankly, I don't see a problem with how the WWE is run right now, and I honestly don't know why the IWC feels different.
Flash back to the "Golden Era," arguably one of the most revolutionary time periods in the history of the company—it had icons like Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, and Ted DiBiase, and really thrust pro wrestling into the spotlight.
Orchestrated by Vince McMahon, the company cemented itself as a global force to be reckoned with.
Let's compare this time period to the current state of affairs.
Hogan, the top wrestler in the business at the time, pandered to children, was unbeatable, and—compared to some of his colleagues—had a limited move-set.
Hmm... Where have I heard those three statements before?
Oh, that's right: John Cena.
Multiple world-championship reigns, borderline silly moments, but both are/were considered mildly entertaining and deserve/deserved to be where they are/were.
Next, let's look at Warrior, who is outspoken, nearly unbeaten, and a stale character. Many people look at the man in a bad light, mostly due to his out-of-character rants at co-workers.
Hey, wait a minute... That sounds like Orton, right?
Amazing, huh? It doesn't stop there.
The "Attitude Era" is claimed by the so-called "hardcore" fans to be the greatest thing since the invention of the nuclear bomb, or the internet, or even sliced bread. The IWC strongly believes it to be at least ten times more mature than the "PG Era" we are supposedly suffering from.
But what was it all about? It revolved around swearing, sex, and... poop jokes.
Sounds mature, right?
No, this was aimed at high school teenagers who, at the time, thought they were cool for doing any of the above.
It was immature, crude, and birthed many cringe-worthy segments. Who can forget Mae Young and Mark Henry's baby hand? Or how about the breast puns surrounding Stephanie McMahon, the boss' daughter?
Wonderful times, eh?
Today, though, with the "restrictions" surrounding the product, it comes off as a more enjoyable, cleaner, less in-your-face show that's suitable for everyone.
If dirty, inappropriate and disgusting pieces of "entertainment" are your cup of tea, then sure, complain all you like, but most people don't want to see their oiled-up heroes referencing "Two Girls One Cup" every week. (Please note that I'm not disrespecting this era in any way as it too was revolutionary and produced legends like Austin and The Rock.)
Another point is that Smackdown has nearly always been PG since it's formation. It's always been miles more family-friendly than RAW, even now.
Because of this, it has been able to focus more on wrestling and less on seeing how far they can push the extremes. "Hardcore" wrestling fans should feel thankful for PG as it has provided some stunning matches—no sarcasm in that sentiment.
Sure, it may have turned away blood, but is that really needed to turn a match from good to great? Just a little bit of crimson smudged across the forehead and the ratings shoot through the roof?
That doesn't make sense to me.
Ah, who can forget the frequent cries of "the WWE only cares about the kids"? I guess you can split that 50/50 on the yes-no scale.
The WWE has always cared for the younger demographic, and as they change, so does the product: uptight kids in the Golden Era, crude kids in the Attitude Era, and a mix of both in current times.
I despise it when "grown" fans disrespect and insult the children who enjoy pro wrestling—not only are you proving yourself to be incredibly immature, but you are also being hypocritical.
Chances are, you've watched wrestling since you were as young as today's younger audience and have always enjoyed it.
Would you have liked it if some "adult" started swearing at you, saying: "Hogan sucks, he's too superman. Now, Bruno Sammartino is somebody you can look up to. Oh, wait, you don't know who that is, stupid kid"?
You would have probably been very angry or upset, right? It's not any different now.
My final argument on this topic is rather simple. If the WWE hadn't publicised the (gradual) PG shift, most of those clamouring on about it wouldn't have noticed.
From the moment it was announced, there were heads raised and furious comments made. If the WWE had given little notice that this change was being undertaken, very few would of had a word to say because very few would of seen the change.
Seriously, there wasn't blood and gore one week and fairies and sparkles the next.
They slowly phased out the swearing and the sexual nature, but nobody cared. Linda McMahon making a political run, and so what? The announcement of the rating switch, BAM! Internet explodes.
In my eyes, there is nothing wrong with the product, and I sincerely hope that the rest of the IWC wake up and realise that they are looking at things the wrong way.