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WWE in the PG Era: Is It Really as Bad as We Make It out to Be?

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterFebruary 28, 2012

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08:  World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton during the WWE Smackdown Live Tour at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium on July 08, 2011 in Durban, South Africa.  (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

The PG Era may be toned down in sex and violence, but it has still produced some great wrestling.  It's safer than eras past and the roster is brimming with young talent that should have fans pumped for a bright future instead of growing wistful for the past. 

Ever since WWE shifted to a PG rating, the sound of fans grumbling has reverberated through computers and living rooms. 

Fans miss the blood and violence of a past not so long ago.  You hear everything from "McMahon has ruined wrestling" to "I'll never watch WWE again."

Is the PG Era as impotent and disappointing as fans want to believe?

WWE officially went PG in 2008, though there were signs before that pointed to them heading in that direction. 

From that point to now we've seen an all-time classic in John Cena vs. CM Punk at Money in the Bank 2011, some phenomenal battles between Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio and perhaps the greatest match of all-time in Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25. 

To dismiss the PG Era is to dismiss the great work done by Randy Orton and Christian during their intense feud last year. Mark Henry's renaissance, Daniel Bryan's emergence as a heel and CM Punk's rocket to superstardom are all part of the much maligned period in wrestling.   

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And what of the Nexus angle?  While it did fizzle out in the end, its inception and initial execution were unexpected and had fans tuned in and curious with their hearts thumping.

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08:  Mark Henry 'The World's Strongest Man' is introduced during the WWE Smackdown Live Tour at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium on July 08, 2011 in Durban, South Africa.  (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
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The PG Era has taken away blading and chair shots to the head.  It's been an unpopular decision among people not doing the bleeding.

But WWE should be applauded for its stance on avoiding concussions.  Would we rather see the admittedly exciting impact of steel to skull or have our favorite superstars able to sustain longer careers devoid of dementia?

It's a trade I'm certainly willing to make.

As for the lack of blood, blading had gotten to a point where it was so overdone that it didn't have nearly the impact that it once did.  If every time a wrestler hits a post or gets a stiff elbow across the brow, they start gushing blood, it becomes expected, not exciting.

Besides, years of blading leaves our heroes disfigured

A good wrestling angle and a good wrestling match doesn't rely on blood anyway. 

It's more than the lack of blood and chairs being bent on a man's skull that has fans bemoaning the current era.  Visit any YouTube wrestling video, any online wrestling forum or the Bleacher Report comment section and you'll read countless tirades about the "good old days."

Our natural instinct is often to romanticize the past and undervalue the present. 

There's no doubt that the Attitude Era was electrifying and that the Ruthless Aggression Era was marked with some of the best matches we've ever seen.

But we've chosen to remember Stone Cold and forget Al Snow, pine for Eddie Guerrero and wipe Nathan Jones from our memories.

As bad as we've made the PG Era out to be, it's full of stars and future stars. 

Cody Rhodes, Sheamus, Wade Barrett, Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler form a concrete foundation for the WWE to build its future on. 

Will its peak match what Rock and Austin did?  Maybe not, but it's too early to bury it.            

The PG Era is just getting started. 

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