The PG Era: Part of a Master Plan? CM Punk's Role
by, 07-15-2011 at 02:41 PM (6254 Views)
In the opinion of many wrestling fans, the PG era has been a major step back for the WWE. With many fans growing to love wrestling during the "Attitude Era," the loss of blood, fowl language, and sexual content caused many to lose interest in the product. When you look back and remember moments like the infamous "Brian's got a gun" skit, The Rock's many references to pie and sticking things up peoples rear ends, and D-X's many outrageous exploits, wrestling has been a lot less entertaining in recent years. With the emergence of John Cena's Hogan like eat your vitamins and say your prayers attitude and of course the absence of blood in even the most "hardcore" matches, fans that grew up during the attitude era have been left with a bad taste in their mouths. But here's one thing you may not have thought about: WWE was getting stale before the PG era even began.
The PG era was seen as a way to gain new fans. Parents now wouldn't feel bad if they let their kids watch wrestling because the content on the show was kid friendly. During this time, of course, Vince McMahon and his "douchebag Yes-Men" (sorry for the reference to Punk's promo, but I had to) knew that these kids would get older year after year. They knew that they needed to keep this new generation of fans. What better way to keep these fans than to increase the intensity of subject matter slowly until one day when they're old enough they drop the bomb on 'em?
The first step was the introduction of the Nexus. The Nexus debut had people talking for weeks, and for these new fans, it was the first time they'd seen anything like this before. Us older fans immediately thoght "NWO rehash" but for the newer generation that didn't remember those days, it was cool. Of course the Nexus did get stale pretty quickly, then one day it seemed like they're days were numbered. All of a sudden CM Punk takes over. Immediately the Nexus went from a group of young superstars failing to truly make their mark to a Punk worshiping cultist group. From a kid's perspective, this could be compelling tv. But like all things they would get used to it and it became stale. Cue CM Punk's pipe bomb....
CM punk was handed a live microphone and could say whatever he wanted. These kids watching nowadays don't remember the infamous "Austin 3:16" speech from KOTR '96, but for us "older fans" that do remember, it was a bombshell. Not only was he talking trash, but he talked trash about the bible, and made his own verse, "Austin 3:16 says I just whooped yer ass" Now, CM Punk's speech 2 weeks ago on Raw was the new generation's equivalent of Austin's promo for us. The new generation of fans have been primed for years during the PG era and have now been given their own "Attitude Era" kickoff. In the last few weeks we've heard more douchebags, son of a bitches, and references to actual professional wrestling than we've heard in years during promos. While some may say CM Punk could be this era's Stone Cold, I prefer to say he's just CM Punk. He's too unique to be the "next" anyone. He's making his own path in this business, and I'd like to see where he goes from here.
That being said, this blog is getting way too long so I'm going to close it up by saying that maybe we should always be patient during slow periods in the WWE because chances are, we'll have another PG era in 10 years or so in order to groom another generation of fans.