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In Response to Attitude vs. PG era

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Since a little bit before Wrestlemania I, I have been watching wrestling and it was the Junkyad Dog and Hulk Hogan that got me hooked on it. My parents couldn't afford the PPVs back then and I remember always calling a 976 number to find out the results. Finally, they bought WMIII and I knew I was a fan for life.

Wrestling was always PG. I learned the blood was fake for the most part. Sure, wrestlers cheated, but nobody killed anyone or did an act that would be considered criminal. It was always Good vs. Evil. Hogan vs. Piper. British Bulldogs vs. The Dream Team. Steamboat vs. Savage. It was always a thrill to see a cool bad guy turn good like Savage did after WMIII and it was always heartbreaking when a good guy turned bad like Orndoff piledriving Hogan. As a kid, there were Heroes and there were Villians.

As I got older, became a teenager, I still watched but it got boring. Sure it was always kind of predictable, but it was getting worse and stale. Hogan was going to get beat badly, then "Hulk Up", point, punch, punch, punch, into the ropes, boot to the face, leg drop, over. It just got stale.

WWE stayed with this formula and so did WCW, but WCW did something WWE couldn't do... make villians cool. Hogan's turn is the greatest idea in wrestling history. But if you watch old NWO/WCW clips, there was still the old-time Good vs. Evil. The word "a$$" was used a little more, but other than that, it was basic "evil-doings". But it wasn't stale. The spray paint. The fixed matches. It was cool. It wasn't PG but at worst it was maybe PG-13.

So Vince being the genius he is, stepped it up a notch and almost made his brand an R. We called it the "Attitude Era" which is nice because it was pretty close to being the "R Era". And it was fun! Again, there were good guys and bad guys but they were portrayed differently. When Stone Cold said "Austin 3:16 means I just whooped you a$$", the attitude era began....slowly. But once it started, you knew it was going to be one hell of a fun ride.

Val "Hello Ladies" Venis, DX, The Godfather and his Hos, Goldust, The Rock and of course Vince vs. Austin as the greatest rivalry ever, the Attitude Era took off and wrestling was at its peak. It was unpredictable and that's what made it great.

But, it all came to an end because it had to. Losing the WWF logo to the World Wildlife Foundation was the first step. Getting sued and losing sponsors for Raw's and Smackdown's content wasn't good business for Vince. Those of us who watched the first PG era and the Attitude Era were becoming adults with families. I would not allow my children to watch wrestling. As a teacher, I listened to my students repeat what they heard on Raw or Smackdown during the Attitude Era and I was appalled. Their parents were not monitoring what they were watching.

Vince did the right thing. He went back to PG. He gave wrestling back to the group of people that it is really intended for... the kids. My son now watches it with me and I don't have to cover his eyes or ears. I miss the attitude era. I think that is why Stone Cold isn't around or the Rock stays away to do movies, because they don't really belong. But I do miss them. Even when they brought back DX, it wasn't Attitude Era DX. It was "Looney Toons" DX. Again, because of the kids.

Vince has to do whatever he has to do to keep his business going. He needs that superhero that he had in Hogan, so he uses Cena. Vince is loving that Cena gets booed and cheered. He can do so much with that. There are some great talents like Ziggler, Barrett and Sheamus because they are traditional PG guys. CM Punk tries to come off like an Attitude guy, but let's be real, although what he says is funny and cool, it is NOT Attitude Era stuff.

To sum it all up, I miss the Attitude era. I was thrilled to see Road Dogg, but no one else was. Now is not the time for the Attitude Era to be reborn. The world is too sensitive for it right now. Maybe in the future it will need to come back, but with so many things in this world that is R-rated, we need our kids to see some PG stuff... at least until they get bored of it.

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Comments

  1. B-ri's Avatar
    Thank you! Excellent blog and you summed up my argument pretty well!
    The only real sort of angst I have with the current product is it's a little bit too kiddie, I agree it needs to be like it is at this present moment but I was watching Elimination Chamber on Sunday morning (I live in the UK) and I couldn't help but think this could and should be at least slightly more brutal, I mean when Bryan and Show were facing off there was nothing I wanted to see more than Big Show to literally destroy Bryan, leave him covered in blood and incredibly beaten because that would've made Bryan credible as a winner. It's a tricky issue, the problem is where do you draw the line, what is too much? And to prevent this becoming too long I'll leave it at that, thanks again as writing this comment has given me an extra bit to add into my blog! But yeah, mini rant over, good blog man!
  2. DK Wrestling Savior's Avatar
    Good write up....but The Rock stays away because he's a big movie star now and is too good for wrestling. It has nothing to do with PG Era or Attitude Era.
  3. pld459666's Avatar
    Vince absolutely stole the R rated programming from ECW. The risque brand of wrestling that we saw from the WWF/WWE was a total rip off of what ECW had been doing since 95.

    Vince's only advantage was that he had a major TV network whereas ECW was shown on tape delay at 2 in the morning on TNN (The Nashville Network)

    Vince is a creative person, but had he NOT stolen from ECW what he did, he would have been out of business.

    In the sense that he is a genius for stealing the R rated risque brand of product from ECW? Yes he is. But he did nothing more than that.

    Additioally, the Stone Cold Steve Austin charachter was debuted in ECW and honed in ECW. He added the Stone Cold part when he went to WWF, but the persona itself was debuted in ECW.

    Additionally, and this is interesting, Steve Austin pitched the idea of becoming this charachter to Eric Bischoff while Austin was playing the role of "Stunning" Steve Austin teaming with Flyin Brian Pilman while in WCW. Bischoff shot the suggestion down and the rest is history.
    Updated 02-22-2012 at 08:26 AM by pld459666

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