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WWE: The Reality Era and how Attitude is crippling it

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(This may be my most polarizing blog yet, but I'm sticking with it.)

The Attitude Era's faux revival is crippling the WWE's bottom line.

It was observed last year that CM Punk's Shoot marked the end of the PG-Era and the rise of the "Reality Era" as some dubbed it came with it. Since I was always a fan of the name, I'm going to continue to use that term until I'm overwritten by the world at large.

Either way, name or not, the "PG-Era" is Dead. Not necessarily the "TV-PG" icon in the corner of US Screens, but the era that was associated with the return of that very icon in the later part of last decade.

It's been noted a few times before, but the reality era differs from the "PG-Era" on a few accounts:
*Social Media and YouTube
*Kayfabe is loose at best
*A dramatic increase of interviews out of character
*TV-14 level cursing, bordering on R at times.
*Moving away from the pure "Super-Cena" Main Events
*Violence scaled up a notch (not full hardcore, but it's up a bit)

That all is a bit subjective, but most of that has a basis in reality. Here's the thing though, all except the cursing was around for the majority of 2011.

2012 has been a bad year for the WWE despite dramatic improvements in key areas including storylines, wrestlers highlighted, match quality (besides Divas and Tag Team), production and advertising. Besides the over-use of twitter, people in general on the IWC have actually had a lot of positive remarks on the WWE this year even for a Wrestlemania buildup, and it's easy to say that people in the IWC are loving the WM 28 card as a whole compared to normal.

However, that's just our perception as IWC fans. The financial situation is bleak.

3.0. That was the TV rating for the "Go-Home" Show for Wrestlemania. That's horrific. a 3.0 is an average rating in the summer, pre-MITB last year. Last year's go home was...


Spin that how you like, but let's face it, we the IWC are a bunch of old men in terms of the larger wrestling audience. Most of the audience has always been kids except for those few years during the Monday Night Wars.

The Rock and John Cena's Attitude Era like profanity filled promos have caused the low TV Ratings. That's my theory. I am an older fan who actually likes the cursing, but how many parents turned off the TV the moment genitalia jokes started flying?

Apparently a lot since January 2nd's rating was a 3.1, and usually there is a ~15-20% increase of people in viewership during Wrestlemania season and they actually lost fans this time around. PPVs and live events are down as well, of course you can tack some of that to the fact that most people reading this blog steal them through streams.

Here's the thing, the Attitude Era's revival is near impossible because of this question:

"How do you bring back more older fans from the cold (who haven't watched in years) than the number of fleeing families in time before the WWE can no longer take the ratings hit?"

That's the dilemma, and I don't have an answer. Until the WWE can legitimately figure that out, the TV will likely return to PG in language and violence in the very near future and the semi-attitude like era will be over.

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Updated 03-30-2012 at 08:01 PM by miraistreak

Thoughts and Opinions


  1. Tall's Avatar
    The Attitude Era promos weren't special because you could swear, it's because they were far better.

    Dwayne's promos now are all emotional and his put downs are lame. The Rock from '99 for instance was hilarious with his put downs and he didn't swear a lot. Just look at the Billy Gunn promo, This is your life etc.

    There will never be a return to the Attitude Era, the same way there's never been a return to the Golden Era.
  2. DK Wrestling Savior's Avatar
    There is more of a problem with the company from head to toe. Anyone who watches wrestling and can legitimately compare wrestling from 8 years ago, 12 years ago, 15 years ago, etc can see clearly that the WWE doesn't know what it's doing. It's throwing stuff together in panic because WM is their biggest money maker, and without The Rock, Taker/HHH, and Jericho, they know they wouldn't hit 500,000 buys. Other than bandwagoners online that are on the Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan tip, nobody cares about them, and that's the future. Now the WWE is bringing in Albert as a Fat Hakushi, undoubtedly because they have 0 confidence in their current stars. This is a very bleak time for wrestling, and unless another company emerges and starts to bring legitimate competition to the table, the WWE will continue to put out a terrible product.
  3. justinjackson1983's Avatar
    I think more can be done with marketing in wwe, For Instance very simple marketing to older attitude era fans.

    Advertise Raw as "on the seat of your edge,explosive" and make it seem cutting edge, you dont have to bleed and swear to be edgy, you can do that with some really exciting wrestling matches each week with lots of high risk that make you sit on the edge of your seat. Heated Promos (again do not have to swear) but fill the Promo with so much intensity and anger it almost feels like they actually are going to trade punches.

    Smackdown has always been PG so fill it with the same fun humor it had 2000-2003, it was less in your face than Raw but was more entertaining and Important to watch. I hardly even watch it these days.

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