I thought after my CM Punk article my writing about wrestling days were going to be semi-retired, but after hearing about my friends and others complain about the PG rating I decided I had to write about it.
In 2008, the WWE made an announcement that they were going PG. This caused a riot on the internet, with people saying a wrestling company cannot succeed being PG. People of course brought up the Attitude Era and why/how that was successful because it was edgy, pushed the envelope and all those other clichÃ©d words to discribe a mature wrestling product. They argued that the mainstream wrestling fans were being pushed out of the way for kids. While that has happened, remind you this was before that even happened; it was just after they went PG. People went as over-the-top to actually complaining about them banning Bra and Panties’ matches. I don’t know what rating system people use these days, but I have never seen a Bra and Panties’ match be anything other than complete filler.
Anyways, the problem with the WWE isn’t because of the PG rating. If you don’t believe me, look at some of the other PG products that succeeded. Hell, the only non-PG era I remember doing well was WWF in the Attitude Era to 2007. That is, of course, depending on whether you believe ECW was a success or not. Even though it got bigger than it should’ve, whenever a company is in as much debt as they were in I cannot consider that a successful company. So, that means practically any other company than WWE from 98-07 Â that was successful was under the PG rating.
To wrap this Â up short, the WWE doesn’t need to go TV-14 in order to make a better product. Wrestling angles, gimmicks and matches do not have to be violent and mature in order for them to be good. There was nothing gory about Ric Flair vs. Ricky the Dragon Steamboat matches and if I took the time to label all the other great matches that weren’t violent I would be here all day. Wrestling can be for all ages and still be fun for everyone. There is a way to write a product where nobody’s Â intelligence are insulted. The WWE doesn’t Â insist on doing that. They rather write for a kid audience and imply kid-humor (or stupid humor) into their product.
Sometimes wrestlers can also make a product better by having great matches, acting, talking, and living their character like its really them. It’s been seen time in and out where a company didn’t have the strongest booking, but the wrestlers overcame the bad booking by going the extra distance (of course TNA would be the exception of that rule, but that’s just booking that nobody could overcome). But, the WWE doesn’t have the best looking roster in order to pull something like I am talking about off in a proper manner. CM Punk is the only wrestler I believe on their roster who has the “it” factor, as the others struggle in some kind of category in other to achieve that accomplishment. And a lot of the WWE’s wrestlers are very limited and inexperienced (which actually puts more pressure on an already challenged creative staff).
The PG rating can work and has been proven in the past that a company can succeed under the rating. Wrestling doesn’t have to be gory and violent in order to be fun. There are other ways to create heated feuds and angles. I almost feel as if using violence and gore is the cheap way out of being creative because it’s too simple to do. I much rather see a well thought out angle that isn’t gory but is very subtle any day of the week. Â If the WWE changed their rating to TV-14 or even TV-MA, the product would not improve that much. In fact, I don’t think it would get better or worse. Would blood, swearing, and people bashing each other other the head with foreign objects REALLY make the WWE any better…proving the problem in the WWE isn’t the PG rating. It’s instead the booking (mainly the SNL reject writers) and the lack of depth in the roster.
Tags: attitude era, Booker T, Bret Hart, cm punk, Jim Ross, john cena, McMahon, Michael Cole, randy orton, shawn michaels, TNA, undertaker, WCW, WWE