In Response to Attitude vs. PG era
by, 02-21-2012 at 02:05 AM (1651 Views)
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.