Eh, people could debate for years on which "era" or which group of guys was the better. Truth is, in every era, there are those that you remember, and those that you forget. I mean, if you really look back, there was just as much crap, and just as many "jobbers" or "misused talent" in the golden/attitude eras as there is now. It's just that when you look back on past times, you tend to focus on the most memorable. You also have to look at what made those certain points in time so memorable. Like, what was going on in the world? What was going on in wrestling? What did they do different, or groundbreaking. And why was that so memorable to begin with? The golden area was seemingly all about good vs. evil. Small triumphing over the large. USA vs. foreign countries. The glitz, the glamor, the pageantry of it all. I'll never forget Hogan slamming Andre, EVER. I'll never forget Slaughter being a sympathizer. I'll never forget all the damn feathers and sequins on every, single, wrestlers, trunks. lol. But it was great, it was awesome. You didn't have to put on supreme ring-work to win the crowd. You just had to give your opponent the point, and then make your hands into a breaking motion, and the crowd would go insane. It was emotion personified in the ring, and it was great.
The attitude era. All about breaking the boundaries. What will they do this week that will blow your mind? What will they do next that makes you think, "can they even DO that on television?!". The stunner heard round the world, when SCSA hit McMahon, and he flopped like a damn dead fish with the worst Stunner bump i'd ever, and I guess, ever will see. But you know what? It was awesome. Everyone has always had that dickhead boss they just wanted to stick it to. We all lived vicariously through him. The hell-raising, beer-swilling outlaw, who didn't take shit off nobody. Until of course... he did.
Now, after finally getting through what most call the P.G. era, and seemingly begin the transition to what some call the reality era, this thread post really makes me think. Is the pg era really finished? Sure, they seem to be breaking new ground again. Getting a little more edgy, breaking down the fourth wall often, blurring the lines between what you believe to be a work and a shoot, not shying away from the blood as much, actually claiming that bones are broken instead of just other minor injuries. Some subtle things they used to avoid after Benoit that they now seem to not shy away from so much. And it seems as tho, at least in small part, story-lines are coming to the front again. Granted, they usually botch them, but the fact that there seems to be better effort than say, last year, is enticing. My question however is this, and it's two-fold:
1) Was the PG era really about Vince's disgrace over Benoit, and wanting to distance himself from the whole ordeal, and how he felt about paying homage to Chris before the details of the tragedy? Was it about avoiding criticism from the masses, the networks, etc. More of the "don't try this at home, we're trained professionals" type of copout.
Or was it about Linda.
I think it was, has been, and always has been.... about Linda.
Which brings me to
2) Is the P.G. era really over?
As much as I want to say that it is, based on what we've been seeing lately on the programming. I don't think so. Also, I may be wrong here, but I recall reading that Vince even stated that they weren't going to get away from the PG format for the episodic programming any time in the foreseeable future. Unless of course, they tune it up for the WWE Network. This, could be understandable, as it would be a pay to watch channel, so they could pretty much do what they wanted, within of course whatever limitations are placed by the backers and sponsors. But that still eludes the fact that Linda is running for office, and no matter how much she tries to distance herself from her family name and their business, it will always be there. If your name is McMahon you're synonymous with two things, Wrestling, and Publisher's Clearing House. And, haha, last time I checked, no one cared about some mail order magazines anymore, especially when they only pay out to people that aren't going to live long enough to enjoy the camper they inevitably will buy to "cruise the nation!". With that being said, any political group can simply look up footage of Linda on Raw or any of WWE's past programs and see her involved in all kinds of ridiculous crap, and try to use that against her in her race. Not that it will benefit them, but it's there. So.... what if, she wins? Does WWE say, well, we won, so we can crank it up a notch now! I don't think so. They would see it as an easy opportunity for any form of opposition to rise up and use that as a basis for an argument. Which, I think is stupid, but what do I know? But, the more probable outcome, is she loses. What now? Will she run again in the future? What does this mean for the 'E?
Sorry for the wall of text, but I really dig the OP, and it got my rusty wheels turning.
Back to the OP tho, I DO think the roster is as good as previous decades/eras. I think it always is. The problems lies with the fact that, even if you have stellar people, if they're not in the right environment, at the right time, with the right push, then it won't amount to anything. Barry Sanders was one of the greatest running backs to ever grace an american professional football field. But that didn't amount to anything playing on the team he was with for most of his career. I think really what it boils down to in the wrestling industry, is, you have to pave your own way. Granted to have to get the opportunity first, but once you get to that stage, you have to do something extraordinary to blaze your path. If Austin hadn't made that speech when he won King of the Ring, would we still be saying "WHAT?!" all the time? If Daniel Bryan didn't come to the ring screaming YES! fifty times making us want to choke him, then lose in 18 seconds, would there be a chant? You decide!