On twitter one of the constant things I see is people saying that the PG rating has ruined everything. To me it sounds like a reason for people to complain because the can not see exactly what they want on their screen.
As I’ve stated before, I have a short-term memory when it comes to wrestling. I may not in everything else, but if it happened over a year and a half ago in wrestling I tend to wash it away. There is no point in dwelling in the past because the present will never be the past. If I do remember it that means it was either epic or it is something I’ve seen repeated within a year.
I will never be that person who says, “The Attitude Era was so much better,” because it’s over. It is time to appreciate what you have in front of you. What has PG really changed that is so bad? Does PG really effect the storylines? Should they not be able to stand on their own without a rating? Sure, some of the stories lately have been bad, but is that a fault of PG or is that a fault of the writers?
PG means less blatant sexual innuendoes. There is still sexual content, Kelly Kelly barely wears anything when she goes out to wrestle and Aksana is pretty much propositioning Teddy Long. Even on NXT Derrick Bateman and Maxine are kissing on a regular basis in which he usually reacts like he could be dragging her to the mat for reasons more fun than wrestling O’Neil for the twelfth time.
PG means less swearing. Steve Austin ends up being bleeped during Wrestlemania and people are a little shocked when Young calls McCool and Layla, “bitches and sluts”. That is a good thing. People should be shocked to hear it, not because the words themselves are as offensive as they once were but so it doesn’t number people to hearing the same thing every week. Having Cena bleeped as he calls people “douche bags” is entertaining enough. The young ones might not know what he said and the older ones can laugh because, “Oh My God did he just say that?”
So what do others think when it comes to the PG era?
Yeah, I think it does make an impact on the quality…by no longer catering and appealing to the lowest common denominator. By this, every time I see someone scream that they “WANT THE ATTITUDE ERA BACK!”, it’s because they’re missing profanity and partial nudity and not the stories. I don’t care -what- they say otherwise. I also find it funny that in the IWC, many who want the Attitude Era back weren’t even *alive* for it the first time around. Or if they were, they were in diapers. Hey, kids..just because you think it looks “cool” on YouTube doesn’t mean it was great the first time around. Sincerely, Somebody Who Was There And Unimpressed. P.S. I don’t think pools of blood are required either. Look at Ric Flair these days. Look at him cross-eyed and he’ll bleed. Besides obvious risks that bleeding/being in contact w/somebody else’s blood has, that health-wise, we’re more educated about nowadays (simply look at the RKO/Taker angle from ’06, I think it was. Cowboy Bob bled on both of them and he carries hepatitis)..there’s no need to blade anymore. Blading has gone the way of 8-track tape players and big, heavy TVs w/tubes. The industry as a whole has evolved. And that’s not a bad thing.
PG or not PG?
It doesn’t make much of a difference. Sure, there’s less blood and less profanity, and divas like Kelly Kelly can’t earn a living as a broom-shaped stripper, but those differences have little to do with the successes and failures of the current product.
Blood is overrated. Seeing it all the time results in becoming desensitized to it. Look at how big of a deal Cody’s recent bloodbath became due solely to it not happening in a long time. That’s the way it should be. I’m not anti-blood exactly, but it means more if it’s saved for big moments (as opposed to the way Flair uses it, ie after a sneeze).
Crude jokes were rarely funny anyway. Rampant homophobia needed to be cut out of the product, especially once the WWE started pretending to give a flying crap about issues like bullying.
Obnoxious diva matches featuring pudding or spanking weren’t really the answer either. Of course, the division really isn’t that much better these days, but at least it’s not constantly degrading toward women (emphasis on constantly).
The WWE has its share of problems, some of them major, but being PG is not one of them. The people running around crying about the injustices of a PG product are either naïve or complete idiots. Didn’t the WWE go PG before the much beloved and constantly overrated “Attitude Era” even ended?
Look at it this way. At least Kelly Kelly isn’t taking off her clothing for the enjoyment of six year olds anymore.
WWE’s PG rating, it’s something that has gotten an awful lot of criticism over the years, and some have made the bold claim that it’s even ruined the WWE product. A lot of people want the Attitude Era back, they want the edginess and that same spark. These however, are likely the same people that condemn any company or performer that does something that has already been done. What made the Attitude Era great was that it was new, it was different and it was giving us something we had never seen before. It was never going to last forever, it had to run its course eventually and when it did, it left the WWE with an aged fan-base, many of which turned away when guys like The Rock and Steve Austin walked away from wrestling for their own reasons. So WWE had to do something to draw in new viewers, and they opted to market themselves to a younger fan base. Now WWE is a company first and foremost, and marketing themselves in that way was a good move, because those kids? They’re hooked on guys like Cena and Orton, and they’re going to stay interested for a long time, and watching wrestling as a kid? It’s hardly as odd as someone older watching pro wrestling, for whatever reason there seems to be this standpoint that you have to outgrow it after awhile. When you look at the crowd though, yes there are several children and families, but it doesn’t mean that they’ve shunned their older fans away. Has the PG rating changed their content? Of course, you look at what was done before the PG rating and now, there’s several things that have changed. Has it changed drastically? I don’t think it has, in fact the difference between PG and PG-14 is all in the wording.
The TV-PG rating may be accompanied by one or more of the following sub-ratings:
D for some suggestive dialogue
L for infrequent coarse language
S for some sexual situations
V for moderate violence
Parents are strongly urged to exercise greater care in monitoring this program and are cautioned against letting children under 14 watch unattended. This rating may be accompanied by any of the following sub-ratings:
D for strong suggestive dialogue
L for strong coarse language
S for intense sexual situations
V for intense violence
Oh, Wikipedia is awesome, took me no time at all to look that up. Now the dialogue has changed, but lets face it we still get our dose of corny innuendo from Cena, it’s just toned down from what a guy like the Rock could get away with. Well lets face it, the Rock can still get away with it. Other than that, has the dialogue really changed that much, that we can say it’s really hurt the business? Especially after CM Punk’s shoot promo a few months back, there may not have been anything suggestive, but it was hardly the kind of rant we’re used to hearing on WWE programming. It’s that reason that I think the PG rating has actually helped the business, because now when something like that happens? It actually means something, it actually comes as a surprise rather than when WWE was trying to push the boundaries every week. Toning down the product lets those kind of moments shine brighter, if Punk’s rant happened in the Attitude Era, it wouldn’t have gotten the response it did, CM Punk wouldn’t have been the hottest thing going in the business last Summer. I think that’s an aspect of things people don’t look at, and they feel as if they should deliver that every week, but WWE simply can’t do that every week. After a couple of months, it would lose that edge, what made it exciting would be gone and you’d be back to craving something different. Tying into dialogue is the second aspect of what makes PG different from PG-14, coarse language. Alright, this I feel makes no major difference in the product overall. We can all tell what word should go where, but they’ve gotta stick to the guidelines, and does it really make a difference? Seriously, what words even get left out? Ron Simmons said “Damn” every week, we hear “Ass” every time Mark Henry comes down to the ring, we get a very clear “Bitch” when Triple H comes to the ring. Yes the last two are in theme songs, but they aren’t exactly hidden, and those words have been used in promos, but I don’t recall promos word for word and couldn’t tell you the last time they were said by a competitor or announcer. So really, what words are we missing from our dialogue? I can think of one or two, but they’re words that I don’t even think saw much, if any, light in the PG-14 days, so once again what have we really lost here? In my opinion not much.
Sexual situations, alright now there is a notable lack of these in the business these days, but does it leave a hollow hole in the product? I don’t think so, in fact it seems as if the on air relationships have really taken a backseat the last year or so, Edge and Vicki being the last one I remember and even then there was a suggestive bit with a wedding planner or something, wasn’t there? Edge also gave us the live sex celebration, WWE was PG when that happened right? I think so, if I remember it, it couldn’t have been that long ago. Then again, Lita was involved and severely lacked clothing, so that might be why the memory has stuck around. Anyway, got sidetracked there for a moment, but no one can deny the lack of sexual situations involved in pro wrestling. They certainly haven’t stayed away from keeping sex appeal in the Diva’s division, I mean if Kelly Kelly wore any less clothing she’d be wrestling naked, you’ve got cleavage left right and center, the Bella’s do their little dance on the stage, there is almost always some form of spanking in a Diva’s match. For the ladies, you have John Morrison, that is your sex appeal, they don’t just play to us. Oh and you have Cody Rhodes, the man is dashing after all. Alright, I’ve managed to name drop Cody Rhodes, I feel accomplished now. Anyway, sexual situations are lacking in WWE these days, but it’s far from being pure, wholesome entertainment in that regard as well. Edge kept it alive for awhile, but lets face it there aren’t really any characters that fit those sorts of actions right now. I also just remembered a little bit of interaction with the Bella’s and Del Rio from a few weeks ago, that was mildly suggestive for a like, a minute long segment. Huh, maybe there is a character after all.
Wait, did I just compare Del Rio to Edge? If I did, I might need to kill myself.
And the final aspect of this is the violence, and perhaps the only one that actually bothers me about the PG Rating. Now, the chair shots to the head ban is part of the Benoit fallout, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t miss them. But the lack of blood? That is thanks to the PG rating, now I don’t think people should bleed every match or anything like that, but at the same time, I always thought blood added to the story of the match. Imagine something like Cena and Umaga’s match without the restriction on blood, Umaga could have looked like more of a monster, Cena’s win would have been more impressive because it would have just been another thing for him to overcome in the end. It takes away from matches at times, I’m really glad they seem to have dropped the idea of stopping the match to patch a person up on the outside. I know they did that once and I wanna say it was a ECW Title match between Christian and Benjamin, and it was stupid, even more-so because it was a ladder match and there was nothing really stopping the guy from going up and just grabbing the title. I think one day, we’re going to reach a point where WWE might be willing to add blood to matches very sparingly, because once again if we’re not seeing it in excess, when it does happen? It’s going to mean something. I’d love to see someone like Henry go out and absolutely destroy someone and leave them a bloody mess in the ring, it would add to his reputation. Then of course we get situations like we did on Smackdown a couple of weeks ago, where they found every camera angle possible to hide the fact Cody Rhodes was bleeding, but made no attempt to hide the stitched up wound and have even used it to fuel his feud with Orton. It’s as if WWE wants to add that element back into their product, but are hesitant in doing so because of the possible backlash from angry parents. Well we’re in a generation where 12 year olds are playing GTA, watching Saw movies and all those other glorious gory films. I don’t think a little bit of blood in your matches is really going to make a huge difference in what people think of your product, now if they can HAVE blood under the PG rating I’m not sure. Orton manages to find ways to bleed now and then and they don’t cut away from that, so perhaps it just can’t be in excessive amounts. Even looking beyond the blood aspect of things, the No-DQ and Last Man Standing matches aren’t what they once were, they aren’t bad by any means, but the range of weapons has certainly changed and there’s a notable lack of your average household items being used these days. I guess they don’t want Little Jimmy cracking Little Jenny with that cookie sheet sitting in the kitchen drawer. Oh and lets not forget the ending to Hell in a Cell, it wasn’t the most violent thing we’ve ever seen, but it got your attention, it made you stop and actually watch because Miz and Truth basically destroyed everyone in sight. They used weapons, it was still PG but I at least, still found it entertaining.
Looking at the four points of what makes PG and PG-14 what they are, the differences are there, they have to be notable to some extent for the rating to change at all. I don’t think it’s bad for business, I actually think what they’ve done is working for them. Does the company have room to grow? Are there things I’d like to see them do differently? Yes and yes. However when I sit down to watch Raw, or a PPV, I don’t expect to be disappointed. In fact, I’d say more often than not I’ve been very happy with what they’ve done recently. WWE is making money off their merchandise, the fan base may not be what they catered to years ago, but it’s making them money. They get to sell a bunch of action figures, various things that lets face it, no adult would buy for themselves. Those people that hate on the PG era, the people that want that spark back need to accept that it’s not coming back. If you watch their product with an open mind, it’s not bad and you can appreciate that while the company has changed the way it works, they’ve found a way to produce a solid product. So no, I don’t think the move to PG has hurt WWE at all. Any time they find themselves suffering in ratings or buy rates, I think it’s their booking, when they reach those points where the main event is just something we’ve seen so many times in the past. Like seriously, do you think people wanted to watch Christian vs Orton five or six times in a row? I like Christian, but even I wanted him out of the title picture by the third match. It’s not what their rating is, it’s what they do with their product within that rating that matters. WWE has proven they can do some very entertaining stuff while keeping PG, they’ve shown a willingness to appeal to everyone and bring back some of that old spark. If you look at their roster, they’ve got people that appeal to older fans, and guys that appeal to younger fans. They try to keep as many people happy as they can, naturally not everyone can be happy with every move they make, but they do what they can. So yes, PG does change the elements of WWE to an extent, but I don’t think it hurts the overall product greatly in the end, and I’m not one of the ones pushing them to go back to PG-14.