December 31, 2009 Leave a comment
WWE goes PG
When WCW and its nWo were taking the wrestling world by storm, the WWF was finding itself damaged, searching for something – anything – that could keep it in competition. It’s answer was what would be called the Attitude Era, in which violence, sex, and other more risquee acts became the name of the game. And using the new momentum, the WWF pushed ahead and ultimately won the Monday Night Wars.
In the years since, the WWE avoided pushing the envelope so much, but did keep levels of gratuitous violence and raunch rather high to play to its fanbase. Until recently, that is.
In 2009, the WWE made a great effort to scale its content back to PG ratings. Divas were told to wear less revealing clothing. John Cena’s finishers (the FU and the STFU) were renamed the Attitude Adjustment and the STF. Wrestlers were forbidden to blade (cut their foreheads to produce blood) and matches were actually stopped midway to treat a wrestler who had been busted open hardway. Gone were the hardcore matches of old, and in were more comedy sketches and other family-friendly entertainment. The WWE was seeminly looking to get back to an era in which a fun loving-clown was partnered with a fun-loving midget clown.
This move just happened to coincide with Linda McMahon’s announcment to run for the United States Senate, but that surely has nothing to do with the decision, right? I mean, even though her opponents have already pointed at the WWE and she has spoken of the change back to PG, surely it’s just a timing coincidence, right?
Of course, that’s not to say that everything on WWE television has cleaned up. D-Generation X still uses their signature crotch chop as well as their oft-repeated catch phrase “suck it”. And for whatever reason, the character of Big Dick Johnson – an oiled up, obese man wearing nothing but a thong – makes occasional appearances.
And meanwhile, some fans long for the days gone by while others enjoy the newer direction. I eagerly venture into 2010 to see where it leads.