Before I start this article, I want to give you guys the low down on this article. This article for me is fun article more than it is about facts. All the things I will be talking about in this piece of work will, in fact, be my personal thoughts and feelings about the two "eras" in question. I hope you enjoy it!
One more thing before I start, I want to give a little background of myself and what kind of fan I am. I grew up in the wrestling world when "Hulk" Hogan reigned supreme, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were just starting their climb to the top of the industry. Sid Vicious, Vader, Yokozuna and "King of Harts" Owen Hart were the major heels. Razor Ramon and Diesel were popular, "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Mr. Perfect were still engulfed in their gimmicks so much that nothing else seem to happen in their world. And tag team wrestling inside the WWF/E ACTUALLY existed. As a kid, like most kids, I cheered for the "good" guys and booed the hell out of the "bad" guys. I remember in 1991, "marking" out because "Hulk" Hogan won the Royal Rumble, just to turn around the following year and scream at my TV until my voice went out because Ric Flair accomplished the same feat, but to WIN the WWF Title. I remember witnessing that GREAT ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon for the IC Title, which was actually the match that help start my transformation to become a fan of the wrestling, not the gimmicks or person. Bret Hart holding the WWF Title was great, and when Owen Hart became the top heel in the company to feud with him over it, the feud never got old to me. Owen DESERVED to hold the title at some point. The lines of good and bad were easily drawn and the matches that were put on were just as good (British Bulldog vs. Bret Hart for the IC Title at SummerSlam). As a kid, I LOVED professional wrestling for the matches, gimmicks and storylines, as I got older and watched further, who I cheered before was based on wrestling ability and execution of gimmicks.
Furthermore, the "Attitude" Era changed the Monday Night War between the WCW and WWE and moved WWE back into the number 1 spot in the wrestling industry. The WWE NEEDED to do something to combat the growing nWo popularity and storyline inside the WCW. The "Attitude" Era did just that. What made the "Attitude" Era so popular and great to watch was the edgey storylines, cuss words, hardcore action that usually drew blood. Characters and gimmicks, such as: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Rock, Chris Jericho, Triple H and The "American Bad Ass" Undertaker were entertaining each week and each week you tuned in to see what was going to happen next. The rebel Stone Cold vs. Vince McMahon storyline was the direct result of the WWE's counter to the nWo vs. WCW storyline, just edgier and more hardcore. Chris Jericho and The Rock's promos were the promos that I loved to watch, and when they were together clowning on Stephanie McMahon, those were some of the best promos EVER in professional wrestling. The entertainment value was great with the "Attitude" Era and it appealed and entertained fans of MOST ages, I say most, because during this era, the WWE lost a lot of kids, as parents weren't allowing their kids to watch as much as I did when I grew up. I remember watching the Hardcore Royal Rumble and thinking to myself how cool it was. I remember watching The Rock smash Mick Foley in the head, while he was handcuffed, numerous times during an "I Quit" Match. I thought to myself, "damn, Foley is one tough son-of-a-bitch." There dozen and dozen of great moments that I remember and it would just take up too much to type them all and make this column a lot longer than it needs to be, but I'm pretty sure you get the idea.
Moreover, the "PG" Era, the wrestling era that we're currently in, as had it's great moments as well. John Cena vs. CM Punk for the WWE Title at Money in the Bank was, in my opinion, the best match of 2011. We had two entire episodes of Raw that were chalked full of PPV-quality matches. The CM Punk walking out with the title, though it was Bret Hart-esque, ended differently but was a storyline worth watching. The biggest thing about the "PG" Era, has been it's high quality of matches. Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Randy Orton, Christian, Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes are amongst the best on the WWE roster and they put on great matches. The biggest thing about the this era, is it's ability to stay fresh and current but to be able to bring back that old school feel that I fell in love with. The "PG" Era is also appealing to the kids, which in turn, will make life-long fans of the WWE and it's products. That's smart marketing. John Cena might be force fed down our throats, but you can't take any credit away from him for what he has done for the wrestling industry. His work ethic is unparrelled, but he has been given a lot of opportunities. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan had to go the old school way to work their way to the top of the company. I actually enjoy this era of the WWE as much as any other era. Promos and storylines(though, a little dull with stories right now), are hilarious and clean. R-Truth, Punk and Cena all cut some great promos. Kane's creepy promos are amongst the best that he has ever cut and Jericho is back.
In conclusion, the "Attitude" Era was more about the entertainment value, entertaining fans of all ages to get them to tune-in, while the "PG" era, is more about the wrestling. I'm so tired of hearing people complain about the PG product the WWE is putting out, but it's a smart marketing tactic for them in the sense of long term. Yeah, some of the storylines might not be as entertaining as the "Attitude" Era's storylines, but they aren't as ridiculous or outrageous (see Katie Vick, Mae Young's "hand" and KaiNTai and Val Venis) either. The "PG" era make the WWE creative team stay just that; creative. Whereas before, the "creative" team could sit at a table, say "let's throw blood, more blood, and some cuss words. They can brawl. Hit each other with chairs and so-so can get the win", they actually have to figure out how they're going to further storylines and feuds. The promos are equally as entertaining and without cuss words.
The "Attitude" Era was about entertainment over wrestling.
The "PG" era is about the wrestling over entertainment, but leaving enough entertainment to appeal to everyone.
You want blood and entertainment now, the WWE isn't for you. Maybe you should become MMA fans and stop claiming to be "wrestling" fans. As a WRESTLING fan myself, you have to adapt to the time era just like everyone else does, and a guy like me, as a wrestling fan, I'm enjoying the "PG" era JUST AS MUCH AS the "Attitude" Era.
You can be a fan of whatever time era you want to be, but what it ultimately boils down to is this: if the "Attitude" Era was as great as everyone says, somewhere, some organization would be attempting their hand at it and it would be all over our television sets. It's not. We have the "PG" Era right now, and though, not everyone might be as entertained as I am by it, it's what we have. Stop complaining about it and focus on the positives. The WWE is about long-term and this PG Era will have it's rewards in the long-term over the short-term.
Join Mike Lightning on Facebook! Click Here.