If you've been noticing WWE has been a bit more edgy with its content lately, you're not the only one. No, the promotion isn't going back to its Attitude Era days of tease and sleaze but when The Miz is making references to "the shocker" on Monday Night Raw, something has changed.
Or maybe it hasn't.
Indeed, during a recent conference call to promote the upcoming Tribute to the Troops special, the face of the WWE himself, John Cena, commented on the PG Era and how good it's been for the company (via PWTorch):
"It was a legitimate conscious decision. Our programming has changed so much over the years. I started in 2002 and our programming was more TV-14, edgy, anti-hero-based, conflict-hero-based. And, since then, I think our programming has made a turn for the better into more of a PG environment. All of our programming, platform-wise, is PG. The reason for that is simply because the people who attend our events. More families began to attend, more children began to attend. When you have those young and youthful eyes looking at you and you know you're global, you tend to have choices to make. Me being portrayed as a good guy on our programming, it was an obvious choice. I wanted to do my best to use my television time to set a good example."
There seems to be a general perception that because WWE programming is rated PG, there are too many limits on what the company can put on TV. While there are lines they simply won't cross anymore, this really isn't the case.
The biggest difference between now and 15 years ago? The hero of today wears colorful shirts with inspirational messages and rarely loses. The hero of then was an anti-hero who kicked ass, took names, and rarely lost.