Let me start by saying i'm not in favour of WWE's current product. Now thats over let me talk about something that annoys me. A lot of members of the IWC constantly bash the current 'PG Era' and talk about the 'Attitude Era' as if it were the best thing in Pro-Wrestling. Whats more, many IWC members are under the impression that the 'Attitude Era' ended as the 'PG Era' began, this is not true. Below I'll explain
1984-1993: The WWE 'Cartoon Era'. An almost exclusive 'PG' environment filled with colorful and larger than life characters such as Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior. In my opinion, the current 'PG' era is superior in every way to this period.
1993-1995: The 'Post Cartoon Era'. With Hulk Hogan and many of the other 'Cartoon Wrestlers' either defecting to WCW or retiring, WWE sets about pushing new talent and modernising their product with such performers as Undertaker, Razor Ramon, Diesel, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. During this time edgier storylines are brought forth, however the product is barely 'TV14'.
1996-1998: The 'Monday Night Wars' Era. Diesel and Razor Ramon defect to WCW, Bret Hart turns Heel, gets screwed over and leaves the WWE for WCW and Steve Austin becomes the new top babyface of the company. WWE, following their continuous defeat in the ratings by WCW, completely reinvents their product with edgier storylines, sexual content, hardcore wrestling and angles that often blur reality and fantasy.
1998-2001: The 'Attitude Era'. A new era in where WWE has finally overtaken WCW and is constantly battling to keep themselves the leading brand. New stars such as The Rock and Degeneration X are at the top of the card, behind only the brilliant feud between Vince McMahon and Stone Cold.
2001-2002: The 'Invasion'. The 'Attitude Era' ends with Stone Cold, turning Heel and aligning himself with his former enemy, Vince McMahon. The Rock takes a hiatus to pursue his movie career. During this time, the WWE starts an angle with the recently acquired WCW. Although it originally had potential, the angle pretty much bombs. WCW talent is either promoted to the main roster, or sent to development to learn to work the 'WWE Way'. Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall join WWE and revive the NWO stable, Ric Flair joins WWE and is revealed as part owner. The WWE then splits into two seperate brands with seperate championships and rosters.
2002-2008: The 'Smackdown Vs Raw' Era. An era where the WWE is making stars out of new talent. The split in rosters allows two seperate shows where new guys have a chance to work the top of the card. During this time, WWE adopts a 'Wellness Policy' and stars to clean up its act, following several controversial events in the industry. This era concludes with WWE deciding to adopt a 'PG' rated product in order to score a major merchandise deal with Mattel.
So there we have it, a brief rundown of each 'WWE Era'. Hopefully it will give some members of the IWC reasons to stop bashing the current format. While it isn't great, it could be a heck of a lot worse. I know i'd rather watch John Cena and Randy Orton, etc than sit through Hulk Hogan and various cartoon wrestlers spending 15 minutes performing rubbish punches and rest holds.
The reason WWE is doing this 'PG' product is solely because they can. They are a company that wants to make money, they have no direct competition and therefore don't have to worry about being overtaken while dropping the 'Edginess' of their product to suit their sponsors. If you look at the motivations for WWE changing their product in the past. You'll see that most of the time it was due to competition from WCW and the talent they were losing to them.
TNA is the 2nd biggest Wrestling Promotion in the USA, behind WWE. They cannot hope to just go straight to competing. Look at what happened back in January 2010? It was a colossal failure.
The only way WWE will make a change to the 'PG' era, is if they either find themselves in direct competition with another promotion, If they start losing PPV Buyrates and TV ratings, because of the content of their product or if their money making talent starts to retire, jump ship, move into movies or they just stop being interesting (in which case they usually end up with a 'Future Endeavours').
But back to the thread. Out of all the Eras in WWE history, which of them have been your favourite overall? And it would be interesting to hear from people on ways in which TNA could supply an alternative to WWE, whilst not directly trying to compete or emulate the 'Attitude Era' and WCW.