As the year started we in the wrestling community were bracing for war. TNA fired the first shot as it tried to take aim at the juggernaut known as WWE. Ok that went well, so TNA vs. WWE aside what is the next great battle? In an effort to get a new audience and clean up their corporate image WWE has decided to switch to PG rated programming. Now PG does not have to translate into bad wrestling, the WWE has gone the way of the kid before, with the help of Hulk Hogan of course. This era has its own Hogan type by the name of John Cena. Training, prayers, & vitamins, have been replaced with hustle, loyalty, & respect but it’s the same message geared towards kids.
Despite what certain people think of Cena he has done a great job bringing in that demographic, everyone else on the other hand. First off I do not mind the PG rating if done right, unfortunately the current crop of WWE writers and talent have no clue how to do it right. Most of the guys are trying to be cool and “attitude era” like without actually being able to back it up with the language and violence. Now I cannot put all the blame on the wrestlers, the writing staff has no clue on how to write a PG driven wrestling program, or for that matter a wrestling program period. It’s not rocket science take a look at past programming I hear there’s a whole channel devoted to it. Guys like Bobby Heenan, Jimmy Hart, Henning, Rude, DiBiase all knew how to play the heel role without one ounce of profanity or even effort, they talked, you hated them. Nowadays the only method to give someone “heel heat” is to have them beat the crap out there victim, yeah that’s a good message. Before I get to far off topic let me bottom line it for you, if the WWE wants to continue PG wrestling they need to remember how to do it right otherwise go back to PG-13 or just give it up.
Now TNA has gone in a completely opposite direction, they have stuck with the more adult themed show, and if rumors are correct bring back an “ECW” style of wrestling. Now I like a good hardcore match as much as the next guy, but really get over it. ECW was unique, it was lighting in a bottle, it was right place right time, and that time has come and gone. ECW aside the fine folks at TNA are sticking to a more adult driven demographic with one noticeable difference being no male violence towards women, which is a good change, I however do not know there policy on neck ties.
So why is all of this important? When the old WCW was beating up Raw it was doing it with more kid friendly programming, one of the reasons WWE survived was introducing the attitude era, and the rest is history. TNA is in the same position as WWE was back in the 90’s, and with the WWE is not changing their programming anytime soon TNA seems to be ready to go full out and fight them “hardcore” style. Thus a new battle begins, kid friendly vs. kid not so friendly. While I think the whole ECW reunion is going to fail, this line of programming is not, I think they will do a better job as long as they are committed to it. Who will survive? Let’s watch.