Professional Wrestling Enters New Age With Reported End of the PG Era

Over the years, we’ve seen several iterations of professional wrestling take hold based on the current climate of the world at that time. There was a moment when the ‘wars’ between then-WWF (now WWE) and WCW were raging.

Seeing his product falling short of his competitor when it came to television ratings, Vince McMahon then instituted a change in his company — where WWF became ‘The Attitude Era’ — ushering in content that was fast, aggressive, in-your-face, somewhat immature, dramatic, risqué, and off the wall. When WCW and other competitors fell off the map, WWE capitalized on the industry gap and evolved into the titan that it is today.

Other promotions pale in comparison to the company shaped by McMahon from a financial standpoint. The ‘PG Era’ cleaned up the content and instead focused on children/the selling of merchandise. The product itself arguably got much worse, and as such the promotion needed to switch some things up in the wake of AEW’s emergence onto the scene. According to regarded wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the PG Era is officially over.

This coincided with Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock making his way back into wrestling both on-camera and behind the scenes. We saw this during a segment from a RAW episode weeks ago. The Rock whipped fellow performer Cody Rhodes with a belt before bloodying his face and smearing his blood all over the aforementioned white strap.

The language of WWE programming has seen a noticeable shift since McMahon has not been involved in the company. The swear words are harkening back to the Attitude Era, and the presence of blood is something that hadn’t been seen in quite some time. Paul Heyman, a noted wordsmith and absolute natural on the mic, has also been rather colorful with his word choices in recent weeks.

With RAW moving to Netflix in 2025, one has to believe the creative liberty under CCO Paul Levesque (also known as HHH) will be stretched even further.