WWE has gone through a lot of changes over the decades. They were very raunchy, pushing the envelope on a weekly basis, during the Attitude Era. That was eventually followed by a sharp turn into TV-PG content, and that switch is still loathed by some to this day.
As WWE transitioned from its Attitude Era towards a more PG and family-friendly approach, this shift significantly influenced the presentation of the product. However, according to former head writer Brian Gewirtz, this dramatic change became a source of frustration for the writers.
While speaking to The Masked Man show, Brian Gewirtz was very open about how he views WWE’s transition into the PG era.
“It said PG era, but really it was the G era. I remember getting into an argument with him [Vince McMahon] … I had someone write, ‘I don’t even give a damn,’ and he says, ‘God, you can’t say damn, we’re PG,’ and I’m like, ‘Yes, that’s my argument, too. We are PG, that’s why it’s not something else.'”
The argument with his boss is something that continued, mainly because Gewirtz pointed out that it was not an issue for the wrestler in question to say that word, even under PG restrictions.
The ongoing disagreement with his superiors persisted, primarily because Gewirtz argued that it wasn’t a problem for the wrestler in question to use certain words, even within the confines of PG restrictions.
“But we literally have a character who only says ‘Damn!’ and his t-shirt that says ‘Damn!’ on the exact same show,” he said, referencing Ron Simmons’ classic catchphrase. “He’s [McMahon] like, ‘Oh that’s different, that’s his thing.'”
The constraints on language did pose challenges for the writers, particularly for Brian Gewirtz, who was accustomed to crafting promos for larger-than-life personalities like The Rock. Nevertheless, as the years passed, WWE’s creative team adapted to these limitations since Vince McMahon remained steadfast in his stance.
WWE is able to do a bit more now, but they still don’t want to upset sponsors. After all, they are open for business, as they company is always in talks with new advertisers with big money deals on the table.
What’s your take on WWE’s transition to the PG-Era? Sound off in the comments to let us know what you think!