WWE | Pro Wrestling

The sanitized WWE can’t produce another Stone Cold or Rock

Steve Austin, Shane McMahonWith the mid-term elections over, Linda McMahon‘s run for Connecticut’s U.S. Senate seat did not bring her family any closer to public office.

That’s good news for those of us who grew tired of hearing McMahon constantly note the PG nature of the WWE during her campaign. I prefer to call it a watered-down version of pro wrestling, thanks in large part to the Mattel toy deal with the WWE and the general feeling that the sports entertainment company needs to raise its stock with advertisers.

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Hey, there may be nothing wrong with that, particularly if you have young kids who like wrestling or you don’t want to hear curse words flood the airways during a match.

But imagine what this more politically correct iteration of WWE would have done to some of its historically biggest stars and gimmicks who grabbed the spotlight during the decidedly “un-PG” attitude era in the late 1990s.

For example:
Stone Cold Steve Austin would have been saying, “Stone Cold just kicked your fanny” as he downed a soda through a straw.
D-Generation X members like Shawn Michaels and Triple H would have given double thumbs up instead of the crotch chops, and X-Pac’s bronco buster would have been more akin to Chavo Guerrero riding around toy horse Pepe in WCW.
• The original Hell in the Cell matches would have been bloodless, with the craziest stunt perhaps being a dive over the top rope.
• A fully-clothed Sable (currently Brock Lesnar’s wife) would have been forced to cover up her best assets.
• Instead of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson offering up “poontang pie” during his promos, he would have served us apple cobbler.
• Rather than being a gender-bending heat magnet, Goldust would have merely been Dustin Rhodes in yellow face paint (kind of like he is today)

Yes, I’m having some fun with this list, but my point is serious. The WWE could never have risen to its record heights in 1998-2000 without the attitude era loosening the norms and making it cool to watch wrestling.

The PG-rated WWE of today isn’t cool to watch, and that is at the core of why the federation can’t get traction with new fans.

Scott Wallask has followed wrestling for 30 years and writes about growing up watching the WWF in the 1980s on his blog the Boston Garden Balcony.

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Scott Wallask

Scott Wallask has followed wrestling for 30 years and writes about growing up watching the WWF in the 1980s on his blog the Boston Garden Balcony.

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