5 characters that defined WWE's PG era
The PG Era in WWE has been met with plenty of negativity from the WWE Universe. After all, if you grew up in the TV-14 Attitude Era, you would (obviously) be irked by the company taking a step back to the more family-friendly atmosphere created by the likes of Hulk Hogan and 'Macho Man' Randy Savage.
But in an age of rapid corporate growth and record profits for the company, WWE took steps to prioritize sponsorships and family-friendly programming, leaving the more vulgar and bloody aspects of its programming in the past.
Whether you like the PG Era or absolutely hate it, today we celebrate its history by looking at five characters who are synonymous with the PG Era from 2008 to the present day.
#5 – "Somebody Better Call My Mama!" - Brodus Clay
Remember when Brodus Clay first joined the company as a bodyguard (of sorts) for Alberto Del Rio in 2011? He was presented as a powerhouse suplex machine that had the potential to be one of the biggest stars in the company. However, WWE creative had a whole new objective for Brodus.
Starting in 2012, Brodus Clay became “The Funkasaurus” along with the Funkadactyls (Naomi & Cameron). Brodus borrowed “The Cat” Ernest Miller’s theme song and was repackaged into this fun-loving, funky character that led the WWE Universe into dancing along with him.
He even incorporated some of these mannerisms into his move set. Nothing screams “PG” like having a 300+ pound monster dancing and acting like he’s a dinosaur.
Clay was released by WWE in 2014 and is now currently competing in NWA as “Tyrus”.
#4 – "New-Day-Rocks!" - The New Day: Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods
The trio of Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods is one of the most popular, exciting, and fun-loving teams in WWE history. However, they’re also a pure definition of the PG Era with the Booty-O's cereal (and commercial), catchy phrases like “New-Day-Rocks!” and let’s not forget about the “Power of Positivity” messages.
The trio was formed in 2014 and went through several phases. Originally, they were supposed to be like a comical version of the APA. When that didn’t work, they were transitioned into “Gospel Singers” that sang and danced. That would lead to the development of their “Power of Positivity” gimmick.
Despite their connection to the PG Era, there’s no denying the impact that Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods have made in the company.
Big E is currently out of action due to a severe neck injury. Meanwhile, Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston are currently feuding with The Viking Raiders on the SmackDown brand.
#3 – Time to scream "What's Up!" for R-Truth
R-Truth is your typical comedic character that ties in perfectly with the PG era. From being placed in wacky, cartoonish scenarios with the 24/7 Championship or rapping to the WWE Universe using his catchphrase “What’s Up!?”, Truth has captured the hearts of fans across the world.
R-Truth's current persona is a far cry from his days as Ron “The Truth” Killings in NWA and TNA. He played a much more serious character prior to re-signing with the company in 2008.
R-Truth is currently on the RAW brand and is still actively involved in the 24/7 Championship picture.
#2 – "The Master of the 6-1-9" - Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio is the perfect character to define the PG Era in the company. His high-flying style, colorful ring attire and stylized masks made him very marketable to both children and adults.
The legendary luchador became one of the most popular characters during this era and was featured on the cover of WWE 2K video games on several occasions. His exciting acrobatics and fiery underdog persona also led him to multiple championships throughout his tenure with the company.
Mysterio and his son Dominik are currently in a feud with The Judgment Day. At 47, The Master of the 619 is likely in the twilight of his career. However, he will always be remembered as one of the biggest characters of the PG Era.
So, who's the biggest, you ask?
#1 – "The Face of WWE's PG Era" - John Cena
You can’t have a PG Era list without mentioning John Cena. Cena is the posterchild of a generation and will forever be attached to this era of television, much like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was to the Attitude Era.
Cena changes the colors of his t-shirts and sweatbands more times than a person changes their underwear on a day-to-day basis, but his merchandise sales are unmatched and his contributions to Make-A-Wish will likely remain untouched for generations to come.
Cena's impact on not only the PG Era of WWE but the company as a whole puts him in the same category as Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin as one of the biggest megastars to ever step foot inside a WWE ring.
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