10 times in recent history WWE went beyond PG
WWE is no longer functioning under TV-14 television age ratings, since Linda McMahon’s run for senate made the authorities take the decision of changing WWE to a PG-rated product in the Summer of 2008. Fans have been highly critical of this decision, saying that WWE has ‘lost its edge’ and that things will never be as exciting as they were ‘back in the day’. WWE, under these stipulations, cannot intentionally make wrestlers bleed, have highly sexual angles, present very dangerous stunts, include angles in which a bad crime is being presented, or use profanity at a high level. Since then, everything hasn’t strictly been under those restrictions, and this article (which doesn’t rank them in order), looks at ten of those incidents. The same fans who have been unhappy with the change of events have still had their share of nostalgic moments. The following slideshow highlights a few of those moments.
#1 The Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon story (2014)
The largest storyline heading into SummerSlam last year was not John Cena vs Brock Lesnar, Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns vs Randy Orton or even Bray Wyatt vs Chris Jericho. WWE decided to emphasise on the story between Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon, and this entire story focused around the ‘B’ word, which was thrown around like it was nothing.
WWE does consistently use this word in its stories, but not as much as it was used in this one. It was used to such an extent that the internet started making fun of the story because of it. It’s not very often that happens.
This story would also include an angle in which a woman was hired to lie that Daniel Bryan was cheating on Brie Bella with her. Not much kid-friendly stuff going on in this story.
#2 Chris Jericho\'s comments towards CM Punk (2012)
CM Punk and Chris Jericho were set to face each other at WrestleMania XXVIII for the WWE Championship, and the build-up was extreme. Jericho would proceed to try to intimidate Punk with comments about his past life, saying his father was an alcoholic and his sister was a drug addict, against Punk’s Straight Edge lifestyle.
He would also make a comment about him being born before his parents got married, and stating that he was legally a b***ard. Jericho would go to such an extent that he not only claimed that Punk himself drank alcohol, but he would also break bottles of it over Punk’s head and pour beer all over him.
This is definitely not something that belongs on PG television, and this feud was as personal as it could get.
#3 Paige kisses AJ Lee (2014)
It appears as if there was quite a lot of non-PG television at SummerSlam 2014. After Paige and AJ had a great match for the Divas’ Championship, and Paige came out on top, her celebration was a strange one. Although this isn’t the most compelling item on this list, it is still something WWE doesn’t touch on anymore, and even though Paige never received her rumoured lesbian gimmick, this was a step towards it.
AJ appeared to be knocked out, and after Paige hugged her, she planted a kiss on her cheek and threw her back onto the ring mat. Earlier on in this same match, when AJ was down, Paige crawled over her in a seductive manner and proceeded to exert offense. This is barely anything compared to WWE’s previous lesbian stories, but it is still something that would usually be kept off PG television.
#4 Batista blades (2008)
Although there are still instances of bloodshed, they are mostly unintentional, and blading is not an option in modern-day WWE. However, on and episode of Raw in November 2008, in a steel cage match against Chris Jericho, Batista did just that, although not bleeding so much.
In Batista’s mind, such a high-stakes needed something like blood to make it even better, and for this, Jericho was fined $5000, and while Vince McMahon was considering letting go of Batista altogether, all he did was fine him $100,000, which, in Batista’s words, took everything out of him.
“My heart dropped. I thought it would be like $25,000…When he said $100,000, I was just heartbroken. I literally think that he sucked the life out of me that day. I think that’s the day that I knew things were never going to be the same.” – Batista (Talk Is Jericho)
#5 Triple H delivers a chair shot to the head (2011)
At WrestleMania XXVII, against The Undertaker, in what was considered match of the night, Triple H delivered a chair shot to the head of The Undertaker, which was something that wasn’t seen in years, since the Chris Benoit incident in 2007.
Chair shots to the head were banned since then due to the risk of concussions, but in this match, for only one incident, that was ignored. This match also featured Triple H nearly murdering the Undertaker with a brutal series of chair shots to his back, and indeed, Taker couldn’t walk after this match.
#6 Randy Orton flips off Seth Rollins (2015)
In the build-up to WrestleMania 31, Randy Orton played into The Authority and pretended to be an ally for them, when all along he was slyly getting Seth Rollins off his guard, which is exactly what he did.
After costing Rollins their tag team match, Orton held up both hands in a gesture similar to something Stone Cold Steve Austin would have done. The internet went wild with nostalgia following this, and the feud was elevated after this moment.
#7 The Miz\'s commercial for \'Niagara\' (2015)
In the build-up to WrestleMania this year, The Miz and Damien Mizdow were showing a lot of tension between themselves, and one of the times this had happened was when Mizdow was screening for a commercial for ‘Niagara’ (a rip-off of Viagra).
The Miz had no clue what the commercial was about, but due to his ego wanting the spotlight, took Mizdow’s spot and did the commercial himself. When he proudly showcased his commercial (in the video above), right from the first line, he knew he was in for an embarrassment. If that wasn’t enough, following the ad, everyone in attendance was seen making fun of his ‘small genitals’, and that is certainly something that has a rare occurence on PG television.
#8 The Rock Concert (2012)
During the Attitude Era, what was said during this segment would have been completely normal. In fact, even the opening segment for this episode of Raw, when John Cena rapped about The Rock. But it was the closing segment that was really something you don’t regularly see on PG television.
Most of The Rock’s jingle was aimed towards calling John Cena a woman, and he wasn’t shy to express that in any way! This was obviously aimed at the older audience, especially the ones who relay fondly on the Attitude Era. It was a fun segment none-the-less, just more fun on the adult side.
#9 Daniel Bryan sends Kane through a flaming table (2014)
After Daniel Bryan’s huge win at WrestleMania, his first pay-per-view title defense was against the returning ‘monster’ Kane, and even though some fans might have been disappointed with the way the match looked on paper, it delivered in terms of extreme.
Not only did the two brawl backstage, ending with Daniel Bryan bringing Kane back out on a forklift and then proceed to headbutt him from the top of it, but towards the end of the match, Kane was sent through a table that was on fire (thanks to him of course).
Flaming tables weren’t seen for years, unless you count WWE video games. It came as a shock when something as violent appeared on WWE’s current television product, even though the fire on Kane was immediately estinguished. It came as a pleasant surprise, and it wasn’t even the only stunt on the show, with Seth Rollins diving off a balcony onto Evolution. Extreme Rules 2014 was a truly extreme event!
#10 Seth Rollins threatens Edge (2014)
At Survivor Series 2014, The Authority was banished from power thanks to Sting and Dolph Ziggler, and the only man with the power to bring them back was John Cena.
Seth Rollins, being The Authority’s ‘golden boy’, took it to heart to make sure they are re-instated soon, and surely enough, on the last episode or Raw of the year, he did just that.
Edge and Christian were the guest hosts, and in the final segment, after taking Christian out, Rollins had his foot over Edge’s head and neck, which has had a bad history, and his Money In The Bank briefcase under it all. He said that if John Cena didn’t bring The Authority back to power, he would Curb Stomp Edge’s head and neck onto the briefcase.
Cena, of course, gave in to Rollins’ demands, but Seth followed up with the line “I’m gonna kill him anyway” and almost did the unthinkable, until he was stopped by Cena.
This moment wasn’t taken kindly to by the internet, many claiming it was ‘over the top’ and inappropriate. One thing for sure was that it was intense.