For many WWE fans, the worst part about the company in 2017 is the limitations of TV-PG programming. If it were up to them, WWE should just snap their fingers and bring back crotch chops, risque storylines, and bra and panties matches. But it's not that simple. In fact, it's likely impossible.
John Cena said as much in a recent interview with The Independent when he was asked why WWE doesn't mix in edgier content.
"Well, every response is legitimate. If you tell me right now you miss the Attitude Era I can't tell you you don't. What I can tell you is that we're a PG program and if you look at the Attitude Era it was TV-14 or TV-MA. We're a PG program, there's nothing else I can tell you. There will be no cussing, there will be no blood, there will be no headshots, there will be no inappropriate clothing, and those aren't our laws those are the laws of the rating system," he said.
To Cena, it's not that WWE is actively shutting down opportunities to push the envelope, rather those ideas are never created due to their TV-PG arrangement.
"So to operate under a PG platform, which has totally globally expanded the WWE and created more fans – albeit geeky or not geeky – around the world, and allowed all of these performers including myself to go to new and wonderful places, like places in South America, China for the first time, we keep returning to Japan, the Arab Emirates – just because we have made our program more digestible," explained Cena.
However, Cena hears fans' cries for more mature content.
"I totally understand, as a 40-year-old man, and if you've seen me in Trainwreck I have a pretty adult sense of humor, I totally understand someone saying, 'I miss mature content in sports entertainment'. We are not the place for that. We are not. And that's our business model," he said.
Cena admits that it would be easier to tell stories in the ring if the PG limitations were lifted, but he's all too aware that won't be changing anytime soon.0comments
"And until it changes I am merely a carpenter building with the tools that are given to me. Is a promo easier when you can cuss? Sure, because you're talking trash and trash talk is filled with cusses. But, as a professional, you can't speculate and be like, 'Ugh, I wish I could just say this,' because you can't, those are the rules, and every once in a while we can walk the line and push into grey, but at the end of the day the program is PG and has to be treated as such because that's the business model of the folks who own the place," reasoned Cena.
While it's no fun to admit that a family friendly WWE is here to stay. But to Vince McMahon and Co., keeping things PG allows them to expand all over the world. However if not for the feral Attitude era, WWE couldn't be in the global position that it currently enjoys today.