Following the Attitude Era in the mid-to-late-90s, WWE transitioned into the PG era as the company went public in 1999. The PG era brought with it less swearing and sexual content and a more family-friendly product.
During a recent episode of Something to Wrestle With, Bruce Prichard explained WWE's thought process behind switching to a PG product.
"Just looking at what avenues you have open and being able to open up your shows to, whether it be bigger advertisers, but a bigger audience. When you are looking at the makeup of your live events, I think we were seeing less and less families that...everything is good, but I think business is a lot better when everybody is coming out and it is a whole family outing and you have a big experience versus you and a couple of buddies. Being able to attract a wider variety of viewers and look at that, the demo we were missing, that younger demo. The teenagers were there, but right before that, we were lacking a bit and trying to broaden those demos."
He continued, "'The Toys That Made Us' did an episode on wrestling figures through the years that had been developed. The wrestling buddies, some of that was lacking later on because it was a more mature audience. You miss that. It goes with any successful entertainment entity. You're not going to be -- we sold a lot of Steve Austin figures, but we wanted to sell more and we wanted to broaden that demographic and maybe with a little less violence and sexual innuendo."
Prichard discussed how Steve Austin sold a lot of t-shirts, but Hulk Hogan sold a lot of action figures. WWE knew t-shirts would continue to sell, but they wanted to sell more action figures.
WWE has kept the product PG for the better part of the last two decades, though some exceptions have been made
Corey Graves recently discussed fans missing the Attitude Era and how fans didn't necessarily miss the cursing and sexual content, but they miss the freedom given to wrestlers. You can view his full comments by clicking here.
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