It’s important to note that these dates aren’t exact, and there’s a lot of cross-over between most of these periods of time.
- The Golden Age (1984-1992): Hulk Hogan, national expansion, death of the territories, birth of WrestleMania – this is where it all started.
- The New Generation (1993-1997): Financially these were some tough times for the WWF, and they didn’t look great in the public spotlight either. WCW was raiding the talent pool, sexual harassment allegations, steroid scandals. On the bright side… Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart.
- The Attitude Era (1997-2001): I don’t think this Era needs much explanation.
- The Brand Extension (2002-2008): Following the WCW & ECW Invasion, the newly branded WWE needed to expand in order to compensate for having way too much talent. Smackdown was created, a draft took place, and for many years there was conflict between the two major WWE brands. ECW was also brought back during this period.
- The PG Era (2008-2013): This era featured the removal of blood, most cursing, toned-down violence, and drama that was a lot less intense. The last truly dark feud – which may have been a catalyst for the change – was between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho.
I’m not sure what sort of Era we find ourselves in these days. A lot of people like calling it the “Reality Era”, but I think that’s a crappy name – “reality” and wrestling are not often friends. The Network Era? The New New Generation? The highly anticipated Youth Movement? I don’t know, but I think in ten years we’ll be able to look back on the upcoming Era with pride and fond memories… or at least I hope so.
So here we go – Wrestlezone’s Top 10 WWE Superstars of the PG Era. You can share your thoughts on this list, and who your favorite (or least favorite) stars of the PG Era where, in the comments section below.