Non-PG Moments (Of The PG Era)

6/11/2024 6:52 PM

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Non-PG Moments (Of The PG Era)

Non-PG Moments (Of The PG Era)

June 11, 2024 6:52 PM
Non-PG Moments (Of The PG Era)
Lists

Is the PG Era over?

10: Matt Riddle Drops An F-Bomb

The feud between Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins was one of the first feuds of the Triple H Era. The feud allowed Riddle and Rollins to push the boundaries of PG, and the feud was incredibly intense, and perfectly set the tone for the era to come.

One segment in the feud stands out, and that occurred on the August 29 2022 edition of RAW. Riddle and Rollins were exchanging in a virtual promo exchange, and in the promo, Rollins declared:

“Yo Riddle you still there? You talk about my family, let’s talk about your family. Oh wait, you ain’t got one because your wife divorced you and took your kids and they don’t want to see your b***h a** anymore…”

Riddle then responded by saying he was going to “f*ck” up Rollins, and he demanded to know his current location.

This segment was tremendous, and it lit social media on fire for all the right reasons. It also helped that it was common knowledge that Riddle and Rollins genuinely didn’t like each other, so it was an excellent example of WWE blurring the lines between fiction and reality.

During an interview with Chris Van Vliet, Riddle discussed the infamous f-bomb, and he revealed that Triple H said he was permitted to use an f-bomb, but saying the word “kill” was strictly prohibited:

”No that was given to me. Thank you Triple H, you know Paul. I think that was the give-take. It also gave me an element of realism, he got his pill, his bullet of realism, that gave me mine because nobody says the F-word in WWE, nobody says it on TV, especially my character who is cool as a cucumber. He crossed the line, where the f*** are you? Where are you, I’m gonna kill you. They said I couldn’t say ‘kill’ but I could say the F-bomb.”

9: Rhea Ripley’s Pins

Rhea Ripley’s heel character has certainly had several sexual undertones, especially her relationship with Dominik Mysterio. Mysterio refers to Ripley as Mami, and the two have had unbelievable chemistry as a double act, and the pairing has helped take both talents to the next level in WWE.

One of the key traits of Ripley’s character that arguably isn’t PG is her pin attempts. Whenever Ripley pins her opponent, she tends to put them in a compromising position. Footage of these pins often goes viral on social media, and WWE and Ripley are evidently aware of the fan response, as Ripley has continued to use the pin variation in all of her featured matches. 

8: Paul Heyman’s Hall Of Fame Speech

At last, 2024 was the year in which the legendary Paul Heyman was to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

As expected, Heyman delivered a speech of a lifetime, and some fans and journalists even labelled Heyman’s speech as the official end of the PG Era, as Heyman delivered the most non-PG speech in WWE history.

One specific line of the speech stands out, and this was when Heyman stated:

“If you think the spirit of ECW died in a bankruptcy court in 2001, you can suck my f**king d**k!”

Heyman saying this line would have never been permitted under Vince McMahon, and if Heyman went off script and delivered the line in the old era, then Heyman would have been seriously punished by McMahon.

The reaction of the wrestlers watching on made the speech even better, as when Heyman uttered the aforementioned line, Randy Orton completely lost it, and certain wrestlers such as The Miz and Grayson Waller began to celebrate. It was truly awesome. 

7: Sami Zayn Swears

One of the undisputed highlights of the Triple H Era has been Sami Zayn. It’s not hyperbole to say that Zayn’s involvement in the acclaimed Bloodline storyline influenced the current boom, and even outside of The Bloodline work, Zayn’s storylines had been some of the most engaging and thrilling stories of the past decade.

In 2023, Zayn was getting set to challenge Roman Reigns for the Undisputed Title, and when Zayn appeared in-front of the live crowd in Montreal on SmackDown, the fans came alive for their hero. The fans rather hilariously were chanting the phrase “fu** you Roman” in French, and WWE had to mute this in order to not upset any sponsors.

In a completely unexpected moment however, Zayn offered a curse word of his own in French, as he said:

“Roman Reigns, listen to me carefully: tomorrow night, you’re in my f*****g house!”

This received a nuclear reaction, and it was yet another example of WWE talent being given free rein to connect with the crowd. 

6: Alexa Bliss’ Questionable Move

The COVID-19 Era was a bizarre time for WWE, and they tried to do anything they could to make the shows entertaining.

One of the top feuds of the era was a feud between Randy Orton and The Fiend, and to take the feud to the next level, WWE booked Orton to take on The Fiend’s associate, Alexa Bliss at Fastlane in 2021.

Due to WWE having strict rules on intergender wrestling, the match ended without any physicality between the two opponents as The Fiend interfered and allowed Bliss to get the win.

The most notable thing about the match saw Bliss weirdly mount Orton after The Fiend’s interference, and Orton’s wife, Kim Orton was seemingly livid with the former WWE Women’s Champion. Kim would state that Bliss had “fu*ked up” on Twitter. It was unclear if Kim was simply supporting the storyline, or she was legitimately unhappy. 

5: The Barb Wire Bat

Due to WWE being a PG product, the majority of weapons that are used are safe, and more kid-friendly.

However, in 2023 at NXT’s No Mercy event, WWE decided that now was the time to re-introduce a vintage weapon into the mix, as WWE allowed Becky Lynch and Tiffany Stratton to use a barb wire baseball bat.

This was a weapon commonly used in the Attitude Era, and due to the barb wire traditionally cutting a wrestler to shreds, it was outright banned in 2008.

Lynch would use the weapon on Stratton during the match, and when the weapon first appeared there was audible excitement; however, it was likely the crowd were expecting the weapon shots to miss, but thankfully WWE committed to using the weapon.

Hopefully the reintroduction of Mick Foley’s favourite object opens the door for more TV-14 style weapons to be used on WWE TV again. 

4: Michael Cole Goes OFF

Under the management of Vince McMahon, Michael Cole was often extremely reserved, delivering commentary, and he was pretty much a by-the-numbers commentator for WWE.

This isn’t to say that Cole was ever bad, as that simply isn’t true, it’s just that under McMahon, Cole was micromanaged into oblivion, and this limited his abilities.

Thankfully for fans, as well as Cole, the shackles are firmly off, as under the management of Triple H, Cole has had a career resurgence. Long gone are the days of Cole being terrified of saying the incorrect thing, as Cole has now put his love and passion for pro wrestling into his work, and he has truly delivered some of the finest commentary work in history over the past two-years.

Specific praise should be offered towards Cole’s work with Dominik Mysterio, as Cole’s hateful commentary has allowed fans to hate Mysterio like no other. Cole often scolds Mysterio on commentary and discusses how much he loathes everything Mysterio represents.

At the 2024 Royal Rumble, Mysterio would enter wearing his father’s mask, and this was enough to send Cole over the edge. Cole would shout: “THIS KID IS AN ABSOLUTE PIECE OF SH**”. It was hilarious, as Cole was legitimately seething at the villainy of Dirty Dom. 

3: Liv Morgan & Dominik Mysterio’s Antics

When Rhea Ripley went down with an injury following WrestleMania XL, WWE shifted gears and began to pair Liv Morgan and Dominik Mysterio on-screen.

Their relationship has been filled with innuendos and shenanigans, and the best example of this was on the June 10, 2024, edition of RAW.

Morgan would make her presence felt during a match on the show, and Morgan would end up being knocked off the apron straight onto Mysterio. Instead of simply jumping off Mysterio, Morgan remained in her mounted position on top of Mysterio, and even began to touch him all over.

These segments are definitely questionable for a PG product, yet they are doing extremely well for WWE, as they are often the most-viewed segments from RAW on WWE’s official YouTube channel. 

2: Seth Rollins Snaps

Survivor Series in 2023 was a night WWE fans will never forget. CM Punk returned to WWE for the first time since 2014, and WWE kept this strictly under wraps, and only certain names knew about Punk’s return.

One of the names who apparently had zero idea about Punk’s return was Seth Rollins. Rollins notoriously had a strong dislike towards Punk, and at one stage he even referred to Punk as a “cancer”.

When the show had gone off the air, fan footage showed that Rollins was cursing and raging at ringside, and he had to be physically held back from storming up the stage to fight Punk.

Rollins didn’t just loathe Punk; he was hurt that WWE didn’t inform him of Punk’s return ahead of time.

Rollins reflected on his reaction during an interview with Fightful, and this is what the former World Champion had to say:

“Like I said, it was an extremely emotional moment for me. Everyone knows how I feel about CM Punk. I've not made it any more transparent over the past few years. Nothing has changed in that regard. In that moment, I was extremely emotional and you got a lot of real and raw emotion from me. I don't usually get that worked up about much, but you caught me off guard and there was a lot of real emotion there. That's probably as much as I can say on that without going too far….”

Rollins was able to put this bad blood aside in favour of working with Punk in several future segments, and it was even reported that the two were getting along backstage, which speaks to the utter professionalism of Rollins. 

1: The Final Boss 

At the start of 2024, nobody could have ever imagined that The Rock would return to WWE as a heel, but that’s exactly what happened.

When the response to WWE booking The Rock vs. Roman Reigns for WrestleMania XL was met with negative reviews, WWE pivoted, and turned The Rock heel for the first time since 2003.

The Rock would debut his Final Boss character, and this was a mix of the man behind The Rock persona, as well as the beloved Hollywood Rock character.

Due to The Rock being on the Board of Directors, he pushed the limitations of the PG Era, and this extended to bloodshed and curse words.

The Rock often cursed in his segments, and this even included a segment with Triple H. Of course, due to The Rock being a shareholder, nobody was in a position to sanction him, so he continued on. It was reported that this was rubbing the WWE talent the wrong way, as it wasn’t fair that The Rock was able to do whatever he wanted in segments, whereas other talent were forced to stay in the PG confines. The Rock even responded to this report on X by saying that the story was “horsesh**”.

On one of the final editions of RAW before WrestleMania XL, WWE delivered what was arguably their most brutal segment since they transitioned into a PG product in 2008. The Rock would attack Cody Rhodes, and he would cut Rhodes open. This took place outside the arena, and due to the rain, it looked incredible. It was gritty and intense, yet it was one of the most celebrated segments in recent memory, and it was exactly what the WrestleMania build needed. 

Due to segments of this nature, fans have been collectively wondering how far WWE are going to push it, and non-PG segments such as The Rock brutalising Cody Rhodes are likely to be more common as WWE set to jump ship to Netflix. 

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