The Attitude Era is one of the most celebrated eras in pro wrestling history, if not the most celebrated. Stretching from roughly late 1997 until around 2002 with the advent of ruthless aggression and the brand split, the Attitude Era is generally considered one of the most successful periods in WWE history, led by Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, Triple H, Mick Foley and Mr. McMahon.
Despite the fact that the Attitude Era ended 15 years ago, people still talk about it fondly (constantly) and often wonder if WWE will ever return to the PG-14 antics that defined those boom years.
WWE’s face of the company in the years since, John Cena, was recently asked about fans who pine for the Attitude Era, and he offered up a really long answer to The Independent attempting to explain why things are different in 2017 than they were in 1997.
“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. 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.