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Sunday, June 26, 2016

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WWE Retrospective: Top Feuds of The PG Era

By @TrueGodImmortal

So, the WWE went through a three year period where it had programming truly centered around the TV rating and fit for kids. To sum it up, the PG Era in WWE could be considered between late 2007 until mid 2011, when CM Punk cut his promo, The Rock returned, and the program slowly started taking a different turn. The PG Era seemingly started after the 2nd chapter of the Ruthless Aggression era, and while the product itself suffered (RAW guest hosts and more), the feuds were still solid through the period. Let's take a look back at the best PG Era feuds and why they were so special.

*Undertaker vs Edge (2007-2008)

-Most of this feud occurred before the WWE officially became TV PG, but it still counts to me. Their match at Wrestlemania 24 was epic, and they had a slept on classic Hell In A Cell match at Summerslam 2008 to close out the feud so to speak. They wouldn't really cross paths too much after this, but during the PG Era, they were the two biggest names on Smackdown. This feud is one of Taker's best in general.

*Batista vs John Cena (2008-2010)

-Their feud started in 2008 at Sumnerslam, but the real bread and butter of the feud took place in 2010, when Batista finally turned heel. Armed with more freedom on the mic and his first ever real encounter with Cena in a big feud, Batista would start the feud with the upper hand until he would drop the title at Mania 26, then lose 2 more straight PPV matches to Cena. A solid feud, but of course.... Cena wins!!!!

*Rey Mysterio vs Chris Jericho (2009)

-This is truly one of the better feuds of the era. I loved everything about this from Jericho trying to take his mask to Mysterio fighting back with all he had and the two trading victories and the IC Title back and forth in the summer of 2009. This was a great feud and an evolved continuation of what we saw between the two over a decade before in WCW. Great to see those two still kept their chemistry intact and gave Smackdown the first of two amazing feuds during the summer. Jericho and Mysterio did battle for the 2nd biggest prize in the game and this was certainly no small feat for either man. The perfect progression for both men.

*Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels (2009-2010)

-This might be my favorite feud of them all. Two of the best Mania matches ever spawned from this short yet year long feud. After Wrestlemania 25, Taker and HBK went their separate ways, but they would soon lead back to a magical rematch at Wrestlemania 26 with HBK's career on the line. Though Taker would end up winning both matches in the feud, HBK showed out with two of his greatest Mania performances and I think the Mania 25 match is still the greatest match of all time. Period.

*John Cena vs Randy Orton (2007-2009)

-This feud felt like it would never end. From 2007 to 2008 to finally culminating in 2009, Cena and Orton did battle up until it was apparent that neither man would truly budge. I'd like to say that Cena didn't just win every match, in fact, Orton was one of his biggest and toughest adversaries to beat. Orton and Cena traded victories throughout the feud, and this feud still managed to continue well beyond the PG Era after Orton turned heel again years later. There's no telling if these two will rekindle that feud, but it's a feud that truly marks the RAW side of this era.

*Randy Orton vs Triple H (2008-2009)

-Triple H, Orton, and Cena were the three faces of RAW during this era. Orton and Cena had a heated rivalry and so did HHH and Orton. On the tail end of 2007, HHH and Orton would feud, and at Mania 24, they would plant the seeds for yet another feud. The summer of 2008 saw the two go at it once again, and 2009 saw the feud rekindle again, as Orton won the Rumble and waged war on the entire McMahon family. The feud would culminate with a disappointing Mania main event at WM 25, but the next month, Orton getting revenge and winning the title over the entire family and Batista was gold. Great feud, just a big mishap at Mania 25.

*DX vs Legacy (2009)

-I loved this feud honestly. I thought the angle to bring DX back was cool, and the whole new vs old thing worked well. I thought Legacy picking up the victory at Breaking Point was superb, and though DX won the feud overall, Legacy solidified themselves as future stars, or so we thought at least. Cody and Ted shined here and kept up with the two legendary veterans and that's more than what I expected in that feud.

*Jeff Hardy vs CM Punk (2009)

-Top 3 feud in the entire era, maybe the best or the clear no. 2. This feud showcased the true coming of age for CM Punk in WWE in many ways. Punk hadn't been completely comfortable before this feud it felt like. He was always great, but he couldn't let his full personality shine. This changed everything. He eased into his heel persona and attacked Jeff with all he had, battling him time and time again for the WWE Title, before Jeff would take the final two losses and leave the company. Punk would truly shine in this one, and while Jeff was a good face in this one, the feud itself was carried by Punk, yet another show of his greatness in the WWE run.

*Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels (2008)

-The no. 1 feud on this list. Period. Hands down. This is Jericho's greatest feud and a top 5 feud for Shawn as well. Throughout 2008, Jericho and HBK helped suspend belief, carry on a long 4 month feud, and add so many different elements to it. Jericho hitting Shawn's wife with a punch to the lip by "mistake", Jericho messing up Shawn's eye, Shawn coming back and gettin revenge by beating the hell out of Jericho, and then the final chapter with HBK going after the World Title that Jericho had won the same night after taking a beating from Shawn. This feud had a regular one on one match, a No Holds Barred style match, and culminated in a Ladder Match for the World Title. It doesn't get any better than that from a match standpoint or storytelling standpoint. The no. 1 feud of the PG Era and one of the greatest feuds of the last 15 years period.

What about you guys? See any choices missing that you loved? Feel free to discuss that in the comments below.



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