The 2000s were an up-and-down period for WWE. Which is to say: they started the decade on an upswing in the greatest wrestling boom in history, and ended as a floundering husk struggling for relevance. That’s not to say WWE ended 2009 in the same state as they were in 1995, but it says a lot that they started the decade as one of the key movers and shakers of culture, and by the end, they were using the likes of Jeremy Piven and Ken Jeong as desperate ploys to boost ratings.
While much could be attributed to WWE’s decline in the 2000s, including WCW and ECW’s collapses within months of each other killing swaths of fan interest, many critics say Vince and co. only have themselves to blame. The key culprit, to many, being the controversial switch to TV-PG content in 2008, in an effort to regain advertisers and mainstream acceptance.
However, if we look at various booking decisions made in the 2000s, we can see that regardless of the content rating, WWE made several errors that were a likelier greater detriment to their popularity and relevance.