For many years, WWE's PG certification was the whipping boy for fans frustrated with a product gone sour.
The company's 2008 decision to transparently target the parent-and-child market after a decade of leaning on a marginally older rating to get away with the blood, sweat and swears of the Attitude Era didn't sit all that well with those that had grown up with WWE at its wildest. The criticism of course completely missed the point.
The organisation's 1980s boom was as family friendly as an early evening game show with the wild action sequences of a Hollywood blockbuster. Some of the finest matches in the mid-1990s thrived despite a blanket blood ban as well as other restrictions on the levels of violence available to the talent. Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon assembled an all-time great ladder match at SummerSlam 1995 despite being prohibited from directly assaulting one another with the device.
Yes, the post-1997 explosion featured countless line-crossing antics, but the fundamental reasons for the success above all else were the same as they've always been in wrestling - good characters, good booking and good matches.
Anything experienced to excess loses impact, and the company's reapplication of some regulations a decade ago forced a removal of overused shortcuts and tropes. This included a significant shift in how talent spoke to one another on screen, curse-words included. The swears became rare, and thus powerful all over again. Even if accidental, like some of the best ones from the past...
10. Bret Hart - Monday Night Raw (17 March 1997)
Bret Hart was an underrated innovator in WWE's self-penned and politically potted history.
He, more than any other performer, helped usher in the only thing resembling a post-Hogan in-ring style in a company that desperately required a change of pace - even if financial reports wouldn't reflect it for years.
He, more than any other performer, helped ensure its financial future by suggesting the signing of, and later having giving great with Stone Cold Steve Austin, elevating to the upper echelon with a string of phenomenal performances either side of the heel/face divide.
And he, more than any other performer, swore so much one night on Monday Night Raw that a live broadcast delay was inserted that exists to this day.
His profanity-laden rage-quit of his babyface act was all carefully curated, of course. Just days before the most important match in WWE history against 'The Rattlesnake' at WrestleMania 13, Bret completely snapped, foreshadowing the double turn that would transform the industry forever. Better watched than transcribed, Bret's liberal use of "godd*mn", "bullsh*t' and even "a*s" followed Brian Pillman's shoot-out F-bomb the prior October in earning Vince McMahon a network executive roasting he was more than happy to take. And there was more to come...