So I stumbled upon recent episodes of Raw and Smackdown, and wrestling seems like something I can get into again after, oh, 20 years? How far back should I go to better understand who these people are and what the heck's going on? (And does every show start with a Daniel Bryan in-ring speech being interrupted?)
I loved wrestling as a kid but lost interest around the same time as most fans in the early 90s. Of course, this led to the debaucherous ratings grab that was the "Attitude Era," and frankly, tuning in at random often made my stomach turn.
Lately I'd heard derisive references to the "PG Era," and was extremely incredulous that it'd gone back to being more family-friendly. Over the weekend I stumbled upon a repeat where a diminutive bearded fella yells at a suit-wearing Triple H, and it all seemed like good clean dumb fun again.
I've since read up briefly on guys like Bryan, and others who I'd heard of before like Orton and Punk (and it seems like wrestlers sure do face/heel turns a lot more than they used to).
So I guess my main questions are: What's the fandom's general perception of the WWE's current direction? And are things still kind of transitory?
I discovered I can watch repeats on Hulu Plus, so where would be a good starting point to get the context of things? I randomly checked out the July 1 ep of Raw, but that just made me want to watch the previous week's ("see last ish! - ed"), and I'm sure I'd just get stuck in that cycle.
And are there any PPV event highlights of the last year or so I should check out online? The free broadcasts don't seem to show much footage, and Netflix doesn't seem to have any recent DVDs.
Lastly, who should I most be looking forward to watching in the ring and/or on the mic? Did the WWE indeed manage not to screw up the beloved CM Punk?