And that new direction would be the old direction. It was decided to go back to the kinder, gentler days of the Golden Age. The violence and vulgarity began to be scaled back, and WWE returned to the (mostly) family-friendly product it was in the 1980s. Like back then, when Hulkamania was running wild, they needed a big name star to build their Federation around.
And they had just the man for the job. They took the former white rapper "Doctor of Thuganomics" John Cena and turned him into the next heroic babyface. His "take your vitamins, say your prayers" would be "Hustle, Loyalty, Respect." And crowds ate it up. At least, they did at first, but more hardcore wrestling fans got sick of his ubiquitous presence quickly. This was also a big year for players like Randy Orton and Batista, who would have multiple title reigns over the course of the era. This would also mark the years in which several mainstays for the next decade would begin their careers; some on the main roster, others in the revived ECW; which operated largely as a trial run for younger, less established talent as well as veterans in need of a new place to go after years of Raw/SmackDown mid-card shuffling, and then finally shelving it quietly in 2010.
Speaking of the brands, there was a decreased emphasis from 2009 on for the identities for either, as RAW and Smackdown began to showcase wrestlers from either brand on their shows without making much of a big deal of it, to the point that in 2011, there was effectively no split in place, which meant that the World Heavyweight Championship and WWE Championship were two major titles...without shows that made them important to exist as separate entities in the first place. This was fixed in a unification match, creating the WWE-World Heavyweight Championship.
That didn't mean there was nowhere for the young guns to hone their craft however, as another major change was the overhaul of the WWE's farm system. Florida Championship Wrestling, which was where WWE hopefuls were sent to train, was rechristened as WWE NXT. The NXT concept was originally as a reality show for a while where WWE hopefuls got to train and learn under mentors in the hopes of getting a WWE Contract, but was eventually retired and re-vamped into a more conventional hour long wrestling program on the newly launched WWE Network, which immediately began receiving rave reviews due to the far more wrestling oriented programming and fantastic characters.
Unfortunately, where there were major set-backs were in the women's wrestling department. By the time the PG era had begun, fan favorites like Trish Stratus and Lita had ended up retiring due to injuries or other opportunities, and the WWE Diva Search had restocked the roster with a brand new bunch of superstars...but quite a few of whom were hired primarily for their looks rather than for their athleticism or in-ring skill, leading to a less skilled roster, more formulaic match settings and feuds, and overall a serious de-valuing of women's wrestling on the world's largest stage until the next era began.
Technology also changed quite a bit from the beginning of the era all the way into the next, as it coincided with the release of Hi-Definition TV, and the groundwork for what would soon be known as the WWE Network.
The PG Era wasn't entirely squeaky clean, however. One of the most ruthless stables since the Attitude Era, The Nexus, would form out of the ashes of the NXT reality show, and would run roughshod over WWE for a while. The back-half of the era was also the genesis of CM Punk's main event run, which frequently made dramatic and slightly edgier twists and turns as he brought certain characters (even the normally incorruptible John Cena) to their breaking points.
All in all, while many preferred the edgier product of the Attitude Era, there were relatively few faults with the PG Era, and it would set the stage for the direction for WWE in the future.