WWE reportedly dropping PG rating in an effort to bring back teenage audience
When some people think of the WWE, they think of sexy Divas in bra and panties matches, steel chair shots to the head, Stone Cold giving the middle finger, blood-fuelled hardcore matches, and The Rock kicking some candy ass! However, for many years, this has been a far cry from the truth.
You see, in 2002, the company dropped its TV-14 rating and opted for a more family-friendly TV-PG product. Now, for many fans, this was a complete turn off, as the face of the company changed from a beer-drinking and foul-mouthed Stone Cold Steve Austin to a colorful t-shirt wearing and 'Never Give Up'-ing John Cena.
Personally, I love it. Because in the last 10 years, the quality of wrestling had improved 100x over. No longer are we seen the three-minute nonsensical matches from the 'Attitude Era', but wrestlers like Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Finn Balor, Adam Cole, and Seth Rollins all grinding to put on incredible displays in the ring.
In addition, women are no longer treated as 'Divas', as female wrestlers like Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and Ronda Rousey have brought a legitimacy and standard of matches that often exceeds the men. (If I get one, "It's still real to me, damn it!" comment in the comments section, I will not be happy).
This decision to go more "family friendly" has also resulted in WWE being able to enlist a higher quality of sponsors, meaning they can earn more money over the years. So overall, it has been a very smart business decision by Mr McMahon.
However, it seems as though WWE now wants to move back to a more teenage-appealing company, as evidenced by this week's WWE television.
On Monday Night Raw, we saw the spectacle of Braun Strowman spearing Bobby Lashley through the stage (in a rather nice throwback to Rhyno goring Chris Jericho through the tron on Smackdown):
And the next night on Smackdown, WWE Champion Kofi Kingston gave number one contender Samoa Joe a rather uncharacteristic middle finger (which was 99% cleverly obscured by Joe's massive head):
So, all this has led many fans to ask whether or not WWE is reverting back to it's TV-14 ways. After all, with new wrestling promotion AEW keeping them hot on their heels for competition, and a new TV deal for Smackdown Live with FOX starting in October - WWE need to guarantee they're bringing in the viewing figures. Because, speaking as a fan, WWE has been terrible this year.
Well, according to Dave Meltzer (a somewhat trusted name in the wrestling community) of the Wrestling Observer, WWE is bringing back the 'attitude' in an attempt to drive up the ratings.
After one fan tweeted the journalist: "Does Kofi giving Joe the Finger last night mean we are pushing towards leaving the PG Era behind? A lot more cursing and edginess is happening now", the editor simply replied: "Yes".
Per ComicBook, Meltzer has also stated that the WWE's decision to feature their developmental NXT tag-team champions on their flagship show is another move towards appealing to a more mature audience:
"They brought the Street Profits [to RAW]. That was an interesting one because there’s a lot of politics that were involved in the Street Profits [being on RAW].
They are still technically NXT wrestlers. It was not a call-up but they are gonna be on RAW TV. That was a Heyman move to have new faces on the show. When someone starts, you always want new faces, you always want young talent. You always want to create new wild stories."
So, is all this enough to convince you to return to WWE?