WWE Monday Night Raw is apparently moving to a TV-14 rating, and fans are wondering if the on-air product will move in a more adult-oriented direction. Viewers have been watching the TV-PG show since 2008, when WWE first received this lower rating. This led to the company moving away from anarchy without a script to a show that could be easier to sell and that would be aimed at a young audience.
While the company itself has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of financial performance — even seemingly protected from recession over the past six months — the domestic product has not done the same. Wrestling fans in their 30s miss the days of the relationship era, when performers were encouraged to give in to even the most sophomore urges. This has led to the emergence of some of the biggest stars in WWE history, including “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Rock; a period of time that lasts quite a long time, as Roman Raines vs. Brock Lesnar is set, apparently, for the 112th time.
Dave Meltzer recently told how, in his opinion, the rating change affected the WWE broadcast product. From the Wrestling Observer newsletter: “I don’t think it will be blood, as they were publicly categorically against it, although they were in the past and changed because of competitions that had blood in the 90s. I absolutely do not believe it. to see them return to storylines that humiliate women and leave them in their underwear, as in the boom period. I absolutely could see them following AEW with dirtier expressions.” Meltzer noted a recent angle from Raw as proof: “In particular, it was said that the US “accepted” Lesnar by using the word “shit” with its feet” just after 8 p.m. this week when they got the script, but then when Lesnar actually said that word because they knew about it beforehand, they edited the word.”
Good news for the WWE Women’s Division
Meltzer is thinking, but it’s hard to imagine that he’s wrong about the women’s division. Some wrestlers, like Mandy Rose, rely on their traditional good looks as part of their character, but looks aren’t the center of the entire division. This was usually the case in the era of relationships. Some segments have aged horribly, and women’s wrestling has gone too far to send her back to the Stone Age due to a rating shift.
A little more adult language is welcome, but not for the sake of it. Lesnar’s use of it made sense earlier this week, and it could be an easy way to heat a fire at a certain angle. How much more fun would Edge be as a Doomsday leader if he could use a few swear words? Sometimes it is necessary to use language, and it looks like WWE will have the opportunity to choose their seats in the future.