WWE Rumors: Backstage plans on riskier content for Raw and SmackDown Live
What's the story?
The last episode of Raw had many surprises for the WWE Universe, including a new challenger for Brock Lesnar in Finn Balor as well as a segment with Alexa Bliss that seemed to harken back more to the Attitude Era.
RingsideNews.com is reporting via the Wrestling Observer Radio show that more of these segments might be coming in the future as WWE tries to 'recapture a demographic they might have lost'.
In case you didn't know...
WWE had been in the middle of the PG Era over the last 7-10 years. It turned off some fans and wrestlers alike but was done so more to cater to some of WWE's advertisers and the children of parents who watched WWE during the 'Attitude Era'.
It came after the 'Ruthless Aggression Era' which followed the much-ballyhooed 'Attitude Era' to close out the 1990s and early 2000s.
Since WWE might be trying to compete more so nowadays with other promotions like Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling and Major League Wrestling for the eyes of American viewers, more risque segments could become the norm.
The heart of the matter
On both Raw and SmackDown Live this past week, segments aired with female competitors that seemed counter-intuitive to the vaunted 'Women's Evolution' of the past few years.
Dave Meltzer mentioned on Wrestling Observer Radio that WWE 'might be trying to win back a demographic it thinks it lost'.
“That’s the direction they want to go. Look, it’s the direction that will help ratings, yeah it will. That kind of stuff always works like in the long run, not the short run. Like it won’t help at week one, but that direction will help. It will draw more teenage boys and stuff.”
In addition to the Bliss segment, SmackDown Live aired a segment right out of a soap opera where Mandy Rose attempted to get under Naomi's skin by 'seducing' her husband, Jimmy Uso.
She sent him a present with a swipe card to a hotel room. He appeared to find a scantily clad Rose in the hotel room, but he came prepared with Naomi in tow. The two women proceeded to fight throughout the hotel room.
The report on Ringsidenews.com also mentioned that those segments are obviously geared 'to a younger audience of younger men who will help sustain the company for years to come'.
Don Callis mentioned at the end of 2018 that the move would allow Impact to have 'riskier and edgier content and maybe a little more hardcore Impact Wrestling'.
While it's great that WWE is trying newer things to help freshen up the product so to speak, it seems like a counterproductive move on two fronts. Firstly, segments like those set back everything they've tried to build over the last five years with the 'Women's Evolution'.
If you don't want to alienate women who actually wrestle from coming to the WWE in the near future, it might not be the way to go. Same goes for female viewers of the product. Another reason is my personal opinion, but trying to cater to the younger demographic once again ignores the demographic that made WWE as popular as it is today in fans over 30.
Those fans were the main audience during the Attitude Era that helped propel WWE to victory in the Monday Night Wars. While a good deal might have grown out of watching pro wrestling, the fans (like me and many others) who still love the sport are the ones who get left out in the cold with a product that tries to cater to a PG audience and now potentially a teenage audience.
I just want good wrestling and good storylines, but if WWE feels that they need to go this route, then they can do whatever they want.