WWE Rumors: Reason why WWE is airing more non-PG content on TV
What's the story?
This week's episodes of both WWE Raw and Smackdown Live were noticeably a bit more risque, as Raw opened with a violent Falls Count Anywhere match between Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley which ended with an explosion of the entrance ramp.
24 hours later, on WWE Smackdown Live, Kofi Kingston and Samoa Joe had an in-ring confrontation which led to Kofi flipping Joe "the bird" in the middle of the ring.
According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio, it's not a coincidence that more risque programming led to an increase in this week's Raw rating, as WWE is attempting to lure back the teenage demographic, an important age group the company feels it has lost over time.
In case you didn't know...
Paul Heyman officially began his tenure as the Executive Director of Raw this week, working closely alongside Vince McMahon at the Gorilla Position on the show. Raw had Heyman's "fingerprints" all over it, and the opening segment featuring Braun Strowman spectacularly taking out Bobby Lashley was one of the most buzzed-about segments of Raw in recent memory.
WWE Smackdown Live was noticeably more tame in comparison to Raw this week, but reports indicate that Eric Bischoff has yet to begin his new role as Executive Director of the blue brand, and was not backstage at the show this week. Despite Bischoff's presence, Smackdown was able to get somewhat more adult-oriented when Kofi Kingston used a very non-PG hand gesture towards Samoa Joe.
The heart of the matter
Dave Meltzer noted on the most recent edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, via 411Mania.com, that one of the reasons why this week's Raw rating was up considerably is because there was a big increase in viewership from the teenage demographic and an increase in the coveted 18-34 demographic.
Meltzer added that WWE officials are aware the company has lost touch with younger audiences, which is why small, non-PG moments like Corey Graves cussing on Raw and Kofi Kingston flipping the middle finger have been infused on TV this week.
With WWE reportedly afraid they are "losing the teenagers", along with the emergence of All Elite Wrestling, an edgier direction is one in which officials felt the company had to travel.
At the end of the day, WWE remains a PG-rated TV product, and that may not change. While the company might certainly be trending towards an edgier product in the weeks and months to come, expect the company to return to its TV-MA days anytime soon.
How did you feel about WWE's edgier style of programming this week? Let us know in the comment section!