WWE’s Raw show may be getting a TV-14 rating in the near future.
The world is not getting a lot of good news coming out of WWE with the news getting worse and worse. However, one thing just came out and it just might be something great for Raw fans.
Andrew Zarian of the Mat Men Podcast reported that Raw may be moving out of the much hated PG era and moving into the TV-14 era. Seth “Freaking” Rollins may just have a new nickname with a different F-word and I don’t mean Franklin.
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The PG era came into being on June 22, 2008, after two much more mature and highly regarded eras being the beloved Attitude era and the highly regarded Ruthless Aggression era. These two eras were full of hardcore matches with blood, barb wire, mature love storylines and profanity. The Superstar who best personifies the eras and most importantly the attitude of the eras is Stone Cold Steve Austin giving anyone and everyone the middle finger. It was truly a golden age of pro wrestling.
The Rise Of The PG Era
However, in 2008 that all changed. WWE decided to move into the PG era for literal political reasons. Vince McMahon’s wife, Linda, was running for Senator in the state of Connecticut. That’s right, I bet you forgot Vince has a wife. I think even Vince even forgot.
Linda won the primary election gaining the Republican nomination, but lost the election in 2008. She ran again in 2012 and had the same result, but don’t worry, Vince’s forgotten wife did get a chance to enter politics. Her old buddy President Trump appointed her an administrator of the Small Business Administration.
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Linda’s political aspirations led to WWE to soften their product and remove the blood and cursing from WWE in an effort to help her get her seat on the Senate. However, it took away the edge which made wrestling so popular in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Fans saw the change and the fall in quality of WWE programming immediately.
Rivals Rise In The Wake Of The PG Era
A loss for WWE fans was a win for its competition. Rival promotions like TNA/IMPACT and ROH began to rise in popularity because of their more mature tone during this time as an alternative to WWE’s PG programming. Then of course fans of hardcore wrestling went to promotions like CZW for the blood WWE was missing. However, none of these promotions were even close to being a rival to WWE. That is until AEW came on the scene and is slowly becoming more and more of a rival.
TV-14 Is Probably Coming Soon To Raw But Not Soon Enough
It was originally reported that this TV-14 rating change could happen as soon as July 18, but Zarian retracted the date saying the source memo was sent out prematurely by USA Network. He did say the plan to change Raw’s rating is still in-place, but the date is still up in the air.
It is very exciting to hear Raw may or is probably going to be getting more mature. However, this is just for Raw. SmackDown may stay with the PG rating because it is on FOX and the rating change may be coming from USA Network. We don’t know if NXT will have its rating changed as well since it is on the USA Network. My guess would be NXT will stay PG and Raw is the test show to see if the rating change helps or hurts the ratings.
This will be an interesting change to see how quickly Raw will change its tone. Also some wrestlers who have always leaned towards a more mature tone like Kevin Owens may not want to get drafted to SmackDown. On the opposite side, wrestlers who have a much more family-friendly persona may not want to work on Raw as they may think it will hurt their image if they are asked to curse in a promo for example. It will be interesting to see if the different ratings between the shows will cause issues with wrestlers. It could also create very lopsided programming with everyone only wanting to watch Raw or SmackDown because of the TV-14 vs. PG rating.
Are you excited to see Raw change to TV-14? Do you think the change will be abrupt or a gradual one? Do you think WWE should push towards testing the limits of TV-14? Are you happy with just Raw changing to TV-14 or should all the programming change to the higher rating? Leave a comment over on Twitter and tell us what you are most excited to see with the higher rating.
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Sources: Wrestling Inc., Andrew Zarian, Wrestling Inc.