WWE wants to win back its teenage audience before moving to FOX this fall, and All Elite Wrestling begins airing their weekly program on TNT.
According to Dave Meltzer during today’s episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, WWE using more edgier content on this week’s television is an attempt to engage with their younger fan base. This explains why Corey Graves said “Holy Shit” following the explosion angle with Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley. We also saw Kofi Kingston give Samoa Joe the finger on SmackDown, which was edited in some markets outside the U.S. A few other examples include Maria Kanellis mentioning being impregnated by Becky Lynch, and Bobby Lashley stating he would send Braun Strowman to the morgue.
In what’s being dubbed the “Paul Heyman Era” of RAW, we saw the Street Profits make an appearance, as well as Ricochet have a main event match. Meltzer noted that Heyman is a big fan of Ricochet, and how he is a guy who could appeal to teenagers.
Earlier this year reports surfaced that FOX wanted the product more edgier, and less “politically correct”. Meltzer believes the happenings on television this past week could be pushing towards leaving the PG Era behind. Whether or not that is the case, remains to be seen.
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) July 3, 2019
Since its debut in 1999, SmackDown has been rated TV-PG. As of 2008, all WWE’s programming became TV-PG. According to WWE’s investor relations, 40% of its audience is female, and 17% are under the age of 18.