Should WWE Move Away From The PG Rating? 

Should WWE Move Away From The PG Rating? 

WWE has been PG since 2008, where they officially made the ratings switch to TV-PG in July of that year.

The company, which had previously had been a raunchier show, has now become more kid audience and advertiser friendly.

This gave superstars a little more constraint on what they could and couldn’t do or say, and in some cases, made it more challenging to get over. 

Is The PG Era Outdated?

In a positive light, the PG era made WWE a lot of money. A lot more ticket sales and merchandise sales with kid friendly faces like John Cena, who was the top star at the time.

Plus, the constraints put on the performers made them work extra hard to get over, as they didn’t have cuss words and blood to lean on. That’s surely good in the eyes of a business perspective, but is it any more? Especially for the fans, is the PG era outdated? 

The Rock has made everyone start to question this theory with his return and change of character.

Notably, a lot of WWE fans just want to move on from the times of the past, with legends showing up for a part time gig not getting the best of reactions.

And originally, The Rock was in that boat. Just months ago, The Rock showed up to WWE programming as a happy-go-lucky face who shook hands and kissed babies, ready to battle his cousin Roman Reigns at WrestleMania for the fight of a life time.

But, the fans turned on him. Partially because they wanted Cody Rhodes to be in that championship match so badly, but also because they’re tired of part timers coming in and main eventing WrestleMania and stealing the spotlight. 

Then, it all changed. The fans booed Rock, and he went with it. He changed for the worst, but in this weird world of pro-wrestling, it actually was for the better.

The Rock suddenly was dissing the crowd, and telling them they smoke crack instead of shaking those hands and kissing their babies. He was telling them to shut their mouths and making fun of their favorite stars, mostly those Cody Crybabies, nonetheless, he was now the heel. The top heel.

And it was good, normal. Better than anything the top heel in Roman Reigns has been doing in recent weeks. Then everything was flipped upside down. 

The Rock Brought Back The Feeling

This past Monday, The Rock had the world talking again. But, this time, instead of fans dreading the eras of the past, they were begging for more. The Rock beat down Cody Rhodes near the end of Monday Night Raw.

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He kicked his ass all the way to the parking lot, where he bloodied him up, whipped him with a belt, and continued to cuss throughout it all. Fans were elated. We can see blood again? And cussing?! It was amazing.

Fans are even calling it the segment of the year, the best WrestleMania build in years! It’s fresh, and even though it’s WWE of old, it’s new again. We haven’t seen this in WWE in years. 

This is pro-wrestling. Being free, letting your character shine, seeing real stories play out, seeing emotions spill. And when emotions are high, adults cuss.

When you get hit over and over in the head, people bleed. Just ask WWE’s business partners in the UFC under the TKO umbrella. It’s natural. It’s exciting. It’s pro-wrestling. 

But it didn’t stop there. No, The Rock, the genius that he is, leaned into it further. Then, Friday afternoon, he posted a video showing what happened when the camera went off air, which was exactly what you’d expect from a real fight.

The cameraman yelled “clear”, meaning that the show was over, but The Rock didn’t stop. Instead, he yelled “fuck that, you shut your mouth, clear my ass.” As he continued to beat down Cody Rhodes and explicitly talk his shit. It was glorious. To make it even better, The Rock, whom posted this video on his Instagram, made the following comments about it in the caption;

“I hate constraints and bullshit rules – and just because some WWE producer yelled “clear” (meaning, we are no longer live on the air and the show is over) that doesn’t mean I just stop whatever I’m doing and tell everyone great job. It fucking pissed me off. I can’t shut my high emotions off just because a script says we’re done.

But even in this crazy fucking world of pro wrestling – this is a microcosm of a larger issue I have within individuals, corporations & governments – telling us what we can or can’t do, you have to do it this way, you have to say it that way, or you’ll get cancelled. 

They create fear if you have a different perspective and don’t live by their rules it’s their way or no way. Fuck that. I say it the way I want to say it. I do it the way I want to do it. my choice, our choice. Fuck your “clear.” Final Boss.” 

And in this, The Rock showed that not only does he hate the constraints he’s being held to, and clearly breaking that, but everyone else should too. The Rock, maybe reading into his words, is also advocating that WWE should loosen up the restraints and allow WWE stars to all preform in a way that they can be more of theirselves and let the curses fly and the blood flow. 

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WWE Should Move To TV-14

Obviously, too much blood and too much cussing can just be overkill by doing it for the sake of doing it. But, allowing it to be there as an option for a heated feud when it’s needed, would be a fantastic move for the WWE. Fans are clamoring for more segments like The Rock and Cody Rhodes’ from RAW. And the only way to do this would be to unleash the constraints that the WWE performers are held behind. 

With WWE’s move to Netflix next year, we might be able to see a more non-PG show under that banner, but some still doubt that. It would be up to WWE to change their show to a a TV-14 rating, allowing for more violence and mature language. Plus, WWE shouldn’t have a problem getting sponsors with this type of rating, considering again, UFC, which is under the TKO umbrella, has no issues getting sponsors as a mature rated program. And, with alot of cross-over fans used to seeing blood in UFC fights and cursing at the press conferences and post-fight interviews, it would be no shock to hear and see similar actions on WWE TV. 

The Rock made wrestling cool again. To continue this trend, the programming has to start to lean more into an adult audience. The fans are clamoring for it. It’s 2024, make the change. Continue to make pro-wrestling cool again and let the superstars truly be themselves. So, should WWE put an end to the TV-PG era and move up in the ratings? I believe yes, WWE would be better off for it and some may even say it’s best for business.

From: Brady Alexander

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