Over a decade after WWE television went exclusively to a "TV PG" rating, the company will now be dropping that designation.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, the move is in large part due to WWE's awareness that they have been losing their teenage audience. With AEW entering the national wrestling market this fall, WWE doesn't want to lose even more of their market share over the teenage audience to the new brand in town.
All of this is a part of a major shake-up to WWE's overall creative direction, which received a jolt last week when it was revealed that Eric Bischoff was being brought back to head-up creative for SmackDown Live, while Paul Heyman has been given the same role for Monday Night RAW. With the company now moving away from "TV PG," each of them will have more creative freedom when it comes to drafting up an engaging and edgy show.
According to Meltzer, the arrival to RAW this week of the NXT Tag Team Champion Street Profits was due in part to Heyman believing they are a group that could appeal to the teenage audience they are trying to bring back. As Meltzer put it, he said it wasn't an official call-up as the team will continue to be a part of NXT, but they will also appear on RAW. To us, that's a call-up. According to Meltzer, the company isn't looking at it as a true call-up yet, however. Apparently there was some friction in getting the team on RAW due to them still holding the NXT tag titles.
"They brought the Street Profits [to RAW],” Meltzer said. “That was an interesting one because there’s a lot of politics that were involved in the Street Profits [being on RAW].”1comments
He continued, “They are still technically NXT wrestlers. It was not a call-up but they are gonna be on RAW TV. That was a Heyman move to have new faces on the show. When someone starts, you always want new faces, you always want young talent. You always want to create new wild stories.”
AEW has revealed that their show on TNT, which will reportedly begin on October 2nd, will carry a TV-14 rating. WWE is clearly matching that tone moving forward, and all one had to do to notice that was see some of the storylines that developed this past week on RAW and SmackDown Live.