WWE's TV-PG Era is Reportedly Over
WWE officially converted its television rating to TV-PG for episodes of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown on July 22, 2008, kicking off what fans now refer to as "The PG Era." But that time now appears to be over as Andrew Zarian of The Mat Men Podcast is now reporting that beginning with the July 18 episode, Monday Night Raw will have a TV-14 rating moving forward. It's unclear if SmackDown will quickly follow suit, though Zarian's announcement did declare "The PG Era is over."
Do you think this rating shift will have an impact on WWE's weekly programming? Will their storylines start to shift back to the same tone as the Attitude Era and Ruthless Aggression Era? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments!
Starting July 18th WWE Raw will have a TV-14 rating moving forward on USA Network.— Andrew Zarian (@AndrewZarian) July 14, 2022
The PG Era is over.#WWE #WWERAW pic.twitter.com/wQskL3IVPb
WWE's television product kept a TV-PG rating throughout most of the 1980s and 90s, but the shift to TV-14 was made in 1997 just as The Attitude Era was getting underway. The move back to a PG rating was looked upon unfavorably by many fans, though WWE has consistently maintained it wanted to appeal to fans of all ages.
According to @WrestleVotes, the rating change was something that had been pushed behind the scenes for years. But the insider also couldn't confirm how much of an effect it will have on the weekly product.
Credit to the good brother @AndrewZarian for dropping the TV-14 bomb. RAW exits the PG Era starting this Monday night. This was a discussion for years, and looks to have finally been approved. Now we’ll see if it changes anything.— WrestleVotes (@WrestleVotes) July 14, 2022
WWE's biggest competition here in the United States, All Elite Wrestling, has been operating with a TV-14 rating since AEW Dynamite first premiered in October 2019. The company has openly spoken out against AEW's product, criticizing its bloodier action.
"If you look at the gory self-mutilation that bloodied several women in the December 31 event on TNT, it quickly becomes clear that these are very different businesses. We had an edgier product in the 'Attitude' era and in a 2022 world, we don't believe that type of dangerous and brutal display is appealing to network partners, sponsors, venues, children, or the general public as a whole," the company wrote in a statement to the Toronto Star back in January.
But while some have been against the PG rating from the start, some wrestlers have shown their support for it. That includes Hall of Famer Kurt Angle, who wrote on his Facebook page back in 2020, "I think the PG Era is good for wrestling. I understand that we had more creative control over our characters before PG, but the fact that the PG Era came around has helped the wrestlers stay healthier. Drug tests, physicals, doctors, trainers, have become important to taking care of the health of Superstars."