WWE: The Reality Era and how Attitude is crippling it
by, 03-30-2012 at 07:46 PM (7567 Views)
(This may be my most polarizing blog yet, but I'm sticking with it.)
The Attitude Era's faux revival is crippling the WWE's bottom line.
It was observed last year that CM Punk's Shoot marked the end of the PG-Era and the rise of the "Reality Era" as some dubbed it came with it. Since I was always a fan of the name, I'm going to continue to use that term until I'm overwritten by the world at large.
Either way, name or not, the "PG-Era" is Dead. Not necessarily the "TV-PG" icon in the corner of US Screens, but the era that was associated with the return of that very icon in the later part of last decade.
It's been noted a few times before, but the reality era differs from the "PG-Era" on a few accounts:
*Social Media and YouTube
*Kayfabe is loose at best
*A dramatic increase of interviews out of character
*TV-14 level cursing, bordering on R at times.
*Moving away from the pure "Super-Cena" Main Events
*Violence scaled up a notch (not full hardcore, but it's up a bit)
That all is a bit subjective, but most of that has a basis in reality. Here's the thing though, all except the cursing was around for the majority of 2011.
2012 has been a bad year for the WWE despite dramatic improvements in key areas including storylines, wrestlers highlighted, match quality (besides Divas and Tag Team), production and advertising. Besides the over-use of twitter, people in general on the IWC have actually had a lot of positive remarks on the WWE this year even for a Wrestlemania buildup, and it's easy to say that people in the IWC are loving the WM 28 card as a whole compared to normal.
However, that's just our perception as IWC fans. The financial situation is bleak.
3.0. That was the TV rating for the "Go-Home" Show for Wrestlemania. That's horrific. a 3.0 is an average rating in the summer, pre-MITB last year. Last year's go home was...
Spin that how you like, but let's face it, we the IWC are a bunch of old men in terms of the larger wrestling audience. Most of the audience has always been kids except for those few years during the Monday Night Wars.
The Rock and John Cena's Attitude Era like profanity filled promos have caused the low TV Ratings. That's my theory. I am an older fan who actually likes the cursing, but how many parents turned off the TV the moment genitalia jokes started flying?
Apparently a lot since January 2nd's rating was a 3.1, and usually there is a ~15-20% increase of people in viewership during Wrestlemania season and they actually lost fans this time around. PPVs and live events are down as well, of course you can tack some of that to the fact that most people reading this blog steal them through streams.
Here's the thing, the Attitude Era's revival is near impossible because of this question:
"How do you bring back more older fans from the cold (who haven't watched in years) than the number of fleeing families in time before the WWE can no longer take the ratings hit?"
That's the dilemma, and I don't have an answer. Until the WWE can legitimately figure that out, the TV will likely return to PG in language and violence in the very near future and the semi-attitude like era will be over.