Why is it PG?
by, 01-31-2013 at 08:04 PM (4638 Views)
Why hello there
It seems I have grown rather fond of blogging as this will be my 3rd and I recommend the two others to readers as well since this can be viewed as a "series", collectively analyzing the "State of the E'"
That being said this portion will pertain to something that many long time, and even current, fans have an issue with and seem to constantly criticize in the current product. That "something" is the PG rating or the PG "era"
Now a common misconception is that there is one single reason that the product is PG, the truth is that there are several factors that contribute to this transition. It wasn't just Linda McMahon's campaign or because of Cena's character.
Many older fans remember the old WWF, which was also PG, with the kid friendly themes, colorful characters and true blue babyfaces. Well this changed, mostly because of the 90s culture and kids, which saw competition rise, ratings drop and a desire for something different. You were more fascinated in the blood, action, adult themes and edgy characters so they pushed the envelope and made a middle finger flipping, wife beating, curse word saying, loud mouthed alcoholic the face of the company and we ate it up. Then the millennium came, the performers left, the competition folded, the fans grew up and the WWE adapted (remember that KAYFABE played a large role in viewership) Wiith the developing products in modern society there are now more options available on television therefore wrestling is becoming an afterthought and the fans of the attitude era, who desire an AE 2.0, make up a small percentage of overall viewers. WWE is now focused on their new fanbase and, up until recently, a change wasn't technically needed. An edgier product will barely bring about the significant change that is needed (You would need something pop culture friendly for new fans and something appealing to older fans who are probably watching UFC and real competitions)
What was finally acknowledged are the medical risks involved with the spots and bumps the performers were taking and the drugs involved. They were beginning to gain bad press as well as criticism from parents for their bad influence. In addition to this wrestling began to fade in mass appeal so the caliber of performers decreased,both in talent and in capability of doing spots. What this had a hand in was Vince creating a more safe work environment and less need to have edgy and outrageous spots and segments (both for good image and the well being of the workers) At first this was not a notable change because the rosters were still heavy with talent but now that many have left we can see that these new guys cant draw in a PG product. The new fans dont notice this though, the bar was lowered but they are too young to understand the lackluster shows because they find the muppets entertaining, they like chanting feed me more, they like seeing Kofi fly and Cena beating the bad guys and so, in that niche, these superstars can thrive. Without taking dramatic bumps, without grabbing the brass ring, without having unique gimmicks (which used to be somewhat of a requirement for wrestlers) They can just do what they're told and follow the script in an easy and controlled environment
If you are doing a PG show you can't be TOO adult, you have to work inside the boundaries (remember they're ultimately working to please kids) These children don't comprehend complex writing or sensible storylines. In addition when you are on the air for 20 years there is not much originality left so you may see recycled material or writing that doesn't make sense, because new fans haven't seen it and also an attempt to revise an old story.
Public trade and revenue
I am not an insider so I can't tell you which years were most profitable for the WWE, but currently it has expanded to an entertainment empire far larger than it's previous years. Now this doesnt necessarily have to do with the wrestling product itself but the product is influenced because of the other accolades. It has become a mild entertainment company that produces wrestling rather than a wrestling promotion so they now have partnerships, sponsors and other products which have alot to do with the PG image (merchandise/toys, network/television,partnerships like fruity pebbles, mainstream publicity) Common sense would dictate that you do not change something that is prominent to your success thus you don't tamper with what can harm your business.With that I must add that child entertainment is one of the best markets to be active in and thus by pleasing them you will make profit (dont be surprised if you see a partnership with nickelodeon)
Though what is understood is that wrestling is the basis of the main product and ultimately what perpetuated the company, as well as attracted consumers in the beginning, therefore this rating allows for an equilibrium within the product with the key demographics having priority
So in a nutshell PG is what's best for the WWE right now
However, what I will say is that a change is much needed, not just in the rating, but in the company overall because it shows in the ratings, it's showing in the buyrates and it's showing a little in the fans. Hence why they are experimenting and bringing back old talents.
What that "change" is is highly debated but every transition had a theme and I feel that they simply havent found it yet.
Thanks for reading, excuse all errors as I am typing this from a touchscreen (which is also why I rarely elaborate on points in the blog)
All feedback, good or bad, welcome.