Last week, Raw’s ratings went up with teens and we heard from Wrestling Observer to expect more edgy, non-PG content from WWE under Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff’s Executive Directorship. This was said to be driven as much by WWE’s declining numbers with that age group as with concern AEW could gain a foothold with them as the “cool” wrestling show.
Following up on and confirming that talk, Fightful today (July 8) reported sources tell them “that WWE is really focusing in on the 18-34 demographic this week, after numbers for teens in particular were way up for the first week under a new Executive Director regime.”
Which sounds good. Last week’s Raw was certainly felt like a step in the right direction after weeks of shows which looked exactly like the past months of shows.
But details remain scarce on how exactly WWE plans to regain their Attitude Era cool factor among teen viewers. It’s an entirely different world than the last time pro wrestling was “cool” with high school and college age kids. Will 53 year old Paul Heyman and 73 year old Vince McMahon be able to grab and hold the attention of people used to being able to find new entertainments and distractions whenever they want via YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok?
We’re about to find out. And honestly, if last Monday’s show is any indication of how they plan to try, I’m cautiously optimistic. Because I think using a diverse and talented roster to tell a variety of stories, presented and packaged in ways other than the standard WWE direction and style we’ve been watching for decades, is probably their best bet.
Better than leaning heavily on excuses to say “uterus” and “impregnate”, anyway. But I’ll gladly deal with attempts at being edgy if it means we get the other stuff, too.
What do you think WWE will, or should, do to capture the teen audience, Cagesiders?