As the years have progressed, the WWE, formally known as the WWF, seems to have changed its target audience. During the past, professional wrestling seemed to be action packed, full of heavy beatings and blood. Even though people of all ages watched wrestling, the target audience seemed to be focused on late teens and adults. However, today’s WWE has a different approach. While I do not watch it frequently, the changes between now and then are clearly visible. Opposed to content that would be rated PG-13 or R during the older days of wrestling, today’s WWE seems extremely PG.
Gone are the days of bloody barbed wire and hardcore matches, curses, and sex appeal of the WWF and early WWE days. Personally, I find today’s storylines to be lame and cheesy. Even the wrestlers aren’t as badass as the older cast. Ok, sure, you still have The Undertaker, but there is a lack of those hardcore characters that wrestling used to know and love. Even though I like John Cena, he can’t compare to the wrestlers like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mankind, and even Brock Lesner.
During the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, I used to watch wrestling religiously. As the years progressed, my interest seemed to fade. I have tried numerous times over the last 3 years or so to try and get back into wrestling, but I was never able to watch it on a weekly basis for more than a month. Based on the ratings, it appears that I am not alone. The ratings for WWE’s RAW, averaged a 6.0 back in 1999, while it averaged 2.8 so far this year. WWE’s Smack Down once had a 5.8 rating back in 1999. Just last week, it had a 0.7 rating. That is a major decline over the past decade. Even with one of the greatest wrestlers in WWE history, The Rock, returning to host this year’s Wrestlemania, WWE’s biggest event of the year, will that be enough to bring the ratings close to what they once were. I am not too sure about that, and this is coming from one of the biggest Rock fans.
Now as much as I would like to get back into the drama of the WWE, the current storylines and characters do not catch my eye as much as the ones from the past. For the people like me, it may be time to find a new source of fighting entertainment. Is the answer UFC? While I have only seen a few fights, I must say, they are fun to watch. While there may not be barbed wire bats being used, this is actually real fighting. As entertaining the WWE may have been, everyone knows that it is all scripted. UFC fighting is unscripted, and that is what makes it more enjoyable to watch. While my interest in fighting sports has shifted towards professional sports such as baseball, football, basketball, and hockey over the past decade, sometimes those intense fights can’t compare with the more traditional sports. Will the WWE be able to return to its former glory? We will have to wait and see, but unless they revert back to the action of the old days, I do not see a bright future for World Wrestling Entertainment.
“Smackdown! Ratings History”, 100megsfree4.com
“Raw is War Ratings”, 100megsfree4.com