UPDATE: Zarian now says the change to WWE Raw’s TV rating won’t happen on July 18, but it’s in consideration for a later date.
The original story is below this line.
USA Network’s WWE Raw has been rated PG by the TV Parental Guidelines ever since July 2008. According to Mat Men’s Andrew Zarian, that’s going to change starting with next week’s episode on July 18:
“Starting July 18th WWE Raw will have a TV-14 rating moving forward on USA Network. The PG Era is over.”
During the PG era, WWE has tried to market itself as a family friendly product that shuns extreme violence and blood. John Cena (and his very bright colors) was the face of WWE for much of that time.
One example of a PG change was WWE’s attempt to crack down on blading, which is a pro wrestling term for when a wrestler uses a blade to cut one’s self open and draw blood during a match. In fact, earlier this year WWE criticized their main competition, All Elite Wrestling, for embracing ‘gory self-mutilation’ in their television programming.
Is that family-friendly image going to be scrapped going forward on Monday nights if Zarian’s claim is true? Is WWE planning to flip the switch closer to the edgier and sexier late 90’s Attitude Era with this move? Will their relationship with certain sponsors be affected by the change? Will other WWE programming besides Raw follow suit?
I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I’d guess that Cody Rhodes is counting down the days until he can bleed all over a WWE ring.
Are you excited or worried about this reported change to Raw, Cagesiders?