WWE Moving On From PG, Triple H Running WWE, Mysterio’s Return Bogus?, Lackluster Shows

How much should we read into last week’s SmackDown being rated TV-14? It is a sign the company is moving away from their PG initiative?

I am interested to see whether or not this week’s episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown will carry a TV-14 rating. WWE has been steadfast in their commitment to produce PG programming for more than a decade. However, things are changing and they are desperately trying to hold onto viewers. This could be a change moving forward or it could have been a one week thing. I have not heard how intentional the TV-14 rating was or if it will continue, which is why we will see where things go this week. One thing I will caution is even if WWE moves away from PG programming, it is not going to fix everything. People will still complain and trash the product. They did it at the company’s peak, so why would they not now? We have talked several times about why the Attitude Era would not work in today’s culture.

I listened to Triple H on Bill Simmons’ podcast. One thing I noticed is how much respect he seems to have for Vince McMahon. Do you think Triple H would be where he is today had he not married Stephanie McMahon?

Triple H and Vince McMahon have always been close. If you read Bret Hart’s book, he details how Hunter and Shawn Michaels always had Vince’s ear. This was long before there was a relationship between Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. I do not believe Hunter is where he is because of Stephanie as he likely had a spot wrapped up in upper WWE management before they even started dating. Perhaps the fact he is family and the father of Vince’s grandchildren has helped his case but Vince and Hunter have always had a good relationship. Vince has a very close inner circle, which includes Triple H, Stephanie, Shane and of course Kevin Dunn.

Why does WWE continually insult the intelligence of the fan? Rey Mysterio has his eye gauged out, yet he is back on TV. Braun Strowman drowned in a swamp, yet he’s defending the title. Are we just supposed to forget?

WWE hinges on fans having a short memory and sometimes they throw things out there without any regard to the long-term consequences. Basically you just have to suspend your disbelief. They are not the only promotion that does this either. Without fans, WWE has resulted to more gimmicks in attempt to make entertaining TV. It is also important to remember both of these gimmicks took place at a gimmick pay-per-view. If you read too much into it, you will not enjoy any degree of professional wrestling. Vince definitely thought he could “get away with one” with the Mysterio eye stipulation but it has ultimately resulted in a good SummerSlam program that will culminate on Sunday.

Do you think the WWE ThunderDome will help TV ratings and viewership?

The hope is the WWE ThunderDome at Amway Center will provide a better looking product than what the company has put out since March. I was surprised to see Kevin Dunn admit the shows haven’t been what they’d like them to be in an interview with Sports Illustrated. Rarely do you see people at the top of WWE ever admit any type of weakness. The bottom-line is WWE is in retention mode. They are cutting expenses and trying to retain what they have. It is difficult to try and grow under the current economic circumstances. The ThunderDome viewing experience provides fans something to look forward to and to be honest – it sounds awesome.

The next installment of Ask WNC is scheduled to run on Friday, August 21, 2020.

You can submit a question for the next installment of Ask WNC at this link. If you have problems with the form, you can send your question to AskWNC@wrestlingnews.com.


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