WWE is killing the cycle instead of kids growing out of WWE at 15 or 16 they are growing out of it at like 9 or 10 and want to watch the bad things not cookie cutter clean image WWE.
This is something I've thought for a while.
When they went back to a PG rating and greatly watered the content down, they said it was to create 'brand loyalty' from an earlier age.
Unfortunately for them, that doesn't work really work long term. By having a show that caters to teenagers and the older demographic a little more, you have an audience that will carry on watching for literally years
. Kids will think it's 'cool' to watch it when they're younger and will carry on enjoying it as they grow older.
With a show that only mainly focuses on kids and soccer mom types, you have an audience that will mostly grow out of wrestling and stop watching as soon as they hit their teens, finding it dull and childish.
That being said, it is the fault of the creative team, not the rating itself....WWF from 1997 to 1999 (before they went TV-14) was mostly great stuff, with the likes of Nation of Domination, DX, etc. There's no reason why they can't make a great show like that now within PG guidelines that entertains us older fans, they're just choosing to pour all their focus on (what I believe is) by far the wrong demographic.
At the rate they're shedding viewers at the moment, it won't be too long before TNA is actually considered legit competition to them each week
(and I'm saying that as someone who watches TNA)