WWE has encountered record-low ratings of late, falling to levels not seen since the early 1990s, when wrestling was at a low point as it pertained to popularity. On the most recent edition of Vince Russo's Nuclear Heat, the former WWE writer addressed these plummeting numbers.
During the show, Russo brought up how he watched the March 30, 1998 Raw, which was the first episode after Stone Cold Steve Austin won the WWE Title from Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XIV, right as the WWE was about to take over the ratings crown from WCW.
"(Stone Cold) has a confrontation with Vince McMahon, he uses some foul language, he gets arrested. From there, there's a turn on Faarooq by the Rock. X-Pac joins DX and uses some choice language. There's a cage match with some violence between New Age Outlaws, Mick Foley and Chainsaw Charlie," Russo said.
Russo also explained that the show featured Sable provocatively dressed on the show. He said that the show was designed as any show on cable from 9-11 PM could be, and it wasn't catered to children.
"Adults are watching adult shows. Shows like this with adult content. It's adult content. I finished watching the show, and Jeff Lane says 'it was rated TV-PG.' The same exact rating that Raw has today. The same rating that people are blaming the low (Raw) ratings on. People say it can't be dangerous and out of the box because it's TV-PG. This show was TV-PG, the same exact rating, and we saw language, violence and sexuality," Russo said.
Russo then offered up his opinion on the rating, saying that the WWE is too concerned with being politically correct as opposed to providing good programming.
"Everything we did on this show, you're allowed to do today on a TV-PG show. WWE is nowhere near the TV-PG line, they're TV-PC, politically correct. That's what they're rated. Their limitations have nothing to do with the TV-PG rating," Russo said.
Russo then gave a description of what can be contained in a TV-PG program, which is far more liberal than what WWE often uses on their shows.
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