WWE fans looking for a more mature Monday Night Raw product might be in luck. According to Fightful Select, Vince McMahon is acknowledging the need for change, which has led to a feeling of optimism backstage about the show’s future.
The report states that he’s “coming to grips with the fact that the program needs to be upgraded.” At the same time, some people around the WWE chairman aren’t convinced that he’s committed to making any significant changes just yet.
Paul Heyman’s recent appointment as the executive director of Raw has led many people to speculate that the show will introduce some major changes and improvements in the coming weeks.
Last week’s episode — the first since Heyman accepted his new role — featured some edgier content that’s been absent from WWE’s PG era. The first notable spot was a brutal segment between superstars Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashely, which saw both men hospitalized following a collision with the stage. Afterward, commentator Corey Graves uttered an expletive in response to the incident on live television.
In another segment, which was recapped by Pro Wrestling Sheet, Maria Kanellis referred to her husband, Mike Kanellis, as her “b**ch” and insinuated that he’s not the father to their soon-to-be-born child. Storylines like these haven’t been prominent since WWE’s “Attitude Era.”
Of course, given his history as the founder of the now-defunct hardcore-centric promotion Extreme Championship Wrestling, everyone assumed the more boundary-pushing elements of the show were all Heyman’s doing.
WWE’s newfound chaotic streak proved to be temporary, though. This week’s Raw was back to business as usual. The more extreme elements which featured in the previous episode were nowhere to be seen on this one, suggesting that Heyman’s role isn’t as influential as people initially presumed.
Still, McMahon acknowledging a need for change doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll allow Heyman to exert his own creative influence over WWE’s flagship show. McMahon has a reputation of being somewhat of a control freak who changes his mind constantly. It remains to be seen if he’s willing to compromise his authority and allow Heyman to implement some fresh ideas.
However, as The Inquisitr reported, McMahon is wary of WWE losing its teenage demographic. As such, he’s allegedly pushing for an edgier product in a bid to appeal to this desired audience.
This also correlates with an interview Mick Foley gave to Busted Open Radio back in June. As reported by Wrestling Inc., the WWE legend said that the company wanted to make Raw’s third hour “rougher, wilder, and more unpredictable.”
Could we be about to see a new era of Raw? Only time will tell.