Recent statistics have shown that wrestling fans are getting older. It is a strange phenomenon that could endanger the future of the WWE. Even though the WWE has adapted a PG-friendly rating, it does not seem to make a difference for the fan base. So, let us take a closer look at the possible causes of the older WWE fan base.

Increased Average Age

wrestling fans age

A recent study published in the Sports Business Journal showed that the median age of pro wrestling TV viewers increased from 28 to 54; this over a period of just 16 years. That’s astonishing.

The ultimate goal of the WWE was to attract more kids to watch WWE television; this was one of the reasons for their PG approach. However, the recent numbers seem to indicate that the PG nature of the WWE is actually doing the opposite.

Chasing Away Demographics Between 18 and 34!

wrestling fans age

One of the biggest problem-demographics for the WWE at the moment are viewers between the age of 18 and 34. There are too many PG-friendly characters at the moment; this includes Bayley, John Cena, and Kalisto. Even though these characters might speak to the younger generation, they aren’t necessarily speaking to the broad swath of the 18 to 34 demographic.

The Cord Cutting Problem

wrestling fans age

Another problem that could be contributing to the demographics issues is the current US trend of cord cutting. According to a recent survey, more than 762,000 Americans have cut the cord – ie, dropped subscriptions to traditional cable TV in favor of a la carte options like Netflix – of which 19% are young adults.

The cord cutting problem is directly related to the increase in popularity of Netflix, Hulu, and similar streaming services. WWE analysts even believe that the popularity of these streaming services could be responsible for the decrease in SmackDown and RAW viewer ratings.


wrestling fans age

Viewer trends also seem to indicate that many wrestling fans are looking for nostalgia, especially the loyal WWE fans who have experienced the Attitude Era.

The Attitude Era trend became clearer for the WWE when the subscriber count increased dramatically for the Royal Rumble, with viewers clamoring to see old favorites like Goldberg and the Undertaker. So, it would seem that athletes who were in their prime 15-20 years ago are now the ones who are pulling in the viewers.

The Problem with Nostalgia

wrestling fans age

Nostalgia is not a bad thing, because it sells for the WWE at the moment. However, it can become a problem further down the line. If no new legends emerge from this batch of WWE Superstars, which can pull in more viewers, then the WWE could be fizzling out over the next thirty years.


wrestling fans age

It is clear that the WWE must change their tactics to attract more loyal viewers from a younger age range. I have always been an avid believer that turning the WWE PG was the worst thing they could have done. Now, it seems like I’ve been proven right. Still, the question remains: if the WWE is willing to say goodbye to their PG-friendly environment?

What is your opinion about the increase in viewer age? Which solutions would you suggest to tackle the problem and attract more younger viewers? Let us know how you would solve the WWE’s demographic issue below!

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