One year ago, in what is still one of them most widely read issues in our history, we had our most in-depth look ever at the biggest and most unaddressed problem facing the WWE and pro wrestling in general, the loss of the over-30 audience.
When wrestling peaked in late 1998 and early 1999, there was just under six million viewers over the age of 30 watching wrestling every Monday night. During that period, even though WWE was winning the ratings overall with its sizeable lead among teenagers and kids, slightly more than half of those were watching WCW, even though it was clear that company was in decline. Over the next two years, WWE picked up some of that WCW audience in that age group, but for the most part, WCW simply lost them and they went away. In March of 2001, WCW went away. If those millions of wrestling fans kept watching wrestling, it was on very rare occasions and such a small percentage of them that it’s not even a noticeable blip.