WWE fans realize that we are in the midst of the company's PG era, with programming that is geared toward a younger audience. The diehard fans may not appreciate that, but there is no question that the WWE is making a great decision when it comes to its latest business venture.
According to Mike Fleming of Deadline.com, WWE Studios and Warner Bros. will be combining to produce a Scooby-Doo animated feature in the near future.
It will reportedly use the voices and cartoon likenesses of John Cena, Triple H, Kane, The Miz, Brodus Clay, Santino Marella, Sin Cara, AJ Lee and Vince McMahon, with the plot involving a mystery at WrestleMania.
I'm sure some will maintain that things like this are part of what is wrong with the WWE today and that the company should be more worried about producing qualities storylines than cartoons, but it's impossible to deny the fact that this should be a major coup for the company's marketability.
The WWE has been PG for quite some time, but it hasn't really gone the extra mile to appeal to the kids. That is obviously changing, not only because of this Scooby-Doo cartoon, but also because of the new Saturday Morning Slam show that will debut on Aug. 25 as part of the CW's Vortexx block of kids' shows, according to WWE's corporate website.
This can't be considered anything other than a smart move by the WWE because the children are the future in terms of keeping the company viable.
The most rabid portion of the fanbase may be that 18-to-34-year-old male demographic, but it is going to remain fairly loyal regardless, while the children need something to pull them in.
The fact of the matter is that Scooby-Doo and the Saturday morning show aren't going to have the slightest effect on the way the WWE operates. Those who are dead-set against PG programming may claim that it will, but WWE Studios is a totally different entity from the WWE creative staff, so there is no downside to this.
Over the years, the WWE has always used things like morning shows and cartoons to get kids interested, but that hasn't been the case as of late.
I'm actually glad to see the company making a concerted effort on that front, because those who are children now are going to be the meat of the WWE fanbase in the future, so it's important to get them hooked now.
This is simply a smart business decision on the part of Vince McMahon and it shouldn't be misconstrued as anything other than that. I loved the WWE Saturday morning show when I was a kid and the Hulk Hogan cartoon in the mid-1980s was very lucrative as well, so there is a proven history of success with this type of programming.
There is a misconception that the WWE today is similar to what it was during the Attitude Era and that probably takes away from the company's youth fanbase quite a bit.
If parents see their kids watching these wrestlers on an episode of Scooby-Doo, however, they are much more likely to allow them to watch the actual product.
Even older fans who don't take things too seriously are likely to enjoy the cartoon. Scooby-Doo is a cartoon that transcends age in a lot of ways, since it has been around for so long, so there is no reason why a 30-year-old guy can't like it as much as a kid.
Some of my favorite Scooby-Doo episodes featured guests like the Harlem Globetrotters and Batman, so this promises to be a really entertaining feature.
Perhaps the WWE isn't doing as well as it wants in terms of ratings right now, but it is taking steps to improve them in the future. Obviously, better writing and putting together better pay-per-views are going to help in the interim, but this Scooby-Doo movie has nothing to do with that and seems to be a great investment.