WWE claims Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson will not be censored on Netflix
(Credits: Best of Netflix / YouTube Still)

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WWE claims Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson will not be censored on Netflix

After more than 30 years on network television, the flagship series of professional wrestling organisation WWE will be heading to Netflix, which presents an entirely different set of logistical challenges for the company.

The streaming service has forked out billions to secure the rights to Raw and various other WWE-related properties in a massive deal that took the industry by surprise, which will inevitably change the way the writers and producers craft the content that fills out the weekly three-hour show.

Most notably, WWE currently runs a PG-rated product that limits the use of blood, profanity, and extreme violence, while commercials have become an integral revenue stream for Raw since its inception. That doesn’t apply to Netflix, though, which presents an interesting situation the powers-that-be have never been forced to contend with before.

Following the acrimonious departure of disgraced former owner Vince McMahon, retired wrestler Triple H – who is also McMahon’s son-in-law having been married to his daughter Stephanie for over 20 years – is the company’s Chief Content Officer, which puts him in charge of WWE’s creative direction.

During an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, the man born Paul Levesque was asked if the move to Netflix was going to see a drastic shakeup of WWE’s approach to the things it can’t get away with on network TV, with Dwayne Johnson’s recent foul-mouthed promos being censored on-air being a notable example.

In response, Levesque explained that those logistics are all in the process of being worked out, although he did promise that he’s not going to discourage ‘The Rock’ – who also sits on the board of directors at WWE’s parent company TKO – from doing whatever he sees fit to do in the moment.

“Netflix is a completely different animal,” he admitted. “It’s a streaming service, how are commercials going to work? How are breaks going to work? What’s the length of time? What are the restrictions? What are not restrictions? Just as an example, us being on FOX, if the crowd chants ‘holy shit’ or something much worse, they just take the audio. Sometimes they take the picture and the audio off and it’s just a black screen.”

Levesque said that when Johnson comes in “you sort of can’t tell ‘The Rock’ what to do, so he sort of does what he does,” but he was quick to clarify that “we won’t have those issues with Netflix.” It sounds like a brand new era is on the horizon, then, and it seems as if even the people in charge of WWE are unable to smell what ‘The Rock’ will be cooking until he’s actually in the building.