I was thinking, since a lot of WWF fans seem to be grown-up "Hulkamaniacs," who the WWF seem to be targetting (changing from a kid-friendly show to the racy "Attitude" era), what happens when this crop of fans matures beyond the penis jokes and trashy valets? Will the WWF mature its product again? If so, into what?
(I do realize that there are those who actually watch the wrestling show to see wrestlers wrestle, but I'm referring to the type of fan who needs a dash of larger than life characters or a sprinkling of lewd gestures to watch regularly).
I think, for the most part, they already HAVE moved on. The fans that tuned it just to see DX say "suck it" or to see Rena strip make up alot of the 3 ratings points that have fallen off the WWF since the end of the Attitude era. They're still around, sure, but mostly they were the ones who were getting their kicks out of other parts of the program (Austin, Rock, HHH etc) and are following those specific guys now.
Interestingly, this is the perspective that Russo was really good at. For what ever reason (insert lame punchline), Russo was really able to connect to the teenage audience. He understood what it was that the "kidz" wanted to see, and thus provide "ratingz" for the WWF. Teens generally tend to follow shows that push the societal envelope so that they can feel like "rebels" for watching it. When it A. Gets too popular OR B. stops pushing that envelope, they tune it out in favor of something that better suits that need. That's where the WWF is, I think.
And, no, I don't think that the WWF would be better off with Russo there, I'm just giving credit where credit was due. He may have been insane, but he had a pretty good idea of what the 12-18 demographic was looking for. Sex, violence, and swearing! All on one show!