WWE Raw

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WWE Raw
The stage set-up in use the 1,000th episode of Raw on July 23, 2012.
The stage set-up in use the 1,000th episode of Raw on July 23, 2012.
Also known as
  • WWE Monday Night Raw
  • WWF RAW is WAR
  • WWF Monday Night Raw
Format Sports entertainment
Professional wrestling
Created by Vince McMahon
Starring Raw Brand
Opening theme "The Night" by Kromestatik
"Energy" by Shinedown (bumper)
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 1,088 (as of March 31, 2014)
Production
Location(s) Varies
Camera setup Multicamera setup
Running time Approximately 3 hours and 5 minutes per episode
Broadcast
Original channel USA Network (19932000, 2005 – Present),
TNN/Spike TV (20002005)
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)[1]
Original run January 11, 1993 – Present
Chronology
Related shows WWE Main Event
WWE Superstars
WWE SmackDown
Other websites
Official website

WWE Raw is the Monday night professional wrestling television program for WWE. WWE Raw is usually seen as WWE's flagship program over its sister programs, WWE SmackDown, WWE Main Event and WWE Superstars, due to its longer history and the way it is promoted.

History[change | edit source]

Original format[change | edit source]

Starting as WWF Monday Night Raw, the program first started on January 11, 1993 on the USA Network for one hour. The original Raw broke new ground in televised professional wrestling. Traditionally, wrestling shows were taped on sound stages with small viewers or at big arena shows. The Raw formula was very different than that of its predecessor, Prime Time Wrestling. Instead of taped matches, with studio voice overs and taped chat, Raw was a show shot to a live viewers, with angles as they happened. The first episode had Yokozuna winning against Koko B. Ware, The Steiner Brothers winning against The Executioners, WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels winning against Max Moon and The Undertaker winning against Damien Demento. The show also featured an interview with Razor Ramon.

Raw came from the Grand Ballroom at Manhattan Center Studios, a small New York City theater and played live each week. The combination of an intimate venue and live action proved highly successful. However, the weekly live schedule proved to be a financial drain on the WWF, and taped shows began airing every other week. From early 1994 to September 1999, Raw was shown live on one Monday and then the next day (Tuesday) next Monday's Raw was taped. This meant that Raw was live one week and taped the next.

The storylines and characters during the early years of Raw still had a healthy dose of the old Federation "gimmick-heavy" style. For example, there were moments such as Irwin R. Schyster tearing up Tatanka's headdress, the different "Undertaker sightings" (during the Undertaker vs. Undertaker storyline, leading up to SummerSlam 1994); and characters like Duke "The Dumpster" Droese, Doink the Clown, or Thurman "Sparky" Plugg.

Raw was also one of a kind, in which they covered the unexpected, exciting moments, a prelude to the "Attitude Era", in which it coined Raw as "Uncut, Uncensored, Uncooked." Some of those moments are Razor Ramon losing a match unexpectedly to Sean "The 1-2-3 Kid" Waltman, who was later known as X-Pac, Marty Jannetty beating Shawn Michaels to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship, and Raw was the first WWF television program of any kind to show footage of Lex Luger bodyslamming Yokozuna at the USS Intrepid.

The first hosts of Raw were Vince McMahon, Rob Bartlett and "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Sean Mooney conducted the interviews and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan also helped contribute. In March 1993, Rob Bartlett was dropped from the broadcasting team and was replaced by Bobby Heenan. Then on December 6, 1993, Gorilla Monsoon kicked Bobby Heenan out of the WWF forever. In reality, this was a storyline between Monsoon and his close friend Heenan, who decided to leave the World Wrestling Federation in order to lighten his travel schedule and because he did not want to take a 50% paycut. After about a year, Raw moved out of the Manhattan Center and traveled to various regular Federation venues in the United States.[source?]

The Monday Night Wars[change | edit source]

In 1995, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) began showing its new wrestling show, Monday Nitro, live each week on TNT. Raw and Nitro went head-to-head for the first time on September 11 1995. Due to Raw's taping schedule on several occasions, WCW Vice President Eric Bischoff, who was also an on-air personality, would often give away the results of WWF's taped Raw shows on the live WCW show. Some fans also looked at Raw taping results on the steadily-growing Internet; as a result, this caused the ratings of the taped Raw episodes to be lower.

WWF Raw had a live broadcast every other week to save costs, until September 1999, when ratings and pay-per-view buy rate grown, allowing them to justify doing a weekly live show.

At the start of the ratings war in 1995 through to mid-1996, Raw and Nitro exchanged victories over each over in a closely contested rivalry. Beginning in mid-1996, however, thanks primarily to the nWo angle, Monday Nitro started a ratings win-streak that lasted for eighty-three continuous weeks, ending on April 13 1998.[source?]

Raw is War[change | edit source]

On February 3, 1997, Monday Night Raw went to a two hour format, as the Attitude Era was starting to come in full stream in the WWF. In an attempt to break the momentum of what had turned into ratings domination by WCW's competing Monday Nitro, Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) was brought in as Jerry Lawler "challenged" ECW on February 17, 1997. In an episode where Raw returned to the Manhattan Center, the "challenge" answered on the following week's show with Taz, Mikey Whipwreck, Sabu, Tommy Dreamer, D-Von Dudley, and the Sandman. ECW owner Paul Heyman did a call-in interview on Raw the week after that.

During 1997, there were more and more controversial elements in Raw and WWF programming such as the Nation of Domination, and the D-Generation X "racial graffiti" storyline designed to "implicate Bret Hart's 'the Hart Foundation'", and the "XXX Files" series.

On March 10, 1997, Monday Night Raw officially became Raw is War. The March 17, 1997 episode featured a heated Bret Hart/Vince McMahon ringside altercation (that unknowingly foreshadowed events in November) with profanity normally unheard on TV. Brian Pillman did a series of "XXX Files" segments with Terri Runnels, which further "pushed the envelope". These segments ended prematurely with the September 29, 1997 episode of Raw, after the death of Pillman on October 5, 1997 due to hereditary heart problems.

After WrestleMania XIV in March 1998, the WWF regained the lead in the Monday Night Wars with its new "WWF Attitude" brand, led in particular by rising stars Steve Austin, The Rock and Mankind. The classic feud between the villainous WWF Chairman Vince McMahon (who was re-imagined and re-branded from the color commentator into the evil company chairman character Mr. McMahon after the real-life Montreal Screwjob incident) and fan favorite Steve Austin (who had been released by Bischoff in the summer of 1995 for not being marketable) caught the imaginations of fans. The April 13, 1998 episode of Raw, headlined by a match between Austin and McMahon, marked the first time that WCW had lost the head-to-head Monday night ratings battle in the 84 weeks since 1996.

While Raw was taking a new approach to programming, Nitro would start making lackluster shows with the same storylines. Older stars such as Hogan and Nash frequented the main events, while younger talent such as Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero were not given opportunities to advance, and the only newcomer elevated to main-event status at this time was Bill Goldberg.

Meanwhile, on Raw, fans were immersed in the feud between WWF owner Vince McMahon and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. New talent such as Triple H and his D-Generation X faction, Mankind and The Rock were elevated to main event status on the WWF's program. Superstars such as Kane, Val Venis, Goldust, etc. were coming through the ranks and exposing the WWF as the place where new talent comes through unlike the WCW counterpart. Things were so heated between the two programs that, when both shows were in the same area on the same night (Raw in Hampton, Virginia, Nitro in Norfolk), D-X was sent to film a "war" segment at the Norfolk Scope where they berated WCW and interviewed fans on camera who stated that they received their Nitro tickets for free (presumably in an attempt by WCW to pack the arena as full as possible due to low ticket sales).

On January 4, 1999. Mick Foley, who had wrestled for WCW in the early 1990s as Cactus Jack, won the WWF Title as Mankind on Raw. On orders from Bischoff, Nitro announcer Tony Schiavone gave away this previously taped result on the live Nitro, and then sarcastically added "that'll sure put some butts in the seats"; over 600,000 viewers changed channels to watch Raw. This was also the night that Nitro aired a WCW World Championship match in which Kevin Nash blatantly laid down for Hulk Hogan after Hogan poked him in the chest. The next week, and for months after, many fans in the Raw audience brought signs which read, "Mick Foley put my ass in this seat!"

The end of the Wars[change | edit source]

A new television contract with Viacom led to a WWF change in the broadcast. On September 25 2000, Raw moved from the USA Network to TNN (which later became Spike TV).

WCW's sharp decrease in revenue and ratings led to Time Warner's sale of the company to the WWF in 2001. The last version of Nitro was shown on March 26 2001. The show began with Vince McMahon making a short statement about his recent purchase of WCW and ended with a simulcast on Raw on TNN with an appearance by Vince's son Shane McMahon on Nitro. Shane interrupted his father's gloating over the WCW purchase to explain that Shane was the one who actually owned WCW, setting up what become the WWF's "Invasion" storyline.

The Raw is War logo and name were retired in September 2001, following the September 11, 2001 attacks and sensitivity over the word war. It also symbolized that professional wrestling's "Monday Night Wars" were over.[source?]

Brand Extension[change | edit source]

In early to mid-2002, WWE had a process they called the "Brand Extension". WWE divided itself into two "de facto" wrestling promotions with separate rosters, storylines and authority figures. Raw and SmackDown! would host each division, give its name to the division and essentially compete against each other. The split was a result of WWF purchasing their two biggest competitors, WCW and ECW. The brand extension was publicly announced during a telecast of WWF Raw on March 25 2002, and became official the next day.

Wrestlers now would become show-exclusive, wrestling for their specific show only. At the time this excluded the WWE Undisputed Championship and WWE Women's Championship, as those WWE titles would be defended on both shows. In August 2002, WWE Undisputed Champion Brock Lesnar did not want to defend the title on Raw, in effect causing his title to become exclusive to SmackDown! The following week on Raw, General Manager Eric Bischoff awarded a newly instated World Heavyweight Championship to Raw's designated #1 contender, Triple H. Due to the fact that since the WWE Undisputed Championship was now SmackDown! exclusive it was no longer seen as "undisputed". Following this, the WWE Women's Championship soon became Raw-exclusive as well. As a result of the Brand Extension, an annual "draft lottery" was instituted to exchange members of each roster and generally refresh the lineups.

WWE Raw said they have earned the distinction of having the most original episodes of any fictional weekly program on August 2, 2005 when it broadcast the 636th episode. It was said to have took the place of Gunsmoke, which held that distinction. However, under the criteria WWE used to make this claim, the actual record would be held by the show Georgia Championship Wrestling, which ran continuously on Saturday evenings on TBS between 1972 and 1984.[source?]

Return to USA Network[change | edit source]

On March 10 2005, Viacom and WWE decided not to go on with the agreement with Spike TV, making it so Raw and other WWE programs on the network would cease when their deal expired in September 2005. On April 4 2005, WWE announced a 3-year deal with NBC Universal to bring Raw back to its old home, the USA Network, with 2 yearly specials on NBC and a Spanish Raw on Telemundo.[2] On the same week as Raw's restart on USA, Spike TV scheduled Ultimate Fighting Championship's live Ultimate Fight Night in Raw's old timeslot in a try to go head-to-head with Raw.

The show's first night back on USA was billed as the "WWE Homecoming" and featured the return of former WWE Champions such as Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Mick Foley, Triple H and Vince McMahon along with cameos from legends such as Roddy Piper, Jimmy Hart, Jimmy Snuka and Harley Race. WWE Homecoming was three hours long — the longest an episode of Raw has ever run in its 12-year history. USA also showed Raw Exposed, an hour of the best moments of Raw during its previous run on USA. WWE announced that Raw got its highest ratings in three years, gaining close to six million viewers.

The following week, Vince McMahon fired Jim Ross for not helping after Steve Austin gave him and his entire family the Stone Cold Stunner. Jonathan Coachman, the second analyst at the table, took over Ross's duties as play-by-play for two weeks until former ECW announcer Joey Styles was hired.

2006[change | edit source]

On the May 1, 2006 version of Raw, Joey Styles said he was quitting (kayfabe). His vacating of the announcer position set the stage for Jim Ross to return to Raw's commentary booth, thus ending the storyline where Ross got fired by Linda McMahon. This freed Styles to become a commentator for the ECW brand when it launched in June.

In Canada, after an 11 year run on TSN, Raw moved to rival sports broadcaster The Score after it was announced that TSN would be carrying Monday Night Football' for the 2006 season. This also meant that Canadian viewers would be watching via tape-delay, as The Score did not broadcast Raw live at first, but in 2007, started airing the show live.[source?]

During the September 25, 2006 episode of Raw in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the opening of Raw suffered a blackout. Spotlights were the only lights running in the house. Power in the presentation was later back. Another similar moment happened back on May 26 1996 in Florence, South Carolina for WWF In Your House 8: Beware of Dog, when a major thunderstorm hit the Florence Civic Center causing major chaos for the PPV. That Tuesday, Beware of Dog returned to North Charleston, South Carolina to finish out three matches that were not shown because of the lost power feed.

On October 9, 2006, Raw held a three hour season start called the "Raw Family Reunion", where the Raw brand had a new logo and theme song, Papa Roach's "...To Be Loved". The episode also featured talent from the SmackDown! and ECW brands. Later that month, on October 23 Raw aired its 700th episode, making it the longest running weekly entertainment show, without a hiatus, in television history.

2007[change | edit source]

On June 25, 2007, Raw was scheduled in Corpus Christi, Texas to be a three-hour special memorial show for the (kayfabe) death of the Mr. McMahon character after he had been presumed dead in a limo explosion. The event was canceled due to the real death of Chris Benoit and his family earlier that day, with a three-hour Chris Benoit memorial show being shown instead. This was the first time that Raw had been shown with no viewers and had Vince McMahon breaking kayfabe to address the viewers at home. The show had extracts from the DVD Hard Knocks: The Chris Benoit Story, showing some of Benoit's most memorable matches, along with comments from some of Benoit's colleagues. However, when the facts of Benoit's death came to light, WWE pulled this episode from international markets which aired Raw on a tape delay basis. Several channels announced the episode was being withheld for legal reasons. A substitute Raw, hosted by Todd Grisham from WWE Studios, was created featuring recaps of big-time championship changes of the past year. The episode started with a message from Vince McMahon which originally aired on the June 26 edition of ECW. John Cena's 380 day championship reign was ended due to injury by Randy Orton on the October 1st episode of Raw. Orton won the title that Sunday at No Mercy.

On December 10 2007 Raw celebrated its 15th anniversary in a three-hour spectacular on the USA Network with the returns of Stone Cold Steve Austin, Rob Van Dam, The Godfather, Steve Blackman, Howard Finkel, Ted DiBiase, Eric Bischoff, Marty Jannetty, Gangrel, Trish Stratus, Lita, Sunny, Hulk Hogan and Mick Foley (as Mankind) among others. Along with several reunions of former tag teams and also included a 15-man "15 Years of Raw" battle royal. The RAW XV: 15th Anniversary DVD was also sold that had the best moments in Raw history.

2008[change | edit source]

In April 2008 as part of the United States presidential election, candidates Barack Obama, John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton presented special messages on W.W.E. Raw. The show was watched by an estimated 4.97 million viewers, of which there were 1.45 million viewers who were men aged 18 to 34: an important group of voters the candidates were trying to talk to.[3]

2009[change | edit source]

In 2009, at No Way Out that February 15, Edge won the World Heavyweight Championship in Raw's Elimination Chamber match, thus making it a SmackDown exclusive title and giving SmackDown two top tier championships. As a result of the 2009 WWE Draft in April, WWE Champion Triple H was drafted to the Raw brand, while the World Heavyweight Championship moved to the Raw brand after Edge lost the title to John Cena at WrestleMania XXV. SmackDown would regain the World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash (2009) when Edge defeated John Cena to win the championship. In addition, SmackDown and Raw would exchange both women-exclusive championships with Raw gaining the WWE Divas Championship and SmackDown gaining the WWE Women's Championship. Also, SmackDown and Raw exchanged the WWE Intercontinental Championship which is now exclusive to SmackDown and the WWE United States Championship which is exclusive to Raw Brand, for the first time ever.

On June 15, 2009, McMahon announced on a special three-hour edition of Raw that he had "sold" the WWE Raw franchise to Donald Trump, who appeared on-screen to confirm it and declared he would be at the following commercial-free episode in person. WWE issued a press release on the scripted sale while the USA Network later issued a statement confirming the "sale" as part of a storyline. The statement was issued in response to multiple news sources having mistakenly reported the event as legitimate. Due to the mistake, on the day following the announcement, WWE's stock on the New York Stock Exchange notably fell. Despite USA Network's acknowledgment that the sale was fictional, Randy Katz, a securities lawyer with Baker & Hostetler, commented on the Fox Business Network that a probe by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against WWE and USA Network owner General Electric "certainly is a possibility. The next week, Vince McMahon repurchased Raw from Donald Trump and announced that a "Guest host" initiative originally introduced by Trump in response to the position of General Manager being vacant would go in effect on June 29. Each weekly guest host is usually either a WWE Hall of Famer, a former or returning talent, or other celebrity. The guest host or hostess assumes the role of a brand General Manager, serving as Raw's authority figure for the day. The following year, it was announced that with Vickie Guerrero (and subsequently Bret Hart) becoming the new full time GM, the guest hosts (while continuing to appear) would no longer have booking power.

2010[change | edit source]

In 2010, TNA IMPACT!, which normally airs on Thursdays, would go head to head with Raw in a three-hour live broadcast. This would be the first time since March 2001 that two major wrestling promotions would go head-to-head in a Monday night ratings competition. TNA promoted the debut of Hulk Hogan leading to the broadcast. WWE countered by announcing the return of Bret Hart, who had not appeared with the company since the Montreal Screwjob in 1997. The ratings showed that, much like the first Monday Night War, Raw came out on top, averaging 5.6 million viewers while iMPACT! averaged 2.2 million viewers.[25]

On March 8, 2010, Impact! permanently moved to Monday nights to compete head-to-head with Raw. After declining ratings, Spike executives announced that starting April 5, Impact! would air an hour earlier than Raw. After scoring its lowest ever rating at 0.5, it was announced May 3 that Impact! would be moving back to its original time on Thursdays starting May 13.[28] Since then on April 19, 2010, many of the WWE Raw superstars were stranded in Belfast due to the ash cloud from Eyjafjallajökull (a volcano in Iceland) hovering over most of Europe and causing many flights to be put on hold. Former ring announcer Lilian Garcia announced that night while the SmackDown roster took part in production of the Raw episode. The following month on May 17, 2010, Raw aired its second overall commercial free episode from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

That summer on August 30, 2010, Raw aired its 900th episode, SmackDown superstars and NXT rookies also appeared on this milestone episode. It featured The Undertaker vs Bret Hart for the first time in almost 14 years. That November, Raw went "Old School" for one night with the old ring and titantron designs. This episode featured WWE Legends Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Mae Young, Million Dollar Man, Ron Simmons, The Iron Sheik and many more. Mark Henry briefly returned to his "Sexual Chocolate" gimmick in honor of Raw going "Old School".

On February 14th 2011, The Rock returned to WWE as he was announced as the host for WrestleMania 27. On the April 6th episode of Raw following WrestleMania 27, Rock and Cena agreed to a match at WrestleMania 28. On June 27th, CM Punk was suspended after he cut a shoot promo on Raw mocking Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, The Rock and taking stabs at WWE management. At Money in the Bank, CM Punk left WWE with the WWE Championship and Raw held a tournament for a new champion won by John Cena. CM Punk returned. Triple H became COO of WWE and began operating day to day operations. At SummerSlam the titles were unified. On the August 29th episode of Raw, Triple H announced that talent from SmackDown could appear on Raw and Raw talent could appear on SmackDown, thus ending the Brand Extension. The Miz and R-Truth were fired and chaos happened at Hell in a Cell and on Raw, resulting in Triple H no longer being able to operate Raw due to the vast majority of the roster walking out. John Laurainitis became GM. CM Punk won the WWE Championship at Survivor Series beginning an epic reign.

On January 2, 2012 Chris Jericho returned to WWE and promised to win the Royal Rumble which he did not. Brock Lesnar and Lord Tensai returned to Raw on the April 2nd episode. On July 23rd, Raw celebrated it's 1000th episode. Starting on September 17th, Raw along with the rest of WWE programming had a pink rope in the middle of the ring to promote breast cancer until October 29th. On the November 19th episode of Raw, CM Punk celebrated 365 days as WWE Champion.

On the January 7, 2013 episode of Raw, The Rock came back again. On January 14th, Raw celebrated 20 years. CM Punk's championship reign was ended at Royal Rumble at 434 days. On the March 4th episode of Raw they went Old School for the second time. The following episode of Raw was a tribute to the late Paul Bearer, The Undertaker and Kane led the tribute but were twice interrupted by Undertaker's WrestleMania 29 opponent, CM Punk.

Production[change | edit source]

As of 2008, Raw is shown live on Monday evenings on the USA Network (in the USA), The Score in Canada and on Sky Sports 3 in Great Britain, though it is sometimes taped and placed on a broadcast delay depending on what circumstances dictate. The theme song for the Raw brand is "Burn It to the Ground" by Nickelback since November 16, 2009.[4] Before that the theme song was "...To Be Loved" by Papa Roach, which used from October 9, 2006 to November 9, 2009.

Since March 10 1997, broadcasts of Raw were split into two hours and given hourly names for television ratings purposes, with the first hour being referred to as Raw is War and the second as War Zone by the show's on-screen graphics. However, as of October 1 2001, the first hour has been referred to as Raw and the second as Raw Zone by the show's on-screen graphics.

On January 7 2008, WWE said that all 3 brands (RAW, SmackDown!, and ECW) would be broadcast in HD, codenamed "WWE HD" starting with RAW on January 21. WWE invested about $20 million dollars on new recording and broadcasting equipment to prepare for the move, as well as new pyrotechnics and lighting. The move replaced the RAW, SmackDown!, and ECW sets with a new state of the art set shared by all brands.[5][6]

Broadcasting notes[change | edit source]

The show currently starts live on USA Network (and on tape delay Wednesdays on mun2, and Sundays on Telemundo (in Spanish)) in the United States, and in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland on Sky Sports 3.[7] It also currently broadcasts on tape delay in Canada on The Score and Global Quebec, in Australia on FOX8,[8] in Portugal on SIC Radical,in Italy on Sky Italia in Finland on MTV3 MAX, in Malaysia on Astro Super Sport, in New Zealand on The Box, in Greece on Supersport 3, in India and Pakistan on Ten Sports, in the Philippines on Jack TV and Solar TV, in Chile on Chilevisión, in Mexico on 52MX, in Bulgaria on GTV, in Panama on RPC Canal 4, in Peru on ATV, in Saudi Arabia and Middle east on ART SPORT, in Romania on TV Sport, in Serbia on FOX Televizija, in South Korea on XTM, in Spain on Cuatro TV, in France on NT1 and RTL9, in Brazil on SBT, in Argentina on Canal 9 (Argentina) and on AFN Xtra. Raw is also currently being aired on Etv in South Africa. It airs on Canal VTV in El Salvador and on Premiere in Germany and in Honduras on Canal 5. Sometimes, Raw is started on same-day tape delay when WWE is on an overseas tours.

Special episodes[change | edit source]

Episode Title Date Rating Note
Episode 1 [9] January 11, 1993 Unknown Debut episode
WWF Raw Bowl January 1 1996 2.6[10]
WWF Raw Championship Friday September 6 1996 2.4[10]
WWF Royal Rumble Raw February 3 1997 2.6[10] The first two-hour broadcast of Raw.
Included recap clips of the
1997 Royal Rumble match
WWF Raw is Owen May 24 1999 7.2[11] Memorial show to Owen Hart
The 2002 Draft March 25, 2002 5.4[12] The Raw before the Brand Extension
WWE Raw X (10th) Anniversary January 13 2003 3.9[13] Award show that celebrated the 10th anniversary of WWE Raw
The 2004 WWE Draft March 22, 2004 4.5[14] A Draft lottery which featured a supplemental draft
WWE Raw Homecoming October 3 2005 4.4[15] First three-hour broadcast.
Return to the USA Network
Eddie Guerrero Tribute Show November 14 2005 4.5[15] Memorial show to Eddie Guerrero
WWE Tribute to the Troops December 19 2005 3.7[15] A Special Christmas show from Afghanistan
Honoring American armed forces
WWE Raw Family Reunion October 9 2006 3.8[16] Featured talent from all 3 brands
WWE Tribute to the Troops December 25 2006 2.7[16] A Special Christmas show from Baghdad
Honoring American armed forces
WWE Draft 3-Hour Special June 11 2007 3.8[17] Featured the 2007 WWE Draft
Chris Benoit 3-Hour Memorial June 25 2007 3.8[17] Memorial to Chris Benoit.
Clip show in international markets
WWE Raw 15th Anniversary
Spectacular
December 10 2007 4.4[17][18] Celebrated 15th anniversary of WWE Raw
WWE Tribute to the Troops December 24 2007 2.5[17] A Special Christmas show from Iraq
Honoring American armed forces
WWE WrestleMania Rewind Night March 10 2008 3.6[19] A three-hour program, where superstars are involved in WrestleMania rematches
WWE King of The Ring April 21, 2008 3.0[19] King of the Ring tournament
Featured talent from all three brands
2008 WWE Draft June 23, 2008 3.4[19] Featured the 2008 WWE Draft
Raw's 800th Episode November 3, 2008 3.04[19] Celebrated the 800th episode
WWE Slammy Special December 8, 2008 3.02[19][20] A three hour special honoring the best achievements of 2008.
2009 WWE Draft April 13, 2009 3.73[21] Featured the 2009 WWE Draft
The 3-For-All June 15, 2009 3.72[21][22] Featured talent from all three brands
Trump Raw June 22, 2009 4.5[21][23] The first commercial-free broadcast

WWE Raw began with a smaller set, blue ring aprons and the ropes coloured red, white and blue. In 1997, they changed the ropes to a plain red set and the titantron to feature a WWF logo and Raw Is War written everywhere including printed on the ring aprons. In 2002, they updated the logo and the ring now with a WWE.COM logo on the far sides. The ropes were sometimes black when they switched a few times per year. In 2006, they updated the Raw logo again and from October to December had the ropes black and removed the WWE.COM logo to have a Raw logo all around the ring. In December, they brought the red ropes back and in February brought back the WWE.COM logo. In January 2008, they updated the Raw set to a new HD set and the ring aprons were now red and silver instead of black. In April 2010, they changed the ring ropes to an all white scheme. In July 2012, they changed the ring aprons back to black with the new Raw logo and updated the HD set.

On-air personalities[change | edit source]

Champions[change | edit source]

See also: List of current champions in WWE
Championship Current champion(s) Date won Date Aired
Raw only championships
WWE Championship John Cena April 7, 2013
WWE United States Championship Kofi Kingston April 15 2013
Shared with SmackDown
WWE Tag Team Championship Kane and Daniel Bryan September 16,2012
WWE Divas Championship Kaitlyn January 14, 2013

General Managers[change | edit source]

General Manager Date started Date finished
Eric Bischoff July 15 2002 1 December 5 2005
Steve Austin (Co-GM) April 28 2003 November 16 2003
Mick Foley (Co-GM) December 1 2003 December 11 2003
Eric Bischoff November 6 2006 2 August 5 2007
Vince McMahon2 December 12 2005 June 11 2007
Jonathan Coachman (Interim GM) June 18 2007 August 6 2007
William Regal 3 August 6 2007 May 19, 2008
Mike Adamle July 28, 2008 November 3, 2008
Stephanie McMahon November 8, 2008 March 30, 2009
Vickie Guerrero April 6, 2009 June 8, 2009
Guest host(s) June 29, 2009 Present

1 ^  This was a reward from Mr. McMahon to Bischoff for his refereeing job at Cyber Sunday.

2 ^  On May 29 2006, Mr. McMahon made Jonathan Coachman his Executive Assistant. Upon doing so McMahon stated "No one could replace me as GM", in essence giving Coachman GM powers under a new title. Was officially named Interim GM by the McMahon family following Vince McMahon's limo incident.[24]

3 ^  On August 6 2007, Mr. McMahon announced that an over the top rope battle royal featuring other participants from the Raw roster would determine a new GM for Raw. William Regal won the battle royal. becoming the new GM, and Jonathan Coachman became his assistant.

Commentators[change | edit source]

Commentators Year(s)
Vince McMahon, Randy Savage and Rob Bartlett January 1993-March 1993
Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan March 1993-December 1993
Vince McMahon and Johnny Polo December 1993-March 1994
Vince McMahon and Randy Savage March 1994-May 1994, August 1994 - October 1994
Gorilla Monsoon and Randy Savage June 1994 - July 1994
Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler October 1994-November 1994
Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels November 1994-February 1995
Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler February 1995-November 1997
Kevin Kelly and Jerry Lawler December 1997-March 1998
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler September 1996–February 2001
Jim Ross and Paul Heyman February 2001-November 2001
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler November 2001-October 2005
Jim Ross, Jonathan Coachman, and Jerry Lawler August 2005-October 2005
Joey Styles and Jerry Lawler November 2005-May 2006
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler May 2006–June 2008
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler June 2008-Present

Ring announcers[change | edit source]

Ring announcer Year(s)
Howard Finkel January 1993-August 1999
Tony Chimel April 1997-August 1999
Lilian Garcia August 1999-September 2009
Justin Roberts March 2007-June 2007, September 2009-Present

Recurring segments[change | edit source]

Segment Host Years active Notes
Raw Girls N/A 1993 Between matches, women otherwise uninvolved in the wrestling product carried signs bearing slogans around the Raw ring.
The King's Court Jerry "The King" Lawler 1993–1995 Inspired by Piper's Pit; also appeared on WWF Superstars
The Heartbreak Hotel Shawn Michaels 1994 Inspired by Piper's Pit; also appeared on WWF Superstars[25]
The Brother Love Show Brother Love 1995 Returned for a brief stint.
The Love Shack Dude Love 1997–1998 Short-lived interview segment hosted by Dude Love
Highlight Reel Chris Jericho 2003–2005
2008–present
Made regular appearances until Jericho's sabbatical from professional wrestling. Recurred in 2008 after Jericho returned to professional wrestling.
White Boy Challenge Rodney Mack 2003 Challenge to Caucasian wrestlers to defeat Rodney Mack in under five-minute stipulation. Ended in the same year by Goldberg[26]
WWE Diva Search Jonathan Coachman (2004–2005)
The Miz (2006)
Todd Grisham (2007)
2004–2007 Segments were featured weekly on Raw.[27]
Masterlock Challenge Chris Masters 2005–2007 A challenge to any wrestler (local or active superstar on WWE roster) to break the Masterlock. Ended after it was broken by Bobby Lashley in March 2007, however it re-debuted on SmackDown!, when Masters was drafted to that brand.
Kurt Angle Invitational Kurt Angle 2005 Introduced to Raw, when Kurt Angle was drafted from SmackDown!. Ended on Raw, when Eugene won the invitational; Angle would end the challenge after winning his gold medals back at SummerSlam 2005.
Carlito's Cabana Carlito 2005–2007 Introduced to Raw after being brought from SmackDown! by Carlito
Piper's Pit Roddy Piper 2005 Appeared on two separate occasions, with Piper interviewing Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley in that same year.
The Cutting Edge Edge 2005–2007 Launched by Edge; used only for special occasions. Occasionally is seen on SmackDown after Edge was moved there.
Matt Striker's Classroom Matt Striker 2005–2006 In this segment, Striker acts as a teacher (his former real-life profession) and insults the audience's intellectual capacity. The segment transferred to ECW when Striker was moved to that brand.
Kiss Cam Maria 2005–2009 This segment involves the host trying to persuade random people in the audience to kiss when they see their faces on the titantron within a heart shaped graphic. The most frequent host of Kiss Cam is Maria, although others on the Raw brand have hosted the popular segment.
V.I.P. Lounge Montel Vontavious Porter 2009-2010 in-ring interview segment

A.M. Raw[change | edit source]

WWE A.M. Raw
Format Professional wrestling
Starring Raw brand
Opening theme "...To Be Loved" by Papa Roach
Country of origin  United States
Production
Running time 1 hour (42 minutes plus commercials)
Broadcast
Original channel USA Network
Picture format 480i (SDTV),1080i (HDTV)
Original run October 8 2005 – present
Other websites
Official website

WWE A.M. Raw is a Saturday night (Sunday morning) show that is shown on the USA Network at 2 a.m. ET. It has segments from the latest episode of Raw with a ticker along the bottom section of the screen that provides information about WWE, including trivia and live event news.

A.M. Raw started debuted at its current time of 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. For a short period, however, it was moved to Sunday mornings at 2 a.m., until November 11 2006. It was returned to its current Saturday morning timeslot while also continuing to air at 2 a.m.. However, it did gather higher ratings in the Sunday morning timeslot than it had with its previous Saturday 9 a.m. timeslot.[source?]

Related pages[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

  1. "USA Network FAQ's". USA Network. http://www.usanetwork.com/feedback/. Retrieved 2008-01-21.
  2. msnbc.msn.com
  3. Schneiderman, R. M. (April 28, 2008). "Better Days, and Even the Candidates, Are Coming to W.W.E.". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/28/business/media/28wwe.html.
  4. "Nickelback and WWE team up for new Raw theme". http://www.wwe.com/subscriptions/wwetunes/3242484/nickelbackrawtheme. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  5. "WWE Goes HD". WWE. http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2008/2008_01_14.jsp. Retrieved 2008-01-15.
  6. WWE: Mediaplayer > WWE goes high-definition with an all new set
  7. Sky Sports | TV Guide
  8. FOX8
  9. "WWE Raw 1992 on WWEClassics.com". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/subscriptions/wweclassics/raw/. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "WWE Raw rating history". Wrestling Information Archive. http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/wwf/wwfraw.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  11. Gerweck, Steve. "1999 Nielsen Television Ratings". Gerweck.net. http://www.gerweck.net/ratings99.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
  12. Gerweck, Steve. "2002 Nielsen Television Ratings". Gerweck.net. http://www.gerweck.net/ratings02.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  13. Gerweck, Steve. "2003 Nielsen Television Ratings". Gerweck.net. http://www.gerweck.net/ratings03.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  14. Gerweck, Steve. "2004 Nielsen Television Ratings". Gerweck.net. http://www.gerweck.net/ratings04.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Gerweck, Steve. "2005 Nielsen Television Ratings". Gerweck.net. http://www.gerweck.net/ratings05.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Gerweck, Steve. "2006 Nielsen Television Ratings". Gerweck.net. http://www.gerweck.net/ratings06.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Gerweck, Steve. "2007 Nielsen Television Ratings". Gerweck.net. http://www.gerweck.net/ratings07.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  18. "RAW XV heats up ratings". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/inside/news/rawxvratings.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 Gerweck, Steve. "2008 Nielsen Television Ratings". Gerweck.net. http://gerweck.net/ratings08.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  20. Gray, Richard (December 2008). "WWE Raw Rating Featuring The 2008 Slammy Awards". Wrestling News World. http://www.wrestlingnewsworld.com/wwe-news/wwe-raw-rating-featuring-the-2008-slammy-awards.php. Retrieved 09-12-2008.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Gerweck, Steve. "2009 Nielsen Television Ratings". Gerweck.net. http://gerweck.net/ratings.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  22. Gerweck, Steve (2009-06-16). "Raw Rating". Gerweck.net. http://www.gerweck.net/news/1245187141.shtml. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  23. Martin, Adam (2009-09-03). "Final 6/22 Raw rating (huge number)". Wrestle View. http://www.wrestleview.com/news2009/1245795784.php. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  24. "Coachman's interim Raw deal". http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/articles/4470418/coachinterim. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
  25. Michaels, Shawn (November 2005). Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story. WWE Books. pp. 189-190. ISBN 978-1-4165-2645-2.
  26. Tingue, Dustin. "WWE Raw Results, 4/21/03 - Rock Concert II, Triple H vs. Booker T". Lords of Pain. http://www.lordsofpain.net/news/2003/articles/1050985708.php. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
  27. "The Next WWE Diva Ultimately to be Chosen by the Millions of WWE fans Worldwide On September 13". WWE Corporate. July 12, 2004. http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2004/2004_07_12.2.jsp. Retrieved 2007-07-01.

Other websites[change | edit source]