World War I

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World War I
Date 28 July 1914 – 11 November 1918 (Armistice)

Treaty of Versailles signed 28 June 1919

Location Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, China and off the coast of South and North America
Result Allied victory
Allied (Entente) Powers

France France
United Kingdom British Empire
 Russia (1914–17)
 United States (1917–18)
 Romania (1916–18)
 Empire of Japan
 Greece (1917–18)
Portugal Portugal (1916–18)
 Montenegro (1914–16)
and others

Central Powers

 German Empire
 Ottoman Empire
 Bulgaria (1915–18)

Commanders and leaders
Leaders and commanders

France Raymond Poincaré
France Georges Clemenceau
France Ferdinand Foch
British Empire H. H. Asquith
British Empire David Lloyd George
British Empire Douglas Haig
Russian Empire Nicholas II
Russian Empire Nicholas Nikolaevich
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) Antonio Salandra
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) Vittorio Orlando
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) Luigi Cadorna
United States Woodrow Wilson
United States John J. Pershing
Empire of Japan Emperor Taishō
and others

Leaders and commanders

German Empire Wilhelm II
German Empire Paul von Hindenburg
German Empire Erich Ludendorff
Austria-Hungary Franz Joseph I
Austria-Hungary Karl I
Austria-Hungary Conrad von Hötzendorf
Ottoman Empire Mehmed V
Ottoman Empire Enver Pasha
Ottoman Empire Mustafa Kemal Pasha
Kingdom of Bulgaria Ferdinand I
Kingdom of Bulgaria Nikola Zhekov
and others


Russian Empire 12,000,000

British Empire 8,841,541[2][3]

France 8,660,000[4]

Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) 5,093,140

United States 4,743,826

Romania 1,234,000

Empire of Japan 800,000

Kingdom of Serbia 707,343

Belgium 380,000

Greece 250,000

Portugal 200,000

Montenegro 50,000

Total: 42,959,850

Central Powers[1]

German Empire 13,250,000

Austria-Hungary 7,800,000

Ottoman Empire 2,998,321

Kingdom of Bulgaria 1,200,000

Total: 25,248,321

Casualties and losses
Military dead:
Military wounded:
Military missing:
22,477,500 KIA, WIA or MIA ...further details.
Military dead:
Military wounded:
Military missing:
16,403,000 KIA, WIA or MIA ...further details.
Map of Europe at the start of World War I. Turkey refers to the Ottoman Empire

World War I (or the First World War) was a global war which began on July 28, 1914 and lasted until November 11, 1918. The war lasted exactly four years, three months and 14 days.

Most of the fighting was in Europe, but soldiers from many other countries took part, and it changed the colonial empires of the European powers. Before World War II began in 1939, World War I was called the Great War, the World War or the 'war to end all wars'. 135 countries took part in World War I, and more than 9 million people died while fighting.[5]

World War I was fought by most of the countries of Europe. The actual fighting was on many different fronts. The Western Front was where most of the fighting between Germany and the Allies happened. Most of the fighting here was trench warfare.

The Eastern Front was fought in Central and Eastern Europe and was one of the main places where World War I took place. The fighting on the Eastern Front was not trench warfare but mobile warfare. The other fronts that had a lot of fighting include the Middle Eastern Front and the Italian Front. Fighting also took place in Africa, China, and at sea as well as in the air.

The war was ended by the signing of many different treaties, the most important being the Treaty of Versailles.

World War I was the first major war where tanks, aeroplanes, and submarines or (U-boats) were used as weapons.

Beginning[change | change source]

In the Black Hand organization, one person who strongly supported Serbian power sent men to kill Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. They all failed to kill him with grenades while he passed through a large crowd but one of these men, a Serbian student named Gavrilo Princip, shot him and his pregnant wife with a pistol.

Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia for the assassination. Germany, which supported Austria-Hungary, said that they should make a list of things that Serbia should do as punishment for killing the Archduke. Austria-Hungary was very strict with these rules, possibly because they wanted an excuse to start the war. Though Serbia agreed to most of the ten things on the list, they could not agree to them all. Austria-Hungary then declared war on Serbia. This quickly led to a full-scale war.[6] Both countries' allies became involved in the war.

Russia joined the war on Serbia's side because the people of Serbia were Slavic, like Russia, and the Slavic countries had agreed to help each other if they were attacked. Since Russia is a large country it had to move soldiers closer to the war, but Germany feared that Russia's soldiers would also attack Germany. Russia did not like Germany because of things Germany had done in the past to become stronger. Germany declared war on Russia, and began to carry out a plan created long before to fight a war in Europe. Because Germany is in the middle of Europe, Germany could not attack to the east towards Russia without weakening itself in the west, towards France. Germany's plan involved quickly defeating France in the west before Russia was ready to fight, and then moving her armies to the east to face Russia. Germany could not quickly invade France directly, because France had put a lot of forts on the border, so Germany invaded the neighboring country of Belgium to then invade France through the undefended French/Belgian border.

Great Britain then joined the war because Great Britain had agreed to help Belgium if it were ever attacked by someone else.

Soon most of Europe became involved.

Germany vs Russia[change | change source]

Germany was friends with Austria-Hungary. Russia was friends with Serbia. The German government was afraid that because Austria-Hungary had attacked Serbia, Russia would attack Austria-Hungary to help Serbia. Because of this, Germany felt it had to help Austria-Hungary by attacking Russia first, before it could attack Austria-Hungary.

The problem was that Russia was also friends with France, and the Germans thought the French might attack them to help Russia. So the Germans decided that they could win the war if they attacked France first, and quickly. They could mobilize very quickly. They had a list of all the men who had to join the army, and where those men had to go, and the times of every train that would carry those men to where they would have to fight. France was doing the same thing, but could not do it as quickly. The Germans thought that if they attacked France first, they could 'knock France' out of the war before Russia could attack them.

Russia had a big army, but Germany thought that it would take six weeks to mobilize and a long time before they could attack the Central Powers. That wasn't true, because the Russian Army mobilized in ten days. Also, the Russians drove deep into Austria.

Britain vs Germany[change | change source]

Great Britain was allied with Belgium, and became quickly involved in the war. Germany attacked Belgium to reach Paris before Russia could mobilize and open up a second front against them. On August 4, 1914, Britain declared war against Germany in support of Belgium. Britain had the biggest empire (it ruled over a quarter of the world). If Germany conquered France, it might take Britain and France's colonies and become the most powerful and biggest empire in the world.

Britain was also worried about Germany's growing military power. Germany was developing its large army into one of the most powerful in the world. The British Army was quite small. The British Royal Navy was the largest and best in the world, and in the 19th century that was enough to keep other naval powers from attacking. Germany was a land power, and Britain was a sea power. But now the Germans were building a large navy. This was seen as a threat to Britain. However, the decision to declare war was taken under its alliance with Belgium in the Treaty of London (1839). The Government might have decided differently. No-one foresaw how long the war would last, and what the terrible costs would be.

Turkey[change | change source]

The Ottoman empire (Turkey) went into the war because it was secretly allied to Germany and two Turkish warships manned by German Navy personnel bombarded Russian towns.

Britain also fought against Turkey because the Ottoman Empire was supporting Germany. Britain did not have any animosity towards the Turks.[7] However, by fighting the Turks in the Mesopotamia region (in what is now called Iraq), in the Arabian Peninsula and other places, Britain was able to defeat them with help from the British Indian Army.[8] Later, after the War ended, Britain was able to get some areas from the old Turkish empire which was breaking up, and to add them to the British Empire.[9]

Greece went into the war because its leader supported the Allied cause. Greece and Serbia had become independent, but many Greeks still lived in lands that were once Greek but were now in the Turkish Ottoman Empire. Having recently won the Balkan Wars, the Greeks especially wanted to control other land to the north that was under Bulgarian and Turkish rule, so they declared war. Turkey killed most of the Greek army as the Greeks tried to regain parts of Turkey. Another war started when the Greeks bombed a train. Turkey swept Greece back into their own territory. From then on the Greeks never again declared war, while Turkey had one of the biggest armies in the world.

Bulgaria vs Serbia and Greece[change | change source]

Bulgaria, like Greece and Serbia, was owned by Turkey before, got its freedom and took a lot of Turkish land. When Bulgaria took this land, a short time before the war, the Serbians and Greeks felt cheated because the Bulgarians got a lot of land which they felt was Greek or Serbian. The Greeks and Serbians took back Bulgarian land and enraged Bulgaria, which made Bulgaria become allies with Turkey. They declared war on Serbia and Greece which they lost.

Romania's alliances[change | change source]

Romania was on the side of the Central powers until 1916, when they were forced into the war by the Allied powers.

Important events in the war[change | change source]

British soldiers in a captured German trench

Most people thought the war would be short. They thought the armies would move around quickly to attack each other and one would defeat the other without too many people getting killed. They thought the war would be about brave soldiers — they did not understand how war had changed. Only a few people like Lord Kitchener said that the war would take a long time.

Germany's generals had decided that the best way to defeat France was to go through Belgium using a plan called the Schlieffen Plan. This was invented by the German Army Chief of Staff, Alfred Von Schlieffen. They could then attack the French army at the north side and the south side at the same time. The German Army went into Belgium on August the 4th. On the same day, Great Britain started a war on Germany, because Britain was a friend of Belgium. The British had said some time before, in 1839, that they would not let anyone control Belgium, and they kept their promise.

When the Germans got to the Belgian city of Liège, the Belgians fought very hard to stop them from coming into the city. The Germans did finally push the Belgians out of the city, but it had taken longer than the German generals had planned. Then the Germans attacked the north side of the French army. The French and the British moved men up to fight the Germans. They could do this because the Belgians had fought so long at Liège. But the Germans pushed the French back at the frontiers, and the British held the Germans back at Mons, but afterwards they also fell back to join up with the retreating French army, until they were stopped at the river Marne. This was the First Battle of the Marne or Miracle of the Marne.

In the East, the Russians had attacked the Germans. The Russians pushed back the Germans, but then the Germans defeated the Russians at the Battle of Tannenberg.

Trench warfare[change | change source]

Trench warfare killed great numbers of soldiers. New weapons, such as machine guns, and long-range artillery had an increased rate of fire that cut down huge numbers of soldiers during mass charges, a tactic leftover from older warfare. The men on both sides took spades and dug holes, because they did not want to be killed. The holes joined up into trenches, until the lines of trenches went all the way from Switzerland to the North Sea. In front of the trenches, there was barbed wire that cut anyone who tried to climb over it, and land mines that blew up anyone who tried to cross. Late in the war, poison gas was also an important weapon.

The new machine guns, artillery, trenches and mines made it very difficult to attack. The generals had fought many wars without these, so they ordered their armies to attack in the old style of marching in rows- allowing the enemy to shoot them down easily. At the Battle of the Somme in 1916 60,000 British men died in a single day. It was one of the bloodiest days in the history of the British army. Late in the war the British and French invented tanks and used them to attack entrenched Germans but could not make enough of them to make a big difference. The Germans invented special Sturmabteilung tactics to infiltrate enemy positions, but they also were too little, too late.

The British used whistles to communicate to other soldiers, so before they shelled the German trenches, they would sound the whistle. However, the Germans caught on to this tactic after a while, so after the shelling, when the British soldiers came to finish off the German soldiers, the Germans were ready with their machine guns, because they knew the British were coming.

Airplanes[change | change source]

Airplanes were first used extensively in World War I. Airplanes were not used very much in fighting before World War I. It was the first war to use airplanes as weapons. Airplanes were first used for reconnaissance, to take pictures of enemy land and to direct artillery. Generals, military leaders, were using airplanes as an important part of their attack plans at the end of the war. World War I showed that airplanes could be important war weapons.

Airplanes in World War I were made of wood and canvas, a type of rough cloth. They did not last for a long time. They could not fly very fast at the beginning of the war. They could only fly up to 116 kilometers per hour, or 72 miles per hour. At the end of the war they could fly up to 222 kilometers per hour, or 138 miles per hour. But they could not fly as fast as planes today. Guns were put on planes for the first time during the war. Pilots, people who fly the plane, used the guns to shoot enemy planes. One pilot used metal sheets, pieces of metal, to armor his airplane. Other pilots began using metal sheets, too. Pilots also made their airplanes better with machine guns, guns that shoot bullets much faster. Machine guns made fighting harder and more dangerous between airplanes.

Pilots had to wear certain clothes when flying an airplane in World War I because they flew high where the air is cold. The pilot's clothes kept them warm and protected them from the wind and cold. Pilots wore a leather coat to protect their bodies. They wore a padded helmet and goggles, large glasses with special lenses, to protect their head and face. They wore a scarf around their neck. The scarf kept the wind from blowing against their neck when they turned their head.

USA vs Germany[change | change source]

The German leaders decided to use submarines. These submarines were named U-boats, from the German word Unterseeboot (meaning underwater boat). The U-boats attacked passenger ships such as RMS Lusitania carrying civilians to Great Britain, and did not follow the laws of war. The Germans thought America was selling weapons to the British only, and not being neutral. "Neutral" means a country is not involved in the war. But many American and British noncombatants were killed by the submarines.

Germany also wrote a secret telegram note to Mexico in code suggesting that the two countries work together to attack the United States. This note is called the Zimmerman Telegram because the person who sent it was named Arthur Zimmerman. It offered Mexico land in the southwestern United States that the United States took in previous wars. Spies from the United Kingdom found out about the note and told the United States. American people became angry and many decided that they wanted their country to enter the war against Germany. For these and other reasons, on April 6, 1917 the United States declared war against Germany and became part of the Allies.

Russia[change | change source]

The defeat of Russia on the Eastern Front (World War I) caused unrest inside the Empire.

The First Russian Revolution[change | change source]

In 1917, there was a revolution in Russia. The Tsar Nicholas II had to say he would not be Tsar any more, and that the people should have power. At first it was thought that Russia would fight harder now that the Tsar was gone. However, the Russian people didn't want to fight anymore, because there was not sufficient food, appropriate armament, or adequate roads to supply its army. The war had been putting burdens on them, and many of them were poor and hungry. They began to hate their new government because it wouldn't stop the war.

The Second Russian Revolution[change | change source]

Then, there was the October Revolution. Two factions fought to rule over Russia. The Mensheviks lost against the Bolsheviks. The leader of the Bolsheviks was Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) a Communist who followed the ideas of Karl Marx. The new government asked the Germans for peace and signed a peace treaty called Brest-Litovsk with the Central Powers in March 1918 at the city of Brest-Litovsk. The Germans and Russians stopped fighting. This gave Germany land in Eastern Europe and the Baltic Sea.

After the war[change | change source]

Map of Europe before and after the war.

Original format[change | change source][change | change 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 | change source][change | change source]

Main page: Monday Night Wars

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 | change source][change | change 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 NitroExtreme 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, SabuTommy 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 AustinThe 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 JerichoChris 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 Xfaction, 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, VirginiaNitro 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 | change source][change | change source]

A new television contract with Viacom led to a WWF change in the broadcast. On September 25 2000Raw 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 | change source][change | change 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 | change source][change | change source]

On March 10 2005Viacom 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. 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 HoganSteve AustinMick FoleyTriple 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 | change source][change | change 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 TSNRaw 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 | change source][change | change 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 AustinRob Van DamThe Godfather, Steve Blackman, Howard Finkel, Ted DiBiase, Eric Bischoff, Marty Jannetty, GangrelTrish StratusLita, 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 | change source][change | change source]

In April 2008 as part of the United States presidential election, candidates Barack ObamaJohn 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.

2009[change | change source][change | change 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 | change source][change | change 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 | change source][change | change 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. Before that the theme song was "...To Be Loved" by Papa Roach, which used from October 92006 to November 92009.

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.

Broadcasting notes[change | change source][change | change 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. It also currently broadcasts in Canada on Sportsnet 360 and Global Quebec, in Australia on FOX8, 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 XtraRaw 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 | change source][change | change source]

Episode Title Date Rating Note
Episode 1  January 11, 1993 Unknown Debut episode
WWF Raw Bowl January 1 1996 2.6
WWF Raw Championship Friday September 6 1996 2.4
WWF Royal Rumble Raw February 3 1997 2.6 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 Memorial show to Owen Hart
The 2002 Draft March 252002 5.4 The Raw before the Brand Extension
WWE Raw X (10th) Anniversary January 13 2003 3.9 Award show that celebrated the 10th anniversary of WWE Raw
The 2004 WWE Draft March 222004 4.5 A Draft lottery which featured a supplemental draft
WWE Raw Homecoming October 3 2005 4.4 First three-hour broadcast.

Return to the USA Network

Eddie Guerrero Tribute Show November 14 2005 4.5 Memorial show to Eddie Guerrero
WWE Tribute to the Troops December 19 2005 3.7 A Special Christmas show from Afghanistan

Honoring American armed forces

WWE Raw Family Reunion October 9 2006 3.8 Featured talent from all 3 brands
WWE Tribute to the Troops December 25 2006 2.7 A Special Christmas show from Baghdad

Honoring American armed forces

WWE Draft 3-Hour Special June 11 2007 3.8 Featured the 2007 WWE Draft
Chris Benoit 3-Hour Memorial June 25 2007 3.8 Memorial to Chris Benoit.

Clip show in international markets

WWE Raw 15th Anniversary


December 10 2007 4.4 Celebrated 15th anniversary of WWE Raw
WWE Tribute to the Troops December 24 2007 2.5 A Special Christmas show from Iraq

Honoring American armed forces

WWE WrestleMania Rewind Night March 10 2008 3.6 A three-hour program, where superstars are involved in WrestleMania rematches
WWE King of The Ring April 212008 3.0 King of the Ring tournament

Featured talent from all three brands

2008 WWE Draft June 232008 3.4 Featured the 2008 WWE Draft
Raw's 800th Episode November 3, 2008 3.04 Celebrated the 800th episode
WWE Slammy Special December 82008 3.02 A three hour special honoring the best achievements of 2008.
2009 WWE Draft April 13, 2009 3.73 Featured the 2009 WWE Draft
The 3-For-All June 15, 2009 3.72 Featured talent from all three brands
Trump Raw June 22, 2009 4.5 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 | change source][change | change source]

Champions[change | change source][change | change source]

See also: List of current champions in WWE

General Managers[change | change source][change | change source]

Championship Current champion(s) Date won Date Aired
colspan="4" style="background:
WWE Championship Randy Orton
WWE United States Championship Kevin owens
Shared with SmackDown
WWE Tag Team Championship The hardy boyz
WWE womans Championship Alexa bliss
Intercontinental Championship Dean ambrose

{| class="wikitable"

|- ! 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 192008 |- |Mike Adamle |July 282008 |November 32008 |- |Stephanie McMahon |November 82008 |March 302009 |- |Vickie Guerrero |April 6, 2009 |June 8, 2009 |- |Guest host(s) |June 29, 2009 | Unknown |}

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.

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.

  • Jonathan Coachman - Executive Assistant (May 29, 2006 - June 18, 2007; August 6, 2007 - January 4, 2008)

Commentators[change | change source][change | change source]

Commentators Year(s)
Vince McMahonRandy 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 | change source][change | change source]

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

Recurring segments[change | change source][change | change 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
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


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 byGoldberg
WWE Diva Search Jonathan Coachman (2004–2005)

The Miz (2006) Todd Grisham (2007)

2004–2007 Segments were featured weekly on Raw.
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 | change source][change | change source]

WWE A.M. Raw
Format Professional wrestling
Starring Raw brand
Opening theme "...To Be Loved" by Papa Roach
Country of origin United States
Running time 1 hour (42 minutes plus commercials)
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?]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Tucker & Roberts 2005, p. 273
  3. Figures are for the British Empire
  4. Figures are for Metropolitan France and its colonies
  5. "Military Casualties of World War One".
  6. Michael Duffy (2002-11-03). "Primary Documents: Archduke Franz Ferdinand's Assassination, 28 June 1914". First World Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  7. Talor, AJP World War I and its aftermath, London 1998
  8. Taylor
  9. Taylor

Other websites[change | change source]