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WWE Raw
WWE RAW
Format Sports entertainment
Professional wrestling
Created by Vince McMahon
Starring Raw Brand
Opening theme "Tonight is the night" by Jim Johnston
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 19[1]
No. of episodes 1,023 (as of December 31, 2012)
Production
Executive producer(s) Kevin Dunn
Producer(s) Arn Anderson
Gerald Brisco
Camera setup Multicamera setup
Running time Approximately 2 hours 8 minutes per episode
(1 hour 35 minutes and commercials)
Production company(s) World Wrestling Entertainment
Broadcast
Original channel USA Network (1993–2000, 2005 – present),
TNN/Spike TV (2000–2005)
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)[2]
Original run January 11, 1993 (1993-01-11)[3] – present
Chronology
Related shows WWE SmackDown
WWE Superstars
WWE NXT
External links
Official website

WWE Raw (stylized as RAW[4]) is a professional wrestling television program for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) that currently airs on the USA Network in the United States. The show's name is also used to refer to the Raw brand, in which WWE employees are assigned to work and perform on that program; the other program and brand currently being SmackDown. It is the only television broadcast for the Raw brand. The show originally debuted in the United States on the USA Network on January 11, 1993.[3] It remained there until 2000, when Raw was moved to TNN, later known as Spike TV.[5] In 2005, the show was moved back to the USA Network.[6] Since its launch in 1993, Raw continues to air on Monday nights. Raw is generally seen as the company's flagship program due to its longer history, higher ratings, the fact its shows are live every week, and emphasis on pay-per-views.[7] It is promoted by WWE to be the longest running weekly episodic television show in US history.[8][9]

Show historyEdit

Original formatEdit

Beginning as WWF Monday Night Raw, the program first aired on January 11, 1993. The show as presented would be barely recognizable to a viewer of today's programming - as the WWF at the time was attempting to cater to a younger audience with cartoonish, one dimensional characters. It screened on the USA Network for one hour.[7] Of the wrestlers featured on that occasion, only one is still actively wrestling with WWE: The Undertaker. The original Raw broke new ground in televised professional wrestling. Traditionally, wrestling shows were taped on sound stages with small audiences or at large 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 audience, with angles as they happened. The first episode featured Yokozuna defeating Koko B. Ware, The Steiner Brothers defeating The Executioners, WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels defeating Max Moon and The Undertaker defeating Damien Demento. The show also featured an interview with Razor Ramon.[10]

Yokozunafujiraw
Yokozuna (left) and Mr. Fuji on the very first episode of Monday Night Raw
ZeypherAdded by Zeypher
raw john cena


Ballroom at Manhattan Center Studios, a small New York City theater, and aired 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 instance, events occurred such as Irwin R. Schyster tearing up Tatanka's headdress, the various "Undertaker sightings" in mid-1994 and characters like Duke "The Dumpster" Droese, Doink the Clown, or Bob "Spark Plugg" Holly.

WWF Monday Night RAW
WWF Monday Night Raw logo (January 11, 1993-March 3, 1997)
ZeypherAdded by Zeypher

Raw, uniquely in its day, covered the unexpected, exciting moments, a prelude to "the Attitude Era", in which it coined Raw as "Uncut, Uncensored, Uncooked."[7] Some of those moments include Razor Ramon losing a match unexpectedly to The Kid or Marty Jannetty beating Shawn Michaels to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Raw also was the first WWF television program of any kind to show footage of Lex Luger bodyslamming Yokozuna at the USS Intrepid.

Vince McMahon, Rob Bartlett and "Macho Man" Randy Savage served as the original hosts of Raw.[7] Sean Mooney conducted the interviews and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan also helped contribute. On April 19, 1993, Rob Bartlett made his final appearance on the program. He was dropped from the broadcasting team and was replaced by Bobby Heenan the following week, who remained until December 6, 1993, when Gorilla Monsoon kicked him out of the WWF. 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 didn't 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.

The Monday Night WarsEdit

Main article: Monday Night Wars

In 1995, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) began airing its new wrestling show, WCW Monday Nitro, live each week on TNT.[11] 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 also worked as an on-air personality, would frequently 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.

Until September 1999 WWF Raw broadcast live every other week to save costs, but ratings and pay-per-view buy-rate increased, 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 other 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 84 continuous weeks, ending on April 13, 1998.[11]

Raw is WarEdit

Rawiswar
RAW IS WAR logo (March 10, 1997-September 10, 2001)
ZeypherAdded by Zeypher

On February 3, 1997, Monday Night Raw went to a two-hour format,[11] 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.

Throughout 1997, further controversial elements emerged with Raw and WWF programming. Memorable moments included Bret Hart cursing profanely at the crowd after losing a Steel Cage match, with commentators apologizing for his foul behavior, before he proceeds in major brawls with Sid, The Undertaker, Steve Austin, and briefly Shawn Michaels. Some of the most notable moments cites the profusely intense feud with The Hart Foundation against Michaels and Austin, which saw Raw develop a memorable episode in which Michaels and Austin beat The British Bulldog and Owen Hart for the WWF Tag Team Championship, and during their post-match attack on Michaels, Austin physically charged a disabled Bret Hart to ward them off. Other events saw the new black street gang Nation of Domination formed, and Michaels 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 the Montreal Screwjob) with profanity normally not heard on television. 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, which featured Mike Tyson as a ring enforcer, and Shawn Michaels final match up until 2002, 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, Triple H 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 corporal chairman character Mr. McMahon after the real-life Montreal Screwjob incident) and fan favorite Steve Austin 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 began producing lackluster programming with repetitive storylines. Older stars such as Hogan and Nash frequently occupied the main events, while younger talent such as Rey Mysterio, Jr., Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, and Eddie Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero Jr, Lance Storm and Shane Helms were not given opportunities to advance, and the only newcomers elevated to main-event status at this time were Bill Goldberg and Diamond Dallas Page.

Meanwhile, on Raw, fans were immersed in the feud between WWF owner Vince McMahon and Steve Austin. New talent such as Triple H being the new leader of the D-Generation X (DX) faction, Mankind and The Rock were elevated to main event status on the WWF's program. Superstars such as Kane, Kurt Angle, Val Venis, Goldust and the like were coming through the ranks and exposing the WWF as territory where new talent can ascend unlike the WCW counterpart. Matters were so heated between the two programs that, when both shows were in the Hampton Roads area on the same night (Raw in Hampton, Virginia, Nitro in Norfolk, Virginia), DX 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 to capacity due to low ticket sales).[12]

On January 4, 1999, Mick Foley, who had wrestled for WCW during 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 a live Nitro, and then sarcastically added "that'll sure put some butts in the seats" consequently resulting in over 600,000 viewers switching channels to watch Raw. This was also the night that Nitro aired a WCW World Heavyweight 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!" On September 27, 1999, Mick Foley helped WWF Raw achieve some of its highest ratings ever with a segment featuring himself (as Mankind) and The Rock. The segment called "This is Your Life" included Mankind bringing out people from The Rock's past, such as a home economics teacher, gym teacher and old high school girlfriend. The "This is Your Life" segment remains one of the highest rated segments in Raw viewership history, with an 8.4 rating.

The end of the WarsEdit

WWFRAW
WWF RAW logo (September 17, 2001-March 25, 2002)
ZeypherAdded by Zeypher

A new television contract with Viacom led to changes in WWF broadcasting. On September 25, 2000, Raw moved from the USA Network to TNN (which later became Spike TV).[5]

WCW's sharp decline in revenue and ratings led to Time Warner's sale of the company to the WWF in 2001. The final edition of Nitro aired 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 Raw on TNN and Nitro on TNT with an appearance by Vince's son Shane McMahon .[9] Shane interrupted his father's gloating over the WCW purchase to explain that Shane was the one who actually owned WCW, setting up what became the WWF's "Invasion" storyline.

The RAW IS WAR logo and name were retired in September 2001, following the September 11 attacks and sensitivity over the word war, and because the Monday Night Wars were "over".[citation needed]

Brand ExtensionEdit

Main article: WWE Brand Extension
MNrawlogo
WWF/E Raw logo (April 1, 2002-October 2, 2006)
ZeypherAdded by Zeypher

In early to mid-2002, WWF underwent a process they called the "Brand Extension".[9] WWF divided itself into two "de facto" wrestling promotions with separate rosters, storylines and authority figures.[9] 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. The March 25th episode of RAW was the final RAW to use the Attitude era depiction and the last to use the theme song Thorn In Your Eye.[13][14]

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 refused 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 number one 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 claimed to have earned the distinction of having the most original episodes of any fictional weekly program on August 2, 2005 when it broadcasted the 636th episode. It was said to have taken the place of Gunsmoke, which held that distinction.

Return to USA NetworkEdit

RAW
Variations of the Raw modern titantron set were used from April 1, 2002 - January 14, 2008.
ZeypherAdded by Zeypher

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 former home, the USA Network, with 2 yearly specials on NBC and a Spanish Raw on Telemundo.[6] On the same week as Raw's return to the USA Network, Spike TV scheduled Ultimate Fighting Championship's live Ultimate Fight Night in Raw's old timeslot in an attempt to go head-to-head with Raw.[15]

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, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, Triple H and Vince McMahon along with cameos from legends such as Roddy Piper, Jimmy Hart, Jimmy Snuka and Harley Race. Also, it featured a 30 minutes Iron Match between Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle.[15] WWE Homecoming was three hours long — the second 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 received 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.

2006Edit

On the May 1, 2006 edition of Raw, Joey Styles announced 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. The Score claimed that unlike TSN they would never preempt Raw, however that promise only lasted a few months. Then in 2007, The Score started airing the show with a 15 minute tape delay. The first 15 minutes of the hour contains a countdown pre-show recapping the previous week's events.[16]

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 restored. 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 premiere called the "Raw Family Reunion", where the Raw brand debuted 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.[9]

2007Edit

See also: Chris Benoit double murder and suicide

On June 25, 2007, Raw was scheduled in Corpus Christi, Texas to be a three-hour special memorial show for the storyline death of the Mr. McMahon character. Two weeks earlier, the show had broadcast an angle in which Mr. McMahon was murdered by a bomb planted within his limousine. The 'Mr. McMahon' tribute was cancelled on the day it was due to air after the real life death of current superstar Chris Benoit and his family. The show then became a three-hour tribute to Benoit. What made this tribute different from others (e.g. Eddie Guerrero and Owen Hart) was that the show had no original matches and no live audience. Instead, the three-hour show aired highlights from the WWE DVD 'Hard Knocks: The Chris Benoit Story', and a selection of Benoit's most famous matches. Several wrestlers paid tribute in the form of real interviews about him, and Vince McMahon broke character to address the viewers about what had happened. 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 John Cena's WWE Championship victories, mainly the ones that had occurred over the past year. The episode started with a message from Vince McMahon which originally aired on the June 26 edition of ECW. Some countries that received WWE programing up to three weeks late had all Chris Benoit matches edited out. The WWE even removed all Chris Benoit matches and interviews from the WWE 24/7 service.

On December 10, 2007 Raw celebrated its 15th anniversary in a three-hour spectacular on the USA Network with the returns of Steve Austin, Rob Van Dam, The Godfather, Steve Blackman, Howard Finkel, Ted DiBiase, Eric Bischoff, Marty Jannetty, Gangrel, Trish Stratus, Lita, Sunny, Molly Holly, Hulk Hogan and Mick Foley (as Mankind) among others.[9] Along with several reunions of former tag teams and also included a 15-man "15 Years of Raw" battle royal. The Raw 15th Anniversary DVD was also released which featured some of the most memorable moments in Raw history.

2008Edit

WWERawHD
The Raw version of universal WWE entrance set introduced on January 21, 2008 for WWE's high-definition broadcasting debut.
ZeypherAdded by Zeypher

WWE began their 2008 year with a new HD set, which consists of more than 1,000,000 LEDs. The introduction of this new set retired the old set, which was used from April 2002 to January 2008. Raw's first show in HD was held in the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia.

On June 30, 2008 the World Heavyweight Championship returned to Raw after CM Punk cashed in money in the bank and defeated Edge.

On the September 8, 2008 edition of Raw it was announced that a "talent exchange" was started between ECW and Raw, allowing their respective talent to appear and compete on either brand. This is similar to an earlier "talent exchange" between SmackDown and ECW.

On November 3, 2008, Raw celebrated its 800th episode with a three hour episode. The actual 800th episode aired on September 22, 2008.

2009Edit

On February 15, at No Way Out, 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.[17] 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.[18] SmackDown would regain the World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash (2009) when Edge defeated John Cena to win the championship.[19] 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.[18] 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."[20]

On June 22, 2009, 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. These Guest Hosts included Batista, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bob Barker, and even Bret Hartjust to name a few. On May 10, 2010, 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.[21]

2010Edit

On January 4, 2010 TNA impact!, which normally airs on Thursdays, would go head to head with Raw in a three-hour live broadcast.[22] 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.[23] WWE countered by announcing the return of Bret Hart, who hadn’t appeared with the company since the Montreal Screwjob in 1997.[24] 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.[26] After declining ratings, Spike executives announced that starting April 5, Impact! would air an hour earlier than Raw.[27] 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]

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.

On May 17, 2010, Raw aired its second overall commercial free episode from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario.[29]

On August 30, 2010, Monday Night 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.

ProductionEdit

Currently, the theme song for the Raw brand is "Burn It to the Ground" by Nickelback, which has been used for the brand since November 16, 2009.[30] Prior to this, the theme song for the Raw brand was "...To Be Loved" by Papa Roach, which had been used since October 9, 2006 and "Across The Nation" by The Union Underground which was used from April 1, 2002 to October 2, 2006. The rap outro of "Thorn In Your Eye" featuring Scott Ian of Anthrax was the theme song from 1998 to March 25, 2002.

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. However, both hours are known as just "Raw" on-air.

On January 7, 2008, WWE announced that all brands (Raw, SmackDown and formerly, ECW) would be broadcast in HD, codenamed "WWE HD" starting with Raw on January 21. WWE invested an estimated $20 million 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.[31][32]

Special episodesEdit

EpisodeDateRatingNotes
Raw January 11, 1993 2.5[33] Series debut.
Raw Bowl January 1, 1996 2.6[33]
Raw Championship Friday September 6, 1996 3.4[33] Friday airing of Raw featuring WWF champions.
Royal Rumble Raw February 3, 1997 2.6[33] First two-hour Raw broadcast.
Featured clips from the Royal Rumble.
Thursday Raw Thursday February 13, 1997 3.3[33] A Raw episode airing on a thursday.
Raw is Owen May 24, 1999 7.2[34] Tribute in memory of Owen Hart.
The Brand Extension Draft March 25, 2002 5.4[35] Start of the Brand Extension.
Vince McMahon selects the SmackDown roster while Ric Flair selects the Raw roster.
Raw X Anniversary January 13, 2003 5.0[36] Award show that celebrated the show's 10th anniversary.
The 2004 WWE Draft Lottery March 22, 2004 4.5[37] The first Draft Lottery that featured a supplemental draft.
Raw Homecoming October 3, 2005 5.3[38] First three-hour Raw broadcast.
Return to the USA Network.
Eddie Guerrero Tribute Show November 14, 2005 4.9[38] Tribute in memory of Eddie Guerrero.
Tribute to the Troops December 19, 2005 4.2[38] Christmas from Afghanistan.
Honored American armed forces.
Raw Family Reunion October 9, 2006 5.0[39] First Raw special to feature the rosters from all three brands.
Tribute to the Troops December 25, 2006 4.1[39] Christmas from Baghdad.
Honored American armed forces.
2007 WWE Draft June 11, 2007 4.3[40] Featured the rosters from all three brands.
Chris Benoit Memorial June 25, 2007 3.8[40] Memorial to Chris Benoit.
Clip show in international markets.
Raw 15th Anniversary December 10, 2007 4.4[40][41] Celebrated the show's 15th anniversary.
Tribute to the Troops December 24, 2007 4.0[40] Christmas from Iraq.
Honored American armed forces.
King of the Ring April 21, 2008 3.0[42] King of the Ring tournament.
Featured the rosters from all three brands.
2008 WWE Draft June 23, 2008 3.4[42] Featured the rosters from all three brands.
Raw's 800th Episode November 3, 2008 3.0[42] Celebrated the show's 800th episode.
2008 Slammy Awards December 8, 2008 3.2[42] Slammy Award show.
Featured the rosters from all three brands.
2009 WWE Draft April 13, 2009 3.7[43] Featured the rosters from all three brands.
The 3-For-All June 15, 2009 3.6[43][44] Featured the rosters from all three brands.
Three world championships were defended; WWE, ECW, and World Heavyweight.
Trump Raw June 22, 2009 4.5[43][45] The first commercial-free Raw broadcast.
A Raw Thanksgiving November 23, 2009 3.3[43][46] Featured the rosters from Raw and SmackDown.
Jesse Ventura featured as Guest host.
2009 Slammy Awards December 14, 2009 3.3[43][47] Slammy Award show.
Featured the rosters from all three brands.
Dennis Miller featured as Guest host.
Raw's WrestleMania Rewind March 15, 2010 3.7 Featured re-matches from past WrestleMania events.
Stone Cold Steve Austin featured as Guest host.
Monday Night SmackDown April 19, 2010 3.1 Due to air travel disruption after the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption,
most of the Raw roster remained in Europe after a European tour.
As a result, the SmackDown brand was featured in for the week's WWE Raw program.
Will Forte, Kristen Wiig and Ryan Phillippe featured as Guest hosts.
2010 WWE Draft April 26, 2010 3.1[48] Featured the rosters from Raw and SmackDown.
SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long and John Cena took over authoritative duties.
Commercial-Free Raw May 17, 2010 3.4 The second commercial-free Raw broadcast.
Buzz Aldrin featured as Guest host.
[49]
3-Hour Viewer's Choice Raw June 7, 2010 3.1 Featured the rosters from Raw and SmackDown.
Match selections were voted on WWE.com.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Sharlto Copley featured as Guest hosts.
[50]
Raw's 900th Episode Celebration August 30, 2010 3.5[51] Celebrated the show's 900th episode.
3-Hour Old school Raw November 15, 2010 Scheduled to feature appearances by former talent and personalities.

On-air personalitiesEdit

ChampionsEdit

See also: List of current champions in World Wrestling Entertainment
ChampionshipCurrent champion(s)Date wonDate AiredEventPrevious champion(s)
WWE Championship CM Punk Novemeber 20, 2011 November 20, 2011 Survivor Series Alberto Del Rio
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Sheamus April 1, 2012 April 1, 2012 Wrestlemania XXVIII Daniel Bryan
WWE Tag Team Championship Kofi Kington & R-Truth October 25, 2010 October 25, 2010 Raw Epico & Primo
  • Note - The WWE Tag Team Championship and WWE Divas Championship can be defended on both Raw and SmackDown. Currently the Divas Championship is held by Layla (though Layla claims to be co-champs with McCool).
  • Note- CM Punk is the longest reigning WWE Champion in 4 years since John Cena's 3rd reign as WWE lasting 360 days.

Authority figuresEdit

See also: Professional wrestling authority figures#Raw brand authorities
Authority Position Date started Date finished Notes
Ric Flair Owner November 9, 2001 June 10, 2002 Lost his position as per match stipulation against Vince McMahon.
Vince McMahon Owner June 10, 2002 June 15, 2009 New General Managers were assigned to Raw and SmackDown in the following weeks.
Eric Bischoff General Manager July 15, 2002 December 5, 2005 Steve Austin served as "Co-General Manager" and "Sheriff" periodically through Bischoff's term.
Mick Foley served as "Co-General Manager" through December 2003.
Jonathan Coachman General Manager June 11, 2007 August 6, 2007 Served as "Executive Assistant" from May 2006 to June 2007 and from August 2007 to January 2008.
William Regal General Manager August 6, 2007 May 19, 2008 Lost his position as per match stipulation against Mr. Kennedy.
Mike Adamle General Manager July 28, 2008 November 3, 2008 Resigned in November 2008.
Shane McMahon
Stephanie McMahon
General Manager November 3, 2008 November 24, 2008 Control reverted to the McMahons.
The position was then claimed by Stephanie McMahon.
Stephanie McMahon General Manager November 24, 2008 April 6, 2009 Took leave of absence on February 23, 2009.
Vickie Guerrero served as "Interim General Manager" until April 2009.
Vickie Guerrero General Manager April 6, 2009 June 8, 2009 Opted to fully take over the position on Raw and resigned as General Manager of SmackDown.
Resigned in June 2009.
Donald Trump Owner June 15, 2009 June 22, 2009 It was announced that Trump had purchased the Raw franchise from Vince McMahon on June 15, 2009.[52]
Vince McMahon Owner June 22, 2009 Present McMahon repurchased the franchise on June 22, 2009.
Various guest hosts Guest host June 29, 2009 May 10, 2010 An initiative established during Donald Trump's period of ownership.
The Guest host position held authoritative control over the brand until May 10, 2010
Vickie Guerrero General Manager May 10, 2010 May 10, 2010 Resigned following the first day of tenure.
Bret Hart General Manager May 24, 2010 June 21, 2010 Removed of position by Vince McMahon.
Unidentified General Manager June 21, 2010 Present The General Manager position is currently run anonymously.
Communication between the General Manager and Raw brand roster is currently done via email through Michael Cole.

CommentatorsEdit

Commentators Dates
Vince McMahon, Randy Savage and Rob Bartlett January 11, 1993 - April 19, 1993
Vince McMahon, Bobby Heenan and Randy Savage April 26, 1993 - October 18, 1993
Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan October 25, 1993 - December 6, 1993
Vince McMahon and Various Guest Commentators December 13, 1993 - February 28, 1994
Gorilla Monsoon and Randy Savage June 6, 1994 - June 27, 1994
Jim Ross and Randy Savage July 4, 1994 - July 25, 1994
Vince McMahon and Randy Savage March 7, 1994 - May 30, 1994
August 1, 1994 - October 31, 1994
Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler November 7, 1994 - July 29, 1996
Kevin Kelly, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler August 5, 1996 - October 14, 1996
Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler October 21, 1996 - November 1997
Jim Ross, Michael Cole and Kevin Kelly December 1997 - February 1998 (First Half)
Jim Ross and Michael Cole March 1998 - June 1998 (First Half)
Jim Ross and Paul Heyman February 2001 - November 2001
Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler and Jonathan Coachman June 26, 2005 - October 10, 2005
Jonathan Coachman and Jerry Lawler October 17, 2005 - October 31, 2005
Joey Styles, Jerry Lawler and Jonathan Coachman November 7, 2005 - April 16, 2006
Joey Styles and Jerry Lawler April 23, 2006 - May 1, 2006
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler November 1997 - November 1998
April 1999 - February 2001
November 2001 - June 2005
May 8, 2006 - June 16, 2008
Michael Cole and Josh Mathews November 8, 2010
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler November 1998 - April 1999
June 30, 2008–present

Ring announcersEdit

Ring Announcer Dates
Howard Finkel January 1993 - August 2002
Tony Chimel April 1997 - August 1999
Lilian Garcia August 1999 - September 2009
April 19, 2010
Justin Roberts March 2007 - June 2007
September 2009–April 12, 2010
April 26, 2010–present

Recurring segmentsEdit

Segment Host Years Notes
The King's Court Jerry Lawler 1993–1995 In-ring interview segment.
The Heartbreak Hotel Shawn Michaels 1994 In-ring interview segment.[53]
The Brother Love Show Brother Love 1995–1996 In-ring interview segment.
The Pillman XXX Files Brian Pillman 1997 Video segment.
The Love Shack Dude Love 1998 In-ring interview segment.
Highlight Reel Chris Jericho 2003 - 2005
2008
In-ring interview segment.
White Boy Challenge Rodney Mack
Theodore R. Long
2003 Five minute match challenge to Caucasian talent.
Discontinued following Mack's defeat by Goldberg
WWE Diva Search Jonathan Coachman
The Miz
Todd Grisham
2004–2007 WWE Diva Search competition segment.[54]
Masterlock Challenge Chris Masters 2005–2007 Submission challenge to break Masters' Masterlock hold.
Discontinued after Bobby Lashley broke the hold.
Kurt Angle Invitational Kurt Angle 2005 Three minute match challenge for Angle's gold medals.
Discontinued after Angle moved to SmackDown.
Carlito's Cabana Carlito 2005
2007 - 2008
In-ring interview segment.
Discontinued after Carlito moved to SmackDown.
Piper's Pit Roddy Piper 2005, 2010 In-ring interview segment.
The Cutting Edge Edge 2005–2007
2010
In-ring interview segment.
Discontinued after Edge moved to SmackDown.
V.I.P. Lounge Montel Vontavious Porter 2009–2010 in-ring interview segment.
Discontinued after MVP was drafted to Smackdown.

A.M. RawEdit

WWE A.M. Raw
AMRAW
Format Professional wrestling
Created by Vince McMahon
Starring Raw brand
Opening theme "Burn It to the Ground" by Nickelback
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 249 (as of July 17, 2010)[55]
Production
Running time 1 hour
Broadcast
Original channel USA Network
Picture format 480i (
Original run October 8, 2005[56] – present
External links
Official website

WWE A.M. Raw, a Saturday night/Sunday morning show, airs on the USA Network at 2 a.m. ET.[57] It features segments from the latest episode of WWE Raw. A.M. Raw also features news updates from all across the WWE. The show mostly airs the main event matches and promos that aired on Raw, and shows the event schedule for the upcoming weeks.

For its late timeslot, A.M Raw has garnered outstanding ratings as one of the most-watched programs during its airtime. A.M Raw has recently[when?] had a 1.0 or higher rating for four consecutive weeks, with an all-time highest rating as of 2010All articles containing potentially dated statements of 1.4.

International broadcastersEdit

The show currently airs live on the USA Network (and on tape delay Wednesdays on mun2, Saturdays on Universal HD, and Sundays and saturdays on mun2 in Spanish) in the United States. Occasionally, Raw is aired on same-day tape delay when WWE is on an overseas tour.Raw is also shown live on Sky Sports 3 in the UK and Ireland

Country Network Ref
Arab World MBC Action [58][59]
Argentina Canal 9 [60]
Australia Fox8 [61][62]
Bangladesh TEN Sports [63][64]
Belgium AB3 [65][66]
Bhutan TEN Sports [63][67]
Bulgaria bTV Comedy [68][69]
Bolivia Red PAT [70]
Bosnia and Herzegovina OBN [71]
Canada The Score and Global Quebec [72][73]
Chile Chilevisión [74][75]
China VBS [citation needed]
Costa Rica Repretel Canal 11 [76]
Czech Republic Nova Sport [77]
Ecuador Teleamazonas [citation needed]
El Salvador Canal VTV [78]
France NT1 and RTL9 [79][80]
Finland MTV3 MAX [81]
Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein Sky Sport [82][83][84][85][86][87]
Greece Nova Sports 3 [88][89]
Honduras Canal 5 [90]
India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Indonesia TEN Sports [63][91][92][93]
Israel Sport 1 [94][95]
Italy
(Live broadcast)
Sky Italia [96][97]
Malaysia Astro Super Sport [98]
Mexico Canal 5, TVC Deportes & MVS Visión (52MX & MC) [99][100]
New Zealand The Box [101][102]
Norway TV 2 Zebra [103]
Panama RPC Canal 4 [104][105]
Peru ATV [106][107]
Philippines Jack TV and Solar TV [108][109]
Poland Extreme Sports Channel [110][111]
Portugal Sport TV [112][113]
Romania Sport.ro [114]
Serbia Fox televizija [115][116]
Singapore SuperSports [citation needed]
South Africa E.tv [117][118]
Spain Cuatro [119][120]
Turkey FOX and Eurosport [121][122]
Thailand TrueVisions [123]
Ukraine QTV [124]
United Kingdom and Ireland
(Live broadcast)
Sky Sports 3 [125][126]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  121. "WWE Turkey Scheduling". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/rw/country/Turkey. Retrieved 2010-09-13. 
  122. "Pressing catch Raw" (in Turkish). FOX. http://www.cuatro.com/pressing-catch/pressing-catch-en-cuatro/pressing-catch-raw/. Retrieved 2019-09-13. 
  123. "WWE program schedules in TrueVisions" (in English-Thai). TrueVisions. http://www.truevisionstv.com/trueworld.aspx?key=WWE&date=0&w=0&chid=0&pk=0&mode=3. Retrieved 2010-06-06. 
  124. "WWE's Ukraine Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/rw/country/Ukraine. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  125. "WWE United Kingdom Scheduling". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/rw/country/United%20Kingdom. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  126. "WWE Live on Sky". Sky Sports. 2009-08-18. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,14206,00.html. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 

External linksEdit

Template:World Wrestling Entertainment employees

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