Monday Night Raw: PG Era
This is our third and last part of “Monday Night Raw: Through the years”. We have been resuming the best of this historic WWE program including the early years, the Attitude Era and the Ruthless Agression. The PG Era changed the landscape and here are the milestones of the recent years:
On October 1st, SmackDown moves to USA Network’s sister channel, SYFY.
Raw is renamed RAW Supershow on USA Network, and the “brand extension” ends, allowing all WWE Superstars to once again appear on both SmackDown and Raw.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson makes a surprise return to WWE in February, revealing he will host WrestleMania XXVII.
On July 23rd, Raw airs its 1000th episode on USA Network and permanently expands into a three-hour format. The special episode also removes “Supershow” from the title, returning the program name to Raw. This is Raw’s most-watched episode (6.691MM P2+) in three years. (It’s also the best episode in P18-49 in 15 months with 3.263MM.)
As the first year of WWE’s partnership with Susan G. Komen for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the middle rope at all WWE programming is changed to pink during October. .
January 14th, Raw celebrates its 20thanniversary with appearances by The Rock (who performed a “Rock concert”) and Ric Flair.
Total Divas, a docu-series giving viewers an inside look into the lives of female WWE Superstars, debuts on NBCUniversal network E! on July 28th. It has since produced seven seasons and garnered numerous award nominations, including four Teen Choice Award nominations and one win.
In July, Seth Rollins invades “The Daily Show” to confront Jon Stewart, who confronts Rollins later on Raw. This rivalry extends to SummerSlam, when Stewart shockingly helps Rollins defeat John Cena. The following night on Raw, Cena gets payback on Stewart with his signature finishing move, the Attitude Adjustment.
On November 11th, The Undertaker appears on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
On January 7, 2016, SmackDown begins to air on USA Network and draws its best P18-49 delivery in nearly a year (1.177MM); with this move, the top two WWE programs – Raw and SmackDown – would regularly air on the same network for the first time ever.
WWE reintroduces the brand extension in July on USA Network with distinctive rosters for both Raw and SmackDown. On July 19, SmackDown moves to Tuesday nights and a regular live format, scoring its best episode in three and a half years in P18-49 (1.668MM) and in over two years in P2+ (3.491MM). Soon after, Raw premieres a brand new theme song, entitled “Enemies” by Shinedown, signaling a new era and the debut of Raw’s championship title belt called the WWE Universal Championship.
On October 16th, E! debuts Total Divas spin-off Total Bellas, centering around the lives of WWE Superstars Nikki and Brie Bella along with their immediate family and partners John Cena and Daniel Bryan. It has since produced two seasons.
*All data sourced from Nielsen 1995-present, most current data