Here comes Monday Night Raw!
Monday Night Raw’s birthday is getting closer and closer and WWE continues to provide us more and more info about the history of the longest running weekly episodic show in US televisión. Here are some more details from these 25 years of the red brand:
January 11, 1993
Happy Birthday, Raw! The program’s debut airs on USA Network, emanating from the Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center in NYC. It breaks ground as the first WWE TV show to be broadcast live on cable.
On November 4th, Dwayne Johnson debuts on Monday Night Raw on USA Network as Rocky Maivia at Madison Square Garden.
Monday Night Raw expands to two hours on USA Network and officially becomes Raw is War/War Zone to reference the Monday Night Wars for Nielsen ratings between Raw and WCW’s Monday Nitro.
In January, Mike Tyson and his entourage have an in-ring brawl with Stone Cold Steve Austin on Raw before making a guest appearance as an enforcer for WrestleMania XIV.
Later that year comes the launch of the Attitude Era, which marks the shift to more adult-oriented programming with increased levels of violence and shock value.
Though already referring to himself in the third person as “The Rock,” Dwayne Johnson officially switches names from “Rocky Maivia” to “The Rock” and wins his first Intercontinental Championship on Raw.
On January 31st, WWE aired Halftime Heat on USA Network during halftime of Super Bowl XXXIII. The show, which featured Mankind vs. The Rock, received a 6.6 rating
On March 25th, Stone Cold Steve Austin appears on NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien, returning in August. Stone Cold goes on to make appearances on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno and NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallo
On April 29th, WWE SmackDown debuts on UPN from New Haven, CT with Triple H as the WWF Champion and Big Boss Man as the new Hardcore Champion. The title is derived from one of The Rock’s catchphrases: “Layeth the smackdown”.
Vince McMahon appears on NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien on June 24th.
On September 27th, Mick Foley hosts a segment on USA Network featuring himself (as Mankind) and The Rock in a send-up of the TV series This Is Your Life. The segment remains one of the highest rated in Raw viewership history (8.4M total viewers).
*All data sourced from Nielsen 1995-present, most current data