WWE RAW

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WWE RAW is the Monday night professional wrestling show for World Wrestling Entertainment. It currently airs live on Spike TV every Monday night at 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST); however, the show is a live broadcast, so it generally runs a few minutes past 11:00 PM EST. It also airs live in Canada on TSN, and live in the United Kingdom on SKY TV at 2:00 AM UTC.

On March 10, 2005, Viacom, the parent company of Spike TV, announced that they would not seek to extend their agreement to air RAW and other WWE programming on the network when their current deal expires in September, 2005. [1] (http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20050311/tv_nm/television_wwe_dc_1) 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 two yearly specials on NBC and a Spanish-language RAW on Telemundo. [2] (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7380373/)

Contents

Name history

WWE RAW has been known by many names, including:

  • "WWF Monday Night RAW" (1993)
  • "WWF RAW Is War" (1997) (Hour one)
  • "WWF War Zone" (1997) (Hour two)
  • "WWF RAW" (2001)
  • "WWE RAW" (2002) (Hour one current)
  • "WWE RAW Zone" (2002) (Hour two current)
    • It is currently also known as WWE Monday Night RAW (2003)

The name "WWF War Zone" ("WWE RAW Zone") was used for the second hour of "WWF Raw Is War" ("WWE RAW") as a way to split the show into two separate shows and charge a higher advertisement rate in the second hour. This process was eventually dropped. The title was simplified again in 2001 when WWE dropped the words "Is War" in response to the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks and the resulting war on terror. The name was again changed in 2002 when WWE lost its court case with the World Wildlife Fund. The initials "WWF" were no longer allowed to be used and were changed to WWE.

Show history

RAW has previously been aired on the USA Network. The only networks to have aired RAW in the United States are the USA Network and TNN, which is now Spike TV.

There is also a sister show titled WWE Sunday Night HEAT which airs on Spike TV at 7:00 PM EST on Sundays.

The current RAW is the successor to "WWF Monday Night RAW", which first aired in 1993 on USA Network. 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. RAW originated from a small New York City theater, the Manhattan Center, 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 WWE, and taped shows began airing every other week. Eventually, RAW aired live shows only about once per month, with the other shows being taped.

WCW, with the deep pockets of Ted Turner backing the promotion, then began Monday Nitro, which aired live each week. On several occasions, World Championship Wrestling head Eric Bischoff, who was also an on-air personality, gave away the results of WWF's taped RAW shows on the live WCW show (a tactic that backfired when they announced Mick Foley's first WWF title victory, causing millions of viewers to switch to RAW to see it). Under this pressure, the WWE started presenting RAW live every week, and has continued with live shows ever since, even after the demise of WCW. Although RAW 's sister show, SmackDown!, has had a few live shows, it has never continually been aired live. WWE normally tapes a Tuesday night SmackDown! show for airing on Thursday night of the same week.

Brand extension

In early to mid-2002, the WWE underwent a process they called the Brand Extension. In a nutshell, this meant that the two WWE television shows (RAW and SmackDown!) would become competition for each other. This came about when the WWE (then known as WWF) purchased their two biggest competitors, WCW and ECW.

The Brand Extension would bring about a change like nothing the WWF/WWE had seen before. Wrestlers would become show-exclusive, wrestling for their specific show only. This at the time excluded the WWE Undisputed Champion and Women's Champion, as originally, those WWF/WWE titles would be defended on both shows. However, in later 2002, Brock Lesnar, at that time the WWE Undisputed Champion, refused to defend the title on RAW, causing the title to become exclusive to SmackDown!. (It has since been referred to as the WWE Championship, dropping the word "Undisputed"). The following week on RAW, General Manager Eric Bischoff awarded the World Heavyweight Title, in the form of the old WCW World Heavyweight Championship belt, to RAW's designated #1 contender, Triple H.

The WWE Women's Championship is now generally accepted to be RAW-exclusive, even though nothing happened to officially make it an exclusive title.

The WWE Draft Lottery has made a huge impact on this show. By far they have drafted big-time SmackDown! superstars. So far they have drafted current WWE Champion John Cena and Kurt Angle, as well as Carlito, who won the Intercontinental Title in his first appearance on RAW. But they have lost Chris Benoit and Randy Orton to the draft.

The current RAW championships are listed below.

Current RAW championships

Championship notes: Current champion(s)
World Heavyweight Champion 1 Batista (David Bautista)
WWE Champion 2 John Cena
World Tag-Team Champions 3 The Hurricane (Gregory Helms) and Rosey (Matt Anoai)
WWE Women's Champion 4 Trish Stratus (Patricia Stratigias)
WWE Intercontinental Champion 5 Carlito (Carly Colon)

1: This was originally the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Introduced by Eric Bischoff as RAW's World Heavyweight Championship on September 2, 2002 after the original WWE Championship became SmackDown! exclusive on August 26, 2002.
2: This is the original WWE (WWF) World Heavyweight Championship. It is currently on the RAW brand after current champion, John Cena, was drafted from SmackDown! on June 6, 2005
3: This is the original WWE Tag-Team Championship.
4: This is the original WWE Women's Championship.
5: The original WWE Intercontinental Championship; was discontinued on October 20, 2002 until May 18, 2003, when it was reintroduced by Stone Cold Steve Austin.

RAW roster

Current RAW general manager(s)

Current RAW wrestlers

Inactive list

Current RAW non-wrestlers/managers

Referees

Other on-air talent

Previous general managers/"owners"

Note: The last four had a one-time-only opportunity at General Manager when their team won at Survivor Series 2004, while full-time General Manager Eric Bischoff was on holiday.

Former RAW Superstars

(Brand Extension-wise only; in order of departure)

Trivia

External links

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