WWE Raw Tickets
January 11, 1993 was a big day for professional wrestling. It was the day when the first episode of “Raw” aired and the landscape of the sport changed forever. are now among the most sought after in sports and entertainment as well. This fact alone goes to show how highly rated and popular the program is.
Raw has now gone on to become the longest running weekly wrestling program in history. So let’s go back in time to understand how Raw and the World Wrestling Entertainment set about changing the dynamics of the business.
The WWE foundations are laid
Toots Mondt and Jess McMahon were two promoters with progressive thinking. They combined to form the Capitol Wrestling Corporation in the year 1952. After a dispute with the National Wrestling Alliance over who the champion would be, the CWC decided to quit the NWA. McMahon and Mondt then went on to form the World Wide Wrestling Federation, also known as WWWF in 1963.
Buddy Rogers won the first ever World Heavyweight title in the WWWF but he then lost it to Bruno Sammartino on May 17, 1963, just under a month after winning it. Sammartino held the title for an incredible two thousand eight hundred and three days.
The WWWF went from strength to strength and began to hold its events in major venues like the Madison Square Garden. Not only that, but they also introduced babyfaces and heels to professional wrestling. The tussles between the good guys and the bad guys added more excitement to the proceedings. Vincent J. McMahon then began to run the company starting 1971 and he changed the company’s name to World Wrestling Federation eight years later.
The arrival of a genius
Vincent K. McMahon who was Vincent J. McMahon’s son then entered the fray and formed Titan Sports, Inc. He then bought the World Wrestling Federation from his father. That one move was to reshape the wrestling landscape.
Vince K. McMahon, also known as Vince McMahon was a visionary who wasn’t satisfied with the territorial based wrestling promotions. So, he decided to do something about it. He signed contracts with television networks and began to broadcast its company’s events and matches on television. The popularity of those shows brought in more revenue through various channels. He used that cash to bring more talented wrestlers to his promotion.
Stars join the party
Big names like Hulk Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Jesse Ventura, Andre the Giant, Jimmy Snuka, Ricky Steamboat, Nikolai Volkoff and Paul Orndorff among others all joined the World Wrestling Federation. The arrival of such stellar talent to the roster and the company’s matches being televised combined to make the World Wrestling Federation a force to be reckoned with.
The first WrestleMania
Vince McMahon wasn’t satisfied with what he had. He wanted more because the potential was there for the sport to grow. Maverick that he is, Vince came up with WrestleMania, a pay per view event that is now also known as The Showcase of the Immortals.
The first ever WrestleMania was held at the iconic Madison Square Garden on March 31, 1985. It was a huge success and the event is now the biggest pay per view in professional wrestling.
With new young wrestlers like Bret Hart, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Razor Ramon, Yokozuna, Lex Luger and Owen Hart among others stepping up to the plate, the company was stronger than it had ever been in any point in its history. Vince wanted to push the boundaries even further and came up with Raw.
The World Wrestling Federation already had a weekly show known as Prime Time Wrestling. It used to show recorded matches, interviews and segments. Vince sensing that the concept had reached its shelf life, decided to up the ante. That is when he came up with Raw as a replacement for Prime Time Wrestling. Raw was to be aired to a live audience.
On January 11, 1993, Raw was held for the first time at the Madison Square Garden. The concept became a massive success and cemented the company’s position as the biggest, most famous wrestling organization in the world.
Raw was more exciting and cutting edge than any other weekly show in the sport’s history. It ushered in a new era of professional wrestling and turned the sport global. Everything was going right and then the Monday Night Wars began.
Monday Night Wars
Vince McMahon and Ted Turner had a rivalry that dated back to the 1980s. Vince being the biggest name in the sport, bought a stake in Georgia Championship Wrestling as well and in the process acquired sole ownership of all the wrestling programs that were broadcasted in the US. The Georgia Championship Wrestling’s main show used to go on air on WTCG which was owned by none other than Ted Turner.
Turner did not like the way Vince used to tackle the programming and he somehow forced Vince to sell his time slot to another rival promotion, Jim Crockett Promotions. The seeds for the rivalry were planted back then and the animosity between Vince and Turner grew in intensity as wrestling became more and more popular.
September 4, 1995 saw World Championship Wrestling (WCW) its flagship show Monday Nitro on TNT. Owned by Ted Turner, WCW went head to head with the World Wrestling Federation every Monday in a war of ratings and talent. Nitro used to go live every Monday whereas Raw still at times had its shows pre-recorded.
Eric Bischoff used to run the show at WCW and he began giving away results of Raw matches on Monday Nitro. Not only that, but the internet was coming to the fore as well so the wrestling fans used to log on to watch Raw matches. That resulted in Nitro taking the lead in the ratings war so much so that from the middle of 1996, Nitro topped Raw in ratings for a staggering eighty four weeks straight.
Turner’s financial clout also tipped the scale in Nitro’s favor and the promotion became home to the biggest names in the business. Vince decided to counter the Nitro dominance and the first step he took was to make Raw a two hour long program instead of one hour. Nitro already was two hours long. Raw also began going live more than usual. ECW was also bought by Vince and the stars of the promotion went head to head with the WWE guys in ECW style matches.
Raw rebranded and the Attitude Era commences
Raw was named Raw is War and the new show began with a new set and a new theme music in March, 1997. The product became more extreme and violent in nature which resulted in the action becoming more intense by the week. New rivalries were developed and in 1998, the Attitude Era was officially underway.
Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, The Rock, Mankind and The Undertaker were the biggest stars in the company back then. Stone Cold began a feud with Vince McMahon. The two clashed on Raw is War on April 13, 1998 and for the first time in eighty four weeks, Raw is War topped Nitro in ratings.
Raw comes out on top
Raw and Nitro spent the most part of 1998 trying to outdo each other and it was all very close. January 4, 1999 changed the tide in WWE’s favor for good. Mankind the babyface was to face Rock, the heel for the World Championship. Mankind was a huge underdog but came out on the right side of the result to win the coveted title. That episode of Raw was pre-taped so WCW announcer Tony Schiavone gave away the result live on Nitro.
WCW Nitro management was under the impression that since the element of suspense had been stripped away, the fans wouldn’t want to watch the match. The decision backfired in spectacular fashion. In excess of six hundred thousand fans switched channels to watch Mankind beat The Rock. Title changes normally are reserved for big pay per view events but the fact Mankind was winning the biggest of them all on Raw, was a huge deal. That was the beginning of the end for Monday Nitro and WCW was bought by Vince McMahon in 2001.
Post Attitude Era
The end of the Monday Night Wars signaled the end of the Attitude Era as well. The adult oriented content was pulled off air in 2002 and it was replaced by a more family oriented version of WWE. With it being the company’s flagship show, WWE Raw led the movement towards the toned down version of professional wrestling.
WWE and Raw both have gone through substantial changes since then. Even amidst all the changes, the WWE Raw schedule has more or less remained the same because the program hasn’t shifted from its Monday slot. Yes, the networks have changed but it is still aired on Mondays without any break.
Superstars like John Cena, Triple H, The Undertaker, CM Punk, Dean Ambrose, Chris Jericho, Ray Mysterio, Edge, JBL, Randy Orton, Seth Rollins and Daniel Bryan among others have played a huge part in making WWE and WWE Raw make the transition from the Attitude Era to where it is currently today.
WWE Raw aired a special episode on July 23, 2012 to mark its one thousandth episode. The format was also changed to a three hour long broadcast that day and that has remained the case ever since.
As a result of the brand split that took place on July 19, 2016, WWE Raw now has its own roster and championship belts. It is now run and looked after by Vince’s daughter Stephanie McMahon and the legend Mick Foley. A brand new title belt for the men, the WWE Universal Championship was also designed and Finn Balor became the first ever winner of the championship.
WWE Raw live tickets are always in demand because fans know the program’s significance and what it represents. WWE Raw changed the face of wrestling when it made its debut and it still remains, to this day, the standard bearer for all other weekly wrestling shows. It has been one epic ride so far and long may it continue.
WWE Raw Interesting Facts:
- WWE Raw is the longest running weekly television show of all time.
- The first episode of Raw was also the first time, WWE went live on air.
- It was decided that the name of the show would be “Uncooked Raw.” Uncooked was then removed from the title.
- The Undertaker beat Damien Demento in the first ever main event in Raw history.
- Raw stopped going live because of financial constraints between 1993 and 1997.
- On September 4, 1995, the first WCW Nitro was aired but Raw did not because of the US Open. Raw and Nitro went head to head for the first time a week later on September 11, 1995.
- Well over a whopping six million fans have attended WWE Raw live around the US.
- It is estimated that close to four million fans tune in to watch WWE Raw each week in the US alone.
- According to WWE, the total number of viewers that have watched Raw over the years in the US alone exceeds the four billion mark.
- New York City has played host to the most number of WWE Raw shows.