WWE Raw is the most popular and the longest-running weekly episodic wrestling show on American television. Keep reading to find out 15 things you didn’t know about the show!
Number Fifteen: WWE Raw Started as a Small Budget Production
WWE Raw’s origins were very different from the flamboyant wrestling extravaganza that the show is today. The first episode aired in early 1993 and it was shot uncut for 90 minutes, live from a small studio in Manhattan’s Grand Ballroom. McMahon’s approach of live TV wrestling broke new ground in the industry.
Number Fourteen: Its Original Name Was ‘Uncooked Raw’
It was originally advertised as “Uncut, Uncensored, and Uncooked” and called “Uncooked Raw”, following its unique live and unedited formula. However, this method only worked for the first two episodes of the show. The third one, and the ones after that, were actually taped before they aired. The WWE Raw team would shoot several weeks’ worth of footage in advance, saving the company a lot of time and money.
Number Thirteen: The Fink Has Appeared in Every Wrestlemania
Howard ‘The Fink’ Finker, WWE Raw’s historic ring announcer, has been employed by WWE since 1977. In addition, he has been the lead ring announcer for annual WWE show, “Wrestlemania”, every year since its first edition. He also came up with the name of the event.
Number Twelve: The Undertaker Was the First Wrestler on the Show
It’s been 23 years since the first episode aired, starring the Undertaker, but the famous wrestler is still rocking the rings. Raw’s first event featured a fight between the Undertaker (who was a renowned fighter already) and Damien Demento, now retired.
Number Eleven: It Grew Disproportionately on its First Year
McMahon was forced to give up the “small, intimate” feel of the show, as fan demand was out of control just months after it came out. The studio was moved from its original location in Manhattan, to a much bigger venue in New York’s outskirts, in Poughkeepsie. By the end of the year, Raw was hosting shows for over 10,000 people.
Number Ten: They Faced Financial Struggles
Despite their dramatic growth in popularity and ticket sales, WWE struggled to stay afloat economically. McMahon managed to control the situation by dropping the “live” concept which, however, was followed by a drop in audience rating in the late ‘90s.
Number Nine: The Undertaker Made History
There has never been another wrestler as popular as powerful as the Undertaker. His most impressive feat was a series of 21 straight victories, known as “The Streak”, at WWE’s Wrestlemania. He defeated 18 men from 1991 to 2013, finally losing to Brock Lesnar in 2014.
Number Eight: It Has Been Hosted in 171 Cities
WWE Raw has been touring the world for 20 years. So far, it has been held and broadcasted from over 200 different venues in 171 cities worldwide, including Milan, Johannesburg, London, Madrid, Berlin and Afghanistan. Stay tuned for part two, coming soon!