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WWE RAW

A branch of WWE, WWE RAW is a professional wrestling television program. Also called RAW Live or just RAW, it made its debut on January 11, 1993. Ever since its debut, it has been considered as the flagship program of WWE. Currently, RAW airs live on Monday evenings at 8 pm ET on the USA Network in the United States.

The show moved from the USA Network to TNN in September 2000 which was rebranded to Spike TV in August 2003. However, a couple of years, RAW returned to the USA Network and is still being aired on the same network. Ever since its inception in 1993, the show has broadcast live from 208 different areas in 171 cities and towns in eleven different nations (the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Afghanistan in 2005, Iraq in 2006 and 2007, South Africa, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Mexico).

History:

The programme first aired on January 11, 1993 as WWF’s Monday Night RAW. It replaced Prime Time Wrestling, which aired on USA Network for eight years. Initially, the show was sixty minute long. In addition, its broadcast also started a watershed moment in wrestling. Traditionally, wrestling shows were taped on sound stages with small audiences or at large arena shows. The RAW formula was considerably different from the taped weekend shows that aired at the time such as Superstars and Wrestling Challenge. Instead of matches taped weeks in advance with studio voice overs and taped discussion, RAW was a show shot and aired to a live audience.

RAW started at the Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center. It aired live every week. The venue and live action played a crucial role in making the show a hit. At the same time, WWF had to suffer financial drain due to the weekly live schedule.

The first episode produced outside of New York was taped in Bushkill, Pennsylvania in November 1993. RAW then left the Manhattan Center permanently as the show would be taken on the road throughout the United States and was held in smaller venues.

On September 4, 1995, the WWF’s chief competitor World Championship Wrestling (WCW) began airing its new wrestling show, Monday Nitro, live each week on TNT. The launch of the show from WCW kickstarted the Monday Night Wars. RAW and Nitro went head-to-head for the first time on September 11, 1995. It was a close contest as neither of the two shows could earn the bragging rights in the rating wars.

But from mid-1996, Nitro left RAW behind due to the nWo angle. It started a ratings win-streak that lasted for 84 consecutive weeks, ending on April 13, 1998. On February 3, 1997, Raw went to a two-hour format to compete with the extra hour on Nitro, and by March 10, it was renamed to RAW Is War.

RAW finally regained the supremacy in the Monday Night Wars after airing WrestleMania XIV in March 1998.

On September 25, 2000, RAW Is War moved from the USA Network to TNN (which later became Spike TV). The new television contract with Viacom, TNN/Spike TV’s parent company, and the subsequent purchase of competitor WCW led to many changes in WWF’s programming content.

WWF’s ever-rising popularity then soon received another boost as their rival WCW witnessed a sharp decline. Consequently, Time Warner sold selected assets such as the WCW name, tapes, and contracts to the WWF in March 2001 for $3 million. The final episode of Nitro, which aired on March 26, 2001, began with Vince McMahon making a short statement about his recent purchase of WCW and ended with a simulcast with RAW on TNN and Nitro on TNT. The purchase also saw the end of the name RAW is War.

In March 2002, the WWF introduced ‘brand extension’ which was a move made to make two branches due to the overabundance of talents. The two branches were RAW and SmackDown. Shortly thereafter, the WWF was legally required to change the name of the company to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

In 2011, the company announced that the wrestlers were no longer exclusive to their respective brand. The move all but ended the brand extension.  On July 23, 2012, Raw aired its 1000th episode, which also began its permanent three-hour format.  On May 25, 2016, WWE reintroduced the brand split, and a new set with red ring ropes, a brand new stage, used at SummerSlam.

Here are the broadcasting details of SmackDown:

United States:

In the United States, USA Network enjoys the right of hosting the show.  Occasionally, RAW is aired on same-day tape delay when WWE is on an overseas tour.

Canada:

From 1995 to 2006, Raw was shown on The Sports Network until it moved to rival sports broadcaster The Score (now renamed Sportsnet 360) after it was announced that TSN would be carrying Monday Night Football for the 2006 season. Consequently, the Canadian viewers had to watch via tape-delay as The Score did not broadcast RAW live at that time.

The Middle East:

RAW airs in the Arab world on OSN Sports and MBC Action on FM1 in Iran and on Sport 1 and Sport 1 HD in Israel. RAW further began airing on D-Smart in Turkey.

Europe:

RAW airs on AB3 in Belgium and is translated into Dutch, French, and German.  The show airs on Nova Sport in the Czech Republic and on AB1 in France.

RAW airs live on Sky Sport 1 and with German commentary on ProSieben MAXX in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein on Wednesdays at 10 PM. The show airs on Nova Sports 3 in Greece.

RAW airs live on Sky Sport 2, Sky Sport 2 HD, with international version shows airing on Cielo TV in Italy in Italian.

The show airs on Extreme Sports Channel in Poland while it airs on SIC Radica and on SIC K on Friday nights in Portugal.

In Romania, RAW airs on Telekom Sport while Prva Srpska Televizija airs the show in Serbia. It airs on Neox in Spain in Spanish.

RAW airs on Diema Sport in Bulgaria. The show airs on Televizija OBN in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It airs on BTV in Lithuania.RAW airs on Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Arena and occasionally on Sky Sports Action in the United Kingdom.

RAW airs on 2×2 in Russia.

Asia and Pacific:

RAW airs on Sony Ten 1 and Sony Ten 1 HD in Nepal. It airs on MNC Sports 2 in Indonesia.

RAW airs live on Sony Ten 1 HD and Sony Ten 1 in India. And airs exclusively in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

RAW streams live on Fox+ app with an encore telecast on Fox Sports 1 and on TV5 as a one-hour version in the Philippines.

RAW airs live on SuperSport 2 HD in Singapore.

RAW airs live on Fox8 and Thursday nights on 9Go! as a one-hour version in Australia. The show airs live on J Sports 4 in Japan.

In New Zealand, RAW airs live on Sky 5, Saturday nights on Maori Television as a one-hour version, and Monday nights on Te Reo as a one-hour version in the Maori language.

Raw airs in China on various local networks within China and Videoland Television Network in Taiwan in both English and Thai. RAW airs in Hong Kong on ViuTVsix. Raw airs in Singapore on Star World.

Latin America:

RAW airs live on Fox Sports in Mexico and across Central and South America. It also airs on La Red in Chile, Unitel in Bolivia, Canal Uno in Colombia,  Teleamazonas in Ecuador, Andina de Televisión in Peru, Repretel: Canal 11 in Costa Rica, Canal VTV in El Salvador, Canal 5 in Honduras, RPC Canal 4 in Panama and Imagen Televisión in Mexico.

Online streaming:

RAW is also available through live streaming. On September 24, 2012, Hulu Plus signed a multi-year deal with WWE to stream all of the company’s TV shows and some of its web series which includes RAW.

After Wrestlemania 32 in 2016, WWE began with airing the newest episodes of Raw and SmackDown on YouTube for countries that don’t have WWE programming on traditional TV for free in less than 24 hours after the original broadcast (The links are blocked in countries where the shows are traditionally available).

Theme songs:

Song title Written and/or performed by Dates used
Monday Night Raw Jim Johnston January 11, 1993 – March 3, 1997
Raw Jim Johnston 1993–1995
I Like It Raw Jim Johnston 1995
The Beautiful People Marilyn Manson March 10, 1997 – March 24, 1997
Thorn in Your Eye WWE Superstars & Slam Jam March 31, 1997 – March 25, 2002
We’re All Together Now WWE Superstars & Slam Jam March 31, 1997 – March 25, 2002
Across the Nation The Union Underground April 1, 2002 – October 2, 2006
…To Be Loved Papa Roach October 9, 2006 – November 9, 2009
Burn It to the Ground Nickelback November 16, 2009 – July 16, 2012
Tonight Is the Night Outasight July 23, 2012 (only used for Raw 1000)
The Night Kromestatik July 23, 2012 – August 11, 2014
The Night (2014 Remix) CFO$ August 18, 2014 – July 18, 2016
Enemies Shinedown July 25, 2016 – January 22, 2018
Born for Greatness1 Papa Roach January 29, 2018 – present
Charge Up The Power2 Goodbye June January 29, 2018 – present

RAW:

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days held
WWE Universal Championship Brock Lesnar 2 November 2, 2018 26
WWE Intercontinental Championship Seth Rollins 2 August 19, 2018 101
WWE Raw Women’s Championship Ronda Rousey 1 August 19, 2018 101
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship AOP 1 November 5, 2018 23
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Buddy Murphy 1 October 6, 2018 53

 

SMACKDOWN:

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days held
WWE Championship Daniel Bryan 4 November 13, 2018 15
WWE United States Championship Shinsuke Nakamura 1 July 15, 2018 136
WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship Becky Lynch 2 September 16, 2018 73
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship The Bar 1 October 16, 2018 43

 

NXT:

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days held
NXT Championship Tommaso Ciampa 1 July 19, 2018 132
NXT North American Championship Ricochet 1 August 18, 2018 102
NXT Women’s Championship Shayna Baszler 2 October 28, 2018 31
NXT Tag Team Championship The Undisputed Era 2 June 21, 2018 160

Other winners:

Title Current champion(s) Opponent (s)
Money in the Bank (Men) Braun Strowman Defeated Kevin Owens, Bobby Roode, Finn Bálor, Samoa Joe, Rusev, The Miz and Kofi Kingston to win.
Money in the Bank (Women) Alexa Bliss Defeated Ember Moon, Sasha Banks, Natalya, Lana, Naomi, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair to win.
Mae Young Classic Toni Storm Defeated Io Shirai at Evolution in the tournament final to win.
Royal Rumble (Men) Shinsuke Nakamura Last eliminated Roman Reigns to win.
Royal Rumble (Women) Asuka Last eliminated Nikki Bella to win.
Mixed Match Challenge The Miz and Asuka Defeated Bobby Roode and Charlotte Flair in the tournament final to win.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic The Undisputed Era
Defeated The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) and Pete Dunne & Roderick Strong in a Winner Take All Triple Threat tournament final (with the NXT Tag Team Championship also at stake) to win.
André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal Matt Hardy Last eliminated Baron Corbin to win.
WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal Naomi Last eliminated Bayley to win.
WWE Greatest Royal Rumble Championship Braun Strowman Braun Strowman won by last eliminating Big Cass in the 50-man Royal Rumble.
WWE World Cup Shane McMahon Defeated Dolph Ziggler in the tournament final to win.

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