WWE Raw or WWE Monday Night Raw is a professional wrestling program that originally aired on January 11, 1993 on the USA Network. The original program lasted an entirety of 60 minutes and was considered a ground breaking program at the time. Instead of the taped shows that had commentary post their matches, this was the first wrestling program of its kind that aired to a live audience and WWE live commentary. The program was at the epicenter of the Monday Night Wars when it aired head-on with WCW's Monday Nitro.
What is the difference between RAW and Smackdown in WWE?
“What is the difference between RAW and Smackdown?”- an often persistent question for the new fans of WWE, which is rather more difficult to answer than it seems. The July 2016 Draft of the WWE roster divided the roster and re-introduced RAW and SmackDown as two different brands of the WWE. Both are live shows and have their own exclusive pay-per-views to be featured on the WWE network. Prior to the draft, SmackDown used to be taped and was not broadcasted live. Over the years, the differences between the two brands have become harder to discern, however they are few distinct dissimilarities that can be brought to the fore by the regular WWE fan.
Duration and content
RAW is a three-hour show, while SmackDown is on the air for two hours. RAW is considered the flagship show of the WWE, while SmackDown has been giving RAW a run for its money in recent years. RAW is the company’s longest-running show, is the hub for the promotion’s top stars and is easily the more recognizable of the two shows. However, RAW is also usually bloated with non-wrestling segments, interviews, and recap videos, while SmackDown has generally put a greater focus on in-ring action. At three hours, RAW can drag and make fans want to see what else is on. SmackDown is a crisp two hours and usually leaves fans wanting more.
RAW has a clear edge over SmackDown in this department, as it features superstars like Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, and the list goes on. While the show in SmackDown is arguably run by Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Asuka, and Charlotte Flair. RAW clearly houses most of the biggest names signed to Vince McMahon’s company while SmackDown, who also have superstars in Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles, is more of indy darlings and homegrown talents compared to RAW’s glam and glory.
RAW currently houses five titles - WWE Universal Championship, WWE RAW Women’s Championship, WWE Intercontinental Championship, WWE RAW Tag Team Championship, WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship. SmackDown on the other hand houses four titles - WWE Championship, WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship, WWE United States Championship, WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship.
Brand Colour and Ropes
The color red is reserved for RAW and similarly, the ropes of the ring are also red during the show. On the other hand, the color blue is associated with SmackDown, who changed to blue ropes dropping the white ropes they had for a while.
RAW’s commentary team comprises of Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Renee Young, while SmackDown team is Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton.
This is obvious, RAW airs on Monday while SmackDown airs on Tuesday. SmackDown will however start airing on Fridays when Fox networks start airing WWE content from this October.