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WWE History Vol. 12: The First Ever Monday Night RAW

ANALYST
Feature
Timeless

With NXT making its debut on the USA Network, WWE History looks back at the first ever episode of Monday Night RAW.

Shawn Michaels--resplendent in his 1990s mullet--puts the squeeze on Max Moon. Believe it or not, this is a match for the Intercontinental championship.
Shawn Michaels--resplendent in his 1990s mullet--puts the squeeze on Max Moon. Believe it or not, this is a match for the Intercontinental championship.

It's the longest running weekly episodic series in television history. It's featured future presidents, rock stars, movie stars, and captains of industry. It's also a show where men without pants fight for belts.

It's WWE Monday Night RAW, and for over one thousand episodes and thirty years it's been a Monday night staple. Throughout its history, the show has been the source of controversy, entertainment, and of course big sweating men grappling for the right to be named champion.

When the first RAW aired, it was a new evolution in pro wrestling television programming. Previous shows were often taped at large arenas or small television studios, but RAW would attempt to capture the energy that can only be attained in front of a live audience.

Without further ado, let's look back at the illustrious history of Monday Night RAW's first episode ever.

The beginning: Prime Time Wrestling.

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby the Brain Heenan hosted Prime Time Wrestling every Monday night on the USA network for eight years.
Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby the Brain Heenan hosted Prime Time Wrestling every Monday night on the USA network for eight years.

Even though Monday Night RAW would make its debut episode on January 11 1993, that was not the first time WWE wrestling was aired on the USA Network. Far from it.

As a matter of fact, WWE had been featured on the network for over eight years. The show Prime Time Wrestling featured pre-taped matches and video packages of the current feuds going on in the promotion at the time. It also had clever banter between the two legendary wrestling hosts, Gorilla Monsoon (who was sympathetic toward the baby faces) and Bobby Heenan (who always rooted for the heels.)

For a cable network show, Prime Time Wrestling did good ratings, especially considering that it was entirely composed of pre-taped matches. Vince McMahon, however began to envision a new type of wrestling show which would capture all the energy, glitz, and glamour of a live arena show.

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