If you been trapped in a cave for the last 4 months and haven’t seen any wrestling then you may not know that on next Monday the WWE will be showing its 1000th episode of Monday Night RAW. For those of you who have been watching it is as big of a deal as they have made it out to be. Very rarely does an achievement match the hype but this one is huge. Names like The Rock, Jim Ross and many others have been announced for this momentous occasion.
Debuting in 1993 it is the longest running weekly episodic program in television history. Just to put in television perspective if you add all the Star Trek episodes from the various series they do not add up to 1000. Most television shows throw a party and have huge cake for show 100.
The RAW brand which largely associated with the USA Network and also spent some time on Spike TV but best believe every Monday you can depend on your wrestling. It maybe the only program that is responsible creating its direct competition that almost pushed them off the air. Image the another football creating another Monday night football show to compete with the NFL.
The Monday Night Wars lasted from 1995 to 2001. Both organizations ran head to head drawing millions of viewers to each program and show wrestling a solid commercially viable entity that advertisers would flock to for that beloved 18-34 male market. The big winners from that era were the fans of wrestling who spent many Monday’s channel flipping.
When RAW first began it was a time when the wrestling business was in transition. Coming out the Hulk Hogan era where there characters and it was all good guys vs bad guys. RAW was the beginning of the era where there shades of grey. The story lines took a more mature approach which led us to what is now known as the Attitude Era. A new brand of hero appeared during this time. With RAW as the main platform we saw the rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock and Degeneration X. The WWE is still destination television all these years later.
The show has moved on with a variety of stars and been with us as fans through a lot. The deaths of legends like Eddie Guerrero and the celebration of the career of Ric Flair. Little known fact RAW was the 1st mass gathering of people after the 911 tragedy.
The continued future of Monday Night RAW appears to be bright. The show has outlasted its competitor and still able to thrive against the juggernaut of Monday Night Football. This is not a just a good thing for the WWE but for the wrestling business. It shows that a wrestling program can have long term success.