On January 11th, 1993, the WWE (then WWF) changed Monday nights and wrestling history forever. It was on this day that they aired the very first episode of Monday Night RAW from the Manhattan Center in New York City.
The original RAW, which was sixty minutes in length (1/3 as long as it is now), broke new ground in televised professional 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, with angles playing out as they happened.
The weekly live schedule eventually became a financial drain on the WWF. From Spring 1993 up until Spring 1997, RAW would tape several week's worth of episodes after a live episode had aired, much in the same way TNA does today.
When Monday Night RAW became RAW is WAR in March 1997, they went to an alternating live episode/pretaped episode schedule (the live episode would happen one Monday, while the following episode would be taped the next night to air six days later). This continued until Smackdown was introduced in August 1999. With Smackdown taping on Tuesday, RAW became a weekly live show again, where it’s mostly remained ever since.
The following matches aired on the first episode:
- Yokozuna defeated Koko B. Ware.
- The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott) defeated The Executioners (Duane Gill & Barry Hardy).
- Shawn Michaels defeated Max Moon to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
- The Undertaker defeated Damien Demento.
The WWE has posted the entire episode on their YouTube channel. Enjoy: