New Generation Era (1993-1997)
On January 11, 1993, a new wrestling program would air live on the USA Network from the Manhattan Center in New York City. Monday Night RAW was the next step in the process of mainstreaming the art of professional wrestling to a national audience. This era was important to RAW as it set the foundation for how RAW would be structured and the role it served in promoting the then World Wrestling Federation. Prior wrestling programs were not aired lived to viewers at home but rather taped and commentary added after the matches occurred.
RAW originally began as a one-hour live program. However, the live episodes would be dropped due to budget cuts and would lead to a live episode of RAW being aired followed by a taped episode that was shot immediately after the live program ended. This would be a technique used all the way into and throughout the Attitude Era.
It was during this time that we saw the likes of Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Sycho Sid, Ric Flair (albeit for only a few weeks), Yokozuna, Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, The Undertaker, Lex Luger, Diesel, and Razor Ramon aired weekly on Monday nights where they were able to make a name for themselves and boost their credentials. This era was good for WWE and RAW until suddenly it wasn’t. 1995 and 1996 were bad times for WWE and with financial issues a large concern, WWE needed to change its product model and RAW was the first step in doing so.