We don’t actually discuss wrestling on this site often, but it is one of my passions and with Raw going through one of it’s major milestones (it is a great accomplishment even if I hate how the WWE markets it), I thought it would be fitting to look back at the show.
Instead of combing through 999 shows, and thousands of hours of footage to bring you the best matches or moments. I’m going to showcase something that doesn’t always get the respect it deserves, which are the intros which has welcomed us to Monday Night Raw for over 19 years. So put on your nostalgia goggles and keep both hands in the train at all times!
WWF Raw 1993 Intro
The intro that launched the longest running, weekly episodic show in television history (I don’t get paid for the plug) and still one of my favorites. It has a very cheesy feel to it, but there’s something about the song that always got me excited. And the way it goes into the arena with the sirens blaring and all.
WWF Raw 1994 Intro
This retains the song from 93, but does a lot more busy work with the visuals. I don’t personally care for it as much, but the song is still there!
WWF Raw 1995 Intro
Raw’s years aren’t exactly perfect (especially since 1000th is in July and “Season premieres are usually Sept/Oct) so some years tend to have the same intro for the most part. 95 retained 94′s overall, but did switch to a new style of intro and song near the end of the year, it actually didn’t last that long.. well the song.. check it out.. one of Raw’s more interesting themes.
WWF Raw 1996 Intro
The classic Raw theme song returned for one last trip. The intro became a lot more action-packed and it makes some visually fun choices. I approve.
WWF Raw 1997 Intro
Sometime in 1997, Raw went from its normal one hour to two hours. Along with this change, came a re-branding of the show, it was no longer Monday Night Raw, but Raw is War (And the second hour the Warzone!) and the intro reflects that. You have wrestlers wrestling in what appears to be a junkyard with the ropes on fire and bombs going off. It’s a really intense intro. You would also note that this intro has Beautiful People, which was a short-lived Raw intro theme, but also became a SmackDown theme for some time years later.
WWF WarZone 1998 Intro
I mentioned that when Raw re-branded it got a second hour as well, and for some time that second hour had it’s own intro and music. Granted, it’s an extended edition of the Raw theme, which I promise I’m getting to!
WWF Raw Intro 1999
Finally, the Raw theme! This was the theme for about 2 years at this point, but wanted to share others first. It would continue to be the Raw theme for like 3 more years, making it the longest latest theme in Raw history. The intro itself has evolved by this point, keeping with the fire motif but mixing in a lot more in-ring action.
WWF Raw Intro 2000/2001
For the first time, the Raw intro doesn’t really change much between years. Yes, it adds some wrestlers and great spots from the era, but the basic structure remains the same. The only thing to note is that after the terrible events of 9/11 Raw dropped the is War/Warzone part and became just RAW.
WWE Raw 2002-2005
Major changes were afoot for the WWF in 2002, the biggest being that “They got The F Out”. Yes after losing a legal battle, the WWF had to rename to the WWE, but that wasn’t all as we were also introduced to the brand split, which meant for the first time ever not all wrestlers appeared on the A show. Also for the first time since 97, the theme song of Raw changed, and to mark the occasion the first time that the band singing the song actually appear in the intro.
The intro doesn’t change much throughout the next few years either. Once again, just switching out different wrestlers or spots or major storylines.
WWE Raw 2006/2007 Intro
Throughout the history of WWE Monday Night Raw, USA Network has always served as its home.. except for in the early 2000s when Raw left USA for TNN. This partnership lasted for about 5 years before Raw found its way back home, and to celebrate we got a new intro and theme song for the show.
This intro was a lot more upbeat with a faster and more catchy song. The intro also included footage of a city skyline which would be a first for the series.
WWE Raw 2008/2009 Intro
Retaining the prior theme song, the intro evolves to make the buildings motif fit a bit better. Now we get wrestlers’ poses and moves projected onto buildings or appearing above in the skyline.
In 2009 the intro was updated to reflect the fact that the WWE and Raw had gone HD.
WWE Raw HD 2010-Current Intro
The intro to Raw once again changed in 2010. We got a brand new theme song, Burn it To the Ground, and an intro that focused on using.. I guess stop.. I’m not sure what to call the stuttered animation they use. It continues the building motif from the prior intro which is kind of cool.
In 2011, it was updated to reflect the fact that Raw would now house superstars from both Raw and SmackDown officially for the first time since 2002. Raw also went through a minor rebranding as it is now “Raw Supershow”
That is the history of Raw’s 19 years of intros, will Raw 1000 bring about a brand new intro? Tune in on July 23rd at 8pm EST to find out!