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1993 in review: What else happened the year Raw debuted?
We’ve already covered things that didn’t exist when Raw debuted, but what else was happening outside the walls of the Manhattan Center the year Monday Night Raw was launched into television history? Believe, there was plenty. While WWE was making sports-entertainment history, world leaders were inaugurated, nations were separated and Michael Jordan and the Buffalo Bills each set records of a very different kind. Here’s what was happening outside the ropes in the year 1993.
Bill Clinton takes office
Arkansas’ own William Jefferson Clinton took the oath of office and was inaugurated as the 42nd President of the United States. Clinton beat out the incumbent president, George H.W. Bush, to win his first term in the Oval Office. Clinton would be re-elected in 1996, defeating Bob Dole for another term as president.
Jordan and the Bulls three-peat
We all wanted to be like Mike in 1993, when Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls past Charles Barkley and the Phoenix Suns en route to their third straight NBA title. Chicago edged the Suns out, 99-98, off a 3-pointer from John Paxson in the final seconds of Game Six, and Jordan himself scored 33 points in the Windy City’s winning effort. “His Airness” was named the MVP of the Finals as a response, becoming the first player in history to win the award three consecutive times.
Whitney makes history
Whitney Houston broke barriers throughout her entire career, but one of her biggest milestones came on January 12, 1993. That’s when the Recording Industry Association of America, or RIAA, certified her single “I Will Always Love You” from “The Bodyguard” soundtrack 4x platinum, with shipments of four million copies. Houston was the first female artist to achieve this feat.
"Jurassic Park" is released
It was an adventure 65 million years in the making, and audiences responded with appropriate excitement when Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” bowed in theaters after a highly publicized production. The sci-fi epic, adapted from Michael Crichton’s novel and starring Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum, became an instant pop culture sensation thanks to the revolutionary special effects that brought its dinosaurs to life. The movie grew into one of the highest-grossing films of all time, spawning two sequels and a massive cult following.
Third time is not the charm for the Bills
The Buffalo Bills made history of a slightly more unfortunate sort, when they became the first team in NFL history to lose three consecutive Super Bowl appearances after they fell to Troy Aikman and the Dallas Cowboys, 52-17, in Super Bowl XXVII. Michael Jackson performed a famous halftime set, and Aikman was named the MVP of the contest. The Bills would go on to extend their own record, reaching the Super Bowl again the next year and again coming up short in their bid for a championship against the Cowboys.
Czechoslovakia splits into two nations
There’s a strong chance some younger members of the WWE Universe have never seen a map with Czechoslovakia on it, or never heard of Czechoslovakia in the first place. There’s also a strong chance the older members of the WWE Universe can remember fondly the days when maps did have Czechoslovakia on them. This is all because, in 1993, the nation effectively ceased to exist when a peaceful dissolution split Czechoslovakia into two separate countries: Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Unlike most dissolutions, this split was notable for its nonviolence, and the two nations remain peaceful to this day.
David Letterman moves to CBS
The big Jay Leno-Conan O’Brien switch of 2010 was hardly the first big shake-up in the history of late night television. David Letterman famously split from NBC, relinquishing his long-running “Late Night with David Letterman” after Jay Leno was given “The Tonight Show” by NBC following Johnny Carson’s retirement. Letterman left “Late Night” and the “Peacock” network and signed with CBS, starting “Late Show with David Letterman” in direct competition with Leno’s show. And who replaced Letterman at the “Peacock”? A young upstart named Conan O’Brien, who began work as host of “Late Night” in Letterman’s place.
The Stanley Cup returned to hockey’s native nation of Canada on the 100th anniversary of its first awarding when the Montreal Canadiens won the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals. The Canadiens dominated the series, 4-1, and as of now, are the most recent Canadian team to hoist the prized trophy. The squad they defeated? Ironically enough, it was the freshly crowned 2012 champions, the Los Angeles Kings.
Rodney King testifies in federal court
Controversy erupted when four Los Angeles police officers were acquitted in the videotaped beating of a citizen named Rodney King. King, who had been pulled over with his friends by the police for speeding, was attacked with batons and a Taser upon being taken into custody. Despite the 1992 acquittal of the officers, however, the lawmen were brought up on federal charges the next year in which King took the stand in an emotional, highly publicized testimony that helped send two of the officers to prison.
Barry Bonds in the land of giants
There are big contract signings, and there are BIG contract signings. Barry Bonds received the latter in 1992, when he was lured away from the Pittsburgh Pirates with a then-record free agent contract of $43 million to play for the San Francisco Giants. The nexrt year, the controversial home run king led the National League in homers and RBIs, and captured his second consecutive MVP award (and third overall) in his first season as a Giant.