10 facts to get you ready for Raw 25
Raw is ticking closer and closer to its 25th birthday party, a two-pronged anniversary show set to emanate live simultaneously from both the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Team Red’s original home of the Manhattan Center on Monday, Jan. 22. Before the historic quarter-centennial event, here are a few key facts about the longest-running weekly episodic show in history that you might have missed.
Across the Nation
No, it’s not just the name of Raw’s super-catchy theme song circa 2002. Ten countries have hosted Raw since its debut in 1993, with the good old US of A leading the charge with 1,208 shows. Canada is a very distant second with 44 shows, the U.K. follows with 27, and Iraq comes after that with two. Bringing up the rear with one show apiece is a six-way tie between Afghanistan, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico and South Africa.
Within those 1,208 shows in the United States, New York has hosted the most Raws with 147 shows, trailed by California (96), Texas (95), Pennsylvania (84) and Ohio (69). The only states where Raw has yet to set foot are Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico and Maine.
Anything but average
There have been many matches over the course of Raw’s 25 years on the air, and from Max Moon to Braun Strowman, there have been a lot of Superstars (777 to be exact) who stepped through the ropes. An average of 92 unique Superstars have laced ‘em up for a go on the red brand, with 1995 boasting the deepest bench at a whopping 138 Superstars. 2004 had the narrowest field, with a mere 70 Superstars participating in a match over the course of the year.
It’s a “Wonderful!” life
In fairness to “Woken” Matt Hardy, his immortal spirit has bounced around since the dawn of time, so there’s a fair shot he once stepped into the ring for a No Holds Barred Match against Aristotle or something. As far as this particular vessel is concerned, though, Hardy boasts the longest range of any competitor between his first and most recent Raw match, with a PULCHRITUDINOUS 24 years from 1993 to 2018. Goldust is right behind him with 23 years (1995-2018), and Jeff Hardy is sitting comfortably with 22 (1995-2017).
The Age of Cena
John Cena’s record of 16 World Championships is tied with one other Superstar, but he stands alone when it comes to the number of consecutive years in which he has competed on Raw. Since his Team Red debut in 2005, The Cenation Leader has had a Monday night match every year through 2017, giving him the longest active streak of any Superstar. An interesting assortment of Superstars trail him, with a two-way tie for second at 11 years (Mark Henry and The Miz) and a five-way tie for third with 10 (Kane, Big Show, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston and Primo Colon).
The champs are here
Over the past 25 years, a grand total of 275 title changes have occurred during a broadcast of Monday Night Raw, with the first being Marty Jannetty’s defeat of Shawn Michaels for the Intercontinental Championship on May 17, 1993. The title to change hands on Raw the most times is the now-defunct World Tag Team Championship with 60, and the least is the Universal Title with one. The most recent title switch came in the final Raw of 2017, when Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan won the Raw Tag Team Championship for the first time.
Behold the King
Apart from his position as WWE’s COO, Triple H has been Raw’s resident iron man, competing in a Monday night match at least once a year for 16 consecutive years, from 1995-2010. Right behind him is his onetime protégé, Randy Orton, with a 14-year run stretching from 2002-2015.
On this day …
An assortment of current and legendary Superstars will suit up for Raw 25 on Jan. 22, and most of them have competed on that very same date in the past. Triple H, Goldust and Bret Hart were active on the 1996 Raw in Stockton, Calif., while the 2001 Raw in Lafayette, La., featured William Regal, The Hardy Boyz, Chris Jericho, The Rock, Big Show, Kane and both Raw’s current Commissioner and General Manager, Stephanie McMahon and Kurt Angle. In 2007, Raw returned to Lafayette again, boasting Jeff Hardy, John Cena, Shelton Benjamin and Mickie James on its roster. Some things never change, even in WWE.