WWE RAW has been the company’s flagship show since 1993 and there have been 1,510 episodes to date.

Before RAW, there was a show called WWF Prime Time Wrestling. The show aired from January 1985 – January 1993. The two-hour weekly show featured WWE Hall of Famers Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon, guests, and house show matches.

Ric Flair and Randy Savage battled on Prime Time Wrestling in a WrestleMania VIII rematch. Vince McMahon was not a fan of how the match was going and had Heenan tell the referee to stop the match.

Speaking on his Something to Wrestle With podcast, Bruce Richard detailed how Vince McMahon had Savage and Ric Flair redo the match in front of the same audience. He noted that Ric and Randy were pissed off about it.

They were pissed. They didn’t think that there was anything wrong with the match. Obviously, someone else (Vince) did went out and redid it. And that was also when Randy went crazy and we went out to try and hold Randy back.

I got nailed by Randy and took a hell of a bump too. Quite the cheer backstage when I got nailed.

Bruce explained how Prime Time wasn’t clicking anymore and they were looking for a different presentation, which eventually led to WWE RAW.

The format had gone from Bobby & Gorilla to this kind of round table format if you will. That didn’t click. It just really didn’t click.

We were looking for different things, obviously, I had nothing to do with it beforehand. But once I got there everybody’s ‘what do you think of this?’ and it just, it wasn’t good.

It was a compilation show with a compilation panel. There was no consistency to the show at all, other than I think Vince (McMahon) and Bobby (Heenan).

We were looking for ways to save money, we were looking for a different presentation of the show, which is where the germ of RAW came from.

Co-host Conrad Thompson noted that fans typically didn’t get to see big moments at the time on weekly television. He noted that the World Title changing hands only brought in a 2.4 rating and wondered if they realized something had to change. Bruce Prichard said RAW came to be as a cost-cutting measure.

No. It was more of a cost-cutting measure. It was looking at ways to produce this show without doing it on the road. And look at delivering a product that was unique and that was different.

One thing that would make it unique and different was going live. The other part is we wanted to do it in a unique setting, a smaller more intimate setting than the big arenas.

The original concept was to build the studio where our current television studio was in the warehouse section that. Make that into an arena that would hold maybe 500 – 1,000 people.

RAW originated from the Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center and aired live each week. Prichard noted that the Manhattan Center was extremely expensive to run shows from.

Going to the Manhattan Center certainly didn’t accomplish that because the Manhattan Center was extremely expensive and a tough proposition. You had to take the ring up seven floors on an elevator, a passenger elevator at that. It was tough but the whole idea was we needed a different presentation.