Tonight's episode of Raw has been 25 years in the making (and 10 days). It was back on January 11th, 1993 that the Raw television show made its debut. Now, at the time no one would have guessed that it would last as long as it has and become the longest running weekly episodic show on television. But that is exactly what happened.
However, that wasn't the only thing that happened back in January of 1993. There were many other events that took place that month (some much more significant than others). So, we thought it might be fun to take a look back at said month and see what else happened in the world when Raw premiered...
This is a sports website. I mean the word "sports" is right there in the name. So, it only makes sense that that is where we begin out journey back in time to January of 1993.
And we start at the other end of the world - far away from New York City where Raw episode 1 was filmed - in Australia. From January 18th-30th, 1993 the best tennis players in the world headed down under to fight it out for the first major of the year.
On the women's side it was Monica Seles winning her 3rd Aussie Open title and her 8th career Grand Slam (it was in August of that year that Seles was attacked on court by a man who stabbed her in the back with a 9-inch long knife - she was out of the game for over two years). And on the men's side it was Jim Courier winning his 2nd Autralian Open title and his 4th - and last - Grand Slam title.
But the biggest sports news of the month is simply referred to as "The Comeback." It was an NFL wild card playoff game between the Buffalo Bills and the Houston Oilers that saw quarterback Frank Reich (Jim Kelly was injured and didn't play) bring the Bills back from a 32-point deficit to win 41-38 in overtime. A feat that still remains as the greatest comeback in pro football history!
The WWE calls its product "sports entertainment." Well, we did the sports, so how about what was happening in the world of entertainment in January 1993?
All you Trekkies probably know this already. But for the rest of you, the Star Trek series Deep Space Nine premiered on January 3rd, 1993. The show would go on to run for seven seasons, ending in 1999.
On January 9th the original soundtrack to the movie The Bodygaurd became the first album in history (since computerized sales monitoring began in 1992) to sell over 1 million copies in one week in the United States.
And these days we are used to - and expect - big name superstar music acts to perform at half-time at the Super Bowl. But that all really started on January 31st 1993 when Michael Jackson played the halftime show at Super Bowl XXVII. His performance was such a ratings success that the NFL continued the big-name trend that will continue this year when Justin Timberlake takes the stage at the half of Super Bowl LII on February 4th.
A lot was happening in the world in January 1993. On January 3rd President George H. W. Bush and Russian president Boris Yeltsin signed the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. It was one of the last things Bush did as president because 17 days later on January 20th Bill Clinton held his inauguration and became the 42nd President of the United States. And while all that was going on, a country disappeared.
Okay, it didn't actually disappear , but Czechoslovakia as a country did cease to exit on January 1st when it separated - known as the Velvet Divorce - and became the Czech Republic and Slovakia. And 25 days later Vaclav Havel was elected President on the newly formed Czech Republic.
And right there in the middle of all that - Raw made it's television debut live from the Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center in New York City on January 11th, 1993 on the USA Network. And the rest is history!