WWE Monday Night Raw has been the flagship program for the company for decades. While the ratings now are not what they used to be, Raw was, at one time, the most-watched show on cable TV, week in and week out. This was especially true during the Attitude Era.
WWE and WCW were at war with each other, and when WWE started the Attitude Era and Stone Cold Steve Austin climbed the ranks in the company, it reached unthinkable heights. WWE kept upping the stakes until they finally overtook WCW and won the Monday Night Wars. While things were never the same after that, here is a look at the 10 highest rated episodes of Monday Night Raw ever.
10 JUNE 7, 1999 (6.65)
This episode of Monday Night Raw had one of the biggest reveals and swerves in WWE history. The Corporation and the Ministry of Darkness had been feuding for a while. On this episode of Raw, the Ministry finally revealed who the Higher Power was and it turned out to be Mr. McMahon himself, combining the factions into the Ministry of Darkness.
This action all happened in the first 30 minutes of the show, then Stone Cold Steve Austin came out, and Linda McMahon named him the new CEO, so he named a bunch of matches for the night. The only good wrestling match was Big Show against Undertaker for the WWE title, but it was all about the angle.
9 JUNE 28, 1999 (6.8)
This edition of Monday Night Raw came after the King of the Ring pay-per-view which saw Bad Ass Billy Gunn win the tournament, Undertaker beat The Rock in a WWE title match and Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon win back control of WWE from Stone Cold Steve Austin.
With the McMahon family back in power and Austin an underdog again, a lot of fans tuned in to see what was going to happen next. The episode opened with Shane firing Austin, but Stone Cold showed up with a new contract voiding that decree. There was then a great main event, with Austin beating Undertaker and winning the WWE title.
8 SEPT. 27, 1999 (6.8)
This episode of Monday Night Raw remains known for one massive reason -- and as with much of the Attitude Era, it had little to nothing to do with the wrestling action. This episode was where Mankind wanted to show The Rock how good of a friend he is and called him out to the ring.
Yes, this was the "This Is Your Life Rock" episode of Monday Night Raw. This kind of angle would get destroyed by wrestling fans today, but the fans in 1999 loved it and ate up every second of the segment. There was a world title match between Triple H and The Rock, but it ended in a brawl, like almost every other match on the show.
7 JULY 24, 2000 (6.9)
This episode of Monday Night Raw took place after the FDUlly Loaded PPV. In that main event, The Rock successfully defended his title against Chris Benoit and left as the champion. The episode started with Mick Foley coming to the ring as the general manager and making the matches for the night.
The main event saw Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit vs. Kane and The Rock, which ended in a no-decision (like too many matches of that era). There was also a Big Show swerve that started a feud with Undertaker on this episode.
6 APRIL 24, 2000 (7.1)
This episode of Monday Night Raw is the go-home show before Backlash. The PPV would see The Rock vs. Triple H for Triple H's WWE title, Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental title, and a match between Big Show and Kurt Angle. This Raw should have led into those matches.
The rating was over a seven, as fans watched Big Show help Rikishi stink face Angle before the two giants danced. For fans who remember the days where Chris Jericho came out and threw out every sort of insult in the world at Stephanie McMahon, this was one of his biggest moments. The main event was Triple H and Chris Benoit beating Chris Jericho and The Rock.
5 MAY 22, 2000 (7.1)
This episode of Monday Night Raw had a lot of weak matches, but it was the storyline that ended the episode that made this Raw one to remember. Mr. McMahon said he was going to fight The Rock that night, with DX in his corner.
However, as the night went on, The Rock took out everyone in DX and Shane McMahon, evening the odds somewhat. Triple H was the only one who was smart enough to be careful. Then, when it came the time, Triple H and The Rock met in the ring and The Rock put him through the announcer's table. This Raw was all about The Rock's story, and it was paced perfectly.
4 JULY 26, 1999 (7.1)
This episode of Monday Night Raw took place the night after Fully Loaded. The episode the week before was ranked seventh on this list, and this one was even bigger. At Fully Loaded, Stone Cold Steve Austin beat Undertaker, which meant Mr. McMahon could not appear on television any more, while Triple H won the number one contender spot by defeating The Rock.
The follow up to these two matches brought in a ton of fans. This episode opened with Big Show and Undertaker becoming partners and beating Kane. The main event then saw The Rock beat Billy Gunn and Chyna in a handicap match. For the fans, Austin kicked McMahon out, and they all sang, "Hey hey hey, goodbye."
3 MAY 24, 1999 (7.15)
This episode of Monday Night Raw has a massive rating for the most tragic of reasons. The night before this Raw at the Over the Edge PPV, Owen Hart died in an in-ring accident. Hart was working as the Blue Blazer and his gimmick was that he was a superhero. He was going to rappel down to the ring on a wire, but it snapped and he fell to his death.
This episode of Monday Night Raw was a tribute show to Owen Hart. The wrestlers received the chance to work or not. Those who did so wrestled in memory of Owen, with no angles and no storylines. In between matches, the wrestlers talked about their memories of Owen.
2 MAY 1, 2000 (7.4)
This episode was when WWE started to win the Monday Night Wars. WCW made actor David Arquette their champion to get mainstream attention, while WWE put their world title on The Rock. WCW fans tuned out and it ended up with a 2.5 rating, while WWE pulled in an impressive 7.4.
What did Monday Night Raw do to get that rating? Triple H complains about not being the champion anymore, and then Shane McMahon gets booked to battle The Rock in a Steel Cage battle for the title. Despite Mr. McMahon and his Stooges trying to help Shane, The Rock escapes the cage to win.
1 MAY 10, 1999 (8.1)
The highest-rated episode of Monday Night Raw in WWE history (and the only one to ever break the 8.0 mark) took place on May 10, 1999, in the middle of the Attitude Era. The big thing about this rating is that Monday Nitro did not air that night, so even WCW fans tuned in to WWE to see what was going to happen.
The main event was a six-man tag team match with Triple H, Undertaker and Shane McMahon versus Vince McMahon, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Rock. This Raw was one month before Mr. McMahon turned heel again and the good guys won a nice brawl to help cement the Monday Night Wars ratings in WWE's favor. They never let go of them again.