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WWE: Jim Ross Gives His Thoughts On RAW’s 800’th Episode

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In celebration of the 800th episode of Monday Night RAW, gave several Superstars 800 words to describe the emotional, thrill and passion of WWE’s long-running weekly program. Here are Hall of Famer Jim Ross’ Thoughts on RAW’s 800:

Monday Night Raw is a part of the fabric of Americana. Cable television has never had such a consistently high-rated weekly telecast in its history. To fans of sports-entertainment, Mondays are "wrestling nights," much akin to NFL fans who used to consider that Monday night was "football night."

Is Monday Night Raw the "A" broadcast in WWE? An argument could be easily made that it is. Raw was the first, live, weekly program produced by WWE to air in prime-time and will always be known as, the first.

It certainly speaks well of a program who sees both of its longest tenured broadcasters, Jerry Lawler and yours truly, inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in the same year (2007).

In the early days when Raw emanated from the Manhattan Center in New York City, Monday Night Raw certainly became must-see TV because it was live and unpredictable. There was also only one brand in WWE at that time and every Superstar was likely to appear on the hot, new program on any given Monday night. Plus, the small but rabid crowd in the Manhattan Center was usually off the charts and was almost as entertaining as what was going on in the ring.

Plus, Raw’s announce trio, comprised of Vince McMahon, Randy Savage and comedian/radio personality Rob Bartlet, created a fresh approach to the genre.

When I joined Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler at ringside on Raw in the mid-90s to form our three-man booth, it was one of the most significant moments in my broadcasting career.

Raw has been the catalyst that launched and further cemented the legacies of several of WWE’s biggest stars. I don’t consider myself a "big star," but I can assure you that wherever I go and wear that trademark, black cowboy hat, people recognize me from my years of broadcasting Monday Night Raw.

Would Dwayne Johnson aka "The Rock" have made it to stardom in films if he had not had the opportunity to express himself and display his talents every Monday night live on cable? The live audience component of Monday Night Raw was tailor-made for Dwayne to utilize his extemporaneous communication skills which obviously caught the eye of Hollywood.

Has WWE ever had a bigger star that transcended race, color and creed on a global basis than Stone Cold Steve Austin? Not if revenue is the criteria. The Austin era began on Monday Night Raw when often times an Oklahoma announcer with too much coffee flowing through his veins for his own good would get carried away and raise the roof with a few "STONE COLD.STONE COLD.STONE COLD’s!” 

My many memories from Monday Night Raw could fill a book. Here’s a few of them:

Vince McMahon having an issue with Bret Hart in Halifax, Nova Scotia was hotter than donut grease.

The evolution of The Ringmaster to becoming “Stone Cold.” No matter how hard it was positioned to make fans dislike Austin, it simply never worked. The Texas Rattlesnake struck a chord to the common folks around the world and allowed them to live vicariously through him for two hours every Monday night.

The creation of Mr. McMahon. What antagonist has ever been easier to dislike? The Austin-McMahon era will never be duplicated in my estimation.

The evolution of the beautiful Divas of WWE occurred on Monday Night Raw. Sunny and Sable were ahead of their time and gave the program’s male demographic, yet another reason to watch Raw.

Pyro. No program used pyro as effectively as Monday Night Raw.

Yours truly actually getting to participate, notice I did not use the term wrestle, against Triple H in the main event of a sold-out Madison Square Garden.

My announcement of my induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, which was announced on Raw in Chicago.

Coming back to OKC to say good-bye to our Raw fans after moving to Friday Night SmackDown.

The keys to producing any weekly program and staying as successful as Monday Night Raw has for 800 episodes is for the program to be produced episodically in a reality-based fashion and having the talent depth to sustain the two-hour juggernaut for 52 weeks a year.

I am proud to have been a small part of Raw’s history and to know that a few of my "Slobber-Knockers," "Government Mules," and other "Pet Coon Goofy" clichés will remain as a part of WWE’s longest running, prime-time broadcast forever.

I do miss broadcasting on Monday Night Raw, but I had my tenure there of which I am very proud. Monday Night Raw helped me accomplish more as a broadcaster in sports-entertainment than any other vehicle I could have ever been involved.

Who knows, perhaps you haven’t seen the last of me on Monday nights. Remember, it’s live and anything can happen.

Boomer Sooner!