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WWE: Kofi Kingston 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.

I have been a WWE fan for as long as I can remember. Every Saturday morning, before I went to Karate class, I dedicated my time to Superstars. I bought toys, practiced moves; I even constructed a lame three-sided ring where the ring posts were two trees, and a pole from a volleyball net we used to have. A 70 percent dirt, 30 percent grass canvas and one rope made of an orange extension cord. I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when I found out there would be another showing of wrestling on Monday nights. I watched Raw from its inception in 1993.

No matter what homework assignment I had due the next day, I would put it on hold, forcing myself to stay awake and watch Raw. Now, I also knew full well that doing so would make Tuesday the longest day of the week, as I would inevitably struggle to stay awake through tedious classes like typing and geology. Six-and-a-half hours of sleep as a teen was not healthy.

Long story short, I put my time in when it came to wrestling. I was involved in a lot of different activities as a youth, but wrestling was the one thing I dedicated the most time to on a consistent basis. In addition to the great moments involving the top guys like Shawn Michaels and Diesel, Bret Hart, Bam Bam Bigelow, and Yokozuna, I also have many random memories like Lex Luger slamming Yokozuna after delivering a forearm smash to the Sumo Wrestler’s dome! And “J-E- double- F, J-A–double-R-E-double-T” strutting to the ring with his light-up star glasses and cabaret-esque outfit talking about, “Ain’t I great?” Or what about the Kamikaze Kid’s evolution to the Cannonball Kid, to the Kid, to the “1-2-3 Kid” after he defeated Razor Ramon?

My fondest memories of Monday Night Raw came during my high school years, during what has since been deemed ‘The Attitude Era.” At first, I was bitter. I had invested so much time into wrestling. And now because of charismatic personalities like “Stone Cold,” The Rock, Triple H and DX, all of a sudden, everyone thought they deserved to be a wrestling fan. Even my algebra teacher wanted to know if the class ‘smelled what she was cooking’ when she was explaining the answers to equations. What?! Was Mrs. Mungovanto quoting the Great One? Did she even know what she was saying? She hadn’t come close to paying her dues! We had a debate in social studies and split the class into two groups: the  “Know-Your-Rolls” (Yes they spelled it ‘r-o-l-l-s’) and the “Jabroni’s.”  Now why would you go and call yourself a Jabroni? Everybody was infringing upon what was mine! What I had EARNED the right to support. That’s like a football player joining a team the week before the Super Bowl, winning the championship and then celebrating as if they had been on the team since training camp!

But, that is neither here nor there and the fact of the matter is that I could not stop this new wave of bandwagon wrestling supporters. I had no choice but to embrace them. Soon, we were in auto shop constructing our own championships out of sheet metal and spray paint. We would scout the halls hunting for unsuspecting victims so we could deliver them a surprise Stone Cold Stunner before class. Wrestling became the most popular form of entertainment and it was all because of the talented Superstars of Raw.

The stars of Monday Night Raw set the popularity of wrestling on a meteoric rise, crossing over several cultures and demographics. Because of these stars, wrestling not only attracted new admirers, but it also transformed them into devout followers. These same people who never cared before about anything to do with professional wrestling had become converted and altered to die-hard fanatics. And in the same way that a vampire can not live without the plasma of its victim, these fans too yearned for their weekly fix of Monday Night Raw!

This is exactly why Monday Night Raw is clearly one of the most dominant programs our culture has ever seen. Raw has been consistent for 15 years: no off-season, no breaks, and no season finale after 14 episodes to leave people waiting for eight months for the next series of 14 episodes. Instead, Raw leaves its audience on the edge of their seats every week; and every week, they come back for more. Transcending all age groups, races and genders, Raw has demonstrated the ability to bring folks together week in and week out. And now, 800 episodes later, Raw’s audience is bigger than it has ever been, and if history is an indication of the future, Raw will continue not only to grow, but to dominate.