On April 16, 2009, WWE re-vamped an old television show they had used in the mid-1980’s; WWE Raw Superstars on WGN America. The show featured matches between stars of Smackdown, Raw, and the now retired ECW shows.
Going back to December 2008, both WWE, and WGN agreed upon producing a weekly one hour program called WWE Superstars to debut in April of 2009.
In early 2009, WGN hyped the show by putting out a press release, and revealed its new timeslot of Thursday nights at 8:00pm eastern time. A replay of the Thursday show also airs 12:00pm ET on Sundays on the same network.
WWE superstars use their own entrance themes, and sets as they are usually tapes either on Raw or Smackdown, and broadcast that Thursday of the same week. The announce teams for the shows are usually dependant on which show the match was taped on, and features either Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler (Raw brand), or Todd Grisham and Matt Striker (Smackdown brand). Their in-ring announcers at the present time are either Justin Roberts (Raw brand), or Tony Chimel (Smackdown brand).
The WWE Raw Superstars is part of a multi-year deal with WGN, with a possibility of a multi-year renewal at the end of this current contract.
According to the WWE’s corporate site, WWE Superstars is “ the most watched regularly scheduled program among households and total viewers, and is seen by 1.4 million viewers each week.”
The original show debuted in 1986, and was originally called WWF Superstars of Wrestling., and replaced the program WWF Championship Wrestling. This show became their “A-Show” to push on tv. The announce team at that time was Vince McMahon, Jesse Ventura, and Bruno Sammartino, and had various co-hosts such as Roddy Piper, Randy Savage, Curt Hennig, Jim Ross, Bobby Heenan, Jerry Lawler, Stan Lane, Dok Hendrix, and Jim Cornette.
When Monday Night Raw was created in 1993, the show was re-named into WWF Superstars, but sometime in the late fall of 1996 stopped being syndicated, and was moved to the USA Network. By early 1997, the show’s content was switched around, and it became a recap show. By 2000, it was shopped over to TNN, and by mid 2001 was cancelled.
In September of 2010, the last episode of the month for WWE Raw Superstars drew a 0.58 rating with only 579,000 viewers, and the replay drawing 0.25 rating with 254,000 views.
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