On last week’s episode of Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard highlighted the December 22, 1997 episode of RAW. During the insightful podcast, Prichard went into detail on how RAW was pushing the envelope and how business was changing.
Check out some highlights below.
Transcription by WrestleZone.com Senior Editor Tyler Treese.
RAW becoming two separate shows where the edgier content was in the second hour:
The haters were going to hate and the people that loved it were going to love it. The real reason why we moved the show to two hours was for the ratings. We’d get two shows with two ratings versus one show where if the second hour was worse it’d bring the rating down. It was an attempt at you’ve got two shows now, it’s better than one. We toned it down an awful lot, it was actually going to be censorship in the first hour of RAW.
On The New Age Outlaws Joining DX:
The beautiful thing was this is around the time The New Age Outlaws were really coming along. It was actually Shawn’s idea to put the New Age Outlaws together and eventually have them become a part of DX but not right away. It was going back to the old way of planting seeds and then taking your time.
How Different RAW has to be today compared to 1997:
How many things here could you chalk up as “things you wouldn’t see in 2018?” This show is a laundry list of things, and the times have changed. I was watching [the December 22, 1997 RAW] earlier going, “We wouldn’t do that now,” and “God, I wish we didn’t do that then.”
How RAW was edited in different regions due to content concerns:
We were a little more concerned with how it would air overseas. If they would take it in parts over the world. We heavily edited a lot of the stuff that went into the Middle East and in South America. You’d get to the UK, and we hardly had to edit out shit. In Canada, sometimes they’d get into a moral high ground, and other times they wouldn’t care. You’d be amazed at some of the things they’d let you air and then they’d [disapprove] of others.
How WWF’s financials were changing in 1997:
Business, everything [was up]. It wasn’t just in house shows or ratings, it was in merchandising. This was the time we started to see all of our stuff in malls and everywhere you looked there was an Austin 3:16 shirt. We were plugging everything, the Chyna Syndrome shirts. Every way that we could to slide these references in, we did.
Check out the full clip below: