Bruce Prichard recently appeared on an episode of Notsam Wrestling, and detailed the early days of WWE’s transition into live television.
The debut of Monday Night Raw in 1993 saw WWE branch into live television. The show replaced WWE’s Prime Time Wrestling, a pre-taped programme featuring matches and promos that had already taken place across several venues.
Monday Night Raw took the role of weekly episodic television, taking place live from the Manhattan Center in New York City.
Recalling the companies early beginnings in weekly live television, Executive Director of Raw, Bruce Prichard, remembers the set up for the show being as challenging as producing live TV:
“It’s challenging enough to take all of our equipment. The ring, probably the most difficult to figure out how we’re going to do that, but then we take everything else into consideration. Getting talent in and out of there, how do you do that, what entrances do you use. Well, you come in the front door, and you take one of two elevators they had in there. Which, by the way were not freight elevators. So you had to squeeze, and get very creative, as to how we got all the components for the ring unto the seventh floor.”
Monday Night Raw would largely remain at the Manhattan Center until November 1993. Following the departure, the show travelled and aired from a different city each week. To date, 1,440 episodes of WWE Raw have aired, making the show the longest running weekly episodic television show in history.
Although transitioning from pre-taped to live television would prove challenging, Prichard admits that producing a live show has its perks:
“For me, from the stand point of producing live television, I love producing live television because you do it and it’s over. We go back and we re-evaluate and we criticise and we tear apart every second of the show after the fact, however there is a feeling of completion when that show goes off the air…
That was the most intense hour of your day, nothing could go wrong because it was live television and if something perceived went wrong, no, that was meant to happen because it’s live television and by God, it was meant to happen.”
The Notsam Wrestling show featuring Bruce Prichard is set to air on WWE Network over the New Year period.