Vince McMahon Discusses Naming Raw, Different Mindset From Ted Turner, Says He’s Never Satisfied, Singles Out Steve Austin

WWE has a new Q&A online with Vince McMahon talking about 1000 episodes of Raw. Below is an excerpt:

As we approach Raw’s 1,000th episode we’ve got to ask — who came up with the name Raw?

I did. The name “Raw” came out of my head. I was trying to come up with a word that would embody everything we wanted the program to be. It had to be gritty. It had to be cutting edge. It had to be confrontational. Raw fit perfectly.

And Raw actually ran the competition out of business. Is that the show’s biggest accomplishment?

I don’t think we drove WCW out of business. That was certainly never our intent. That was the mindset of Ted Turner and WCW, but not WWE. See, if you spend all of your energy trying to kill the other guy, your product suffers. If you don’t kill the other guy, then he’s going to come back at you, and when he comes back, you won’t have done anything to make your house better. It’s no different than being in a fight and knowing that, if the other guy keeps on hitting you, that son of a bitch is going to wear himself out pretty fast.

Any recent train wrecks come to mind?

To be honest, I’ve never been completely satisfied with a show. And I don’t think I ever will be. I’m always of the mindset that “well, maybe I could’ve done this differently,” or, “maybe we could have added more of this, and taken away more of this.” And that’s purely based on the reaction of the live audience. But, the success of a show is an overall thing. It’s not just based on ratings. There are so many different ways to judge whether or not a series of shows is successful.

Who was the most important Superstar in the evolution of Raw?

There’s no question that guys like Triple H, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, and The Undertaker have all made enormous contributions to this company, but if there was one single personality that exemplified Raw in the truest sense of what I wanted it to be, it would be “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

So, 1,000 episodes down. What’s the goal looking toward episode 2,000 of WWE Monday Night Raw?

The goal will be to remain flexible, and to adapt, so that WWE can give the audience what they want. Twenty years from now, who knows what that will end up being?

Click here to read the Q&A in its entirety.

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  • Anand

    Stone cold Steve Austin is undoubtedly the single most successful character in the wwe. Though others have had huge success, none of them comes close to what he achieved.

    Austin 3:16 Rules!!!

    • The Breaker

      You could definitely argue Hulk Hogan there. Not that I'm a big fan of his, but he took a huge role in popularizing the business and paving the way for the future.

  • Michael

    The fans want attitude screw the pg

    • outkazt09

      Enough of this attitude era stuff. its getting annoying.

      • Kleck

        No it’s not, PG is getting ever increasingly annoying.

      • Razmos01

        Why because your like 8 or something

        • Bob

          No, because instead of WWE Raw we have WWE Refined, or WWE Timid, or WWE Lightly Sauteed with a Pinch of Basil.

          • Philg

            Classic!

  • Billkmc

    Have to admit I’m glad he singled out Austin. back in the attitude era he really gave you that OMG what the hell will he do next feeling. Some of my favourite moments would be the insanity he brought to the show.

  • AnacondaVise

    "If there was one single personality that exemplified Raw in the truest sense of what I wanted it to be, it would be “Stone Cold” Steve Austin."

    O HELL YA!

  • Kleck

    Here’s a thought, I wonder if the community of people who remember and enjoyed the Attitude Era is shrinking due to lost viewership at a fast rate while the younger viewers who never had seen the Attitiude Era is growing. Seems impossible to turn the tide.

    • The Dude

      What?

      • Bob

        He thinks more old fans are leaving because of the poor programming than they have new fans coming in to replace them.

  • http://www.12ozprophet.com Dangerous Lee

    LOL at “giving the audience what they want”

    • The Dude

      He’s talking about the mainstream audience. Not the IWC.

      • http://www.12ozprophet.com Dangerous Lee

        That’s funny, I don’t recall seeing “mainstream” or “iwc” when referring to the audience.

  • Dot com

    Don’t you people realise the attitude era (of 1998) was still rated PG? So which is it? You want the attitude era? Or you want the PG rating abolished?

    • unknown

      it was the attitude era not just because of the rating but because of the storylines and the way the matches were done. an over the top pg character like what John Cena has wouldnt have gone over in the attitude era because of how it is done. Though CM Punk would probably have had not as much trouble.

  • RobUK

    These questions are always hard. Hogan brought wrestling to the mainstream audience and was responsible for the massive boom in the 80′s. Without him wrestling would not be where it is today. But I think Austin is more important to WWE because he helped vince and Raw win the Monday night wars – remember WWE were behind in the ratings for a long time and it could have easily ended up with them and not WCW going out of Buisness. So I do agree Austin is the most important wrestler in the ‘raw age’ but overall its Hogan.

  • Joedell Graciani

    Undertaker all the way

  • Stoneman

    I wish WWE would keep RAW PG and Smackdown more like the Attitude Era and see which show gained more viewership. Bet most viewers nowadays never knew a Hardcore Championship existed. Or maybe bring back ECW brand for Attitude Era type programming.

  • Kevin

    Hulk Hogan put the "entertainment" in WWE, but when it comes to getting the product to fit Vince Jr.'s vision of what it should be, no one did more to make that happen than "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Austin made the Raw program fit the name, and brought Vince's brainchild to life. And let's not forget Vince himself. If he hadn't had the balls to take the risk and create Wrestlemania, knowing it was an all or nothing deal, we wouldn't even have WWE today. I firmly believe it was Wrestlemania that brought wrestling into mainstream media and won over those fans who were on the fence when it comes to watching wrestling on a regular basis. When Vince created Wrestlemania, he took a huge risk, and it paid off in spades. And Vince is right: it wasn't him and his company that killed WCW; it was Turner and Bischoff. Turner thought that his money could buy anything, so he went out and paid huge sums of money to old wrestlers instead of promoting his younger talent. And Bischoff just ran the company into the ground with stupid storylines and idotic ideas.

  • Anthony

    THIS PG CRAP HAS GOT TO GO. It's one of the things that have made the company soft and not enough edginess or let alone being extreme, which was basically TV-14. We need more TV-14 stuff and more extreme edginess one of these days, thats what they need to do because the TNA is rising so eventually, they are going to have to have another war is such, the way I see it