|Product type||Professional wrestling|
|Produced by||Vince McMahon|
|Introduced||March 25, 2002 |
July 19, 2016
|Discontinued||August 29, 2011 |
|Tagline||Must be Monday|
Raw is a brand of the American professional wrestling promotion WWE that was established on March 25, 2002. Brands are divisions of WWE's roster where wrestlers are assigned to perform on a weekly basis when a brand extension is in effect. Wrestlers assigned to Raw primarily appear on the brand's weekly television program, Monday Night Raw, also referred to simply as Raw. It is one of WWE's two main brands, along with SmackDown, collectively referred to as WWE's main roster. The brand was discontinued for a period between August 2011 and July 2016.
In addition to Raw's main television program, less-utilized wrestlers also appear on the brand's supplementary show, Main Event. Raw's wrestlers also perform on the branded and co-branded pay-per-view and Peacock/WWE Network events. During the first brand split (2002–2011), Raw wrestlers also competed on the former supplementary show, Heat, and on ECW under a talent exchange program with the former ECW brand, while during the second brand split (2016–present), the brand's wrestlers have appeared in the interbrand Worlds Collide and Mixed Match Challenge events. Additionally during the second split, Raw's cruiserweight wrestlers competed on 205 Live when WWE's revived cruiserweight division was exclusive to Raw from 2016 to 2018 before 205 Live became its own brand.
Main article: WWE brand extension
In early-to-mid-2002, then World Wrestling Federation (WWF) underwent a process they called the "brand extension". The WWF divided itself into two de facto wrestling promotions with separate rosters, storylines and authority figures. Raw and SmackDown! would host each division, give its name to the division and essentially compete against each other. The split came about as a result of the WWF purchasing their two biggest competitors, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW); and the subsequent doubling of its roster and championships. The brand extension was publicly announced by Linda McMahon during a telecast of Raw on March 25 and became official the next day.
At the time, this excluded the WWE Undisputed Championship and the original WWE Women's Championship as those WWE titles would be defended on both shows. In September 2002, then WWE Undisputed Champion Brock Lesnar refused to defend the title on Raw, in effect causing his title to become exclusive to SmackDown. The following week on Raw, Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff awarded a newly instated World Heavyweight Championship to Raw's designated number one contender Triple H. Because the WWE Undisputed Championship was now a SmackDown exclusive title, it was no longer referred to as "undisputed". Following this, the original WWE Women's Championship soon became a Raw exclusive title as well. As a result of the brand extension, an annual "draft lottery" was instituted to exchange members of each roster and generally refresh the lineups.
Raw was the home brand for many top WWE stars including Triple H, Ric Flair, Batista, Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, Goldberg, Chris Jericho, Christian, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Kane, Trish Stratus, Lita and Stacy Keibler.
The 2005 draft was held on the June 6 episode of Raw. The first draft lottery pick was then WWE Champion John Cena, thus moving the WWE Championship to Raw and having two titles on the brand. Eventually, then World Heavyweight Champion Batista was drafted to SmackDown as the last draft pick, leaving only the WWE Championship on Raw. In the 2008 draft lottery, CM Punk got drafted to Raw and then won the World Heavyweight Championship from Edge, who was a SmackDown wrestler. Triple H, who was the WWE Champion at the time, got drafted to SmackDown while Kane, who was the then ECW Champion, got drafted to Raw. After the draft lottery in 2009, the WWE Championship was brought back to Raw when Triple H was drafted from SmackDown while the World Heavyweight Championship was brought back to SmackDown when Edge defeated John Cena to win the title at Backlash.
On the August 29, 2011, episode of Raw, it was announced that performers from Raw and SmackDown were no longer exclusive to their respective brand. Subsequently, championships previously exclusive to one show or the other were available for wrestlers from any show to compete for—this would mark the end of the brand extension as all programming and live events featured the full WWE roster. In a 2013 interview with Advertising Age, Stephanie McMahon explained that WWE's decision to end the brand extension was due to wanting their content to flow across television and online platforms.
On May 25, 2016, it was announced that WWE would be reintroducing the brand split in July, with distinctive rosters for both Raw and SmackDown. On the July 11 episode of Raw, Vince McMahon named Stephanie McMahon the Commissioner of Raw. The draft took place on the live premiere of SmackDown on July 19, with the General Managers of the respective brands hand-picking the wrestlers for their brands. Raw's Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and General Manager Mick Foley created a new championship—the WWE Universal Championship. This championship would be exclusive to the Raw brand, as the WWE World Championship had become exclusive to the SmackDown brand. Clash of Champions was scheduled as the reintroduction of the cruiserweight division and the first Raw-exclusive pay-per-view since January 2007, whereas Elimination Chamber was scheduled as the final Raw-exclusive pay-per-view two years later. Subsequently, this saw all upcoming pay-per-views interbranded after WrestleMania 34.
Beginning in December 2021, talents from Raw begin to appear on NXT 2.0. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Radio reported that a Raw-NXT crossover between their talents as a way to help boost NXT 2.0 ratings as both shows air on the USA Network.
Initially, the WWE Undisputed Championship and the original WWE Women's Championship were available to both brands. The other championships were exclusive to the brand the champion was a part of. When the brand extension began, Raw received the Intercontinental Championship and the European Championship when their respective holders were drafted. In September 2002, the WWE Undisputed Championship became the WWE Championship again and was moved to SmackDown, prompting Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff to create the World Heavyweight Championship for Raw. Shortly thereafter, Raw became the exclusive brand for the World Tag Team Championship, the Intercontinental Championship and the original WWE Women's Championship.
On July 19, 2016, the brand extension was brought back and for the first time ever the draft was held on SmackDown Live. Raw drafted the WWE Women's Championship, the United States Championship and the WWE Tag Team Championship. With the WWE Championship being defended exclusively on SmackDown, Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley introduced the WWE Universal Championship to be Raw's world title. At Crown Jewel on October 31, 2019, SmackDown wrestler "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt won the WWE Universal Championship, thus taking the title to SmackDown. On the next night's episode of SmackDown, WWE Champion Brock Lesnar quit SmackDown and moved to Raw, bringing the title with him.
|Championship||Current champion(s)||Reign||Date won||Days held||Location||Notes||Ref.|
|Undisputed WWE Universal Championship||Roman Reigns||4||April 3, 2022||46||Arlington, Texas||Defeated Brock Lesnar in winner takes all title unification match to unify Reigns's Universal Championship with Lesnar's WWE Championship at Night 2 of WrestleMania 38.|||
|WWE United States Championship||Theory||1||April 18, 2022||31||Buffalo, New York||Defeated Finn Bálor on Raw.|||
|WWE Raw Tag Team Championship||RK-Bro
(Randy Orton and Riddle)
|2||March 7, 2022||73||Cleveland, Ohio||Defeated Alpha Academy (Otis and Chad Gable) and Seth Rollins & Kevin Owens on Raw.|
|WWE Raw Women's Championship||Bianca Belair||1||April 2, 2022||47||Arlington, Texas||Defeated Becky Lynch on Night 1 of WrestleMania 38.|||
|Championship||Time on brand|
|WWE European Championship||March 25, 2002 — July 22, 2002|
|WWE Hardcore Championship||March 26, 2002 — August 26, 2002|
|ECW Championship||June 23, 2008 — June 29, 2008|
|World Tag Team Championship||July 29, 2002 — December 13, 2008|
|WWE Women's Championship||September 24, 2002 — April 13, 2009|
|Million Dollar Championship||April 5, 2010 — November 15, 2010|
|World Heavyweight Championship||September 2, 2002 — June 28, 2005|
June 30, 2008 — February 15, 2009
April 5, 2009 — April 26, 2009
|WWE Divas Championship||April 13, 2009 — September 19, 2010|
|WWE Cruiserweight Championship||September 14, 2016 — April 4, 2018|
|WWE Intercontinental Championship||March 25, 2002 — July 30, 2002|
August 25, 2002 — April 13, 2009
April 10, 2017 — April 16, 2019
|WWE Universal Championship||August 21, 2016 — October 31, 2019|
Main article: List of WWE personnel § Raw
|May 4, 2002||Insurrextion||Wembley Arena||London, England||Triple H vs. The Undertaker|
|June 7, 2003||Insurrextion||Telewest Arena||Newcastle, England||Triple H (c) vs. Kevin Nash in a Street Fight match for the World Heavyweight Championship|
|June 15, 2003||Bad Blood||Compaq Center||Houston, Texas||Triple H (c) vs. Kevin Nash in a Hell in a Cell match for the World Heavyweight Championship with Mick Foley as special guest referee|
|September 21, 2003||Unforgiven||Giant Center||Hershey, Pennsylvania||Triple H (c) vs. Goldberg in a Title vs. Career match for the World Heavyweight Championship|
Had Triple H been disqualified or counted out, he would lose the title
|December 14, 2003||Armageddon||TD Waterhouse Center||Orlando, Florida||Goldberg (c) vs. Kane vs. Triple H in a Triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship|
|April 18, 2004||Backlash||Rexall Place||Edmonton, Alberta, Canada||Chris Benoit (c) vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels in a Triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship|
|June 13, 2004||Bad Blood||Nationwide Arena||Columbus, Ohio||Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels in a Hell in a Cell match|
|July 11, 2004||Vengeance||Hartford Civic Center||Hartford, Connecticut||Chris Benoit (c) vs. Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship|
|September 12, 2004||Unforgiven||Rose Garden Arena||Portland, Oregon||Randy Orton (c) vs. Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship|
|October 19, 2004||Taboo Tuesday||Bradley Center||Milwaukee, Wisconsin||Randy Orton vs. Ric Flair in a Steel Cage match|
|January 9, 2005||New Year's Revolution||Coliseo de Puerto Rico||San Juan, Puerto Rico||Batista vs. Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho vs. Edge vs. Randy Orton vs. Triple H in an Elimination Chamber match for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship with Shawn Michaels as special guest referee|
|May 1, 2005||Backlash||Verizon Wireless Arena||Manchester, New Hampshire||Batista (c) vs. Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship|
|June 26, 2005||Vengeance||Thomas & Mack Center||Paradise, Nevada||Batista (c) vs. Triple H in a Hell in a Cell match for the World Heavyweight Championship|
|September 18, 2005||Unforgiven||Ford Center||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma||John Cena (c) vs. Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship|
|November 1, 2005||Taboo Tuesday||iPayOne Center||San Diego, California||John Cena (c) vs. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels in a Triple threat match for the WWE Championship|
|January 8, 2006||New Year's Revolution||Pepsi Arena||Albany, New York||John Cena (c) vs. Edge for the WWE Championship|
This was Edge's Money in the Bank cash-in match
|April 30, 2006||Backlash||Rupp Arena||Lexington, Kentucky||John Cena (c) vs. Edge vs. Triple H in a Triple threat match for the WWE Championship|
|June 25, 2006||Vengeance||Charlotte Bobcats Arena||Charlotte, North Carolina||D-Generation X (Shawn Michaels and Triple H) vs. The Spirit Squad (Johnny, Kenny, Mikey, Mitch and Nicky) in a 2-on-5 handicap match|
|September 17, 2006||Unforgiven||Air Canada Centre||Toronto, Ontario, Canada||Edge (c) vs. John Cena in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the WWE Championship|
|November 5, 2006||Cyber Sunday||U.S. Bank Arena||Cincinnati, Ohio||King Booker (c) vs. Big Show vs. John Cena in a Triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship|
|January 7, 2007||New Year's Revolution||Kemper Arena||Kansas City, Missouri||John Cena (c) vs. Umaga for the WWE Championship|
|September 25, 2016||Clash of Champions||Bankers Life Fieldhouse||Indianapolis, Indiana||Kevin Owens (c) vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship|
|October 30, 2016||Hell in a Cell||TD Garden||Boston, Massachusetts||Sasha Banks (c) vs. Charlotte Flair in a Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Raw Women's Championship|
|December 18, 2016||Roadblock: End of the Line||PPG Paints Arena||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||Kevin Owens (c) vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship|
|March 5, 2017||Fastlane||Bradley Center||Milwaukee, Wisconsin||Kevin Owens (c) vs. Goldberg for the WWE Universal Championship|
|April 30, 2017||Payback||SAP Center||San Jose, California||Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns|
|June 4, 2017||Extreme Rules||Royal Farms Arena||Baltimore, Maryland||Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Bálor vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins in an Extreme Rules match to determine the #1 contender for the WWE Universal Championship|
|July 9, 2017||Great Balls of Fire||American Airlines Center||Dallas, Texas||Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Samoa Joe for the WWE Universal Championship|
|September 24, 2017||No Mercy||Staples Center||Los Angeles, California||Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Braun Strowman for the WWE Universal Championship|
|October 22, 2017||TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs||Target Center||Minneapolis, Minnesota||Dean Ambrose, Kurt Angle and Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman, Cesaro, Kane, Sheamus and The Miz in a 3-on-5 handicap Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match|
|February 25, 2018||Elimination Chamber||T-Mobile Arena||Paradise, Nevada||Braun Strowman vs. Elias vs. Finn Bálor vs. John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. The Miz in an Elimination Chamber match for a WWE Universal Championship match at WrestleMania 34|