USA Network: 25 Years: Vince McMahon

Jun 27, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The WWE and USA Networks have a relationship that goes back as far as the network itself. In the early 1990s, our primary show on USA was a studio program with Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, featuring interviews with superstars of the wrestling world interspersed with taped matches. We wanted to liven up the show, maybe try something new, so I invited Dave Kenin, who was USA’s president at the time, to come to our headquarters in Stamford, Conn., to discuss ideas.

As we talked, it suddenly became apparent what we should do. I suggested that we do a new show, live, in prime time, and I outlined my thoughts in some detail. I could tell some in the room were surprised at this suggestion, but Dave listened, shook my hand and said, “Let’s do it.” That’s how we decided to do “Monday Night Raw.” The show debuted live from the Manhattan Center in New York in January 1993, and we have never looked back.

We had some of our most creative years with USA, and I’ve enjoyed working with executives like Dave Kenin and Bonnie Hammer. (You’d have to ask them how much they enjoyed working with me.) I believe the best is yet to come when “Raw” returns to USA in October.