5 Times WWE Changed The Format Of Its Most Well Known Shows

Change is good... sometimes...

What will the legacy of Raw Underground ultimately be? Kinda hard to forecast a few weeks into its lifespan, but opinions are already varied - half see it as WWE doing something temporary to halt their declining viewership (before eventually reverting back to "business as usual"), while others are at least happy to see WWE break from the norm and think outside the box for a change.

Those who find WWE to be obscenely stale may be surprised to know that, throughout its history, the organization has revamped many of its television properties, changing formats to something totally unrecognizable from their long-standing form. When you're tasked with producing weekly shows year in and year out, adapting to changing times, tastes, and trends is key, especially if you're aiming to keep your audience totals above a certain threshold.

While Raw Underground might wind up being a short-term attraction and little more, it's hardly the first time WWE has made a drastic change to the time-tested formula of one of its shows. Here are a few other examples.

5. Prime Time Wrestling

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In its most desirable form between 1986 and 1991, Raw's predecessor featured two hours of (generally) mid-card wrestling and star squashes, while hosts Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan provided legendary banter in bumper segments in between the action.

While quaint and remembered fondly today, the WWF decided to change Prime Time's format in 1991 - twice, actually. It initially morphed into a talk/variety show (a la Tuesday Night Titans), before later turning into a panel/discussion show, with Vince McMahon as moderator.

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Justin Henry

Written by Justin Henry

In addition to writing lists and commentaries for Cultaholic, Justin is also a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine, and is co-author of the WWE-related book Titan Screwed: Lost Smiles, Stunners, and Screwjobs.