The run time for WWE Monday Night Raw every week on USA Network is 8pmET until about 11:08pmET with the ending often being at different times depending on the week. The reason for that ending goes back over 20 years to the Monday Night War era where TNT was airing Monday Nitro and running past the top of the top of the hour, so WWE followed suit and it’s been that way ever since. When WCW died a lot of WWE fans wondered why is there still the overrun? Isn’t it better to just end right at 11pmET?
The reason WWE likely kept doing it that way is because it let fans know that they had to keep watching to see how Raw ended at the top of the hour without letting them know when it might end. Some weeks it would end all the way at like 11:15pmET and other weeks maybe 11:05pmET. However, all of that is about to change.
In a new report from Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com, Raw will no longer run past 11pmET. It’s going to end right at 11pmET just like Smackdown ends right at 10pmET with no overrun. Sapp notes that Raw now has a hard “out” time as opposed to the soft out time that has been in place for decades. Apparently, it was USA Network’s call according to Sapp. It was noted by the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer that this decision was made after the second lowest watched third hour in the modern history of the show.
There has been no comment from WWE about the show ending right at 11pmET. I don’t expect them to announce anything. I think there might be a mention of it by announcer Michael Cole during Raw next week, but for now, they aren’t saying anything.
TJR Thoughts: I think it’s a good thing even though some fans are probably going to complain about it next Monday because we have been used to Raw ending at something like 11:07pm for the past two decades. It’s easier for WWE to book the show where they know it’s going to end right at 11pmET. Cutting out about ten minutes of content will probably be good for Raw too. I’ve been reviewing this show every week for nearly a decade and there are some weeks where the main event segment didn’t even start until 11pm. Not anymore. They have to plan things better now.
I also trust the news as being true from Sapp, who I have known for a few years from when we worked for another site. He’s a good reporter.
If WWE releases some official statement about this or comments on it in some way, we’ll have another post up about it.