The WWE announced today that the first hour of Raw and SmackDown will be a commercial free viewing experience this week.
When the company proclaimed they were running Monday Night Raw live on Christmas and New Year’s Day, the move was almost universally panned by wrestling fans who wanted to see their favorite athletes get a much needed day of rest.
Now for the first time ever Raw will air live on Christmas day and the first hour will be free of commercials. Other than today’s announcement and John Cena’s return not much else has been set for WWE’s December 25th television event.
Below is the press release from the WWE.
Celebrate the holidays with WWE as USA Network airs the first hour of both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown LIVE commercial-free this Monday, Dec. 25, at 8/7 C and Tuesday, Dec. 26, at 8/7 C. This also marks the first time that USA Network will air Raw live on Christmas.
Raw and SmackDown LIVE are the No. 1 and No. 2 longest-running weekly episodic programs in U.S. primetime TV history and two of the most-watched, regularly scheduled programs on cable, airing live every Monday and Tuesday night on USA.
Averaging more viewers than any cable network in primetime, WWE programming is among the most socially active shows on TV, trending on Twitter 52 weeks per year. Raw and SmackDown LIVE have aired more original episodes than some of the most popular television series of all time, including The Simpsons, Gunsmoke, Lassie and Monday Night Football.
The 25th anniversary of Raw will emanate from Barclays Center and Manhattan Center in New York City on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, and will air live on USA Network at 8/7 C. WWE Superstars from both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown LIVE will be at Barclays Center, while the event at Manhattan Center, the site of the first episode of Raw in 1993, will feature WWE Superstars from both brands competing and special appearances by WWE Legends Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash, amongst others.
The only question left is which WWE superstar will run over Santa Claus this year on Raw?