In January, WWE’s flagship program, Monday Night RAW, celebrated it’s 25th anniversary. It was a huge milestone and one that came near the 1,300 episode mark. Unfortunately for us fans, the actual program itself was a huge let down. While WWE creative did a poor job of celebrating the event, the folks at DK and WWE Publishing worked on the RAW: The First 25 Years book and to the surprise of no one did an excellent job.
Through almost 200 pages, WWE RAW: The First 25 Years looks back on well the first 25 years of RAW as written by Jake Black, Jon Hill, and Dean Miller. There’s a brief forward written by Vince McMahon.
Each year is covered in around six or seven pages with a paragraph written for most weeks. This paragraph doesn’t run down the entire show for that week, but rather focuses on just one aspect of the show. There’s of course pictures, and also boxes of text informing the reader of other stuff going on in WWE at the time and when a notable superstar made their debut.
The information is presented well enough, and the overall presentation of this hardcover is top notch. That’s par for the course when it comes to DK books, they are always high quality.
If I have a complaint about the book, it’s that it doesn’t cover every episode. I understand why it doesn’t, and most weeks are accounted for here. Even today, there are plenty of episodes of RAW that are completely lackluster and in no way notable. Having said that, even if each episode wasn’t going to get a short blurb, I would have liked to have seen a page or two at the end of the year’s section displaying the full results for each episode.
I don’t judge a book based on what I think it should’ve contained though, so that complaint is very minor nitpicking based on my personal preference as someone who occasionally likes to look back over the results of cards from years past.
What’s contained within is a really good rundown of RAW’s first 25 years, and is sure to be a nice trip down memory lane for many fans as well as an opportunity for newer fans to learn about the show’s past. In that regard, it’s a good companion piece for any WWE Network subscriber who wants to relive past episodes of RAW.
It’s not quite the history outing it could have been, but RAW: The First 25 Years is still one of the best books recently from the WWE/DK partnership (and all of these books have been great). Longtime fans will have many smiles put on their faces as they read through and look at the pictures and think “I remember that,” and likewise are sure to think “man, it was so much better back then” more than once.
If you’re a WWE fan, this is definitely a book that should be on your book shelf.
WWE RAW: The First 25 Years is available now wherever books are sold. The MSRP is $25, and I’d say it’s definitely worth that, but you can grab it from Amazon for $18.03 by clicking here. Note that the Amazon link provided is an affiliate link, so if you click it and purchase the book you are also helping out the site by simply using our referral link.
WWE RAW: The First 25 Years gets a five out of five: EXCELLENT.
* A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.