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WWE Heat (formerly known as WWE Sunday Night Heat and capitalized as WWE HEAT) was a professional wrestling show for World Wrestling Entertainment.

It was aired on USA Network, MTV and Spike TV in the United States, Channel 4, Sky1 & Sky Sports in the United Kingdom and CTV Sportsnet in Canada.

It was most recently streamed on WWE.com on Friday afternoons for North American viewers. However, the show was still televised internationally and showed in the United Kingdom on Sky Sports 3, Australia on FOX8, India on TEN Sports, Germany on Premiere Sport Portal, France on Action, Spain on Sportmania and C+ Deportes -both channels from Digital+, the Middle East on ShowSports4, the Philippinesmarker on Jack TV, and Japan on J Sports. The final episode was uploaded to WWE.com on May 30, 2008. The show was replaced internationally with WWE Vintage Collection, a program featuring classic WWE matches.

History

Early years

The show was originally introduced as WWF Sunday Night Heat on the USA Network in 1998. The one hour show would be broadcasted live on Sunday nights at 7 p.m. Eastern. It was the second most important show in the WWF line-up serving as a supplement to the Monday Night Raw program. Heat would feature promos, vignettes and in-ring action just like Raw, and in many ways, it was what SmackDown! was to Raw from 1999 to 2002. Upper mid-card and main event wrestlers were no strangers to Heat, appearing each week. Storylines from the previous week would progress during the show, and the next day's Raw would be heavily promoted. The show itself was a big ratings draw for the USA Network trailing not too far behind the big numbers of Raw.

1999-2002

WWF Sunday Night Heat logo (1998-2000).
With the advent of SmackDown! in 1999, Heat significantly decreased in importance as well as ratings. The debut of SmackDown! also led to Heat being taped before SmackDown! with matches for WWF syndication programs like Jakked/Metal to be taped before Raw broadcasts. When SmackDown! premiered in August 1999, Heat briefly became a complete recap show, with exclusive interviews and feuds recapped as music videos. This only lasted a few weeks, and the show began airing exclusive matches again, this time taping before SmackDown!. Near the peak of WWE's popularity and as part of WWE's television deal with Viacom, the show was moved to MTV.

WWF has also aired two special editions of Halftime HEAT which aired during halftime of Super Bowl XXXIII on USA Network. These specials ended following the movement of Heat to MTV. In 2000, the current logo and theme song was adopted.

When the show started airing on MTV in late 2000, it was broadcast live from WWF New Yorkmarker. WWF Superstars would appear at the restaurant as special guests while Michael Cole and Tazz would call pre-taped matches live.

2002-2005

This practice ended in 2002 and the show reverted to its original format of taping the matches, again before Raw, and have the commentators call the action and have it burned to the matches. It was at this time that (in the U.K.), Channel 4 ended their syndication of the program, which was later picked up by BSkyB, to compliment their existing coverage.

Since the brand extension in 2002, Heat has been broadcast with only Raw superstars and reverted back to being before RAW. The exception to this was on pay-per-view nights, which were broadcast live from the pay-per-view venue and could involve SmackDown! wrestlers. In May 2002, SmackDown! branched off its own sister show, Velocity, which replaced Jakked/Metal, and mirrored the same characteristics as Heat.

Steven Richards, who at one time was the most regular competitor on Sunday Night HEAT, dubbed himself "General Manager of Heat" (though he carried out no GM duties) and began calling the show Stevie Night Heat. Along with Richards , Jeff Hardy also had several matches on Heat around 2002-03. Also during this time, divas such as Molly Holly, Ivory and Jazz would have frequent matches on Heat either as an opening match or main event.

2005-2008

Heat and Velocity were not picked up by the USA Network when WWE moved its programming over to that network in October 2005, leaving Americans no way to watch WWE weekend shows on television. To solve this problem, WWE decided to stream the shows on their website exclusively for the U.S. audience, with new editions posted every Friday afternoon. Sunday Night Heat was soon renamed to WWE Heat, as it no longer aired on Sundays.

Heat was still shown overseas to fulfill international programming commitments. For a while, a special 30-minute live edition of Heat began airing in place of the traditional pre-taped Free For All PPV preshow. The 30-minute PPV version of Heat ran from No Mercy 2005 through Backlash 2006. When WWE went high definition, Heat began using the same HD set as Raw, SmackDown, and ECW.

The final episode was uploaded to WWE.com on May 30, 2008. The show was replaced internationally with a new show featuring classic matches, called WWE Vintage Collection.

Title changes

Though the majority of title changes would take place on Raw, SmackDown!, or pay-per-view events, the WWF Championship changed hands on a special "Halftime Heat" that aired during the half-time of Super Bowl XXXIII on January 31, 1999 when Mankind defeated The Rock in an empty arena match to win the title.

Additionally, the Light Heavyweight Championship changed hands on Heat on three occasions. The first took place on the February 10, 2000 airing when Essa Rios (in his first appearance under that name and with the debuting Lita) defeated Gillberg. The second change saw Crash Holly defeat Dean Malenko on the March 15, 2001 episode. In the final change, the debuting Jerry Lynn defeated Crash Holly on a live edition before the Backlash pay-per-view on April 29, 2001.

Commentators and hosts

There have been many commentators in the history of Heat. Industry veterans and Raw broadcasters Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler have done commentary on the show. The show was also the launchpad for Shane McMahon's on-camera career in WWE, originally placed in the role of a commentator for the program. In October 2000, the show was hosted by Rebecca Budig and MTV VJ/Rapper DJ Skribble when it moved from USA Network to MTV.

During pay-per-view events and often outside the venue, hosts introduce segments of the show, recently the hosts of The WWE Experience (Ivory and Todd Grisham) perform these duties. If a SmackDown brand pay-per-view takes place, Velocity's' announcers host the in-ring commentary for the show.

Often wrestlers would take the role of color commentators on the show with Al Snow, Tommy Dreamer, Raven, and D'Lo Brown all holding this position mostly as a replacement for an announcer who was unavailable. During the show's run on MTV, Diva Lita also served as a commentator following her major neck injury.

Before the WWE-produced, Extreme Championship Wrestling reunion pay-per-view, One Night Stand 2005 took place, a special Extreme Heat episode was broadcast and hosted by Jonathan Coachman and Michael Cole.

During one episode when Jonathan Coachman was unavailable, former ECW announcer (and then-lead Raw announcer) Joey Styles took part in the show. Styles then quit in storyline, however, on the following Monday's' Raw, meaning Grisham ran the show alone.

United Kingdom

Towards the end of 1999, Channel 4 started broadcasting the show at 4pm on Sundays, as a part of T4. These one-hour shows were a magazine-type show, usually featuring three or four matches involving mid-carders and jobbers, brief highlights from Raw and SmackDown! - plus often a feature such as a wrestler filming a TV commercial.

A separate commentary was made for the UKmarker version, with references aimed at the UK audience and about the show's broadcaster - Channel 4. A unique quirk was that during the commentary Raw and SmackDown! were referred to as taking place on Friday and Saturday respectively, which were the days they were broadcast in the UK on Sky Sports - as opposed to the usual method of them being referred to by the North American broadcast dates of Monday and Thursday. The two-person announce team was a mix of individuals including Kevin Kelly, Michael Cole, Michael Hayes and Jonathan Coachman.

During the middle of 2000 Heat started to get moved around the Channel 4 schedule, usually between midday and 7pm. Towards the end of 2000 the show was permanently moved to being broadcast in the early-hours of Monday mornings. The show stayed in the time-slot until December 2001 when Channel 4's deal with the World Wrestling Federation expired.

In January 2003, Heat replaced Superstars on Sky Sports. The show stayed on the channel until it was discontinued by WWE in 2008, and replaced by WWE Vintage Collection.

Commentator history

Commentator Year(s) Active
Shane McMahon 1998

Jim Cornette 1998 - 1999
Michael Cole 1998 - 2002, 2005
Kevin Kelly 1998 - 2000
Michael Hayes 1999 - 2002
Dan Jackson 1999
Tazz 2000 - 2001
Jonathan Coachman 2001 - 2007
Raven 2001 - 2002
Al Snow 2001 - 2004
Chris Leary 2001
Marc Lloyd 2002 - 2005
D'Lo Brown 2002 - 2003
Lita 2002 - 2003
Todd Grisham 2004 - 2008
Lisa Moretti 2004 - 2005
Joey Styles 2006
Steve Romero 2006
Jack Korpela 2007 - 2008
Josh Mathews 2007 - 2008


References

  1. Josh Mathews blog confirming final episode of Heat
  2. WWE.com UK television schedule
  3. Title history details
  4. 2000 WWF results
  5. 2001 WWF results


See also



External links




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