90s RAW Taping Cycle Question

Something I’ve been wondering about… back in the mid-90s, when RAW was only an hour, the show aired at 9:00pm on the east coast. My question is, how did they format those four-show taping cycles? Like, if the live hour ends at 10:00, I can’t imagine they kept an audience primarily filled with children until past 1:00am to tape the next three episodes. I know often with the live broadcasts they would run an angle that would be paid off with a match "next week" (in actuality taped later that same night), so that leads me to believe they weren’t taping out of order. They also were mostly doing shows on the east coast at the time, so it wasn’t like they were airing live from California, where 9:00 is only 6:00 west coast time.


What am I missing?

​They were taping out of order. The live portion was typically near the middle or even end of the taping, and they didn’t just do blocks of hour-long shows. They’d tape a bunch of matches, do the live show, then tape another bunch of matches and edit together the remaining three shows from the bunch of matches that were taped. In fact if you watch those shitty 96 shows, a lot of times you can watch the crowd increase or decrease in size based on when specific matches are being taped during the course of the evening. Sometimes they were even able to create entire episodes out of leftover dark matches and tryouts in order to fill time.

By the time you get to 1997, it’s a more regimented taping schedule needed because it’s one "live" two hour show and then another taped two hour show, so they’d just do them live-to-tape like they do today.