History Of WWE
The Rock, Jesse the Body, Roddy Piper and The Undertaker are among the most colorful competitors of any athletic endeavor, and they just scratch the surface of the years of entertainment provided over the history of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE.) Launched initially as an organization for professional wrestling, WWE is now a publicly traded entertainment company generating more than $400 million in annual revenue. Millions of fans follow WWE through programs and events such as RAW and WrestleMania. A brief rundown of WWE history:
Early days. WWE's origins go back to Depression Era New York City and are tied to Roderick "Jess" McMahon, whose grandson, Vince McMahon, is currently chairman of WWE. Grandfather McMahon was a boxing promoter at Madison Square Garden and had associates who developed a style of wrestling "Slam Bang Western Style Wrestling." Various customs and regulations prevented the partners from pursuing wrestling matches at the Garden, known as the World's Most Famous Arena.
The start of big things. In the early 1950s, Roderick McMahon, his son and partners co-founded the Capitol Wrestling Corporation and joined the National Wrestling Alliance. After a number of years and through the leadership of Vince McMahon, the partners very quickly grew to become responsible for approximately three-fourths of NWA's bookings. CWC was particularly strong in the heavily populated northeast.
Television plays a role. CWC, promoting shows in a 2,000 seat arena in northern New Jersey, was eventually able to sign an agreement to have its matches telecast live. The agreement included deals for syndicating the programs in other markets across the northeast. This was priceless exposure in the growth of professional wrestling and key to the success of WWE.
Dispute leads to a split. In the a dispute involving wrestling champion Buddy Rogers caused a split between the CWC and the NWA. In the course of that split McMahon and his partners, including James Mondt, formed the competing World Wide Wrestling Federation. Eventually the WWWF would rejoin the NWA, leading to a more national organization. Eventually the WWWF dropped a W, becoming just the WWF.
To the current day. McMahon's grandson, Vincent K. McMahon, the current chairman of WWE, bought WWF in 1979 and it proved to be the decisive move in building WWE into its current powerhouse status. The younger McMahon began promoting matches and marketing his competitors on a more national basis. Up to that date, wrestling had been a loose collection of federations with regional boundaries. His biggest risk - and ultimately biggest success -- was the creation of WrestleMania, a pay-per-view wrestling extravaganza. The organization has had it ups-and-downs but generally has experienced steady growth over the years.
Today. Now renamed as World Wrestling Entertainment, WWE is a publicly traded company based in Connecticut with offices around the world. WWE's three principal brands are RAW, SmackDown! and ECW. The company has interests in and generates revenue from live and televised entertainment, digital media, consumer products and WWE Studios. The company generates about $500 million in revenue each year.