World Wrestling Entertainment

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World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) is a publicly-traded company dealing with wrestling entertainment. It also had failed venues in football (the XFL) and body building. The WWE puts on live and telecast wrestling shows, produces video games and licenses various products. The company was previously known was the WWF (World Wrestling Federation), and before 1979 the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), before changing its name in 2002. It is the largest entertainment wrestling organization in the world.

Vince McMahon is the majority owner and Chairman of the company and his wife Linda McMahon holds the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Together with their children, Executive Vice President of Global Media Shane McMahon and Senior Vice President of Creative Writing Stephanie McMahon, the McMahons hold approximately 70% of WWE's economic interest and 96% of all voting power in the company.

The company's main headquarters is located at 1241 East Main Street in Stamford, Connecticut. There are also international offices in Los Angeles, New York City, London, and Toronto.

Some promotional names that the WWE maintains:

WWE's revenue in fiscal 2006 (from May 2005 to April 2006) was approximately $400 million (US), with a net profit of approximately $47 million. As of August 2006, the company's market capitalization is over $1 billion (US). Its stock is traded on the NYSE [1].

Contents

History

The World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) was born in 1963 when Vincent J. McMahon split off from the larger National Wrestling Alliance, an umbrella organization of "mom and pop" wrestling territories with each promotion staying in its own territory. The company was renamed the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1979. Under Vince McMahon, Vincent J. McMahon's son, the WWF would start to go national in the 1980s, breaking the unwritten rule of not encroaching on the turf of other regional wrestling territories. As his revenue increased, he also started to sign the best known names from other promotions, including the American Wrestling Association (AWA) and the NWA's flagship promotion, Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP).

The breakthrough signing that became the first nationally recognized superstar was former AWA wrestler Hulk Hogan who, due to his appearance in the movie Rocky III, had a national recognition that few other wrestlers could manage. Other big named wrestlers were brought in including Andre the Giant. Superstardom hit paydirt with the production of the first nationwide Pay per view WrestleMania in 1985. Incorporating well known actors such as Mr. T into the production helped to turn the WWF and WrestleMania into a mainstream hit.

Allegations of steroid abuse hit the WWF in 1994 as well as sexual harassment claims. They were a costly public relations nightmare that led to big cuts in salary for the wrestlers and staffs and saw many wrestlers leave to Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling (the former JCP, which Turner bought in 1988), including Hulk Hogan.

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin rose as a star in the late 1990s in a new edgier era that saw a movement away from family fun to attacking authority, more violence, and swearing. The WWF and WCW went head to head during this time, including having competing wrestling shows on Monday nights.

Going Public

On April 29, 1999, the WWF made its return to terrestrial television by launching a special program known as SmackDown! on the fledgling UPN network. The Thursday-night show became a weekly series on August 26, 1999.

On the back of the success of the Attitude Era, on October 19, 1999 the WWF's parent company, Titan Sports (by this time renamed World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc.) became a publicly traded company, offering 10 million shares priced at $17 each. WWF announced its desire to diversify, including creating a nightclub in Times Square, producing feature films, and book publishing.

In 2000 the WWF, in collaboration with television network NBC, announced the creation of the XFL, a new professional American football league that debuted in 2001. The league had surprisingly high ratings for the first few weeks, but initial interest waned and its ratings plunged to dismally low levels (one of its games was the lowest-rated primetime show in the history of American television). NBC walked out on the venture after only one season, but McMahon intended to continue alone. However, after UPN demanded that SmackDown! be cut by half an hour, McMahon shut down the XFL.[2]

In March 2001 McMahon's empire grew when he acquired his main competitor WCW, which had been losing money and was sold for about $7 million.

In May 2002 the name of the company was changed from the WWF to WWE after it was ruled that the World Wildlife Fund owned the rights to the WWF label in the United Kingdom.[3].[4]

Another smaller wrestling company, Extreme Championship Wrestling, was purchased in mid 2003.

In April 2002, about a month before the name change, WWE decided to create two separate rosters, one on RAW, the other on SmackDown! due to the overabundance of talent left over from the Invasion storyline (which involved talent from the absorbed ECW and WCW rosters interacting in WWF storylines). This is known as the WWE Brand Extension. Following the Brand Extension, a yearly Draft Lottery was instituted to exchange members of each roster and generally refresh the lineups.

In August 2002, the company launched WWE Niagara Falls, a retail establishment in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

In 2003, WWE held their first annual "Tribute to the Troops" shows in Iraq and Afghanistan.[5]

On May 26 2006, WWE revived Extreme Championship Wrestling as its third brand with the new ECW program airing Tuesday nights on the Sci Fi Channel (now SyFy).[6]

The final episode of WWE's ECW show aired on February 16, 2010. In that episode, the final ECW title match was held. Ezekiel Jackson won the bout and became the final man to hold the ECW title.

The next week, WWE aired a new breed of wrestling television show. WWE NXT aired on the SyFy network in ECW's stead. NXT has sinced been moved to a livestreaming internet format along with WWE Supertstars.

On August 29, 2011, it was announced that Raw would feature SmackDown Superstars full-time. As a result, the Brand Extension as well as the Draft, was discontinued.

Championships and accomplishments

Current champions

Championship Current Champion Date Won Date Aired
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Vacant (Due to Daniel Bryan Injury) June 9, 2014 June 9, 2014
WWE Intercontinential Championship Bad News Barrett May 4, 2014 May 4, 2014
WWE United States Championship Sheamus May 5, 2014 May 5, 2014
WWE Tag Team Championship The Usos March 3, 2014 March 3, 2014
WWE Divas Championship Paige April 7, 2014 April 7, 2014

Accomplishments

Accomplishment Latest Winner Date Won
Royal Rumble Batista January 26, 2014
Money in the Bank Randy Orton (Raw), Damien Sandow (SmackDown) July 14, 2013
Diva Search Eve Torres October 29, 2007

Current Developmental Territory Champions

Championship Current Champion Date Won
NXT Championship Adrian Neville February 27, 2014
NXT Tag Team Championship The Ascension (Conor O'Brian & Rick Victor) September 12, 2013
NXT Women's Championship Charlotte May 29, 2014

Defunct championships

Defunct accomplishments

References

External links

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