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World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., or the WWE, is the largest professional wrestling promotion in the world. The WWE in general is an integrated media and entertainment company, but it is most well-known for wrestling. Professional wrestling is a form of sports entertainment combining athletics with theatrical performance. Prior to the 1980s, all wrestling promotions companies upheld the belief that professional wrestling was a legitimate competition to their audience. In the 1980s, WWE recognized itself as sports entertainment rather than a real sports competition. Now it is known by almost everyone that professional wrestling is all predetermined; everything from the storyline to who the champion is. This is not discussed in mainstream media to uphold the authenticity of the sport. Professional wrestling is a great spectacle that has a massive following all around the world – its biggest following being in America, Mexico, and Japan.
Within the storylines of professional wrestling, different pro wrestlers take on various characters. A “good guy” character is called a “babyface” or just “face” and a “bad guy” character is called a “heel”. Typically, an audience will cheer on the babyface and the heel will elicit negative jeering from the crowd. Whether a wrestler is a babyface or a heel, the common goal is to get the audience riled up. The act of a wrestler keeping up his/her character is called “kayfabe”. This term refers to any portrayal of staged events as real life, whether it be the fighting, rivalries, or romantic relationships within the professional wrestling world. Years ago, wrestling promotions would sustain kayfabe even outside the ring. But now the industry is less concerned with upholding the secret and kayfabe is only important during the actual shows.
Roderick James “Jess” McMahon and Toots Mondt formed the Capitol Wrestling Corporation (CWC) in 1952. A year later the CWC joined the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). In 1954, McMahon passed away and his son Vincent James McMahon took his place. Together Vincent J. McMahon and Mondt were very successful within the NWA. In 1963, J. McMahon and Mondt (and subsequently CWC) left the National Wrestling Alliance and also formed the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF). CWC operated the WWWF and Mondt remained a part until he left CWC in the late ‘60s. Then in 1979, CWC renamed World Wide Wrestling Federation to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
Vincent J. McMahon’s son, Vincent K. McMahon, started Titan Sports Inc. with his wife in 1979 in South Yatmouth, MA. Three years later, K. McMahon bought CWC from his father, thus taking control of WWF as well. WWF would go on tours, putting on elaborate shows that were quite costly. K. McMahon saved WWF from financial problems with the establishment of WrestleMania. WrestleMania was a wild success and is still known today as the “Super Bowl” of wrestling. In 1985, WWF produced Saturday Night’s Main Event on NBC which was the first time professional wrestling was broadcast on network television since the 1950s.
In the early 1990s, WWF was hit with a slew of allegations including steroid use and sexual assault. Due to the negative press coverage WWF found itself in, many wrestlers left WWF for its competition, World Championship Wrestling (WCW). One of these such instances was Hulk Hogan, which was a big loss for WWF. To combat the loss, WWF started Monday Night Right in 1993. Monday Night Raw was very successful but was rivaled by WCW’s Monday Nitro which began airing in 1995. The two programs aired at the same time and the ratings competition between the two shows began to be known as the Monday Night Wars. The Monday Night Wars lasted until mid-1996. A few years later in 1999, WWF made an initial public offering as a publicly traded company with the New York Stock Exchange. Then in 2001, WWF acquired the rights to its competition, WCW. And shortly after also purchased Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). Now WWF was by far the largest professional wrestling promotion company in the world. WWF changed its name to World Wrestling Entertainment in 2002 and since then has been referred to as the WWE.
The WWE has a massive following of passionate fans. Whether you are a diehard WWE fan or have never even seen a WWE match, WWE events are for everyone. You can watch WWE on television but nothing compares to seeing a WWE event live in person. The live action is thrilling so make sure you grab your WWE tickets! TicketNetwork has all your access to live WWE events. You do not want to miss out so purchase your WWE tickets from Ticket Network today!
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