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World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

legal form Corporation
ISIN US98156Q1085
founding 1963
Seat Stamford , Connecticut , USA
  • Kevin Dunn
    (EVP, Television Production)
Number of employees 800 (2016)
sales $ 729.2 million (2016)
Branch Wrestling , sports entertainment
Website wwe.com

The World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. ( WWE ) is an on the New York Stock Exchange listed media company operating mainly for organizing wrestling shows and - TV is known broadcasts and this since 1980 officially as "sports-entertainment" markets. Vincent Kennedy McMahon is the majority shareholder of WWE .



Roderick James "Jess" McMahon was actually a boxing promoter based in the American Northeast. But from around 1933 McMahon organized wrestling shows for the first time in the "Municipal Stadium" in Freeport, Long Island . Through his contacts with wrestling greats such as Raymond Mondt and Ray Fabiani, it was later possible for his son Vincent James McMahon to enter into partnerships with neighboring promoters.

In 1948 Vince became manager of the Turner Arena in Washington, DC , and in 1952 he acquired the rights to this arena completely. In 1953, McMahon hosted his first wrestling show under the banner of the Capitol Wrestling Federation and joined the National Wrestling Alliance . In 1955 he renamed the arena the Capitol Arena and in 1956 the matches were first broadcast on the DuMont network. In the same year McMahon intensified his collaboration with Raymond Mondt in New York and on November 26th of that year they put on their first joint show in Madison Square Garden .

In 1957, McMahon opened a central office in Washington from which he controlled everything. As an organization, the Capitol Wrestling Corporation (CWC) was entered on the register. McMahon and Mondt were initially partners in equal parts. In 1961, the organization was finally registered in New York.

In October 1948, the NWA created an NWA World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion title recognized by all member associations , which could be defended worldwide. Since June 30, 1961, "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers was the reigning NWA world champion. As an NWA champion, Buddy Rogers was mostly under contract with the CWC.

However, some members of the NWA were dissatisfied with the fact that it seldom allowed Rogers to fight the title outside of the American Northeast. Mondt and McMahon wanted Rogers to keep his title and to put up the NWA bail of $ 25,000. It was common practice that all NWA titleholders had to provide a security deposit which was forfeited if they did not show up. Rogers, however, was not ready to raise this sum - especially since the sum had recently been increased from 10,000 to 25,000 US dollars - and so he had to surrender his NWA Championship title to Lou Thesz on January 24, 1963 in neighboring Canada .

World Wide Wrestling Federation (1963-1979)

The former wrestling territories in the USA and Canada .

In protest against this decision left the CWC the NWA umbrella organization and founded in April of the same year, the new promotion "World Wide Wrestling Federation" (WWWF), a standing to NWA competing league in the short term under the name World Wide Wrestling Association with was associated with the National Wrestling Association . Buddy Rogers was named WWWF's first regular champion . According to WWE history , there was a wrestling tournament in Rio de Janeiro in April 1963, in which Buddy Rogers prevailed against Antonino Rocca in the final and thus became the first WWWF World Heavyweight Champion. The truth, however, is that Rogers, whose health was in poor health (he had been struggling with heart problems for a while) was given the title without a fight. Just a month later, on May 17, 1963, Buddy Rogers lost his WWWF title to Bruno Sammartino in less than 60 seconds.

Since the WWWF was still associated with the NWA, Vince McMahon sat sr. (the son of Roderick McMahon) continues to serve on the board of the National Wrestling Alliance . At the time, the WWWF was still tied to its home territory and was not allowed to have its wrestlers compete nationwide. In the mid-1960s, Raymond Mondt left his doctorate and this became the sole property of the McMahon family.

At the end of 1972, the World Wide Wrestling Federation was actively integrated into the umbrella organization again by the NWA and so Vince McMahon sr. from 1973, again to hold its shows under the old banner of the NWA Capitol Wrestling Federation . Also this year a sub-organization ( English. Affiliate ) of WWWF was set up with today's promotion World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico .

World Wrestling Federation (1979-2002)

Transition and Golden Era (1979-1993)

Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon .

In March 1979, the WWF was renamed the World Wrestling Federation and slowly became the largest wrestling league in the United States by starting to buy up smaller regional leagues.

In 1980 Vince McMahon Jr. founded Titan Sport Inc. , which he used as the owner of the league, and in 1982 bought the CWC from his father. In contrast to his father, who was still close to the NWA attitude in this regard, Vince McMahon had recognized that wrestling was primarily entertainment. So he began to transform the WWF nationwide into sporty show entertainment. At that time the WWF was in direct competition with the AWA , which had also separated from the NWA. Vince McMahon was later able to incorporate this wrestling league into his WWF.

Other NWA affiliates were upset that Vince McMahon failed to abide by the unwritten law of only broadcasting TV programs on his territory. After McMahon had won some financially strong broadcasters on his side, WWF programs such as "All American Wrestling", "Wrestling Challenge" and "Superstars of Wrestling" ran throughout the United States and Canada. Since the WWF had now reached a certain size, they no longer needed membership in the NWA. In 1983, the World Wrestling Federation finally left the National Wrestling Alliance .

With the return of Hulk Hogan from the AWA , the image of the WWF was changed again. After 1984, when he was able to secure the WWF Heavyweight title for the first time, the entire WWF and its marketing were built around Hogan.

With the first "Wrestlemania" event in 1985, the WWF succeeded in setting up the most important major event for the later development of wrestling. It later became the model for other major WWF events. The Wrestlemania was similar to the NWA Starrcade, but there were mainly WWF superstars, while Starrcade at the time mainly consisted of jobber fights with a few NWA stars. From 1985, the WWF's programs were also included on national cable television and were now broadcast throughout the United States. In the period that followed, the so-called "rock 'n' wrestling era" began, which brought the company to the forefront of this type of entertainment. With its American hero Hulk Hogan, the WWF has turned a crowd's darling ( Babyface ) into a workhorse and the fan cult “Hulkamania” was a blessing for the company. Hulk Hogan held the WWF Championship in his first reign for 1474 days, and this time has been referred to by many as the "Second Golden Age" of wrestling.

New Generation and Attitude Era (1993-2002)

The WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut is also known as the Titan Tower .

But almost ten successful years later, a scandal loomed. It was announced that WWF superstars like Hulk Hogan were suspected of steroid abuse. The WWF was forced to react and therefore made the much smaller Bret Hart the new draft horse in 1993 . D. Vince McMahon cut his wrestlers and WWF staff by nearly 40 percent, which resulted in many former WWF superstars signing up for WCW between 1993 and 1995 . Since the cost of this process was around 5 million US dollars and the WCW was getting more and more troubled by the WWF, the doctorate was on the verge of bankruptcy. In order to get fresh money for the league, the WWF was finally converted into a company listed on the stock exchange .

In order to be able to win the quota war that has now arisen against the WCW, the "attitude era" began in 1997/98, which produced superstars like The Rock and Steve Austin . WWF exuded more violence, curse words and unexpected twists to compete with the WCW. After Bret Hart moved to WCW following the “ Montreal Screwjob ” incident, Vince McMahon used the resulting antipathy for him and created the character of “Mr. McMahon ”with the gimmick of an“ unscrupulous villain ”and dictatorial ruler of the WWF. He preferred heels that were "good for business" and loathed "bad" faces like Steve Austin.

This eventually led to the feud between Austin and McMahon and, along with the formation of the D-Generation X , was the basis of the Attitude era. The Attitude era also marked the Monday Night Wars , in which both wrestling promotions, WCW and WWF, had Monday night shows and battled each other for audience ratings. Many new faces came to WWF such as Mick Foley , Chris Jericho , The Rock , Kane and the 1996 Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle . The target group of the WWF has now also been changed: Before this “attitude era” the focus was mainly on children and adolescents, now the age groups above were also considered.

To attract new viewers, the WWF founded its own football league in 2000. However, this was discontinued after financial setbacks. In 2001 the World Wrestling Federation was able to acquire the leagues World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling and thus rose to become the global market leader in wrestling.

World Wrestling Entertainment (since 2002)

Ruthless Aggression Era (2002-2008)

In May 2002, the World Wrestling Federation lost a lawsuit against the World Wide Fund for Nature , an international environmental organization, over the use of the abbreviation “WWF” and the Internet URL “WWF.com” and had to join World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE ) rename.

This ruling forced the WWE to take far-reaching measures. For example, on all DVDs produced after 2002 and containing old scenes from the WWF era (which is the case on most compilation DVDs about well-known wrestlers), the WWF logo from the Attitude era had to be pixelated afterwards so that it is either completely unrecognizable or just a "WW", d. H. the right side of the logo has been obscured. The WWF scratch logo of the Attitude era had to be replaced on merchandising items if they were produced and sold after 2002. However, this judgment only affected the “scratch logo” of the Attitude era, all other WWF logos were not affected and could also be used after 2002, for example in the RAW “Old School” issue on November 15th 2010 was the case. The names of the league championships have also been adjusted accordingly: for example, the “WWF Championship” has become the “ WWE Championship ”.

In August 2012, the WWE announced that it had agreed with the World Wide Fund For Nature that the old "scratch logo" could be shown uncovered on television again. With regard to the WWE Network, the in-house video-on-demand service, this is of considerable importance, as it saves costs for processing the video material in the WWE archives.

Shortly before the court ruling, there was the Brand Extension , in which the roster was divided into two shows: RAW and SmackDown . From 2002 to 2011 there was the so-called WWE Draft , a kind of line-up change in which the wrestlers can change brands. The WWE Draft has not taken place since the introduction of the SuperShow concept in 2011, as all wrestlers are deployed in all shows as required and can also defend all titles there.

In May 2006 it was announced that Extreme Championship Wrestling would be introduced as a third brand. From June the ECW show ran every Tuesday evening on Syfy and since January 2008 all programs of the WWE and the three broadcasters have been produced and broadcast in HDTV . On February 16, 2010, the ECW was finally discontinued. WWE NXT was now broadcast as the latest show on the slot .

PG Era (2008-2013)

Since January 2008, all WWE shows have been produced and broadcast in HDTV (“presented in WWE HD”). The HD versions of the WWE shows were also broadcast in Germany on Sky from January 2012 to April 2014 and now on ProSieben MAXX (Monday Night RAW and SmackDown Live).

In addition to the wrestling shows, WWE Studios , a subsidiary of WWE Inc., also produce several films, including Der Hammer (No Holds Barred) with Hulk Hogan , See No Evil with Kane , The Marine with John Cena , The Death Row (The Condemned ) with Steve Austin , Twelve Rounds (12 Rounds) with John Cena, The Marine 2 with Ted DiBiase Jr. and The Marine 3 with The Miz .

The WWE wrestling ring also called the Squared Circle .

In early April 2011, it was officially announced that the company would only operate as WWE , both on DVD and Blu-ray productions as well as on television broadcasts and on its website. Vince McMahon wants to give the brand a new coat of paint and increasingly enter the media and entertainment industries. For this purpose, some companies in the industry are to be bought up. WWE hopes that this will result in growth in the business model.

On August 29, 2011, the WWE announced that it would relax the previously officially applicable division of the squad so that the wrestlers could appear together at all WWE shows and events and the titles could be defended in all shows. In addition, the RAW show became the "RAW SuperShow", in order to also clarify the new concept in the name. In the 1000th episode of RAW on July 23, 2012, the addition "SuperShow" was removed from the program name, the concept is still upheld.

Reality and New Era (since 2014)

On July 19, 2016, in addition to the conversion of Smackdown to a live broadcast, the WWE Draft was reintroduced, which means that Raw and Smackdown Live again have different roster.

WWE has had an office in Munich since November 8, 2013 . This office represents the company in the region of Germany, Austria and Switzerland in event planning and is intended to be the contact point for fans. Stefan Kastenmüller was entrusted with the management.

Television broadcasts

Raw premiered on USA Network on January 11, 1993and has traditionally been broadcast live every Monday evening since then. Because of its long history and high ratings, Raw is considered the flagship show of the WWE. SmackDown premiered on April 29, 1999 on UPN . Since October 4, 2019, SmackDown has been broadcast live on FOX in the USA on Fridays.

In March 2002 the WWE was divided into two different brands, named after their two major television series Raw and SmackDown . The first draft was held to split the roster between the two shows and took place annually between 2004 and 2011. From 2006 to 2010 there was a third fire for the television program ECW . The first fire split ended on August 29, 2011 and the roster appeared again at all shows.

On May 25, 2016, the WWE announced the reintroduction of the fire split. The second brand extension went into effect on July 19, 2016 when SmackDown broadcast live on Tuesday. With the reintroduction of the grate separation between Raw and SmackDown , the draft was reintroduced. Wrestlers will appear again exclusively for Raw , SmackDown or NXT during the second roster split .


country Surname Day Channel
United StatesUnited States United States Raw Monday (Live) USA Network
NXT Wednesday (Live)
Main Event Thursday Hulu
SmackDown Friday (Live) Fox
GermanyGermany Germany Austria Switzerland
Raw Tuesday (Live) DAZN
Wednesday (one hour) ProSieben Maxx
NXT Thursday WWE Network
Smackdown Saturday (Live) DAZN
Saturday (one hour) ProSieben Maxx

Major events

The WrestleMania 35 event in 2019.

The major monthly events of the WWE are broadcast internationally on television as pay-per-view , PPV for short. PPVs make up a quarter of WWE's total revenue. In Germany, you can see these major events live on the WWE Network. The four original major events ( Royal Rumble , WrestleMania , SummerSlam , Survivor Series ), which are still the most complex and largest of the year and are also known as the Big Four , deserve special mention .

By 1995, the number of PPVs was limited to five: Royal Rumble in January, WrestleMania in March or April, King of the Ring in June, SummerSlam in August, and the Survivor Series in November. On May 14, 1995, the WWF In Your House: premiered , breaking tradition. Until 1999, an In-Your-House -PPV with a new subtitle was held between the traditional PPVs (for example In Your House: Mind Games 1996).

The WWF then started the monthly PPVs, each with a fixed name. Almost a year after the 2002 roster split, the PPVs were split between the rasters RAW and SmackDown. But so that every roster had the same number of PPVs in addition to the Big Four , King of the Ring was abolished. The number of major events could also vary, as the New Years Revolution (2005–2007), ECW One Night Stand (2005–2008), ECW November to remember (2006) or Great American Bash (2004–2009) led to more than twelve PPVs a year came.

Since 2014, WWE has been organizing NXT Specials under the name NXT TakeOver with the squad of the in-house development league . These are carried out according to a similar concept, but not published as a PPV.

After the roster split returned on July 19, 2016, RAW and SmackDown are once again holding their own PPVs. The first pure SmackDown PPV after the renewed Rostersplit Backlash was held on September 11, 2016, the first RAW PPV Clash of Champions two weeks later on September 25, 2016. Both brands are still involved in the Big Four .

For these Big Four PPVs, a new concept was introduced with the Survivor Series in November 2016: The supporting program for the actual show now starts with an NXT TakeOver special on Saturday before the PPV takes place on Sunday. The following Monday will be followed by a live broadcast of the RAW edition, before a live edition of SmackDown on Tuesday closes the program. All of these four events will be held at the same location, which means that the Big Four should be placed above the other PPV events even more than before.

Streaming service

In January 2014, WWE's video-on-demand service was launched in the United States and gradually made available in other countries. The video platform contains all PPVs of the WWE, ECW and WCW, all episodes of Raw and SmackDown with a delay of a few weeks, various in-house productions as well as television productions from various other promotions. In addition, the network broadcasts all PPVs for the promotion live.

Roster and title holder

The workforce includes professional wrestlers ("superstars"), managers , coaches , referees , ring announcers, commentators and administrative staff . The superstars fight for titles in the weekly shows and at PPVs . These are the World Titles , Midcard Titles and Tag Team Titles . The women's titles are awarded to the female superstars.

Hall of Fame

In 1993 the WWE Hall of Fame was founded with its first member, André René Roussimoff (André the Giant) , who had died a few months earlier. Since then, with an interruption from 1997 to 2003, selected wrestlers or employees of the WWE as well as other influential people from the wrestling business have been admitted to the hall of fame every year.

Wrestling school

In Performance Center coming wrestlers, referees, ring announcers, commentators and backstage interviewers are trained. The trainees train full-time while also performing at live events. Apprentices have a variety of experience levels, from beginners with no wrestling background to seasoned wrestlers from the independent leagues.

Outside of wrestling

  • WWE Studios : Founded in 2002 to create and develop films, series, reality shows and digital content.
  • WWE Music Group: Produces entry music for WWE Superstars. The Music Group also publishes these tracks.
  • WWE Home Video: Publishes events, compilations and biographies on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray Disc.
  • WWE Games : Is a series of WWE video games. The Japanese company Yukes develops these and 2K Sports has been the official video game publisher since 2013 .
  • WWE Books: Publishes biographies by and about WWE personalities.
  • WWE Magazine: Originally, WWE published a monthly magazine. Since 2014 only special editions have been published.

Individual evidence

  1. Page no longer available , search in web archives: Power-Wrestling.de - Linda McMahon resigns as chairperson and runs@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.power-wrestling.de
  2. Economic Impact ( Memento from September 30, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  3. ^ First Quarter - 2012 ( Memento of May 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  4. ^ National Wrestling Alliance - The Untold Story of the Monopoly that Strangled Pro Wrestling. (Tim Hornbaker)
  5. NWA World Heavyweight Title ( Memento from January 21, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  6. WWE reaches an agreement with WWF ( Memento from August 24, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  7. Sky-loses-WWE-to-ProSiebenSat-1. - Report on www.digitalfernsehen.de
  8. sport1.de: WWE Draft at SmackDown Live: This is how the restart | Wrestling works. accessed on July 27, 2016
  9. de.wwe.com: Report on the office opening in Munich. Retrieved December 5, 2013
  10. ^ Cagematch.de: Report on the office opening in Munich. Retrieved December 6, 2013

Web links

Commons : WWE  - Collection of Images
  • WWE Official Website