A History

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A History

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Written By: Brittany B. Dyer

Copyright© 2007

Dedicated to my dad for taking me to every live wrestling event before I could drive.

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With over 700 episodes of Monday Night Raw under

their belt World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. has solidified its spot as the longest running television program without taking a hiatus. Founded in 1952 by Jess McMahon, the WWE is led today by his grandson, the third generation promoter, Chairman Vincent K. McMahon. With wife Linda and children Shane and Stephanie the WWE has grown into a multi-million dollar company. Just as the faces of the company have changed over the years their logo has changed as well from the plain and simple days of the World Wide Wrestling Federation to the company name change in 2002 to World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. Roderick James “Jess” McMahon founded the Capitol Wrestling Corporation with Raymond Mondt in 1952. A year later CWC joined forces with the National Wrestling Alliance. That same year McMahon’s son Vincent J. was brought in to replace his father. Mondt became responsible

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for teaching the younger McMahon the in and outs of the wrestling business. After a fallout with the NWA in 1963, Mondt and McMahon created the World Wide Wrestling Federation and a new logo was born. This logo was fairly basic with just the WWWF in simple block letters placed next to a wrestler body slamming another wrestler. At the time the logo was wasn’t so much the brand as the wrestlers were. In April of 1963 they crowned their first champion “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers. In the late sixties Mondt left the WWWF. In March of 1979 McMahon changed the company name to World Wrestling Federation. The move was just for cosmetic reasons as the front office personnel and ownership remained the same. With the drop of a “W” McMahon launched a new black and neon green logo with the “W’s” all connected. This new logo

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wouldn’t stay around for very long, as the company was about to change hands. Vincent K. McMahon, son of Vincent J. McMahon founded Titan Sports Inc. and purchased the World Wrestling Federation from his father in 1980. With the purchase of the WWF Vincent K. McMahon changed the logo to two “W’s” overlapping one another and connected with an F in block letters. This new logo would stand out from the other territory logos at the time and represented the fresh ideas being created by McMahon’s son. The younger McMahon would end up going

against his father’s wishes and planned on expanding the WWF throughout the United States. To that point the WWF was established only in the northeast of the US. The younger

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McMahon began the revolution of pro wrestling. He took the company and his family to places they had never been before. The wrestling industry is one of great tradition and McMahon was one who began to break such traditions in order to expand his company. The WWF began to run syndicated television programs across the country. And after acquiring the not yet legendary Hulk Hogan from the American Wrestling Alliance, the WWF was able to acquire other wrestlers such as “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, “Superstar” Billy Graham, Jesse “The Body” Venture, Andre The Giant, Jimmy Snuka, Don Muraco, Greg Valentine, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and The Iron Sheik. With a locker room full of big names and big egos Vince McMahon launched one of his greatest ideas to date: Wrestlemania. The first Wrestlemania was held on March 31, 1985 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Twentythree years later Wrestlemania creates millions of dollars

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for the WWE and the host city. In 2007, Wrestlemania 23 was held at Ford Field in Detroit, MI. Over 80,103 fans packed the arena setting a new attendance record. Each year the logo for Wrestlemania reflects the city it is in. For example, Wrestlemania IX was held at Cesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. The logo reflected the Roman theme set for the event. Wrestlemania 23’s logo reflected Detroit’s rich auto manufacturing history and looked similar to a grill on a car. With the birth of Wrestlemania on pay-perview the WWF was quickly gaining success. The WWF

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logo changed again to reflect the changing times within the company. It went from the basic logo before to have more depth and a bit of glamour. The simple over lapped “W’s” connected to the “F” now had gold, silver and blue gradient, along with a bit of a glow coming off the top of the “F”. In the late 1980’s the company saw great success when Hulk Hogan put on those famous yellow trunks and red bandana. Hulkamania was born and began to sweep the nation. On January 11, 1993 McMahon launched Monday Night Raw. Raw would go on to be one of the highest rated shows on cable television. However, as 1994 began to roll around, McMahon and the WWF was about the face their toughest opponent yet. In 1994 steroid abuse allegations began to flood the WWF and McMahon’s offices in Stamford, CT. Though McMahon and the WWF were eventually exonerated the lawsuit ended up

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costing the company $5 million. At this time the WWF’s revenue was at an all time low. McMahon ended up cutting the salaries of both performers and office personnel alike in order to try and make up for some of his losses. As a result many of McMahon’s top performers decided to leave the company. A younger generation was leading the way in the ring and the WWF logo began to reflect just that. Though the logo looked similar to the logo used when Vince K. McMahon took over the company from his father certain things had changed. The same gold WWF used in the previous two logos was slanted slightly and appeared to be jumping out of the navy blue box behind it. In 1996 Stone Cold Steve Austin helped lead the way for the “Attitude Era”. That year Steve Austin won the King of the Ring tournament and his infamous Austin 3:16

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speech was born. This was the time the WWF decided to grow up. The storylines matured and wrestlers such as Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Mankind, The New Age Outlaws and Golddust pushed the envelope. Ratings began to rise and the WWF began to beat its major competition, Ted Turner’s WCW, in the ratings. In 2000, the WWF launched a second weekly wrestling show, Smackdown! Thursday nights on UPN. For the next five years the WWF became more popular and Vince McMahon became a billionaire. The WWF logo saw a face lift with the birth of the “Attitude Era”. The logo left the blue and gold behind and transformed into a white, red and black sketch of WWF. The new sketch look of the logo was edgy, just as the company was becoming more edgy as well. The days of the old

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block WWF logo were long gone and the “Attitude Era” of the WWE had begun. In 2001 McMahon became king of pro wrestling when he bought out Ted Turner’s WCW. McMahon had officially eliminated any major competition he had with this acquisition. A year later McMahon lost a battle to the World Wildlife Fund. On May 5, 2002 the WWF changed the “F” to an “E”. From then on they would be known as World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. The company promoted the change with the “Get the F Out” campaign. The “F” in the logo was dropped and the new logo is the one still being used today. A month later the WWE announced that it would create two separate rosters by making Raw one brand and Smackdown the other.

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This allowed for the WWE to utilize more of its talent that it had acquired from buying out WCW. Though the “Attitude Era” is part of the past, the logo today represents where the company is currently. The WWE’s product is a bit more tame compared to what it was in 1998, however it still has a bit of an edge to it and McMahon is always looking for new ways to push the envelop in order to entertain the fans. The WWE’s success would continue as the new millennium went on. In 2006 WWE generated $400 million worth of revenue with a net profit of $47 million. The company’s market capitalization is over $1 billon. With close to 300 live shows a year the WWE continues to reach tremendous success both in the United States and abroad.

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Stephanie, Vince, Linda and Shane McMahon say a little prayer before Vince’s Wrestlemania 22 match.

Vincent K. McMahon along with his wife, Linda, son, Shane, and daughter Stephanie have revolutionized the pro wrestling industry. He took it from its regionally based beginnings and launched it into a global phenomenon. With the launch of WWE Films and other brands, the sky is the limit for McMahon. The WWE and their logo will go on to represent just that.

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Works Cited “Business Overview.” WWE Corporate. World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. 23 Apr. 2007 <http://corporate.wwe.com/company/overview. jsp>. McMahon. Perf. Vince McMahon, Linda McMahon, Shane McMahon, Stephanie McMahon. DVD. World Wrestling Entertainment, 2006. “World Wrestling Entertainment.” Wikipedia. 23 Apr. 2007 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ World_Wrestling_Entertainment>. “WWE: Superstar>Raw>Bio>Mr. McMahon.” WWE. World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. 23 Apr. 2007 <http://www.wwe.com/superstars/raw/mrmcmahon/ bio/>.