History of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment)

History of the WWE: The Beginning - The Rock-n-Wrestling Connection

WWE Ring
History of the WWE. Denis Apel (Stardado)
The split from the NWA & formation of the WWWF
The '70s
The new boss and a new business idea
The Rock-n-Wrestling Era
Saturday Night Live
WrestleMania 3

which set a North American indoor attendance record with an attendance of over 90,000 people. Even more importantly, this event was the first truly successful event for the pay per view industry.

Ted Turner Gets Involved
Starrcade 87
Survivor Series
WrestleMania 4
Royal Rumble
Clash of Champions
WrestleMania IV

The Burst of the Wrestling Bubble
The first several years of Turner's reign of wrestling were marred by incompetence that would have put the company out of business if Ted did not let his executives know that wrestling would always be on his network. The WWF couldn't take advantage of this because they had their own problems. In the early '90s, they were hit with both a sex scandal involving minors and a steroid trial that almost sent Vince to jail for a long time. During this time, the quality of his product suffered greatly. The only good thing to come out of this era was a new TV show called RAW that aired on Monday nights. This show was different from the other wrestling programming on TV in that the matches were competitive. In the prior eras of wrestling, the TV shows were used to showcase the stars by having them beat up scrubs.

The Monday Night War Begins
After several bad executives running WCW, Eric Bischoff took over and decided to use Turner's money to lure away wrestlers from the WWF and most importantly, he was able to sign the retired Hulk Hogan. In 1995, he started a new program called Monday Nitro which aired against Monday Night RAW on Turner's station TNT. Having control of the network allowed Bischoff to time the segments of his shows to counteract whatever the WWF was doing. In a move of brilliance, he also would give away the results of Raw (when it wasn't) live right before the WWF show would go on the air. The best the WWF mustered up to counter this were some bad parody skits involving Billionaire Ted, The Huckster & The Nacho Man. Then things got even worse for the WWF when they lost two of their biggest stars, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. In 1996, they joined WCW and formed the New World Order with a heel Hollywood Hogan. The WWF was getting destroyed in the ratings as they countered this cutting edge programming with wrestlers with dumb gimmicks (ex: wrestling garbage man, wrestling plumber, wrestling hockey player). The WWF need to make a change fast if they wanted to survive.

The Attitude Era

The Brand Split & New Name
At the time of his purchase, Vince was involved with the XFL and wasn’t as involved with the wrestling. The Invasion angle of WCW stars was a creative failure and after that angle the big stars of WCW started to appear but most were doomed to failure. As a way to get the feeling of the Monday Night War back, Vince split the company into 2 brands, Raw & SmackDown! In an embarrassing moment for the company, in 2002 they lost the rights to the WWF name to the World Wildlife Fund and were renamed World Wrestling Entertainment. Despite these failures, the WWE continues to make new stars and his hopeful that one of them can become the next Hulk Hogan to start another great cycle for the company.

ECW was a national wrestling company that went out of business in 2001. Vince bought the assets of the company in bankruptcy court. In 2005, the WWE brought back the ECW name for a hugely successful DVD and one time PPV event. Due to the demand for the ECW name shown by wrestling fans, the WWE brought back the name as a third brand of wrestling for the company in 2006.

(Source: Sex, Lies and Headlocks by Mike Mooneyham)