Eric Aaron Bischoff is an American entrepreneur, television producer, professional wrestling booker, podcast host, on-screen personality. He is best known for serving as Executive Producer and President of World Championship Wrestling and subsequently, the on-screen General Manager of WWE's Raw brand. Bischoff has worked with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling where he served as Executive Producer of Impact Wrestling. With an amateur background in taekwondo, Bischoff sporadically performed as an in-ring competitor, is a former WCW Hardcore Champion, he wrote an autobiography, titled Controversy Creates Cash, released in 2006 under WWE Books. Bischoff started in wrestling working for the Minneapolis, Minnesota based American Wrestling Association in 1987 under the ownership of Verne Gagne. In 1989, Bischoff would become an on-air interviewer in and host of the AWA until the company folded in 1991. Bischoff at first worked in the sales department on the AWA's syndicated programming, became an on-air personality by accident and at the last minute.
Larry Nelson, whom at the time was employed by the AWA as an announcer, was arrested under suspicion of a DUI. Because of Nelson's sudden unavailability, Verne Gagne and his son, opted to recruit Bischoff to fill-in on the interviews. Bischoff believed that the Gagnes thought that he would be a good replacement due to his immediate availability in the television studio, the fact that he was wearing a suit and tie. During the gradual demise of the AWA, the company was unable to meet payroll, Bischoff auditioned for an announcer's position with the World Wrestling Federation in 1990, but was not hired. In 1991, Bischoff joined World Championship Wrestling as a C-show announcer, debuting at The Great American Bash; as an announcer, Bischoff reported to producer Tony Schiavone and WCW's Vice President of Broadcasting, Jim Ross. In 1993, after WCW President Bill Watts resigned from the company, Bischoff went to TBS executive Bill Shaw and WCW Vice President Bob Dhue to apply for the job of Executive Producer.
Ross and Schiavone seemed to be the two top candidates, Bischoff was hired in Watts' place. Schiavone remained a producer and commentator until the company's demise, but Ross was granted his release from WCW and went to work for the WWF. Bischoff and Dhue worked together as partners, but clashed over the direction of the company. In 1994, Bischoff was promoted from Executive Producer to Executive Vice President, putting him in charge of everything WCW. Dhue resigned, as did junior vice president Jim Barnett. Bischoff convinced Turner executives to better finance WCW in order to compete with the WWF, he moved WCW production to Disney-MGM Studios in Florida. Hulk Hogan, filming a show called Thunder in Paradise at Disney-MGM Studios, was approached by Bischoff and Ric Flair and signed to a contract with WCW, he invested money in production values and increased the number of WCW pay-per-views. The changes paid off, in 1995, WCW turned a profit for the first time in the company's history. By 1997, Bischoff's official job title was President of World Championship Wrestling.
In 1996, Bischoff signed WWF superstar Scott Hall, better known at the time as "Razor Ramon". Two weeks on Nitro, Hall was joined by Kevin Nash, most known as "Diesel" in the WWF, to become "The Outsiders". Bischoff intentionally depicted the duo as WWF rebels who were not under contract to WCW. To avoid legal action by the WWF, Bischoff in a worked interview at The Great American Bash, asked point blank if they worked for the WWF, which both Hall and Nash denied; the Outsiders expanded and became the New World Order when perennial fan-favorite Hulk Hogan aligned himself with the Outsiders in July 1996. The nWo was depicted as a rival company engaging in a "hostile takeover" of WCW. Week to week, the angle grew more complex, with a mixture of main-eventers, mid-carders, referees and announcers involved in various subplots related to the onscreen "WCW vs nWo" power-struggle. Led by the nWo storyline, WCW overtook the WWF as the number one wrestling promotion in America with Nitro defeating Raw in the ratings by a wide margin for 84 consecutive weeks.
During this era, Bischoff joined the nWo as a manager. His television character, dubbed "Eazy E" by Hall, became a egomaniac as the nWo boss. In the summer of 1998, Eric hosted a Tonight show like segment on WCW programming with Miss Elizabeth. Ted DiBiase has said in shoot interviews that Bischoff hired DiBiase to be the spokesperson and financial backer for the NWO, but when the NWO was getting to be a more prominent storyline, Bischoff replaced DiBiase as NWO spokesperson. Bischoff enjoyed some mainstream exposure at the time, appearing on the HBO series Arli$$ as well as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; when the WWF rebranded their product as "WWF Attitude" and began to focus on new superstars such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mick Foley, The Rock, made owner/longtime announcer Vince McMahon into a character, this resulted in a ratings turnaround for WWF. On April 13, 1998, WWF ended a half run on top of the ratings war. Despite losing in the ratings to WWF, WCW continued to post strong ratings, PPV buyrates throughout 1998.
In 1998 WCW built one of its first homegrown superstars in Bill Goldberg, gave him the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on July 6, 1998 at the Georgia Dome in front of 39,919 people on Nitro. In early 1999
World Heavyweight Championship (WWE)
The World Heavyweight Championship was a professional wrestling world heavyweight championship owned by WWE. It was one of two top championships in WWE from 2002 to 2006 and from 2010 to 2013, complementing the WWE Championship, one of three top championships from 2006 to 2010 with the addition of the ECW World Heavyweight Championship; the title was established under the Raw brand in 2002, after Raw and SmackDown became distinct brands under WWE, moved between both brands on different occasions until August 29, 2011, when all programming became full roster "supershows". The World Heavyweight Championship was retired at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 15, 2013, when it was unified with the WWE Championship. Triple H was the inaugural World Heavyweight Champion, with Randy Orton being the last; the title was one of six to be represented by the historic Big Gold Belt, first introduced in 1986. Its heritage can be traced back to the first world heavyweight championship, thereby giving the belt a legacy over 100 years old, the oldest in the world.
WWE introduced its World Heavyweight Championship in 2002 by Eric Bischoff awarding Triple H the inaugural championship reign on September 2. However, its origin is attributed the first world heavyweight championship, to events that began in the National Wrestling Alliance, which had many different territorial promotions as members. In the late 1980s, World Championship Wrestling was a member of the NWA, having been formed by the purchase of Jim Crockett Promotions, which had absorbed many other NWA members, by Turner Broadcasting, which aired WCW's programming. During this time, WCW used the NWA World Heavyweight Championship as its world title; the WCW World Heavyweight Championship was soon established when the recognition was awarded to then-NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair in 1991. In 1993, WCW seceded from the NWA and grew to become a rival promotion to the World Wrestling Federation, itself a former member of the NWA. Both organizations grew into mainstream prominence and were involved in a television ratings war dubbed the Monday Night Wars.
Near the end of the ratings war, WCW began a financial decline which culminated in March 2001 with the WWF's purchase of selected assets of WCW. As a result of the purchase, the WWF acquired the video library of WCW, select talent contracts and championships among other assets; the slew of former WCW talent joining the WWF roster began "The Invasion" which phased out the WCW name. Following this, the WCW World Heavyweight Championship was unified with the WWF Championship, the WWF's world title, at Vengeance in December. At the event, the WCW World Heavyweight Championship was decommissioned with Chris Jericho becoming the final WCW World Heavyweight Champion and the subsequent Undisputed WWF Champion after defeating The Rock and Steve Austin respectively; the WWF title became the undisputed championship in professional wrestling until September 2002 with the creation of the World Heavyweight Championship, spun off from the Undisputed WWE Championship as the successor to the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
By 2002, the WWE roster had doubled in size due to the overabundance of contracted workers. As a result of the increase, the WWE divided the roster through its two main television programs and SmackDown, assigning championships and appointing figureheads to each brand of the same name; this expansion became known as the "Brand Extension". In May 2002, the WWF was renamed to World Wrestling Entertainment. Following these changes, the Undisputed WWE Championship remained unaffiliated with either brand as competitors from both brands could challenge the Undisputed Champion. Following the appointment of Eric Bischoff and Stephanie McMahon as General Managers of the Raw and SmackDown brands Stephanie McMahon contracted then-champion Brock Lesnar to the SmackDown brand, leaving the Raw brand without a World Title. On September 2, after disputing the brand designation of the Undisputed title, Eric Bischoff announced the creation of the World Heavyweight Championship. Bischoff awarded the title to Triple H due to being Lesnar's scheduled opponent.
Afterwards, the Undisputed Championship returned to being the WWE Championship. The World Heavyweight Championship and the WWE Championship switched brands a number of times before the first brand split ended in 2011. While introduced in 2002 as a new title, the WWE made allusions to other titles including those of WCW and the NWA, amalgamating the history of the championship with the history of the belt that represents it; as affirmed by WWE, the World Heavyweight Championship is not a continuation of the WCW Championship, but rather its successor by way of the WWE Undisputed Championship, just as the WCW Championship spun off from the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Due to its relation to both titles, its lineage is connected with the earliest recognized world heavyweight championship. In 2009, WWE released a DVD set called History of the World Heavyweight Championship that definitively linked the title to the WCW and NWA titles. Following the end of the first brand extension in 2011, both the World Heavyweight Champion and WWE Champion could appear on both Raw and SmackDown.
In 2013, the night after Survivor Series, then-World Heavyweight Champion John Cena made a challenge to then-WWE Champion Randy Orton to determine an undisputed WWE world champion. Randy Orton defeated John Cena in a TLC match at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view on December 15, 2013, to unify the titles. Subsequently, the WWE Championship was renamed WWE World Heavyweight Championship; the unified championship retained the lineage of the WWE Championship, the World Heavyweight Championship was r
Stephanie McMahon Levesque, known professionally as Stephanie McMahon, is an American businesswoman and professional wrestling personality. She is the chief brand officer of WWE and appears as an on-screen authority figure and occasional wrestler on both the Raw and SmackDown brands. A fourth generation wrestling promoter as a member of the McMahon family, she has worked for WWE since she was a young girl working her way up to receptionist in various front office jobs up to and including her current CBO position, she is the great-granddaughter of Roderick "Jess" McMahon, granddaughter of Vincent J. McMahon, daughter of WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon and retired WWE CEO and current Administrator of the Small Business Administration Linda McMahon, the younger sister of WWE part-owner/wrestler Shane McMahon, wife of WWE executive/wrestler Paul "Triple H" Levesque. McMahon began appearing on-air for WWE in 1999 as a part of a storyline with The Undertaker. After a brief on-screen relationship with Test, she was engaged to Triple H—whom she married both on-screen and in real life—which resulted in The McMahon-Helmsley Faction storyline.
She has held the WWF Women's Championship once. In 2001, she was the on-screen owner of Extreme Championship Wrestling during The Invasion; the following year, she was the SmackDown General Manager, but stopped appearing on television after an "I Quit" match with her father Vince. After making only sporadic appearances for several years, McMahon began appearing on Raw in 2008 as the Raw brand general manager before disappearing once again. By mid-2013, McMahon returned to regular on-air appearances in the WWE, this time under the gimmick of an unctuous, bullying owner along with on-screen chief operating officer, her husband, Triple H. From 2013 to 2016, they acted as a power couple known as The Authority, making what were shady decrees while claiming only to be concerned for "what's best for business," all the while romanticizing each other in the process with public displays of affection; the Authority would expand into a stable, with its co-leaders being Triple H and herself. Stephanie Marie McMahon was born on September 24, 1976 in Hartford, Connecticut to Linda and Vince McMahon.
She has Shane McMahon. Soon after her birth, the family moved to Connecticut. There, she attended the selective Greenwich Country Day School, throughout her elementary school years. At the age of 13, McMahon appeared in World Wrestling Federation merchandise catalogs, modeling T-shirts and hats. After graduating from Greenwich High School in 1994, she attended Boston University and in 1998 earned a degree in Communications. After graduating in 1998, she began working for the WWF full-time. McMahon entered the World Wrestling Federation as a model and for the WWF's sales and merchandise department, but started her WWF business career as an Account Executive for the WWF offices in New York. In her early years with the company, she did reception work, creative design, television production, acted as a ring performer. After spending time as the director of creative writing, a job she had by 2002, she was promoted to Senior Vice President of Creative Writing in 2006. McMahon was promoted to executive vice president of Creative in 2007.
She was responsible for overseeing the creative process for all television and pay-per-view programming. She oversaw all aspects of talent management and branding, live event booking and marketing, all social and digital media properties; as Executive vice-president of Creative, McMahon was able to spearhead the upbringing of the WWE app, downloaded over 20 million times. She was able to launch a huge partnership with the USO metropolitan Washington, the social media company Tout, was able to partner with Yahoo to bring WWE content. Stephanie led WWE's Creative coalition for their Anti Bullying Campaigns. In addition to her duties, McMahon was responsible for the day-to-day operations for WWE.com. On December 4, 2013 WWE announced the promotion of McMahon to chief brand officer, where she will lead efforts to further enhance WWE's brand reputation among key constituents including advertisers, business partners, investors, she will serve as the lead ambassador of WWE and work with business units to support key growth initiatives.
She will lead WWE's targeted youth and moms marketing programs. McMahon's new position enabled her to spearhead the continued partnership with General Mills' Totino's brand. On February 5, 2014, McMahon along with CMO and CRO Michelle Wilson announced a partnership between WWE and KaBOOM! to build a playground for WWE's annual WrestleMania week in Louisiana. McMahon earned a combined salary of over $775,000 between her corporate role and as an on-screen talent in 2013, she owns over $77 million in WWE stock. On April 15, 2014 during WWE's annual Business Partners Summit, McMahon confirmed that a new WWE logo would debut the night after WWE SummerSlam, although it was showing up on WWE products like the WWE Network and NXT. On August 5, at the Needham fireside conference, McMahon alongside with her husband Triple H, WWE Chief strategy and financial officer George Barrios, discussed the Creative side of WWE, the WWE Network, the difference between WWE and UFC. In early 1999, at the suggestion of WWF writer Vince Russo McMahon debuted as the innocent and friendly daughter of Vince McMahon during an on-screen storyline involving Vince and The Undertaker.
The Undertaker stalked and abducted McMahon at the end of the April Backlash pay-per-view, which culminated in him
William Jason Reso is a Canadian actor and retired professional wrestler, best known for his time with WWE under the ring name Christian, a shortened version of his original ring name Christian Cage, used during his tenure in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Reso was trained by Ron Hutchison and Dory Funk Jr. and made his professional wrestling debut in June 1998. Reso wrestled in Canadian independent promotions early in his career, where he competed in singles and tag team competition with longtime best friend Adam Copeland. In 1998, Reso signed a developmental deal with the World Wrestling Federation and was rebranded as the storyline brother of Edge, Copeland's WWF persona. Reso made his debut the following year and captured his first title in the company, the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship. Edge and Christian gained notoriety as a tag team for their participation in Tables and Chairs matches and winning the WWF Tag Team Championship on seven different occasions; the team parted ways in 2001, after which Reso held various heavyweight singles titles, including the European Championship, the Hardcore Championship and the Intercontinental Championship.
In November 2005, Reso signed with TNA under his Christian Cage ring name, where he won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship twice. Reso left TNA in late 2008 and re-signed with WWE, where he won the ECW Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship twice each, he is the eleventh Grand Slam Champion in WWE history. Reso was born on November 30, 1973 in Kitchener, the son of an American father and a Canadian mother, he was a wrestling fan as a child. Reso lived in Huntsville and East Luther-Grand Valley before moving to Orangeville, where he met Adam Copeland, who became his best friend and eventual tag team partner; the two attended Orangeville District Secondary School together, from. In September 1994, Reso enrolled in a wrestling school at Sully's Gym, run by Ron Hutchison. One of Reso's early ring names was Christian Cage, a combination of the names of Christian Slater and Nicolas Cage. Cage's wrestling career began in June 1995 in a match against Zakk Wyld. In 1997, he was a part of Thug Life, a stable that included Joe E. Legend, Zakk Wyld, Rhino Richards and Sexton Hardcastle.
As a tag team on the Canadian independent circuit and Reso were known as High Impact and The Suicide Blondes. The duo competed in the United States and Japan. Reso won the East Coast Wrestling Association Heavyweight Championship on July 18, 1998, which he held until October 15, 1999; when Copeland received a tryout match with the World Wrestling Federation, Reso went with him and they faced off in an untelevised tryout match, which Copeland was booked to win. After the tryout, once Copeland was promoted from his developmental status to touring with the WWF, he put in a good word for Reso and got him invited to the WWF-affiliated Dory Funk, Jr.'s Funking Conservatory training camp in 1998. After completing his training at the conservatory, Reso signed a contract with the WWF to become a full-time performer; when Reso came to the WWF, he shortened his ring name to Christian. Christian made his television debut as a heel at WWF's pay-per-view event Breakdown: In Your House on September 27, distracting Edge during his match against Owen Hart to reveal his allegiance to Gangrel.
Christian won the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship in his debut match against Taka Michinoku at Judgment Day: In Your House on October 18. He lost the title to Gillberg a month later. Christian was given the character of a vampire and formed an alliance with Gangrel and Edge, persuaded to join what became known as The Brood. At Rock Bottom: In Your House on December 13, The Brood defeated The J. O. B. Squad in a six-man tag team match they feuded with The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness and joining the team, but upon learning that Christian was beaten into telling Ken Shamrock the whereabouts of Stephanie McMahon, The Undertaker punished Christian by flogging him. More loyal to The Brood than to The Ministry and Gangrel betrayed The Undertaker and rescued Christian from sacrifice on. In 1999, Christian and Edge turned face and parted ways with Gangrel, who associated himself with The Hardy Boyz to form The New Brood; as a result, they began feuding with The Hardy Boyz and went on to compete in a ladder match for the managerial services of Terri Runnels and $100,000 at No Mercy on October 17, which The Hardy Boyz won.
At Survivor Series on November 14, Edge and Christian and The Hardy Boyz faced Too Cool and The Hollys in a four-on-four Survivor Series elimination match, but they lost. At Armageddon on December 12, Edge and Christian competed in an eight-team battle royal, won by The Acolytes. At the Royal Rumble on January 23, 2000, Christian competed in the Royal Rumble match, but he was eliminated by Rikishi. At No Way Out on February 27, Edge and Christian defeated The Hardy Boyz in a tag team match to determine the number one contenders to the WWF Tag Team Championship. At WrestleMania 2000 on April 2, Edge and Christian defeated The Hardy Boyz and The Dudley Boyz to win their first WWF Tag Team Championship in a triangle ladder match, which led to the creation of the Tables and Chairs match. At Backlash on April 30, Edge and Christian defeated Road X-Pac to retain titles. At Judgment Day on May 21, Christian and Kurt Angle lost a six-man tag team match to Rikishi and Too Cool, to whom they lost the titles soon after only to
WWE Raw known as Monday Night Raw or Raw, is a professional wrestling television program that airs live on Monday evenings at 8 pm ET on the USA Network in the United States. The show's name is used to refer to the Raw brand, to which WWE employees are assigned to work and perform; the show debuted on January 11, 1993 and has since been considered as the flagship program of WWE. Raw moved from the USA Network to TNN in September 2000, rebranded to Spike TV in August 2003. On October 3, 2005, Raw returned to the USA Network; as of April 2019, all episodes of the show, older than 30 days, are now available on demand on the WWE Network. Since its first episode, Raw has broadcast live from 208 different arenas in 171 cities and towns in eleven different nations. Following the 1000th episode on July 23, 2012, Raw became a three-hour broadcast from two hours, a format, reserved for special episodes. Beginning as WWF's Monday Night Raw, the program first aired on January 11, 1993 on the USA Network as a replacement for Prime Time Wrestling, which aired on the network for eight years.
The original Raw was sixty minutes in length and broke new ground in televised professional wrestling. Traditionally, wrestling shows were taped on sound stages with small audiences or at large arena shows; the Raw formula was different from the taped weekend shows that aired at the time such as Superstars and Wrestling Challenge. Instead of matches taped weeks in advance with studio voice overs and taped discussion, Raw was a show shot and aired to a live audience, with angles playing out as they happened. Raw originated from the Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center, a small New York City theater, aired live each week; the combination of an intimate venue and live action proved to be a successful improvement. However, the weekly live schedule proved to be a financial drain on the WWF. From Spring 1993 up until Spring 1997, Raw would tape several week's worth of episodes after a live episode had aired; the WWF taped several weeks worth of Raw from the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York in April 1993, again in June and October.
The first episode produced outside of New York was taped in Bushkill, Pennsylvania in November 1993 and Raw left the Manhattan Center permanently as the show would be taken on the road throughout the United States and had in smaller venues. On September 4, 1995, the WWF's chief competitor World Championship Wrestling began airing its new wrestling show, Monday Nitro, live each week on TNT, which marked the start of the Monday Night Wars. Raw and Nitro went head-to-head for the first time on September 11, 1995. At the start of the ratings war in 1995 through to mid-1996, Raw and Nitro exchanged victories over each other in a contested rivalry. Beginning in mid-1996, due to the nWo angle, Nitro started a ratings win-streak that lasted for 84 consecutive weeks, ending on April 13, 1998. On February 3, 1997, Raw went to a two-hour format, to compete with the extra hour on Nitro, by March 10, it was renamed to Raw Is War, it was during the time Raw would be aired live more often. After WrestleMania XIV in March 1998, the WWF regained the lead in the Monday Night Wars with its new "WWF Attitude" brand.
The April 13, 1998 episode of Raw Is War, headlined by a match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon, marked the first time that WCW had lost the head-to-head Monday night ratings battle in the 84 weeks since 1996. On January 4, 1999, Mick Foley, who had wrestled for WCW during the early 1990s as Cactus Jack, won the WWF Championship as Mankind on Raw Is War. On orders from Bischoff, Nitro announcer Tony Schiavone gave away this taped result on a live Nitro and sarcastically added, "That's gonna put some butts in the seats" resulting in over 600,000 viewers switching channels to Raw Is War to see the underdog capture the WWF Championship; this was the night that Nitro aired a WCW World Heavyweight Championship match in which Kevin Nash lay down for Hollywood Hogan after Hogan poked him in the chest. On June 28, 2000, Viacom won the landmark deal with the WWF to move all of its WWF programs stemming from the lawsuit action against WWF from USA Network; the new television contract and the subsequent purchase of competitor WCW led to many changes in WWF's programming content.
Raw Is War premiered on TNN on September 25, 2000. WCW's sharp decline in revenue and ratings led to Time Warner selling selected assets such as the WCW name and contracts to the WWF in March 2001 for $3 million; the final episode of Nitro, which aired on March 26, 2001, began with Vince McMahon making a short statement about his recent purchase of WCW and ended with a simulcast with Raw on TNN and Nitro on TNT including an appearance by Vince's son Shane. The younger McMahon interrupted his father's gloating over the WCW purchase to explain that Shane was the one who owned WCW, setting up what became the WWF's "Invasion" storyline. Following the purchase of WCW and the September 11 attacks, the program was retitled as Raw on October 1, 2001, permanently retiring the Raw Is War moniker. In March 2002, as a result of the overabundance of talent left over from the Invasion storyline, WWF instituted a process known as the "brand extension", under which Raw and SmackDown would be treated as two distinct divisions, each with their own rosters and championships.
Shortly thereafter, the WWF was required to change the name of the company to World Wrestling Entertainment. On March 10, 2005, Viacom and WWE decided not to go on with the agreement with Spike TV endin
Professional wrestling is a form of performance art and entertainment that combines athletics with theatrical performance. It takes the form of events, held by touring companies; the unique form of sport portrayed is fundamentally based on classical and "catch" wrestling, with modern additions of striking attacks, strength-based holds and throws and acrobatic maneuvers. Much of these derive from the influence of various international martial arts. An additional aspect of combat with improvised weaponry is sometimes included to varying degrees; the matches have predetermined outcomes to heighten entertainment value and all combative maneuvers are executed with the full cooperation of those involved and performed in specific manners intended to lessen the chance of actual injury. These facts were once kept secret but are now a accepted open secret. To promote and sustain the willing suspension of disbelief by maintaining an aura of verisimilitude, the performing company avoids discussing the true nature of the performance in official media.
Fan communications by individual wrestlers and promotions through outside media directly acknowledge the dramatic and "fixed" nature of the spectacle. Originating as a popular form of entertainment in 19th-century Europe and as a sideshow exhibition in North American traveling carnivals and vaudeville halls, professional wrestling grew into a standalone genre of entertainment with many diverse variations in cultures around the globe, is now a billion dollar entertainment industry. Since the 1980s, local forms have declined in Europe, wrestling from North America has experienced several different periods of prominent cultural popularity during its century and a half of existence and has been exported back to Europe to fill the cultural gap left by the aforementioned decline of local versions; the advent of television gave professional wrestling a new outlet, wrestling was instrumental in making pay-per-view a viable method of content delivery. Show wrestling has become prominent in Central/North America and Europe.
In Brazil, there was a popular wrestling television program from the 1960s to the early 1980s called Telecatch. High-profile figures in the sport have become celebrities or cultural icons in their native or adopted home countries. Although professional wrestling started out as small acts in sideshows, traveling circuses and carnivals, today it is a billion-dollar industry. Revenue is drawn from ticket sales, network television broadcasts, pay-per-view broadcasts, branded merchandise and home video. Pro wrestling was instrumental in making pay-per-view a viable method of content delivery. Annual shows such as WrestleMania, Bound for Glory, Wrestle Kingdom and Starrcade are among the highest-selling pay-per-view programming each year. In modern day, internet programming has been utilized by a number of companies to air web shows, internet pay per views or on-demand content, helping to generate internet-related revenue earnings from the evolving World Wide Web. Home video sales dominate the Billboard charts Recreational Sports DVD sales, with wrestling holding anywhere from 3 to 9 of the top 10 spots every week.
Due to its persistent cultural presence and to its novelty within the performing arts, wrestling constitutes a recurring topic in both academia and the media. Several documentaries have been produced looking at professional wrestling, most notably, Beyond the Mat directed by Barry W. Blaustein, Wrestling with Shadows featuring wrestler Bret Hart and directed by Paul Jay. There have been many fictional depictions of wrestling; the largest professional wrestling company worldwide is the United States-based WWE, which bought out many smaller regional companies in the late 20th century, as well as its primary US competitors World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling in early 2001. Other prominent professional wrestling companies worldwide include the US-based Impact Wrestling known as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, Ring of Honor; when talking about professional wrestling, there are two levels: the "in-show" happenings that are presented through the shows, happenings which are outside the scope of performance but have implications on the performance, such as performer contracts, legitimate injuries, etc.
Because actual events are co-opted by writers for incorporation into storylines for the performers, the lines are blurred and become confused. Special care must be taken; the actions of the character should be considered fictional events, wholly separate from the life of the performer. This is similar to other entertainers; some wrestlers would incorporate elements of their real-life personalities into their characters if they and their in-ring persona have different names. Historians are unsure at what point wrestling changed from competitive catch wrestling into worked entertainment; those who participated felt that maintenance of a constant and complete illusion for all who were not involved was necessary to keep audience interest. For decades, wrestlers lived their public lives; the pra
Vincent Kennedy McMahon is an American professional wrestling promoter and executive, American football executive, businessman. Since taking over the company from his father in the 1980s, he has worked in the corporate area of the WWE and behind the scenes, he serves as the majority owner, chairman and CEO of WWE as well as founder of Alpha Entertainment, the holding company of the American football league the XFL. McMahon has served as an announcer and professional wrestler in WWE—using a gimmick known by the ring name Mr. McMahon, based on his real life persona, he is a two-time world champion, having won the WWF Championship in 1999 and the ECW World Championship in 2007. He was the 1999 Royal Rumble winner, he headlined multiple WWF/WWE pay-per-view events from 1999 to 2000 and participated in the main event of WrestleMania 2000 as a cornerman for The Rock. In singles competition, he holds victories over former WWF/WWE Champions Ric Flair, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Triple H, he continues his backstage and on-screen roles as the main authority figure along with the rest of the McMahon family.
Prior to this, he was the broadcast color commentator and chief broadcaster for the company. A third-generation wrestling promoter, McMahon is married to former WWE CEO and outgoing American SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, with whom he has two children, son Shane and daughter Stephanie, he is the father-in-law of WWE executive/wrestler Paul "Triple H" Levesque and has six grandchildren. Vincent Kennedy McMahon was born on August 24, 1945 in Pinehurst, North Carolina, the younger son of Victoria and Vincent James McMahon, his father left the family when McMahon was still a baby and took his elder son Rod with him, therefore McMahon did not meet him until age twelve. McMahon's paternal grandfather was promoter Roderick James "Jess" McMahon, whose parents were Irish emigrants from County Galway, his paternal grandmother, Rose Davis, was of Irish descent. McMahon was raised as Vinnie Lupton and spent the majority of his childhood living with his mother and a string of stepfathers, he claimed that one of his stepfathers, Leo Lupton, used to beat his mother and attacked McMahon when he tried to protect her.
He said, "It is unfortunate. I would have enjoyed that." He attended Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, graduating in 1964. In his early life, he overcame dyslexia. McMahon first met the promoter for Capitol Wrestling Corporation, his father Vincent J. McMahon, at the age of 12. At that point, McMahon became interested in following his father's professional wrestling footsteps and accompanied him on trips to Madison Square Garden. McMahon wanted to be a wrestler, but his father did not let him, explaining that promoters did not appear on the show and should stay apart from their wrestlers. In 1968, McMahon graduated from East Carolina University with a business degree and after a nondescript career as a traveling salesman, he was eager to assume a managerial role in his father's World Wide Wrestling Federation promotion. In 1969, McMahon made his debut as an in-ring announcer for the WWWF's All-Star Wrestling. In 1971, he was assigned to a small territory in Maine, he became the play-by-play commentator for television matches after he replaced Ray Morgan in 1971, a role he maintained until November 1997.
Throughout the 1970s, McMahon became the prominent force in his father's company and, over the next decade, assisted his father in tripling TV syndication. He pushed for the renaming of the company to the World Wrestling Federation; the younger McMahon was behind the Muhammad Ali versus Antonio Inoki match of 1976. In 1979, the younger McMahon and his wife Linda founded their own company, Titan Sports, incorporated in the following year and in 1982 - when McMahon was aged 37 - acquired control of the Capitol Wrestling Co. from his ailing father. On February 21, 1980, McMahon founded Titan Sports, the company's headquarters were established in South Yarmouth, using the now defunct Cape Cod Coliseum as a home base for the company. At the time of his purchase of the WWF, professional wrestling was a business run by regional promotions; the various promoters shared an understanding that they would not invade each other's territories, as this practice had gone on undeterred for decades. In 1983, the WWF split from the National Wrestling Alliance a second time, after splitting from them in 1963 before rejoining them in 1971.
The NWA was the governing body for all the regional territories across the country and as far away as Japan. He began expanding the company nationally by promoting in areas outside of the company's Northeast U. S. stomping grounds and by signing talent from other companies, such as the American Wrestling Association. In 1984, he recruited Hulk Hogan to be the WWF's charismatic new megastar, the two drew the ire of industry peers as the promotion began traveling and broadcasting into rival territories. McMahon created The Rock'n' Wrestling Connection by incorporating pop music stars into wrestling storylines; as a result, the WWF was able to expand its fanbase into a national mainstream audience as the promotion was featured on MTV programming. On March 31, 1985, he ran the first WrestleMania at Madison Square Garden, available on closed circuit television in various markets throughout the U. S. During the late 1980s, McMahon shaped the WWF into a unique sports entertainment bra