HISTORY OF WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT
Adrian L Jackson
THIS IS THE HISTORY OF WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT (WWE), A SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT/PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING PROMOTION.
Roderick James "Jess" McMahon was a boxing promoter whose achievements included co-promoting a boxing match in 1915 between Jess Willard and Jack Johnson. In 1925, while working with Tex Rickard (who despised wrestling to such a degree that he prevented wrestling events from being held in Madison Square Garden) he started promoting boxing in Madison Square Garden in New York City. The first match during their partnership was a light heavyweight championship match between Jack Delaney and Paul Berlenbach. Around the same time, former professional wrestler Joseph Raymond "Toots" Mondt had a revolutionary concept. He decided to take wrestling to a higher level, bringing it out of back alleys and rough areas into sporting arenas. He also made wrestling more exciting with his "Slam Bang Western Style Wrestling." His next move was to form a promotion with Ed Lewis and Billy Sandow. They persuaded a lot of wrestlers to sign contracts with the newly named 'Gold Dust Trio'. Eventually, the trio dissolved and the promotion did also, after a disagreement over power. Mondt formed partnerships with several promoters. When Jack Curley was dying, Mondt knew that New York wrestling would fall apart. Realizing this he gained help from several bookers, one of these being Jess McMahon. Together, Jess and Mondt created the Capitol Wrestling Corporation (CWC). There is not a lot of information on the early days of the CWC, but it is known that it joined the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) in 1953. Mondt had been using Antonino Rocca as a main eventer. He was successful in the role and Mondt was pleased to have him as part of the company. Unfortunately, Mondt was unable to keep Rocca happy. In 1953, Ray Fabiani, one of Mondt's other associates, brought in Vincent J. McMahon, who replaced his father Jess in 1953 (around the time the CWC became a territorial member of the NWA). They controlled all of the Northeastern wrestling circuit. Vince Sr. and Toots Mondt were a formidable combination: within a short time, they controlled around 70% of the NWA's booking -- given what a far-reaching organization the NWA was, that was a significant achievement. Mondt taught Vince Sr. about booking and how to work in the wrestling industry. This was the start of the wrestling revolution. In 1956, the CWC signed a deal with WTTG Channel 5 to air live professional wrestling shows. World Wide Wrestling Federation
The NWA recognized an undisputed NWA World Heavyweight Champion that went from wrestling company to wrestling company in the alliance and defended the belt around the world. In 1963, the champion was "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers. The rest of the NWA was unhappy with Mondt because he rarely allowed Rogers to wrestle outside of the Northeast. Mondt and McMahon wanted Rogers to keep the NWA World Championship belt, but Rogers was unwilling to sacrifice his $25,000 deposit on the belt (title holders at the time had to pay a deposit to insure they would honor their commitments as champion). Rogers lost the NWA World Championship to Lou Thesz in a one-fall match in Toronto, Ontario on January 24, 1963, which led to Mondt, McMahon and the CWC leaving the NWA in protest, creating the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) in the process. In mid-April, Rogers was awarded the new WWWF World Championship following an apocryphal tournament in Rio de Janeiro. He lost the title to Bruno Sammartino a month later on May 17, 1963 after supposedly suffering a heart attack shortly before the match. Toots Mondt left the company in the late sixties for unclear reasons, probably due to old age. Although the WWWF had withdrawn from the NWA, Vince McMahon Sr. still sat on the NWA Board of Directors, no other territory was recognized in the...
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