The WWE: Wrestling in Media
World Wrestling Entertainment fights became popular in the 1980s, but some form of entertainment wrestling had been around in the Northeast since the 1940s. (The company at that time was called the World Wrestling Federation but they changed their name when sued by the World Wildlife Foundation in 2000).
When Vince McMahon, the current owner of WWE purchased the company in the early 80s, he bought an already thriving regional entertainment sport that was easily marketable to the masses. His plans did not end with wrestling matches in New York City and beyond: his WWE would go national. With the help of newly signed big names like Jesse Ventura and Hulk Hogan, McMahon risked the whole company on a pay-per-view spectacular called “WrestleMania.”
The risk paid off. After a wildly successful national WrestleMania tour, the WWE (then WWF) was unstoppable. The programming was much more popular than traditional wrestling matches because of the easily followed storylines. Though World Wrestling Entertainment fights are not real but “simulated sport,” the matches are fun to watch because they combine wrestling and displays of strength with acting and fiction. Adding characters like Chyna, Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Undertaker to the already strong roster of wrestlers kept the WWE in the spotlight through the nineties with Monday Night Raw. (It even helped the public look past a steroid scandal to the tune of $5 million.) WWE wrestlers are bodybuilders.
Though some have background in wrestling, WWE matches are scripted, so the fighting is never real, no matter how accurate it looks. Simply put, WWE is popular not because of the skill of the participants but because it’s fun to watch. If you find that your wrestling team is as interested in WWE style competition as they are their own mat practice, try having them script a few “Raw” matches and give out wrestling medals to the winners and the most original match writers!