On April 2, at WrestleMania 33, Brock Lesnar defeated Goldberg, thus winning the WWE Universal Championship. After Braun Strowman, who challenged Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship suffered an elbow injury that will keep him out of the scene for six months, the General Manager of RAW, Kurt Angle sanctioned an Extreme Rules Fatal 5-Way match to determine the number-one contender to the WWE Universal Championship between Bray Wyatt, Finn Balor, Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe and Seth Rollins.
The match, held at Extreme Rules, was won by Samoa Joe, who thus faced Brock Lesnar in Great Balls of Fire for WWE Universal Championship. In the episode of RAW of 19 June, Braun Strowman gets back from his injury, causing the defeat of Roman Reigns in his match against Samoa Joe. Subsequently, after attaching, Strowman challenged Reigns to an Ambulance match for Great Balls of Fire.
In the episode of RAW of 26 June, the WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville defeated Lince Dorado. Titus O'Neil issued a challenge to Neville that he and his client, Akira Tozawa, will compete in the Kick-off of Great Balls of Fire where the winner can win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
In the episode of RAW of June 26, Sasha Banks won a Gauntlet match to determine the number one contender to WWE RAW Women's Championship. Alexa Bliss eliminated Nia Jax. Therefore, a match between titrated Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks was announced for Great Balls of Fire.
In the episode of RAW on June 26 after Seth Rollins defeated Curt Hawkins, Bray Wyatt appeared on the TitanTron for one of his mind-games against Rollins. A match between Bray Wyatt and Seth Rollins was thus enshrined for Great Balls of Fire.
After being attacked several times in the weeks backstage, in the episode of RAW of 19 June, Big Cass made an about turn by attacking his former partner Eric Arndt. Cass pretended to be back on the side of Love and then attacked him again. In the episode of RAW on July 3, Cass was attacked by Love and a match between the two for Great Balls of Fire was enshrined.
On June 4, at Extreme Rules, The Miz defeated Dean Ambrose and thus winning the Intercontinental Championship for the seventh time. In the following weeks, Ambrose and The Miz got attached to each other. The Miz allied with Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel to combat Ambrose. On July 3 was sanctioned a rematch between Ambrose and The Miz.
On April 30, in Payback, The Hardy Boyz (Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy) successfully defended the WWE RAW Tag Team Championship against Cesaro and Sheamus. On June 4, at Extreme Rules, Cesaro and Sheamus defeated The Hardy Boyz in a Steel Cage match, winning the WWE RAW Tag Team Championship. After several clashes in the weekly show, on July 3 was enshrined a 30-minute Iron Man match between the two teams for the WWE RAW Tag Team Championship.
WWE Inc. formerly known as the Capitol Wrestling Corporation Ltd, Titan Sports Inc., World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc. and World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. is an American company of sports entertainment, which is mainly involved in wrestling, as well as films, music and merchandising, listed on the stock exchange in New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WWE.
It is the main federation of wrestling world: the television show of the WWE, among which are RAW and SmackDown, reach 13 million listeners in the United States and are broadcast in 30 languages in over 145 countries. The WWE also gives life to several events in pay-per-view, the most important of which, WrestleMania, held annually in late March; the day before this event takes place the ceremony of the Hall of Fame, during which awards are presented to the greatest legends of the Federation.
The chairman of the WWE is Vince McMahon helped in the management by his wife Linda. They have children Shane and Stephanie, as well as chief operating officer (COO) of the WWE, Triple H. The company's headquarters is in Stamford, with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, London, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Monaco, and Tokyo.
Until 2002 the federation was called the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). A dispute with the World Wide Fund for Nature, known by the same acronym, led to a change in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Before that, the name by which the company was commonly identified was the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF). In 2011 the Federation has further changed its name and became known simply as WWE.
The WWE has a territory of development called NXT. It also had several satellite federations, better known as development areas; among these the most important were the Deep South Wrestling (DSW), the Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW), the Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) and Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). The fifth season of the show, which should have allowed the winner to enter the sixth season, does not see a winner because it becomes a real show. In the episode of 11 April 2012, it was announced the final episode of NXT Redemption and Conversion of NXT in a show dedicated to the young people coming from FCW, the only Federation for the development of the WWE.
On April 25 starts on the official website of WWE NXT with a roster format is by young promises like Bo Dallas, Paige, and Bray Wyatt. The wrestlers already present in the main roster were Jinder Mahal, Derrick Bateman, and Johnny Curtis. NXT appointed the Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes as Commissioner to direct the show. On July 26 Dusty announces the start of the Gold Rush tournament, a tournament with eight participants for the award of NXT Championship.
The tournament ends after five weeks with the victory of Seth Rollins on Jinder Mahal and his enthronement in the first NXT Champion of the FCW it is closed and all the wrestlers are moved to the roster of NXT. On early August Shawn Michaels presents NXT Tag Team Championship and announces a tournament to eight pairs to enact the first champion. After four weeks, in the tournament's final, the British Ambition (Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey) defeat the Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) and become the NXT Tag Team Champions.
The first episode aired on June 5 as Stephanie McMahon presented the NXT Women's Championship and announced a tournament to eight participants. The tournament ends in the July 24 episode Paige defeats in the finals Emma becoming the first Women's champion of NXT.
WWE Afterburn, WWE Bottom Line, WWE Experience and This Week On WWE have headings that summarize what has happened in a week, WWE 24/7 and WWE Vintage Collection are entries to which they are proposed match passed into history. The events in pay-per-view are Royal Rumble, Fastlane, Wrestlemania, Payback, Extreme Rules, Money in the Bank, Battleground, SummerSlam, Night of Champions, Hell in a Cell, Survivor Series, and TLC.
In addition, to granting licenses to companies such as Acclaim, 2K, and Mattel to produce video games and action figures on the wrestling, the WWE has expanded its area of interest by creating subsidiary companies not strictly related to the world of wrestling.
WWE Films: A subsidiary of WWE created in 2002 to create and develop feature films, previously called WWE Studios.
WWE Niagara Falls: selling retail and entertainment establishment located in Niagara Falls, Ontario and owned by WWE. It closed in 2011.
The World, formerly known as WWF New York: A restaurant, nightclub, and memorabilia shop in New York. It closed in 2004.
WWE Music Group: A subsidiary that specializes in the production of albums with entry songs of WWE wrestlers. The company also produces songs performed by the wrestlers themselves.
WWE Home Video: A subsidiary that specializes in the distribution of copies in VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray discs of events in pay-per-view in WWE, collections of meetings of the wrestlers and biographies of the latter.
WWE Books: A subsidiary tasked to publish autobiographies of WWE personalities, guides on behind the scenes of WWE, illustrated books, calendars, books for young people and others.
WWE Kids: A website and a comic book series aimed at the very young market; comics are produced bi-monthly since April 15, 2008.
The Wellness Program is an anti-doping procedure used by WWE, which performs periodic drug tests to monitor the wrestlers and make sure that none of them use illicit substances. The Wellness Program reveals, through the adoption of anti-doping tests surprisingly, the use of drugs or abuse of drugs such as anabolic by WWE athletes. The wrestlers are also subject to continuous cardiovascular checks.
In the event that a wrestler tests positive for doping, they are punished with a suspension, ranging from 30 days to 60 days, or dismissal, depending on the number of violations committed in the Wellness Program from their arrival in the Federation.
Following the death of Eddie Guerrero in 2005, the WWE has given life to the Substance Abuse and Drug Testing Policy (also known as Talent Wellness Program), an anti-doping program designed to continuously monitor the health status of its wrestlers.
The Wellness Program is finished under fierce attack in 2007, following the murder perpetrated by Chris Benoit to harm his wife and son, followed by his suicide. Initially, in fact, he thought that the basis of the gesture of Benoit there was a spasm of anger caused by the use of anabolic substances, some of which are in his house; for this reason, the US Congress began an investigation into the abuse of steroids in the world pro-wrestling.
On August 30, 2007, the WWE suspended 10 wrestlers suspected of having taken steroids. Signature Pharmacy, a pharmaceutical company in Orlando was accused of selling steroids and other drugs without a prescription between 2006 and early 2007. Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, Funaki, John Morrison, Mr. Kennedy, Randy Orton, William Regal and Umaga (who died in 2009 due to a heart attack) were suspended for 30 days, while Booker T was suspended for 60 days.
Edge and Gregory Helms was also involved in the affair. The list also included the names of Johnny Stamboli and Sylvain Grenier, who at the time was no longer under contract with WWE. Chris Benoit, Crush and Eddie Guerrero, all died between 2005 and 2007.
One last wrestler in the list, Simon Dean, was fired by the federation on 31 August as positive drug test of the Wellness Program for the third time. Batista and Santino Marella were initially included in the list of clients of Signature Pharmacy, but not tested positive drug test and for that reason were not punished.
The flurry of suspensions was confirmed by WWE through an official statement on its website. The federation, as was normal, did not make the names of the wrestlers public. They were revealed by the broadcaster ESPN. The lawyer Jerry McDevitt, in an interview with the magazine Sports Illustrated, said that the only action taken would be the removal of the guilty from the shows for a period of time.
McDevitt also pointed out that the issue Signature Pharmacy was not limited to the employees of the WWE. Among the customers of the pharmaceutical company in fact also included police officers, firefighters and professional athletes from other sports, especially of football (many members of the teams of the NFL were disqualified for doping).
All this led to a big change in the rules underlying the Wellness Program, formalized by the Vice President of WWE, Stephanie McMahon, at a meeting held in the headquarters Stanford (Connecticut) on 1 September 2007. The McMahon specified that from now on every wrestler would be subject to doping tests before being put under contract by the federation, and if positive to marijuana would be fined $ 1,000. New substances, such as anti-estrogens, were added to the list of prohibited drugs.
As of November 1st following each violation of the Wellness Program, it would be made public. The first two wrestlers suspended following the application of the new regulation were David Hart Smith and Chris Masters, the latter to the second violation, and then removed from the show for a period of 60 days.
In June 2009 there was a new wave of suspensions and dismissals for the Wellness Program violations. The wrestler Mr. Kennedy and Umaga, the latter died December 4 of that year due to a heart attack, they were fired for being a positive drug test for the second time and then refusing the rehabilitation clinic. On 27 August 2009 the Fed has announced through its official website, he has suspended Rey Mysterio for a period of 30 days. The Mexican fighter has broken the rules of the Wellness Program also in 2012 and was then suspended for 60 days. The only wrestler to have taken performance-enhancing drugs twice in one year was Evan Bourne, suspended for 30 and 60 days.
On September 13, 2010, the WWE added muscle relaxants to the list of banned substances. In the summer of 2012, Randy Orton was punished with 60 days suspension from the shows. He tested positive in anti-doping tests. On February 19, 2013, Jack Swagger was arrested, and later released on bail, as he was found in possession of marijuana. WWE has punished by $ 1,000 in fines, as provided by the new policy of the Wellness Program. On September 28, 2015, Hornswoggle was suspended for a period of 30 days following his first violation of the Wellness Program.
On 8 January 2014, the WWE announced the WWE Network. The WWE Network is a streaming video service produced by WWE. The launch of the WWE Network took place on February 24, 2014, in the United States. On August 16, 2014, Vince McMahon on his public Twitter profile posted photos on the launch of the new logo of the WWE, formerly used as the logo of the WWE Network.
After John Laurinaitis, there was a new general manager for a week. The first was Mick Foley, who was succeeded by Vickie Guerrero and Teddy Long. After the acquisition of WCW by the WWF in 2001, Vince McMahon brought in the members of nWo like Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall in No Way Out on February 17, 2002. In the storyline created for the occasion, the nWo was the tool of McMahon to bring down the WWF, in order to avoid the shame of Vince dividing the decision-making power with the new co-owner of WWF Ric Flair.
After the defeat at WrestleMania X8 against the Rock, Hulk Hogan was attacked by Hall and Nash. Hall and Nash then recruited two new members for the nWo: X-Pac (March 21, 2002, in SmackDown, registered in Ottawa) and Big Show (April 22, 2002).
The return of the New World Order in the WWF did not last long. Hall was fired in May for personal reasons, probably related to the abuse of drugs or alcohol. Flair later became a semi-member of the nWo after the turnaround in Stone Cold Steve Austin.
As the owner of RAW, Flair signed a Lumberjack Match on May 13 between Austin and the last new member of the nWo, which turned out to be Booker T. Nash introduced Shawn Michaels in the nWo on June 3, 2002. Michaels drove Booker out of the new World Order just one week later. On 15 July 2002 Mr. McMahon, after having regained full control over WWE, disbanded the group.
On April 29, 1999, the WWF made its return to satellite television by launching a special show called SmackDown! on the television network UPN. The show was telecasted weekly from Thursday, 26 August 1999. It was one of the most successful programs that UPN has ever had. Meanwhile, the ratings of RAW continued to rise. The segment 'This Is Your Life' between The Rock and Mick Foley of 27 September 1999 reached 8.4 rating.
On 19 October 1999 the company has control of the WWF, which is the Titan Sports later renamed World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. began to be traded and were offered 10 million shares priced at $ 17 each. The WWF then began to diversify its activities as it opened a club in Times Square on the World, produced films and music albums, besides taking care of the book publications.
Despite the abandonment of Austin due to a neck injury and the injury of The Undertaker, the WWF went on to dominate the ratings with wrestlers like The Rock and Triple H. The WWF had high audience due to product renewal, and change of leadership in the creative team. Chris Kreski replaced Vince Russo of WCW because of the increased amount of work after the introduction of SmackDown.
Kreski designed many of the major stories of the day, like the feud for the WWF Title with Triple H and Cactus Jack, the triangle Triple H/Kurt Angle/Stephanie McMahon and the rivalry between the Hardy Boyz, Edge and Christian and the Dudley Boyz fought in new TLC match.
Also the arrival of former ECW and WCW wrestler like Big Show, Chris Jericho, The Dudley Boyz, Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero and the launch of fighters Made in WWF as Kurt Angle, The Hardy Boyz, Rikishi and Edge and Christian. He strengthened the wrestlers of the WWF park, at the same time removing any possibility of returning to WCW to be a serious threat to the Stamford federation.
On 25 September 2000, RAW moved from USA Network to TNN. This coincided with the return of Steve Austin, after being inactive for almost a year because of his injury. Despite returned one of his biggest stars (and the same year also came the Undertaker) listens WWF began to fall slowly. Chris Kreski left the company, replaced in his role by Stephanie McMahon, the daughter of Vince.
Despite this, the WWF introduced what is considered their biggest event of all time, WrestleMania X-Seven, with a meeting for the WWF Title from The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in the main event. At the end of the show, Vince McMahon helped Steve Austin to win, unleashing his sensational and unexpected passage between.
"Bad" Austin formed an alliance with Triple H called Two-Man Power Trip. It was during this period that the audience began to drop significantly, mainly due to the death of WCW and ECW, the about turn of Steve Austin and the absence of some big names.
Meanwhile in 2001 the WWF, in collaboration with television network NBC, inaugurated the first season of X Football League, a new professional league of American football. The league had surprisingly high viewing figures for the first few weeks. It was canceled by NBC after the collapse of viewership.
On 16 August 2010, the WWE Tag Team Championship and the World Tag Team Championship were replaced by a single title. It would keep the name and the roll of honor of the WWE Tag Team Titles. The new title was presented that day to the then Champions David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd of Hart Dynasty. Two new belts were delivered with a new design.
At Night of Champions 2010, the WWE Women's Championship and the WWE Divas Championship were unified. In the early days, it was also called WWE Divas Championship.