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Some sources state that it was Vincent J. Vincent J. Thesz recalls this was not planned and prior to the match remembered telling Buddy "we can do this the easy way or the hard way.
Once word reached back to Mondt and McMahon, at first they simply ignored the title change. The World Wide Wrestling Federation was not an immediate creation as once thought the day after Rogers' one fall loss to Thesz.
They brought along with them Willie Gilzenberg, long time boxing and wrestling promoter in New Jersey. The WWE traditionally views this as beginning of their history  with Buddy Rogers winning a fictitious tournament in Rio de Janeiro on April 25, when he defeated long time Capitol Sports favorite Antonino Rocca.
In truth, Rocca was no longer in the area as he was working for Jim Crockett Sr. Buddy Rogers also had already suffered what would later be a career ending heart attack on April 18 in Akron, Ohio and was in an Ohio hospital during the time the alleged tournament took place.
McMahon's son, Vincent K. The younger McMahon bought Capitol from his father in , effectively seizing control of the company. The actual date of sale is still unknown but the generally accepted date is June 6, ; however this was likely the date the deal was struck.
The deal between the two McMahons was a monthly payment basis where if a single payment was missed, ownership would revert to McMahon Sr.
Looking to seal the deal quickly, McMahon Jr. This angered other promoters and disrupted the well-established boundaries of the different wrestling promotions, eventually ending the territory system, which was in use since the founding of the NWA in the s.
In addition, the company used income generated by advertising, television deals, and tape sales to secure talent from rival promoters. In an interview with Sports Illustrated , McMahon noted:.
In the old days, there were wrestling fiefdoms all over the country, each with its own little lord in charge. Each little lord respected the rights of his neighboring little lord.
No takeovers or raids were allowed. There were maybe 30 of these tiny kingdoms in the U. I, of course, had no allegiance to those little lords.
The WWF would tour nationally in a venture that would require a huge capital investment, one that placed the WWF on the verge of financial collapse.
The future of McMahon's experiment came down to the success or failure of McMahon's groundbreaking concept, WrestleMania. WrestleMania was a major success and was and still is marketed as the Super Bowl of professional wrestling.
The concept of a wrestling supercard was nothing new in North America; the NWA had begun running Starrcade a few years prior.
In McMahon's eyes, however, what separated WrestleMania from other supercards was that it was intended to be accessible to those who did not watch wrestling.
He invited celebrities such as Mr. The event and hype surrounding it led to the term Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection , due to the cross-promotion of popular culture and professional wrestling.
The s "Wrestling Boom" peaked with the WrestleMania III pay-per-view at the Pontiac Silverdome in , which set an attendance record of 93,, a record that stood for 29 years until WrestleMania In , Titan moved its offices to Stamford, Connecticut , though the current building was built in Subsequently, a new Titan Sports, Inc.
The WWF was hit with allegations of steroid abuse and distribution in This was followed by allegations of sexual harassment by WWF employees the following year.
McMahon ". Austin was slowly brought in as the new face of the company despite being promoted as an antihero , starting with his " Austin " speech shortly after defeating Jake Roberts in the tournament finals at the King of the Ring pay-per-view in On May 6, , Titan Sports, Inc.
NBC walked out on the venture after only one season, but McMahon intended to continue alone. After Time Warner merged with AOL , Ted Turner 's control over WCW was considerably reduced, and the newly merged company announced a complete lack of interest in professional wrestling as a whole and decided to sell WCW in its entirety.
With this purchase, WWF now became by far the largest wrestling promotion in the world. In March , WWE decided to create two separate rosters, with each group of wrestlers appearing on one of their main programs, Raw and SmackDown!
This was dubbed as the " brand extension ". Beginning in a draft lottery was held nearly every year to set the rosters, with the first draft to determine the inaugural split rosters, and subsequent drafts designed to refresh the rosters of each show.
The new ECW program aired until February 16, This was said to reflect WWE's global entertainment expansion away from the ring with the ultimate goal of acquiring entertainment companies and putting a focus on television, live events, and film production.
WWE noted that their new company model was put into effect with the relaunch of Tough Enough , being a non—scripted program contrary to the scripted nature of professional wrestling and with the launch of the WWE Network at the time scheduled to launch in ; later pushed back to However, the legal name of the company remains as World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
Beginning with the August 29, episode of Raw , it was announced that Raw would feature talent from both Raw and SmackDown , and would be known as Raw Supershow the "Supershow" suffix would be dropped on July 23, The training facility is targeted at career and athletic development for the company's wrestlers.
A draft took place to determine which wrestlers would appear on what show. SmackDown also moved from Thursdays to Tuesday nights, which began on July 19 the night of the aforementioned draft , and airs live instead of the previous pre-recorded format.
On November 29, , WWE introduced a new program specifically for their cruiserweight division wrestlers lbs. The March 11 episode of NXT was filmed without spectators at the WWE Performance Center facility in Orlando, Florida , as three of the four major sports leagues had announced two days earlier that they would close locker rooms to the media as a precautionary measure.
As other sports cancellations and postponements were being announced, WWE officially announced on March 12 that its weekly programs, beginning with the following night's episode of SmackDown , would be filmed at the Performance Center with no spectators and only essential staff present.
WWE executives also took a pay cut, and the company has also suspended construction on its new headquarters for at least six months. DeSantis' claimed WWE was "essential", which meant that the company's revenues loss would be limited.
WWE uses a variety of special terms in promoting their product, such as describing the wrestling industry as sports entertainment.
The fan base is referred to as "the WWE Universe". The contract with NBCUniversal expires in Each episode will be 20 minutes long and will air at 10 p.
The company has actively marketed itself as a publicly traded company through presentations at investor conferences and other investor relations initiatives.
WWE signs most of its talent to exclusive contracts, meaning talent can appear or perform only on WWE programming and events.
They are not permitted to appear or perform for another promotion unless special arrangements are made beforehand. WWE keeps all wrestlers' salary, employment length, benefits, and all other contract details strictly private.
WWE classifies its professional wrestlers as independent contractors and not as employees. A study by the University of Louisville Law Review found that after applying the Internal Revenue Service IRS factor test, 16 factors "clearly indicate that wrestlers are employees".
However, as a result of WWE terming them as independent contractors, "the wrestlers are denied countless benefits to which they would otherwise be entitled".
In September , WWE reportedly told wrestlers that they could no longer "engage with outside third parties", such as Cameo , and claimed that the WWE "owns the real names of talent, not just their character names".
The World Wrestling Federation had a drug-testing policy in place as early as , initially run by an in-house administrator.
In , wrestlers were subjected to independent testing for anabolic steroids for the first time. The Talent Wellness Program is a comprehensive drug, alcohol, and cardiac screening program initiated in February , three months after the sudden death of one of their highest-profile and most popular talents, Eddie Guerrero , who died at years-old.
After the double-murder and suicide committed by one of its performers, Chris Benoit , with a possible link to steroid abuse encouraged by WWE, the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform requested that WWE turn over any material regarding its talent wellness policy.
In August , WWE and its employees defended the program in the wake of several busts of illegal pharmacy that linked WWE performers to steroid purchases even after the policy was put into place.
Ten professional wrestlers were suspended for violating the Wellness Policy after reports emerged they were all customers of Signature Pharmacy in Orlando, Florida.
According to a statement attributed to WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt, an eleventh wrestler was later added to the suspension list.
Because of the Wellness Policy, physicians were able to diagnose one of its performers with a heart ailment that would otherwise likely have gone unnoticed until it was too late.
The ailment was discovered while Assad was going through a routine Wellness Policy checkup. On September 13, , WWE updated their list of banned substances to include muscle relaxers.
During the s and s, Dr. Nailz testified that McMahon had ordered him to use steroids, but his credibility was called into question during his testimony as he repeatedly stated that he "hated" McMahon.
This led to a series of lawsuits filed by both companies as the Monday Night War heated up. The lawsuit went on for years, ending with a settlement in The suit alleged that Wittenstein violated a non-disclosure agreement and shared confidential information with the WWE which represented a comparative advantage in negotiating with wrestling talent under contract with TNA.
WWF broke kayfabe by having television commentator Jim Ross repeatedly tell those watching live on pay-per-view that what had just transpired was not a wrestling angle or storyline and that Hart was hurt badly, emphasizing the seriousness of the situation.
The cause of death was later revealed to be internal bleeding from blunt force trauma. The WWF management controversially chose to continue the event.
In , fifteen years after his death, the WWE Network aired the event for the first time. A small photo tribute is shown before the start informing fans that Hart died during the original broadcast.
All footage of Hart was edited out of the event. The statement reads: "In Memory of Owen Hart May 7, — May 23, who accidentally passed away during this broadcast.
The lawsuit centered on USA's contention that it did not have to match every aspect of a Viacom offer to satisfy a right of first refusal clause in its contract that allowed its deal with the WWFE to continue.
In , Titan Sports had entered into an agreement with the World Wide Fund for Nature also trademarked WWF , an environmental organization, regarding Titan's use of the "WWF" acronym, which both organizations had been using since at least March Under the agreement, Titan had agreed to cease using the written acronym "WWF" in connection with its wrestling promotion, and to minimize though not eliminate spoken uses of "WWF" on its broadcasts, particularly in scripted comments.
In exchange, the environmental group and its national affiliates agreed to drop any pending litigation against Titan, and agreed not to challenge Titan's use of the full "World Wrestling Federation" name or the promotion's then-current logo.
Additionally, past references to the WWF trademark and initials in 'specified circumstances' became censored. Furthermore, the company could still make use of the full "World Wrestling Federation" and "World Wrestling Federation Entertainment" names without consequence.
It also asserted a violation of the rights to original music used by ECW that WWE had been using during the Invasion storyline of The case was resolved on both sides with a settlement that saw WWE purchase the catalog outright in January Warrior and the WWF engaged in a series of lawsuits and legal actions in and ,  where both parties sought a declaration that they owned the characters, Warrior and Ultimate Warrior, under both contract and copyright law.
The court ruled that Warrior was legally entitled to use the gimmick, costuming, face paint designs, and mannerisms of the "Warrior" character.
The DVD featured clips of his more notable feuds and matches along with commentary from WWE stars past and present most of which are unflattering.
He made comments about the victims of Hurricane Katrina referring to them as "poor, mostly black New Orleanians without cars.
Day , made disparaging remarks towards gays and lesbians, criticized Heath Ledger 's parenting style after Ledger's death, and expressed rejoicing when Bobby Heenan was diagnosed with cancer.
During his induction, he mentioned that WWE should create an award to honor those behind the scenes called the Jimmy Miranda Award, named after a long time WWE employee who died.
Since Warrior's death, WWE has been accused of whitewashing and ignoring Warrior's bigoted and controversial past comments.
Under Section 9. Upon arrest and conviction for such misconduct, a WWE talent shall be immediately suspended and their contract terminated. The former talent claimed physical and mental health issues as a result physical trauma they experience in WWE.
The lawsuits were filed by attorney Konstantine Kyros. In addition to licensing wrestling and performers' likenesses to companies such as Acclaim , THQ , 2K Sports , and Mattel to produce video games and action figures , WWE has branched out into other areas of interest to market their product.
The apparel, for men and women, was first released in spring of WWE markets the brand through various products, including beverages, supplements, and gyms.
WWE wrestlers and staff have been shown wearing various Tapout gear since the venture began. Though an infrequent occurrence, during its history WWE has worked with other wrestling promotions in collaborative efforts.
Throughout the company's history, WWE has had past arrangements with independent companies from the contiguous United States such as Ohio Valley Wrestling and Puerto Rico such as the International Wrestling Association with the companies serving as developmental territories.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American professional wrestling and entertainment company. WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut , in Trade name.
Professional wrestling Sports entertainment Streaming media. Jess McMahon or Vincent J. Operating income. Net income. Main article: History of WWE.
Main article: Capitol Wrestling Corporation. Main article: s professional wrestling boom. Main article: Monday Night Wars.
Main article: Attitude Era. See also: Montreal Screwjob. Main article: WWE Network. Main article: List of WWE personnel. Main article: Tapout clothing brand.
Main article: List of current champions in WWE. Main article: Raw WWE brand. Main article: List of former championships in WWE.
WWE Corporate. Archived from the original on February 4, World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Archived from the original on May 27, Retrieved June 7, Archived from the original on November 17, Archived from the original on April 1, Archived from the original on August 7, Archived from the original on December 20, Retrieved December 30, June 15, Archived from the original on April 29, Archived from the original on June 3, World Wrestling Entertainment.
March 9, Retrieved October 28, March 1, Securities and Exchange Commission. Archived from the original on December 26, Retrieved December 25, April 7, Archived from the original on April 7, Retrieved April 8, He Inaugurated his promotion on January 7, , [ WWE Legends.
McMahon official bio on wwe. From the time Vince, Sr. Andre the Giant: A Legendary Life. Pocket Books.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter. July 20, Patterson is widely recognized as one of the most creative minds in pro wrestling, particularly with inventive finishes to matches.
Patterson was one of the first openly gay performers in the wrestling industry, but he largely kept that private from the viewing public until well after his in-ring career.
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Zahorian, who was being charged with the illegal distribution of the drug. Just like in wrestling, in the end the good guys always win".
With business down in because of bad press from the steroid scandal, Vince McMahon began pushing younger talents into the spotlight over the next several years.
Meanwhile, competition between the major wrestling companies increased. The Hell in a Cell match has since become one of the most popular gimmick matches in wrestling history.
Despite starting out as a villain , Austin's popularity would start to gradually exceed those of the top fan favorites in the promotion.
This same episode also marked the beginning of the scratch logo being officially used for WWF television broadcasts and went into full effect, replacing the New Generation logo.
In , McMahon also informed Bret Hart that he could not longer afford to pay him what his contract stated, and suggested that he go back to the more lucrative deal that WCW had offered him.
McMahon character, a villainous extension of his status as promoter. Following Hart's departure the company implemented a heavy push of popular anti hero character, Stone Cold Steve Austin whose popularity was rising and was similar to Hulk Hogan 's popularity in the s.
McMahon character which began a long-lasting feud with Austin this feud would be very important in the WWF turning the tides in the ratings war with rival company WCW.
Kane feud in , the Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Ratings would continue to rise through and a minute match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Undertaker drew a 9.
It currently stands as the highest-rated segment in Raw history. WWFE, Inc. Beginning on August 26, , the WWF program was aired weekly. XFL, however, was a failure, having only lasted a single year before closing its doors.
Triple H won after Mr. Stone Cold Steve Austin would make his return to the company at Unforgiven and then would make his in ring return at No Mercy , to gain revenge on Rikishi, who had been revealed as the driver of limousine that had struck Austin at Survivor Series.
McMahon, turning into a villain in the process. These wrestlers chose to sit out the duration of their contracts and be financially supported by AOL Time Warner rather than work for WWF for a cheaper salary.
In the aftermath of the Invasion angle, WWF made several major changes to their product. Jerry Lawler returned to the company after a nine-month hiatus, after his replacement on commentary Paul Heyman was fired on-screen by Vince McMahon.
However, the storyline proved unpopular with fans and Hogan soon turned face at WrestleMania X8 after his classic match with The Rock, which The Rock won.
This became effective from April 1, on Raw, thus leading to a brand new era, and ending the Attitude Era. Shortly thereafter, they eliminated all elements that used the term Federation; this affected licensed merchandise such as action figures, video games, and home video releases with its previous logo, which was replaced by a new "scratch" logo.
This problem was solved by introducing a "Brand Extension", with the roster split in half and the talent assigned to either Raw or SmackDown! Wrestlers, commentators and referees became show-exclusive, and the shows were given separate on-screen General Managers.
The brand extension came into effect on April 1, Additionally, both Raw and SmackDown! This lasted until August , when the rosters were merged and the Brand Extension was quietly phased out.
After the company transitioned into its Ruthless Aggression era, this period still featured many elements of its predecessor the Attitude Era , including the level of violence and amount of profanity but there was less sexual and politically incorrect content, and a further emphasis on wrestling was showcased.
Triple H would also be featured prominently during this time, winning several of his fourteen world championships , as would The Undertaker whose WrestleMania win streak started gaining fame.
In August , Shawn Michaels would also return as a wrestler at SummerSlam after a hiatus of over four years. He would achieve great success, and won a World Championship in the first ever Elimination Chamber match at Survivor Series.
Though Angle won the match, Michaels received praise for his "courageous effort". Eddie Guerrero from the famous Mexican Guerrero wrestling family achieved huge stardom during this period.
He gained a large fanbase in on SmackDown! He remained the top wrestler of the company after winning the WWE title, until his untimely death on November 13, The circumstances of his death would provide a medium to his on and off-screen friend Rey Mysterio to emerge as a major main eventer and win the Royal Rumble match and the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania Mysterio had begun a rivalry with the villainous nephew of Eddie: Chavo Guerrero Jr.
During the feud Mysterio injured his knees  and would be sidelined for the rest of and most of , halting his main event push.
Mysterio returned and defeated Chavo in the edition of SummerSlam and remained a popular fan favorite wrestler. John Cena was one of the biggest breakout star of the Ruthless Aggression era.
Upon his debut, Cena quickly proved popular due to his "Doctor of Thuganomics" white rapper gimmick on the SmackDown brand, receiving a WWE Championship match against Brock Lesnar in the spring at Backlash in , and had a major feud with The Undertaker during the summer.
Cena's popularity soared when he was drafted to Raw, where he quickly became the face of WWE, a rise not seen since Austin and Hulk Hogan.
Cena's popularity has led to him becoming the all-time record "wish maker" for the Make-A-Wish Foundation , granting over wishes as of August After being sidelined due to a shoulder injury for the latter half of , Cena returned in the Royal Rumble match, winning the match.
Triple H, Randy Orton, Ric Flair and Batista were part of the villainous stable Evolution who were prominently featured between until their eventual break up.
After returning and eventually winning another world championship, at WrestleMania 23 in , Batista would defend the title to The Undertaker in a classic encounter, though he lost the match.
Cena and Batista would not face each other for the first time until SummerSlam in , with Batista winning. Randy Orton became a prominent Superstar during this period becoming the youngest world champion in WWE history at the age of 24, defeating Chris Benoit at the SummerSlam event.
Dubbed the legend killer he would go on to have feuds with legendary superstars such as The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan facing them at WrestleMania 21 and the SummerSlam event respectively.
Along with fellow Superstar Edge he would form the villainous tag team Rated-RKO , and find success in the tag team division.
In he won the money in the bank brief case and on the June 30 episode of Raw he cashed it on the then World Heavyweight Champion Edge, winning the title.
The same night he had to defend the title against John "Bradshaw" Layfield in the main event, but retained it. Under the WWE banner, ECW was presented in a modernized style to that when it was an independent promotion and was produced following the same format of the other brands, with match rules, such as count outs and disqualifications , being standard.
Matches featuring the rule set of the ECW promotion were classified as being contested under " Extreme Rules " and were only fought when specified otherwise.
In the Summer of , WWE began distancing itself from the edgier content of years past, going with a more conservative approach. Intentionally blading , which was common until then, became forbidden in the WWE.
John Cena remained the top star of the company during this era. New superstars Sheamus and Alberto del Rio also registered notable success during this period winning the WWE Championship in the years and respectively.
Punk, who had become a top star during the summer of due to his infamous "Pipe bomb" promo, would hold the WWE Championship for days before losing to The Rock in at the Royal Rumble , a reign recognized by WWE as the sixth- longest championship reign of all-time and the longest in 25 years.
Popular stable The Shield were prominently featured during this period. The winner of the season was Wade Barrett , mentored by Chris Jericho.
Six days after the end of the first season, the rookies, now calling themselves The Nexus , interfered in the Raw main event match between John Cena and CM Punk , attacking both competitors as well as the announcing team, before dismantling the ring area and surrounding equipment.
As a consequence, WWE announced via their official website four days later that Bryan had been legitimately released from his contract.
A fifth season, dubbed NXT Redemption , featuring former NXT participants, never announced a winner and quietly ended with Derrick Bateman being the sole remaining participant.
Eventually, the show morphed into both a television show and WWE's new official development territory , replacing Florida Championship Wrestling , and is permanently located at Full Sail University.
In , Daniel Bryan became one of the most popular wrestlers in the company. On several occasions, fans would begin hijacking segments in which Bryan was either not involved in, or involved only secondarily, with his "Yes!
Meanwhile, fan outrage over the misuse of Bryan's character resulted in an unplanned change for the WrestleMania XXX main event.
On the March 24, episode of Raw , Bryan's rival at the time Triple H dubbed this point in WWE as "The Reality Era" where he acknowledged the Internet and fans being more knowledgeable about the behind-the-scenes workings of WWE as well as having more influence on the company than ever before.
Lesnar would go on to be featured as the most dominant wrestler of this era. WrestleMania 32 in Arlington, Texas billed as Dallas garnered the largest crowd to ever attend a WWE event, surpassing a disputed , attendees.
The Authority officially disbanded on May 1, The Payback event, held on May 1, , was billed as the start of a "New Era". Reigns would go on to be prominently featured throughout this era.
Later in May , WWE announced that a roster split , similar to the one in , would take place beginning in July. Female Superstars also began receiving more air time for their matches, and begun receiving as much spotlight as male superstars, thus the "New era" has been credited as being the start of the "women's evolution.
At this point, Becky Lynch started referring to herself as "The Man", becoming one of the most popular stars.
WWE would also go on to establish Braun Strowman as one of the biggest superstars of the company in after he attacked and injured Reigns during an interview on Raw.
Strowman went on to beat down other wrestlers on the roster and have a decisive victory over Reigns at Payback on April It was shown on two nights of April 4 and April 5 respectively.
In the main event of Night 1 The Undertaker defeated AJ Styles in a Boneyard match which was well praised, and later in November confirmed to be Undertaker's final match.
On July 2, , the WWE had purchased rival turned partnered-wrestling promotion Evolve and acquired all their wrestling talents and rights.
In keeping with his Blue Blazer's new "buffoonish superhero" character, he was to begin a dramatic entrance, being lowered to just above ring level, at which time he would act "entangled", then release himself from the safety harness and fall flat on his face for comedic effect —this necessitated the use of a quick release mechanism.
While being lowered into the ring, Hart fell 78 feet 24 m , landing chest-first on the top rope approximately a foot from the nearest turnbuckle , throwing him into the ring.
Hart had performed the stunt only a few times before. Hart's widow Martha has suggested that, by moving around to get comfortable with both the harness and his cape on, Hart unintentionally triggered an early release.
Television viewers did not see the incident. Moments after the fall, a pre-taped vignette was being shown on the pay-per-view broadcast as well as on the monitors in the darkened arena.
Afterward, while Hart was being worked on by medical personnel inside the ring, the live event's broadcast showed only the audience. Meanwhile, WWF television announcer Jim Ross repeatedly told those watching live on pay-per-view that what had just transpired was not a wrestling angle or storyline and that Hart was hurt badly, emphasizing the seriousness of the situation.
While several attempts to revive him were made, he died from his injuries; some believe he died in the ring.
On the morning of November 13, , Chavo Guerrero checked into a hotel with his uncle, Eddie Guerrero , in Minneapolis, Minnesota where they were both scheduled be a part of a planned Raw and SmackDown!
After Eddie missed a wake-up call, security opened his hotel room and Chavo found his uncle unconscious. Chavo attempted CPR , but year-old Eddie was declared dead at the scene.
Vickie Guerrero , Eddie's wife, later announced that an autopsy ruled the cause of death to be massive heart failure. Guerrero's death fell on the day that he had been scheduled to compete in a match for the World Heavyweight Championship versus Batista and Randy Orton.
The company held tributes to Guerrero on both Raw and SmackDown during the week following his death. Following Guerrero's death, Vince McMahon announced a new drug policy under which performers would be subject to random drug tests by an independent company and would receive regular medical physicals with an emphasis on cardiovascular health.
WWE canceled the scheduled three-hour-long live Raw show on June 25 which, coincidentally, was supposed to be a scripted memorial for the Mr. McMahon character , and replaced the broadcast version with a tribute to his life and career, featuring past matches, segments from the Hard Knocks: The Chris Benoit Story DVD , and comments from wrestlers and announcers from the Raw, SmackDown!
Shortly after the program aired, many of the aired comments were posted on WWE. It was not until the program was nearly over that reports surfaced that police were working under the belief that Benoit murdered his wife and son before killing himself over a three-day period.
The next night, after some of the details of the deaths became available, the company aired a recorded statement by its chairman Vince McMahon before their ECW broadcast:.