Vince McMahon: WWE Chairman And Wrestling Superstar
Vincent Kennedy McMahon is undoubtedly one of the most successful entertainment entrepreneurs of the late 20th and early 21st Century. McMahon is famous worldwide for his alter ego “Mr. McMahon” in World Wrestling Entertainment today, but the way in which he built up the WWE is simply astonishing. Before he took over his father’s wrestling territory, the business was characterised by several companies working within set boundaries. Now, however, the wrestling world is united owing to the actions of the most powerful billionaire to ever work within the business.
Vince McMahon was born in Pinehurst, North Carolina on August 24, 1945. His childhood was anything but spectacular as his mother and father split up before McMahon was old enough to know a family life. As such, the entrepreneur knew what it meant to be poor. This reportedly spurred him on and gave him the determination to succeed in later life. McMahon attended East Carolina University and graduated with a business degree. However, his earliest foray into the business world was as a travelling salesman owing to the fact that he had to prove his business acumen to his father.
McMahon met his father Vince McMahon Sr. at the age of 12. McMahon Sr. was heavily involved in the business that his own father had begun to build up as a wrestling promoter. Although McMahon Sr. was only slightly successful, Vince McMahon Jr. reported that he was determined to get into the business after just a taste. It was apparently in his blood and also provided a great launch pad for his entrepreneurial ventures.
A Wrestling Superstar
Vince McMahon’s first role in the world of wrestling came in 1971. His father assigned him a territory in Maine under the World Wide Wrestling Federation brand. From then on in, he assumed more and more of a role in the company and managed to get the TV coverage of the events syndicated by three times more networks by the start of the 1980s. It was at that point that McMahon created Titan Sports, the company that was to handle all of the business interests of the World Wrestling Federation, as it had been renamed. Just two years later, McMahon had taken over the company and an entrepreneurial legacy was born.
Buying The Competition
After assuming power of the WWF, the entrepreneur began buying out all of the territories to create one large wrestling territory that spanned the country. Of course, within ten years it was to go worldwide. During the 1980s and the early 1990s, the brand grew infinitely as a result of the marketing power of Vince McMahon and his superstars, most notably Hulk Hogan.
Although there was to be controversy, specifically in 1993 when he was forced to stand trial for supplying anabolic steroids to wrestlers, the WWF went from strength to strength. A challenge from the newly formed World Championship Wrestling (WCW) did result in a decline in the viewing figures for a time, but new superstars like The Rock, Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin and the evil Mr. McMahon soon brought the viewers flooding back. This culminated in the buyout of WCW in 2001 and of a further competitor (ECW – Extreme Championship Wrestling) in 2003. As such, McMahon’s entrepreneurial interests now dominate the wrestling world.
Today, the entrepreneur is running one of the most successful entertainment businesses in the world. Given the size of the promotion he originally began working for and his status today as a billionaire, this is no mean feat. He certainly deserves a lot of credit for his business knowledge and his determination to never give up. Vince McMahon continues to play a role both behind the scenes and in front of the camera today and has effectively built what remains a family business up from the ground. His children Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon-Levesque will undoubtedly take the WWE into the future as a result of their father’s success.