How Did WWF Become WWE?
In 1994, Titan Sports, WWF's parent company at the time, had entered in an agreement with the World Wildlife Fund. Both companies had been using the WWF name since March 1979. Under that agreement, Titan Sports agreed to cease using 'WWF' in regards to its wrestling company, and minimize the use of the name in all subsequent broadcasts and promotions. In return, the World Wildlife Fund agreed to cease litigation and agreed not to challenge Titan's use of the World Wrestling Federation name or its current logo at the time.
On May 6, 1998, Titan Sports, Inc. was renamed World Wrestling Federation, Inc. It was renamed World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. in 1999.
In May 1999, WWF went public with an initial public offering of 172.5 Million Dollars.
In 2000, The World Wildlife Fund filed with an appeal in the United Kingdom citing several violations of the agreement that was signed in 1994. The UK Court of Appeals agreed that the World Wrestling Federation violated the agreement. On May 05, 2002, WWF launched its get the 'F' out campaign and changed all their products marked 'WWF' to WWE.
WWF To WWE Timeline
1952 - Jess McMahon finds the company with Toots Mondt and is called the Capitol Wrestling Corporation (CWC). It is part of the greater National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) which had several other wrestling organizations
1963 - The CWC leave the NWA over the disputed NWA World Heavyweight Championship creating the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) in the Process.
April 25, 1963 - Buddy Rogers is the inaugural WWWF Champion
May 17, 1963 - Bruno Sammartino wins the title and would retain for a total of 2,803 days.
1969 - Vincent K. McMahon joins his father, Vincent J. McMahon in the promotion
1971 - Vincent J. McMahon takes over from his father and assumes full control of the promotion
1979 - Vincent K. McMahon pushes his father to rename the company to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF)
1980 - Vincent K. McMahon along with his wife, Linda, find Titan Sports and applied for the trademark initials “WWF”
1983 - Vince purchases Capitol Sports, the parent company of WWF, from his father
Vince has a different vision for the company. He insists on making it a national promotion and truly break away from the NWA. He wanted the company to be its own entity.
Vince makes landmark television deals to show WWF across the United States.
1984 - Hulk Hogan is pushed to main event status and defeats the Iron Shiek on January 24 at Madison Square Garden. The arrival of Hulk Hogan launches the Golden Age of Wrestling as it goes mainstream.
1985 - Wrestlemania is launched and attracts celebrities including Mr. T, Mohammed Ali, Cyndi Lauper and Liberace. It’s a rousing success.
McMahon focuses on Entertainment than wrestling which brings the company mainstream appeal.
He adds more PPVs to the mix including SummerSlam, Royal Rumble, Survivor Series and The King of the Ring.
1993 - The WWF goes into prime time with the launch of Monday Night Raw, which aired on the USA Network.
This time also sees the rise of Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Diesel, Razor Ramon and others
Hulk Hogan would leave the company the same year and sign with World Championship Wrestling (WCW)
1995 - WCW’s Monday Nitro is launched on TNT, going head-to-head with Raw beginning the start of the Monday Night Wars
1997 - Vince announces the start of the Attitude Era with edgier characters. This sees the rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Mankind, HHH, Kurt Angle and groups like Degeneration X and The Nation of Domination
1998 - Raw Finally Defeats Nitro in the ratings after 84 straight weeks and continues its domination going forward
1999 - Smackdown is launched on the UPN Network
Oct 19, 1999 - WWE Goes Public and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange
2001 - WWF finally buys WCW, becoming the biggest wrestling promotion in the world
2002 - WWF loses a lawsuit brought on by the World Wildlife Fund over its initials. This forces the company to rebrand as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).