nemanja6807 | 15 Novembar, 2008 17:00


WWE Friday Night SmackDown is a professional wrestling television program for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) that is currently airing on MyNetworkTV in the United States. The show's name is also used to refer to the SmackDown brand, in which WWE employees are assigned to work and perform on that program; the other programs and brands are Raw and ECW. It is the only television broadcast for the SmackDown brand. From its launch in 1999, SmackDown was shown on Thursday nights, but as of September 9, 2005, the show moved to Friday nights. The show originally debuted in the United States on the UPN television network on August 26, 1999, but after the closure of that network, Friday Night SmackDown was moved to The CW in 2006. The showed remained on the CW network for two years until it was announced that it would move to MyNetworkTV in October 2008. The show is shown in Mexico on TV Azteca and in the United Kingdom on Friday nights on Sky Sports 3 and Sky Sports HD3; due to the time difference, Friday Night SmackDown premieres a few hours earlier in the United Kingdom than the United States. For other broadcast listings, see below.
SmackDown! as it was originally titled first appeared on April 29, 1999 as a single television special on UPN. On August 26, 1999, SmackDown! officially debuted on UPN, in Kansas City, Missouri. Like WCW Thunder, SmackDown! was recorded on Tuesdays and then broadcast on Thursdays. The new WWF show was so popular that WCW moved Thunder to Wednesdays in the hope of holding on to fans rather than losing them to WWF. SmackDown!, like Thunder, made heavy use of the color blue.
WWF SmackDown! logo (1999-2001)
The first SmackDown! set was unique as it featured an oval-shaped TitanTron (which was dubbed the "OvalTron"), entrance and stage which made it stand out from the Raw set and its rectangular TitanTrons. An added feature to the original set was the ability for the OvalTron to be moved to either the left or right of the stage. Throughout the show's early existence, top WWF superstar The Rock routinely called SmackDown! "his" show, in reference to the fact that the name was derived from one of his catchphrases, "Laying the smackdown." In August 2001, as part of celebrating SmackDown!'s second anniversary, the show received a new logo and set. The last SmackDown! to use the previous television set saw Alliance member Rhyno Gore WWF member Chris Jericho through the center screen, destroying part of the set. Brand Extension
In early to mid-2002, WWE underwent a process they called the "Brand Extension". WWE divided itself into two "de facto" wrestling promotions with separate rosters, storylines and authority figures. Raw and SmackDown! would host each division, give its name to the division and essentially compete against each other. The split was a result of WWF purchasing their two biggest competitors, WCW and ECW. The brand extension was publicly announced during a telecast of WWF Raw on March 25, 2002, and became official the next day.
WWF SmackDown! logo (2001-2005)
Wrestlers now would become show-exclusive, wrestling for their specific show only. At the time this excluded the WWE Undisputed Championship and WWE Women's Championship, as those WWE titles would be defended on both shows. In August 2002, WWE Undisputed Champion Brock Lesnar refused to defend the title on Raw, in effect causing his title to become exclusive to SmackDown! The following week on Raw, General Manager Eric Bischoff awarded a newly instated World Heavyweight Championship to Raw's designated #1 contender, Triple H. Due to the fact that since the WWE Undisputed Championship was now SmackDown! exclusive it was no longer seen as "Undisputed". Following this, the WWE Women's Championship soon became Raw-exclusive as well. As a result of the Brand Extension, an annual "draft lottery" was instituted to exchange members of each roster and generally refresh the lineups.
On June 6, 2005, WWE Champion John Cena switched brands from SmackDown! to Raw as part of the month-long Draft Lottery. This effectively left SmackDown! without a World Title. During this time, United States Champion Orlando Jordan was billed as the top champion on the show. On June 23, 2005, in Tucson, SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long announced a six-man elimination match between John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Booker T, Chris Benoit, The Undertaker, Christian (replacing The Big Show, who was picked by Raw in the lottery), and Muhammad Hassan to crown the first SmackDown! Champion. On the June 30 episode of SmackDown!, JBL won the match. Long appeared afterward and stated that even though JBL had won the match, SmackDown! did not need a Championship anymore. Batista, the World Heavyweight Champion, entered the ring as SmackDown!'s final draft lottery pick. Long also revealed that JBL was the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship.
 Friday Night SmackDown!
The Friday Night SmackDown! logo used from September 9, 2005-January 18, 2008
It was possible that WWE's "lame duck" status with Viacom on Spike TV is what prompted its moving SmackDown! to the Friday night death slot for the Fall 2005 season. However, it worked out for both parties involved, as the show did better in the ratings than it had on Thursdays, while UPN received much better ratings on Fridays than it did before, with its movie night. In addition, UPN had been able to hold on to the ratings from Thursday nights, most notably with comedian Chris Rock's Wonder Years-like sitcom Everybody Hates Chris. In January 2006, prior to the announcement of the CW Network, it was announced that UPN had renewed SmackDown! for two more years.Following the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise, SmackDown! was renamed Friday Night SmackDown! and moved into Enterprise's former timeslot in the United States. WWE promoted this move with the tagline "TV that's changing Friday nights." Friday Night SmackDown! made its season premiere on September 9, 2005. The program still aired on Thursdays in Canada on the Score. In the United Kingdom and Australia, their stations Sky Sports and FOX8 air SmackDown! on Fridays before the United States due to the time difference. This is the first time a major weekly WWE show airs internationally before it hits screens in the U.S.
The events of Hurricane Katrina affected the first edition of Friday Night SmackDown! in the U.S. due to a special fundraising concert (see Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast) that aired on UPN at the same time that the first edition would have been broadcast, resulting in only the second hour of the show being shown on UPN. The first hour was instead streamed from WWE's website. Other countries, including Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and the Philippines received the full two-hour show. WWOR-TV (My 9, New York, New York) also aired both hours of the show on tape delay on Saturday, due to a previous commitment to broadcast the New York Yankees on Friday nights.
At the SmackDown! taping on January 10, 2006, Batista had to forfeit the World Heavyweight Championship because of a triceps injury. SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long made a Battle Royal for the vacant title. The winner was at the time Raw superstar Kurt Angle, who later switched to the SmackDown brand. In a break from their traditional role of acting as if SmackDown! is not pre-recorded, had a photograph of Angle holding his new title on the main page. WWE also did this when Edge cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to win the World Heavyweight Championship from The Undertaker and when The Great Khali won a battle royal after Edge's injury.
On the April 7, 2006 edition of SmackDown!, SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long announced that the King of the Ring tournament would return after a four year hiatus as a SmackDown!-exclusive tournament. The tournament ended at Judgment Day 2006 with Booker T as the winner, defeating Bobby Lashley in the final.
On June 9, 2006, Tazz left the SmackDown! brand to join the new ECW brand, leaving the color commentator position on SmackDown! vacant. However, on June 11 at One Night Stand 2006, JBL revealed that he would be the new color commentator for SmackDown! He stayed in that position until December 2007 when he left SmackDown! to become an in-ring competitor on Raw. Jonathan Coachman replaced him afterwards.
The CW Network
Variations of the SmackDown! fist and mirrors set were used from August 16, 2001 - January 18, 2008.
On September 22, 2006, Friday Night SmackDown! debuted on the The CW Television Network, a joint venture between CBS Corporation, owner of UPN, and Warner Bros. Entertainment, a subsidiary of Time Warner, majority owner of The WB.
For four weeks before the official premiere (and in preparation for the impending removal of UPN in several markets by the debut of MyNetworkTV on September 5, 2006) of Friday Night SmackDown! on the CW on September 22, 2006, Tribune Broadcasting television stations in six major markets (including WPIX in New York City and KTLA in Los Angeles) aired WWE's Friday Night SmackDown! early in September 2006.Two other future affiliates of The CW, WCWJ in Jacksonville, Florida and WIWB in Green Bay, Wisconsin, also aired SmackDown! in early September as well.
The transition to the CW caused an interruption in the broadcast of SmackDown! in the state of Utah beginning in June when KPNZ in Salt Lake City stopped airing all UPN programs early. The show is now seen on KUCW. In Hawaii, SmackDown! returned in late 2006, airing on a CW digital subchannel of Honolulu's FOX affiliate KHON (Channel 2), which has received statewide carriage over Oceanic Time Warner Cable. Since the move to the CW Network, Friday Night SmackDown! has shown a major increase in ratings now averaging a 3.0 national rating. In addition, SmackDown! has become the second highest watched program on The CW.
On April 20, 2007, SmackDown! celebrated its 400th episode. Ratings success soon followed. On June 8, 2007, Friday Night SmackDown! made CW history by making a three-way tie with CBS and ABC in the key ad demographic, adults 18-49 by drawing a 1.5 rating each. On June 22, 2007, Friday Night SmackDown! again made CW history by tying the network for first place in the key ad demographic, adults 18-49, and being the second most watched network program at 9 p.m. for the night. The CW had not performed as well at any time slot since America's Next Top Model in March 2007. The next week on June 29, 2007, Friday Night SmackDown! helped The CW claim the top spot in the key demographic, Adults 18-49 for Friday. CBS got the overall lead but The CW got top spot for the Adults 18-49 by registering a 1.4 rating followed by CBS and NBC at 1.3, ABC at 1.2, and FOX at 0.9.Then on Friday, July 13, 2007, Friday Night SmackDown! made network history by placing first in the 18-49 demographic and becoming the most watched show at the 9 p.m. hour on network television. This is the first time anything has placed this well on The CW. SmackDown! became a hit show on Friday nights winning the demographics for young males, and ranking second on the demographics (18-49) for Friday nights.
On October 16, 2007 it was announced that the SmackDown! and ECW brands would begin a "talent exchange", allowing their respective talent to appear and compete on either brand, due to the fact that ECW is broadcast live on the same night and from the same arena where Smackdown is taped.2008
In January 2008, SmackDown! debuted in HD with Raw and ECW and dropped the exclamation point from the end of its name. The "SmackDown fist" was removed as well as all WWE shows started using the same, standard set. On February 8, 2008 it was reported that World Wrestling Entertainment and The CW had ended negotiations to keep Friday Night SmackDown on the network. WWE stated that negotiations with other networks has begun and that Friday Night SmackDown would continue to air on The CW through the end of the 2007-2008 broadcast season. On February 26 WWE issued a press release announcing Friday Night SmackDown's move to MyNetworkTV. On May 19, 2008, MyNetworkTV president, Greg Meidel, announced that WWE television would premiere on the network in October 2008, with a recap of WrestleMania XXIV being shown on October 2, 2008, and SmackDown premiering on October 3, 2008.In April 2008, Mick Foley replaced Jonathan Coachman as Color commentator. Following the 2008 WWE Draft, Jim Ross became the new play-by-play announcer for SmackDown, while Michael Cole moved to Raw. The WWE Champion Triple H was also drafted to SmackDown, which gave SmackDown two world championships to be featured on the brand. On June 30, 2008 on Monday Night Raw, CM Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and defeated the World Heavyweight Champion Edge, bringing the World Heavyweight Championship back to Raw. In August 2008, Tazz replaced Foley as the color commentator.




nemanja6807 | 15 Novembar, 2008 15:22


WWE Raw is a professional wrestling television program for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) that currently airs on the USA Network in the United States. The show's name, which is trademarked by WWE as RAW,[citation needed] is also used to refer to the Raw brand, in which WWE employees are assigned to work and perform on that program; the other programs and brands are Friday Night SmackDown and ECW. It is the only television broadcast for the Raw brand. The show originally debuted in the United States on the USA Network television network on January 11, 1993. It remained there until 2000, when Raw was moved to TNN, later known as Spike TV. In 2005, the show was moved back to the USA Network. Since it's launch in 1993, Raw continues to air on Monday nights.
The show currently airs live on the USA Network (and on tape delay Wednesdays on mun2, and Sundays on Telemundo [in Spanish]) in the United States. In the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, Raw airs on Sky Sports 3. It also currently broadcasts on tape delay in Canada on The Score and Global Quebec, in Australia on FOX8,in Portugal on SIC Radical, in Germany on Premiere (pay television network), in Italy on Sky Italia, in Belgium on AB3, in Finland on MTV3 MAX, in Malaysia on Astro Super Sport, in New Zealand on The Box, in Greece on Supersport 3, in India and Pakistan on Ten Sports, in the Philippines on Jack TV and RPN (through its alliance with C/S), in Chile on Chilevisión, in Mexico on Galavisión and TVC Deportes, in Bulgaria on GTV, in Panama on RPC Canal 4, in Peru on ATV, in Saudi Arabia and Middle east on ART SPORT, in Poland on Extreme Sports Channel, in Romania on TV Sport, in Serbia on FOX Televizija, in South Korea on XTM, in Spain on Cuatro, in France on NT1 and RTL9, in Argentina on Canal 9 (Argentina) and on AFN Xtra. Raw is also currently being aired on Etv in South Africa. It airs in Suriname on Rasonic telivision and on Canal VTV in El Salvador and in Honduras on Canal 5. Occasionally, Raw is aired on same-day tape delay when WWE is on an overseas tour.
Beginning as WWF Monday Night Raw, the program first aired on January 11, 1993 on the USA Network for one hour. The original Raw broke new ground in televised professional wrestling. Traditionally, wrestling shows were taped on sound stages with small audiences or at large arena shows. The Raw formula was very different than that of its predecessor, Prime Time Wrestling. Instead of taped matches, with studio voice overs and taped chat, Raw was a show shot to a live audience, with angles as they happened. The first episode featured Yokozuna defeating Koko B. Ware, The Steiner Brothers defeating The Executioners, WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels defeating Max Moon and The Undertaker defeating Damien Demento. The show also featured an interview with Razor Ramon.
Raw originated from the Grand Ballroom at Manhattan Center Studios, a small New York City theater and aired live each week. The combination of an intimate venue and live action proved highly successful. However, the weekly live schedule proved to be a financial drain on the WWF, and taped shows began airing every other week. From early 1994 to September 1999, Raw was shown live on one Monday and then the next day (Tuesday) next Monday's Raw was taped. This meant that Raw was live one week and taped the next.[citation needed]
The storylines and characters during the early years of Raw still had a healthy dose of the old Federation "gimmick-heavy" style. For instance, there were moments such as Irwin R. Schyster tearing up Tatanka's headdress, the various "Undertaker sightings" (during the Undertaker vs. Undertaker storyline, leading up to SummerSlam 1994); and characters like Duke "The Dumpster" Droese, Doink the Clown, or Thurman "Sparky" Plugg.
WWF Monday Night Raw logo (January 1993-March 1997)
Raw was also one of a kind, in which they covered the unexpected, exciting moments, a prelude to the "Attitude Era", in which it coined Raw as "Uncut, Uncensored, Uncooked." Some of those moments include Razor Ramon losing a match unexpectedly to Sean "The 1-2-3 Kid" Waltman, who was later known as X-Pac; Marty Jannetty beating Shawn Michaels to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship; and Raw was the first WWF television program of any kind to show footage of Lex Luger bodyslamming Yokozuna at the USS Intrepid.
The original hosts of Raw were Vince McMahon, Rob Bartlett and "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Sean Mooney conducted the interviews and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan also helped contribute. In March 1993, Rob Bartlett was dropped from the broadcasting team and was replaced by Bobby Heenan. Then on December 6, 1993, Gorilla Monsoon kicked Bobby Heenan out of the WWF forever. In reality, this was a storyline between Monsoon and his close friend Heenan, who decided to leave the World Wrestling Federation in order to lighten his travel schedule and because he didn't want to take a 50% paycut. After about a year, Raw moved out of the Manhattan Center and traveled to various regular Federation venues in the United States.
 The Monday Night Wars
In 1995, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) began airing its new wrestling show, Monday Nitro, live each week on TNT. Raw and Nitro went head-to-head for the first time on September 11, 1995. Due to Raw's taping schedule on several occasions, WCW Vice President Eric Bischoff, who was also an on-air personality, would frequently give away the results of WWF's taped Raw shows on the live WCW show. Some fans also looked at Raw taping results on the steadily growing Internet; as a result, this caused the ratings of the taped Raw episodes to be lower.
WWF Raw had a live broadcast every other week to save costs, until September 1999, when ratings and pay-per-view buy rate increased, allowing them to justify doing a weekly live show.
At the start of the ratings war in 1995 through to mid-1996, Raw and Nitro exchanged victories over each other in a closely contested rivalry. Beginning in mid-1996, however, thanks primarily to the nWo angle, Monday Nitro started a ratings win-streak that lasted for eighty-four continuous weeks, ending on April 13,1998.
Raw is War
WWF Raw is War logo (March 1997-September 2001)
On February 3, 1997, Monday Night Raw went to a two hour format, as the Attitude Era was starting to come in full stream in the WWF. In an attempt to break the momentum of what had turned into ratings domination by WCW's competing Monday Nitro, Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) was brought in as Jerry Lawler "challenged" ECW on February 17, 1997.
In an episode where Raw returned to the Manhattan Center, the "challenge" answered on the following week's show with Taz, Mikey Whipwreck, Sabu, Tommy Dreamer, D-Von Dudley, and the Sandman. ECW owner Paul Heyman did a call-in interview on Raw the week after that.
Throughout 1997, there were more and more controversial elements in Raw and WWF programming. Memorable moments included Bret Hart swearing at the crowd after losing a steel cage match, with commentators apologizing for his behavaior, and then entering a major brawl with Sid, The Undertaker, Steve Austin, and briefly Shawn Michaels. Some of the most notable moments included the profusely intense feud with The Hart Foundation versus Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin, which saw Raw develop a memorable episode in which Michaels and Austin beat The British Bulldog and Owen Hart for the Tag Team Championship, and whilst they post match attacked Michaels, Austin attacked a disabled Bret Hart to lure them away from Michaels. Other events saw the new black street gang Nation of Domination formed, and Shawn Michaels D-Generation X "racial graffiti" storyline designed to "implicate Bret Hart's 'the Hart Foundation'", and the "XXX Files" series.
On March 10, 1997, Monday Night Raw officially became Raw is War. The March 17, 1997 episode featured a heated Bret Hart/Vince McMahon ringside altercation (that unknowingly foreshadowed events in November) with profanity normally unheard on TV. Brian Pillman did a series of "XXX Files" segments with Terri Runnels, which further "pushed the envelope". These segments ended prematurely with the September 29, 1997 episode of Raw, after the death of Pillman on October 5, 1997 due to hereditary heart problems.

After WrestleMania XIV in March 1998, which featured Mike Tyson as a ring enforcer, and Shawn Michaels final match up until 2001, the WWF regained the lead in the Monday Night Wars with its new "WWF Attitude" brand, led in particular by rising stars Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H and Mankind. The classic feud between the villainous WWF Chairman Vince McMahon (who was re-imagined and re-branded from the color commentator into the evil company chairman character Mr. McMahon after the real-life Montreal Screwjob incident) and fan favorite Steve Austin (who had been released by Bischoff in the summer of 1995 for not being marketable) caught the imaginations of fans. The April 13, 1998 episode of Raw, headlined by a match between Austin and McMahon, marked the first time that WCW had lost the head-to-head Monday night ratings battle in the 84 weeks since 1996.
While Raw was taking a new approach to programming, Nitro would start producing lackluster shows with the same storylines. Older stars such as Hogan and Nash frequented the main events, while younger talent such as Rey Mysterio Jr., Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero were not given opportunities to advance, and the only newcomers elevated to main-event status at this time were Bill Goldberg and Diamond Dallas Page.
Meanwhile, on Raw, fans were immersed in the feud between WWF owner Vince McMahon and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. New talent such as Triple H being the new leader D-Generation X (DX) faction, Mankind and The Rock were elevated to main event status on the WWF's program. Superstars such as Kane, Val Venis, Goldust, etc. were coming through the ranks and exposing the WWF as the place where new talent comes through unlike the WCW counterpart. Things were so heated between the two programs that, when both shows were in the same area on the same night (Raw in Hampton, Virginia, Nitro in Norfolk), DX was sent to film a "war" segment at the Norfolk Scope where they berated WCW and interviewed fans on camera who stated that they received their Nitro tickets for free (presumably in an attempt by WCW to pack the arena as full as possible due to low ticket sales).
On January 4, 1999. Mick Foley, who had wrestled for WCW during the early 1990s as Cactus Jack, won the WWF Title as Mankind on Raw. On orders from Bischoff, Nitro announcer Tony Schiavone gave away this previously taped result on the live Nitro, and then sarcastically added "that'll sure put some butts in the seats"; over 600,000 viewers changed channels to watch Raw. This was also the night that Nitro aired a WCW World Championship match in which Kevin Nash blatantly laid down for Hulk Hogan after Hogan poked him in the chest. The next week, and for months after, many fans in the Raw audience brought signs which read, "Mick Foley put my ass in this seat!"
The end of the Wars


nemanja6807 | 15 Novembar, 2008 15:02

World Wrestling Entertainment
In 2000, the World Wildlife Fund (also WWF), an environmental organization now called the World Wide Fund for Nature, sued the World Wrestling Federation. A British court agreed that Titan Sports had violated a 1994 agreement which had limited the permissible use of the WWF initials overseas, particularly in merchandising.On May 5, 2002, the company quietly changed all references on its website from "WWF" to "WWE", while switching the URL from to The next day, a press release announced the official name change from World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. to World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., or WWE, and the change was publicized later that day during a telecast of Monday Night Raw, which emanated from the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, Connecticut. For a short time, WWE used the slogan "Get The 'F' Out."The company had also been ordered by the court to stop using the old WWF Attitude logo on any of its properties and to censor all past references to WWF, as they no longer owned the trademark to the initials WWF in 'specified circumstances'. Despite litigation, WWE is still permitted use of the original WWF logo, which was used from 1984 through 1997, as well as the "New WWF Generation" logo, which was used from 1994 through 1998. Furthermore, the company may still make use of the full "World Wrestling Federation" and "World Wrestling Federation Entertainment" names without consequence.
WWE superstars performing for the Coalition troops at Camp Victory
In April 2002, about a month before the name change, WWE decided to create two separate rosters, one on Raw, the other on SmackDown! due to the overabundance of talent left over from the Invasion storyline (which involved talent from the absorbed ECW and WCW rosters interacting in WWF storylines). This is known as the WWE Brand Extension. Following the Brand Extension, a yearly Draft Lottery was instituted in 2004 to exchange members of each roster and generally refresh the lineups.
In late 2005, WWE Raw returned after a five-year stint on TNN (now Spike TV) to its original home USA Network. In the TNN days, WWE got all advertising revenue during commercial breaks into their own pockets; now on USA Network, USA Network gets all advertising revenue.So, WWE had to invest into other lines of products introducing WWE 24/7, an on-demand subscription-only channel which shows classic wrestling matches from WWE's vast video library (more than 80,000 hours) and WWE produced content other than wrestling. In 2006, due to contracts with NBC Universal, parent company of USA Network, WWE had the chance to revive its classic Saturday night show WWE Saturday Night's Main Event (SNME) on NBC after a thirteen-year hiatus. WWE had the chance to promote the company on a major national network rather than the lower profile CW or cable channels like USA Network. SNME airs occasionally on NBC as a WWE special series.
On May 26, 2006, WWE revived Extreme Championship Wrestling as its third brand. The new ECW program airs Tuesday nights, on the Sci Fi Channel. On September 26, 2007, it was announced that WWE would be expanding its international operations. Alongside the current international offices in London and Toronto, a new international office would be established in Sydney. On January 21, 2008, WWE made the transition to high-definition (HD). All TV shows and pay-per-views after this were broadcast in HD. In addition, WWE also introduced a new state of the art set that was used for all three brands.
Wellness Program
The Talent Wellness Program is a comprehensive drug, alcohol, and cardiac screening program exclusive to World Wrestling Entertainment, initiated in February 2006, shortly after the sudden death of one of their highest profile talents, thirty-eight year old Eddie Guerrero. The policy tests for recreational drug use and abuse of prescription medication, including anabolic steroids. Under the guidelines of the policy, talent is also tested annually for pre-existing or developing cardiac issues. The drug testing is handled by Aegis Sciences Corporation. The cardiac evaluations are handled by New York Cardiology Associates P.C.
The program has recently been defended heavily by WWE and its employees in the wake of several illegal pharmacy busts that link WWE performers to steroid purchases even after the policy was put into place. WWE openly suspended/released 11 performers immediately following release of their names in conjunction with anabolic steroid purchases.
WWE is currently under investigation by the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform regarding their talent wellness policy, after the death of one of their performers, Chris Benoit, possibly being linked to steroid abuse.
In August 2007, WWE made the decision to suspend ten professional wrestlers for violating their Wellness Policy after it 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.
On the other hand, it has not been mentioned in public outside that because of the Wellness Policy, physicians were able to diagnose one of their performers with a heart ailment that otherwise would have likely gone unnoticed until it was too late. In August 2007, then-reigning U.S. Champion MVP was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which if gone undiagnosed can be potentially fatal. The ailment was discovered while MVP was going through a routine Wellness Policy checkup.
Expansion beyond wrestling
In addition to licensing wrestling and performers' likenesses to companies such as Acclaim, THQ, and Jakks Pacific to produce video games and action figures, WWE has moved into other areas of interest in order to market their product.
    * WWE Studios: A subsidiary of WWE created in 2002 to create and develop feature film properties. Formerly known as WWE Films.
    * WWE Niagara Falls: A retail and entertainment establishment that is located in Niagara Falls, Ontario and owned by WWE.
    * WWE Records: A subsidiary that specializes in compilation albums of WWE wrestlers' entrance themes. Also releases titles that have been actually performed by the wrestlers themselves.
    * WWE Home Video: A subsidiary that specializes in distributing compilation VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray Disc copies of WWE pay-per-view events, compilations of WWE wrestlers' performances, and biographies of WWE performers.
    * WWE Books: A subsidiary of WWE that serves to publish autobiographies of and fiction based on WWE personalities, behind-the-scenes guides to WWE, illustrated books, calendars, young adult books, and other general nonfiction books.


nemanja6807 | 15 Novembar, 2008 14:48

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) is a publicly traded, privately controlled integrated media (focusing in television, Internet, and live events) and sports entertainment company dealing primarily in the professional wrestling industry, with major revenue sources also coming from film, music, product licensing, and direct product sales. Vince McMahon is the majority owner and Chairman of the company and his wife Linda McMahon holds the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Together with their children, Executive Vice President of Global Media Shane McMahon and Executive Vice President of Talent and Creative Writing Stephanie McMahon-Levesque, the McMahons hold approximately 70% of WWE's economic interest and 96% of the voting power in the company.
The company's global headquarters are located in Stamford, Connecticut with offices in Los Angeles, New York City, London, and Toronto. The company was previously known as Titan Sports before changing to World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc., and most recently becoming World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
WWE's business focus is on professional wrestling, a simulated sport which combines wrestling with acting and theatre. It is currently the largest professional wrestling promotion in the world and holds an extensive library of videos representing a significant portion of the visual history of professional wrestling. The promotion previously existed as the Capitol Wrestling Corporation, which promoted under the banner of the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), and later the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). WWE promotes under three brands: Raw, SmackDown!, and ECW. WWE is also home to two of the three current world heavyweight championships recognized by Pro Wrestling Illustrated and the ECW Championship, which is not recognized by PWI.
WWE's revenue in 2007 was approximately $486 million, with a net profit of approximately $52 million. As of August 2006,the company's market  capitalization is over $1 billion.Its.stock is traded on the NYSE as WWE.
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