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Vince McMahon and WrestleMania Change Professional Wrestling

The world of professional wrestling didn't know what it was in for when the WWWF became the WWF in 1979, as Vince McMahon Jr. took his first steps towards taking over the profession. After taking over for his father Vince Sr., McMahon knew how to get the WWF to the highest possible level in the sport, and he proved that he would stop at nothing to make pro wrestling fans' dreams come true. McMahon's determination to have the WWF product seen all over the United States led to numerous television deals being implemented, which all but officially ended the “territory days” of smaller promotions locking down a fan base in a certain region.

But even McMahon himself couldn't have known the drastic change that would take place when he added American Wrestling Association powerhouse Hulk Hogan to his roster in late 1979. The boss wouldn't stop there in adding more well-known superstars to the company's impressive lineup of talent, with names such as Roddy Piper and The Iron Sheik being major players within McMahon's ever-growing pool of stars.

However, in typical McMahon fashion, the success of the entire company would come down to the public's response to the first-ever WrestleMania extravaganza. With the WWF spending more and more money, McMahon understood that making more money would be the only way for the company to survive in the long run. That's why he chose to enter the world of pay-per-view with the inaugural WrestleMania, which featured a tag team bout pitting Hulk Hogan and Mr. T against Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff.

Knowing that the company's future was riding on the outcome of the event, McMahon pulled out all the stops and had musical and celebrity acts to try and build a large viewership. Sure enough, he succeeded, as over a million fans tuned in to the historical event, giving the WWF the major boost that it needed going forward by presenting it as the cool alternative to its competition, the wrestling-based National Wrestling Alliance.

The Ascent Continues for the WWF

After the initial success of the WrestleMania event, it became apparent that McMahon had even higher aspirations. With Hogan continuing his rise as a mega star, the WWF could do no wrong in promoting some of the biggest matches that the professional wrestling world had ever witnessed. The largest of those – perhaps in more ways than one – came at WrestleMania III in 1987, as the promotion drew in over 93,000 fans to the Pontiac Silverdome to watch Hogan go up against the colossal Andre the Giant. It was perhaps the most anticipated bout that the wrestling world had ever seen, and it lived up to the hype with Hogan executing a memorable bodyslam on the 7'4” French hoss to score the victory.

McMahon knew where the money was at after that legendary event, and decided to slot Hogan vs. Andre II for its The Main Event television program in 1988. Not even McMahon could have expected such insane viewing numbers, with over 33 million raucous wrestling fans holding their channels on the WWF's most legendary attractions. This all but proved that there was no stopping McMahon and the professional wrestling juggernaut that he had created.

Hogan continued to dominate the WWF landscape for several years, with the inclusion of new stars such as The Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage, and Ted DiBiase helping fuel the fire for McMahon's empire. The late 80s were without question one of the most successful eras that the WWF has ever experienced, but unfortunately for McMahon and his burgeoning organization, that success would be brought to a screeching halt as the early 90s came around.

Nearly Losing It All

Steroid allegations would send McMahon and the WWF into a frenzy in 1991, with Dr. George Zahorian testifying that he had sold the drugs to wrestlers within the organization. After Zahorian was convicted and thrown in jail, it was McMahon who was left on the outside trying to do damage control on the WWF's image. Though McMahon tried everything that he could, it became increasingly clear that the public was beginning to view the company in a different way after the negative effects of Zahorian's trial.

Not even the icon Hogan – who was named by Zahorian as one of the wrestlers to receive the steroids – could help dig the WWF out of its hole. And eventually, McMahon wouldn't have Hogan at his disposal, as the WWF legend jumped ship to rival World Championship Wrestling in 1994. This caused the WWF to turn to a newer generation of superstars to try and bring the company back to its golden age, with wrestlers such as Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Diesel, and Razor Ramon leading the way. But after the latter two also left the sinking WWF for the rising WCW, McMahon looked out of options.

With stars like Hart, Michaels, and an increasingly popular phenom in The Undertaker trying their best to give the WWF a boost, it was apparent that McMahon was still missing something. The company's Monday Night Raw television show continued to do battle with WCW's Monday Nitro, but with Hogan in the starring role as the bad guy leader of the New World Order group, the WWF was finding it harder to provide an alternative.

The Attitude Era Saves the Day

The WWF understood that it couldn't continue its family-friendly product and return to the top, so McMahon and company went in a completely different direction to offer up what is now known as The Attitude Era. This era would see the rise of profanity-laced tirades and an increase of scantily clad women roaming in and around the ring, and although some were initially against the bold move, no one could argue its tremendous success.

Edgy talents like Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock ushered in a new attitude for wresting fans around the world, and it allowed the WWF to outlast the aging roster that WCW had assembled. Monday Night Raw became must-see television for a demographic that was more than satisfied with the new product that McMahon had created. WCW tried everything in its power to combat the rising stock of the WWF, but it simply couldn't be held down.

The turn of the century would see perhaps the most shocking moment in professional wrestling history, as McMahon would finally crush his competition completely by acquiring the fledgling WCW in early 2001. It was a moment that pro wrestling fans never thought that they'd see given the fact that WCW had been in complete control of the race for wrestling domination just a few short years earlier.

Changes Set the Company In a New Direction

The Attitude Era was certainly fun while it lasted for McMahon and his crew, but times were changing and that saw the company tone down its act quite a bit. Not only were there changes from an in-ring product standpoint, but also for the entire organization as a whole. After the World Wildlife Fund gained the edge in using the “WWF” trademark, McMahon decided to pursue a name change to World Wrestling Entertainment in 2002. The change would cause WWE to be used for everything going forward for the company, which was seemingly moving more towards the “sports entertainment” label.

The change would also see the company attempt to build a new era of superstars that would guide the brand into the future. Young talents such as John Cena and Brock Lesnar would take center stage as the men that were considered the future of McMahon's empire, but even with modest success at times, the WWE has been unable to capture the types of viewers and audiences that it did around the turn of the century.

It may not be the fault of the product itself, as people around the world have increased viewing options and the world of professional wrestling just doesn't draw the types of numbers that it once did as a whole. However, that hasn't stopped the WWE from becoming a global entity that is intent on making sports entertainment a viable option for wrestling fans throughout the world.

Recently, the organization has created aspects like the WWE Network (an on-demand viewing service) and NXT (a brand within the company that is used to build up young wrestling prospects) to help continue its growth in a new era of sports entertainment.

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Todays WWE Tickets

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WWE Ticket Prices

Average:

Low: $5.00

High: $466.00

Cheap WWE Tickets

The events below have been the cheapest of the season. We've listed the starting (lowest) price for any ticket to the event.
$5.00 WWE: Raw — 09/21/2015
Laredo Energy Arena; Laredo, TX
$5.00 WWE: NXT Live — 02/18/2016
Tower Theatre; Upper Darby, PA
$5.00 WWE: SmackDown — 09/22/2015
American Bank Center Arena; Corpus Christi, TX
$5.00 WWE: Raw — 12/21/2015
Target Center; Minneapolis, MN
$6.00 WWE: Live — 03/07/2015
Louis J Tullio Arena; Erie, PA
$6.00 WWE: Live — 05/30/2015
Laredo Energy Arena; Laredo, TX
$7.00 WWE: Live — 05/28/2016
Peoria Civic Center; Peoria, IL
$7.00 WWE — 09/08/2015
Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza; Wilkes-Barre, PA
$8.00 WWE: Raw — 08/15/2016
American Bank Center Arena; Corpus Christi, TX
$9.00 WWE: Live — 05/14/2015
Tower Theatre; Upper Darby, PA

Best and Most Expensive WWE Tickets

The events below have been the most expensive of the season. Their starting prices are listed to the left.
$1,680.00WWE: Summerslam — 08/23/2015
Barclays Center; Brooklyn, NY
$648.00WWE: Live — 09/12/2015
Scotiabank Saddledome; Calgary, AB
$466.00WWE: NXT — 04/01/2016
Dallas Convention Center; Dallas, TX
$313.00WWE: Live — 12/26/2015
Madison Square Garden; New York, NY
$257.00WWE — 08/26/2016
Taylor County Coliseum; Abilene, TX
$243.00WWE: Live — 01/09/2016
Garrett Coliseum; Montgomery, AL
$241.00WWE: Live — 02/27/2016
Show Me Center; Cape Girardeau, MO
$224.00WWE: Extreme Rules — 04/26/2015
Allstate Arena; Rosemont, IL
$218.00Wrestlemania 32 — 04/03/2016
AT&T Stadium; Arlington, TX
$217.00WWE: NXT Live — 06/08/2016
Full Sail University; Winter Park, FL
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