PT 2 (The Golden Age 1980)
Actually Linda McMahon, yes the wife of Vince McMahon JR. or as we know Mr. McMahon was the business manager for the company from mid-1980’s to early 90’s. She said that it was easier to have talent come in and there was no camera phones so they could try out a new talent at local or non-televised shows. She called it live events, and see if they could get over with the fans. She said that it was a lot easier back then to do that then than now. Also To get tapes to different TV stations, they would put the tapes on a bus and send it around the country.
Srg. Slaughter made his debut for the company in a limo painted in camo and Marine core music playing; Vince SR liked it and said “It’s the greatest character he has ever seen”
Vince McMahon bought out his dad in 1982 and that was a big deal at the time. If he did not make that move I really don’t think WWE would be around back then. As old time wrestler talked they said that Vince SR was very cut and dry in the way he booked his talent. You had Bruno who would go through talent left and right but never made anyone else. He also told Vince Jr “Don’t to rock the boat with other promoters” He wanted him to just stay in New York but Vince JR wanted to go to a nation platform. You have to admire the desire that Vince JR wanted to be the very best in his profession.
The reason the WWF or better known as WWE, got the best talent is because he had the cash, TV rights to pick up the talent. The smaller promotions were simply going out of business due to lack of cash and stars. Vince saw that weakness and capitalized on it. There is no doubt that Vince is a great business man in the world of pro wrestling.
With the combination of Nation cable and Hulk Hogan coming in, WWF really shot into as the big wrestling company in the U.S. Hogan won the title from the Iron Sheik in his debut. I won’t get a lot into what Hulk Hogan means to the WWE because I think its well documented. The success with Hogan was good but what put them on the map was the Rock in Wrestling and onto WrestleMania. MTV was really important of getting out the word about the WWE at the time. You wonder why celebrities come and go in this business is because they bring more eyes than just the casual wrestling fan.
According to Bret Hart, a lot of guys thoughts this was going to be the big and last event with WrestleMania. Without WrestleMania I don’t think WWE would be as such a big company today.
Saturday Night’s Main Event was a big building block for WWE as did better numbers than Saturday Night Live. That’s how popular the WWE was back then. Vince also did not want just wrestling but toys, ice cream bars, merchandise along with the company. Wrestling had never had that kind of stuff before Vince McMahon and it shows how much he changed the world of pro wrestling.
WrestleMania 3 was huge for the company but what they don’t tell you for some odd reason, Hulk Hogan was champion for three straight years and Andre The Giant had not lost in fifteen years. They asked Vince do you want to do sixteen, twenty or forty five thousand. He said no I want to go for the largest indoor attendance which was 93 thousand fans in one arena. That is just amazing.
We will take a look at that and how the “Golden Age” turned into the revolution called the “Attitude Era” on the next edition.