On This Day: WWE Loses to the WWF In Court | Bonehead Picks

On This Day: WWE Loses to the WWF In Court

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I remember on May 5th 2002 when the World Wrestling Federation had changed their initials from WWF to WWE, becoming World Wrestling Entertainment.

At the time, I did not understand why this change had occurred. As a 10 year-old kid, I thought it was some type of change to what I loved to compensate for the company’s purchases of ECW and WCW (at that time I didn’t know about the purchase, I based my knowledge off of Survivor Series 2001 when Team WWF beat The Alliance).

In reality, it was because The World Wildlife Fund defeated World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc. in court on this date, May 15th 2002. It officially marked the end of the WWF name, even though 10 days prior, WWF changed the website URL and other things to WWE.

The “Get The F Out” campaign was clever and made us realize, even as youngsters, that this indeed was entertainment. It would signal the direction the company would go in forever. The attitude era was no more. Those commercials I still remember to this day.

This was the entertainment era/ruthless aggression era. There would be no turning back.

The brands of Raw and Smackdown had split, giving us two different shows with unique rosters. There were no more women in the crowd flashing their breasts at top superstars. Slowly but surely, the adult type content began to die out, even though we still had our risky moments such as the Billy and Chuck partnership, Vito in a dress and my personal favorite, Hot Lesbian Action.

How could you not love HLA especially with Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler on commentary?

When inserting these new elements into WWE programming, while also toning down other things, you could see the direction began to shift towards the entertainment side of things.

You had your in-ring action but you also had your comedic skits and sense of realism thrown in the fray.

In essence, the forced name change gave Vince McMahon the opportunity to capitalize on what he wanted from the get go. That would be turning his billion dollar wrestling empire into a billion dollar entertainment empire.


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