How Vince McMahon Became The Billionaire King Of Wrestling 

vince-mcmahon

Even people who have never watched a single minute of professional wrestling have heard the name Vince McMahon. Vince’s name rings out over the world and is synonymous with two things: wrestling and money. Wrestling is in Vince’s blood. Both his father and grandfather were promoters. Vince himself knew that the world of wrestling was where he was going to find fame when he was only 12 years old.  He probably had no idea just how far his wrestling dreams would take him, however.  Armed with a business degree, and a whole lot of ambition, Vince would go on to earn a staggering amount of money and change the world of television forever.

Vince McMahon was born in Pinehurst, North Carolina on August 24, 1945.  His birth father left the family when Vince was still a baby. His childhood was filled with a string of stepfathers, many of whom were abusive to both Vince and his mother. One was so abusive that years later Vince would say “It is unfortunate that he died before I could kill him. I would have enjoyed that.

When Vince was 12, he finally met his birth father, Vincent James McMahon. Vince Jr quickly discovered that wrestling was in his blood. Vince’s father worked as a promoter for a company called Capitol Wrestling Corporation (CWC). The CWC was founded by Vince’s grandfather, Jess McMahon. Jess McMahon was a former wrestler who went on to build an extremely successful career as a promoter of both wrestling and boxing. The CWC dominated wrestling throughout the 1950s, thanks mainly to the fact that they controlled promoting rights at New York’s Madison Square Garden. When Jess died in 1954, Vince Sr was brought in to run the company with CWC co-founder Toots Mondt.
In 1963, Toots and Vince decided to strike out fully on their own by forming the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF). The WWWF employed a unique strategy to build awareness and sell tickets. First off, the WWWF held events once a month instead of bi-monthly as was standard at the time. By restricting their events, they were able to build up way more anticipation. Secondly, the two promoters began incorporating intricate plot lines into each of their events. The plot lines frequently featured a slightly smaller baby-faced “good guy” overcoming a large ugly “bad guy”. This two-part strategy seems obvious and simple in retrospect, but it was fairly revolutionary at the time. By 1970, WWWF events were selling out stadiums up and down the East Coast.

Vince Jr began working for his father at the Capital Wrestling Corporation while he was still a teenager. Then after graduating from East Carolina University with a degree in Business, Vince went to work at the WWWF.  His first job was as the in-ring announcer for “All-Star Wrestling”.  Throughout the 70s, Vince took on more and more responsibility at the WWWF. He quickly proved himself to be extremely talented at running a business.

Vince renamed the company simply the World Wrestling Federation. He soon tripled the number of television syndication deals for matches. He bought a coliseum in New England which allowed them to cross-promote hockey, concerts, and wrestling. He also launched Titan Sports, a sister company. Vince was formally made Chairman of the WWF in 1980, and bought the company from his father, outright, in 1982.

For the next decade, Vince would literally reshape the face of televised entertainment and the world of wrestling promotion worldwide.  Ignoring the previous system of promoting within regions, he began to promote nationally.  He positioned popular wrestler, Hulk Hogan, at the front of his promotional deals, and began to take the entire country by storm.  He started featuring popular pop/rock stars at his events, and wrestling matches became part main event, part concert.

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MTV jumped on board, and suddenly, a whole new audience was being introduced to wrestling.  In 1985, he created “Wrestlemania”, a massive wrestling event held at Madison Square Garden.  The event was highly successful, and led to even greater interest in wrestling.  It also positioned Hulk Hogan as the new face of wrestling.  With his more “family-friendly” face and style, wrestling began to shift from tough guy mega-sport, to entertainment for the whole family.  Vince ran with the shift in audience makeup, and began promoting glossy pay-per-view events built around the increasingly popular WWF stars.  By the late 80s, the World Wrestling Federation was a money-making machine.

Facing stiff competition from World Championship Wrestling in the 90s, Vince retooled the WWF’s image once again.  This time the shift was toward more adult story lines and tougher brawls.  The same audiences who had watched the WWF as children, were now adults, and they wanted their wrestling entertainment to reflect their shift in attitude and age.  New wrestling stars were launched, and the entire franchise took on an edgier tone.  He also began to insert himself into story lines, first as a “heel” announcer, and later as a wrestler, participating in various brawls, including a “Battle of the Billionaires” fight with Donald Trump.  He also began including his family members in the business, with his wife, son, and daughter all working in executive positions for the company, as well as appearing in story lines.  Next, Vince started buying up other struggling wrestling franchises.  He bought World Championship Wrestling, formerly his chief rival, for just $5 million in 2001.  He purchased Extreme Championship Wrestling in 2003 after it filed for bankruptcy.  By the mid-2000s, he was the only major North American wrestling promoter left in the ring.

However, the brand was still struggling.  While he was still the top promoter in North America, wrestling itself was beginning to fade as a money-making venture.  Stars like “Hulk” Hogan, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and “The Rock”, had moved on to successful movie careers and their own business ventures. Other possible wrestlers retired or had had passed away.  While there were still popular wrestling stars, no one had really become part of the popular consciousness like the wrestlers of the 80s and 90s.

The WWE became a publicly traded company on October 19, 1999 at a price per share of $17. It debuted on the New York Stock Exchange a year later. With a market cap of $1.2 billion, Vince’s 57% ownership stake was worth $726 million.

The stock performed moderately for the next few years. Vince was a paper-billionaire for a time in 2008. Unfortunately, WWE’s stock was a major disappointment between 2009 and 2013. There were a handful of bright spots in 2010, but the share price dropped to all time lows throughout 2012 and 2013. In June 2012, WWE’s share price bottomed at $7.5. Vince’s shares were worth $320 million.

In 2014, WWE’s stock went on a tear thanks largely to its newly launched subscription channel called the WWE Network.  The streaming service, which had been in the works since 2011, became available in February 2014. WWE shares shot through the roof. As of March 24, 2014, Vince’s 57% stake in the WWE, was worth $1.3 billion.

WWE’s stock price tumbled from around $31 per share to $11 between March and June 2014. Today WWE trades at around $22 per share and Vince’s total personal net worth today is $1 billion.

Today the company is a profit juggernaut that includes merchandise, concerts, film and television ventures, and sports.  A juggernaut that has flirted with many acquisition offers. Comcast, the Madison Square Garden Co., Live Nation, AMC Networks, and even Disney, have all eyed the wrestling mega-corporation.  Everyone has slightly different plans for the WWE should they take it over.  However, one thing is certain – if he ever wants to sell the business, McMahon will make an insane amount of money.  Potentially $3-4 billion personally. I wonder what Vince Sr and Jess McMahon would have to say about that!

Over the last 30 years, Vince McMahon has completely revolutionized modern television sporting events

Source: How Vince McMahon Became The Billionaire King Of Wrestling | Celebrity Net Worth

The Coolest Places You Can Visit On Google Street View 

 

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You could shell out the cash for a plane ticket and a hotel near any of these places, but it would be far cheaper to take a virtual tour with Google.

Thanks to Street View and Business View, some pretty interesting places are just a click away.

Here are some of the coolest trips you can tour from the comfort of your desk chair.

 

 

Pagani Automobili


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Want to take a look at some of the nicest Italian sports cars made in the last few decades? Google lets you take a stroll around Pagani and even hop behind the wheel of some of the cars in the building.

 

CERN


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We probably wouldn’t plan a trip around checking out the Large Hadron Collider or some of the other things going on at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (probably wouldn’t let us go pushing buttons anyway), but we’d gladly do it from our computer chair. Google will let you don a hard hat and lab coat to take a look around CERN.

Lamborghini Museum


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If the Pagani tour left you wanting more cars, make your next stop the Lamborghini Museum in Italy. Full of classic Lamborghini models you can virtually get up close and personal with.

 

Ducati Museum


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Four-wheeled vehicles not your cup of tea? Google also allows you to take a quick tour of the Ducati Museum and peruse some of their bikes.

 

The White House


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No need to win any elections to tour 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, you can browse the halls of The White House from home.

 Emirates A380


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It’s not a place you’d go on a trip, but it is one of the sweetest ways you could take said one. The plane has a bar, shower spas, and makes your standard first class seat feel like crap.

Source: The Coolest Places You Can Visit On Google Street View | Cool Material

Shower Beer

Yeah, yeah, we know any beer can “technically” be a shower beer, but that beer you’re about to enjoy wasn’t designed specifically for the bathroom like Shower Beer. The collaboration between renowned design firm Snask and Sweden’s #1 micro brewery PangPang is a sweet but strong pale ale in an 18cl (roughly 6oz) brown bottle with pink branding. The thought process behind the project—outside of having their own beer, which everyone wants—was to make a beer that could be gulped in 3 sips while getting ready for a night out. We like giant beers as much as the next guy, but showers involving beer always seem to result in either warm beer or bright red skin. The smaller size makes any male grooming ritual an occasion for a Shower Beer.

 

 

Source: Shower Beer | Cool Material

The Cast of ‘The Sopranos’ Then and Now

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Back in 1999, the world was introduced to arguably the best TV show ever created. Set primarily in New Jersey, ‘The Sopranos’ explored the story of mobster Tony Soprano, a man attempting to keep his home life, as well as his mental state, intact in a profession where a bullet could come flying around any corner.

The series was a win in all forms, with the acting, writing, dialogue and overall believability holding us captivated with each episode that aired (yes, even the finale). With that in mind, let’s take a look at where the cast of ‘The Sopranos’ is today.

Tony Soprano — James Gandolfini

Tony SopranoHBO / Paul A. Hebert, Getty Images

Then: Back when ‘The Sopranos’ was killing it in the ratings, James Gandolfini became not only a star, but also known for his brute onscreen personality. Much to everyone’s surprise, Gandolfini’s true persona was that of a pacifist. Before ‘The Sopranos’ took to HBO, Gandolfini had played memorable tough guys in films such as ‘Get Shorty’ and ‘True Romance.’

Now: Gandolfini died suddenly of a heart attack in 2013 at the age of 51 while vacationing in Rome. His death rocked Hollywood and led to scores of tributes. Before he passed away, he had appeared in acclaimed films like ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and ‘Enough Said.’ His last credit is for a film called ‘The Drop,’ slated to open later in 2014.

Carmela Soprano — Edie Falco

Carmela SopranoHBO / Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Then: The role of Tony’s wife, Carmela Soprano, wasn’t the first time Edie Falco worked with HBO — she was already known for her role as Diane Whittlesey on the network’s prison drama ‘Oz.’ A struggling actress at the age of 30, she was given small breaks with roles in ‘Law & Order,’ ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’ and ‘Laws of Gravity,’ and a big break with Woody Allen’s ‘Bullets Over Broadway.’ Yet among them all, her Emmy-winning portrayal of Carmela would be one that would change her life.

Now: Since her ‘Sopranos’ days, Falco’s career has been a continued success, earning another Emmy Award for her title role on the Showtime series ‘Nurse Jackie.’ Falco has also found herself appearing in numerous Broadway plays that have won high praise from critics and audiences alike.

Dr. Jennifer Melfi — Lorraine Bracco

Jennifer MelfiHBO / Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Then: Certainly no stranger to the mob motif (Bracco co-starred in the Martin Scorsese classic ‘Goodfellas’), the actress known Dr. Melfi was originally offered the role of Carmela Soprano. Thinking it was too close to her ‘Goodfellas’ role, Bracco instead asked to play Dr. Jennifer Melfi, Tony Soprano’s psychiatrist. The choice turned out to be the right one.

Now: Today, Bracco went on to play Angela Rizzoli on TNT’s ‘Rizzoli & Isles.’ Outside of acting, she owns Bracco Wines, a line of wines that was featured on the season one finale of ‘Top Chef.’

Christopher Moltisanti — Michael Imperioli

Chris Moltisanti

Michael Imperioli.com / Jemal Countess, Getty Images

Then: Another ‘Goodfellas’ cast member, Michael Imperioli played Christopher Moltisanti, Tony’s nephew who constantly struggled with drugs and alcohol. His character dreamed of being a Hollywood screenwriter, which is the exact path Imperioli took, directing and writing a few ‘Sopranos’ episodes himself.

Now: Since his ‘Sopranos’ fame, Imperioli’s credits have continued, starring in the now defunct ‘Life on Mars’ and ‘Detroit 1-8-7′ and appearing in various films. He’s also appeared on the Showtime series ‘Californication.’ However, perhaps his most notable performance since ‘The Sopranos’ is the popular 1800 Tequila commercials in which he ruggedly mocks a bottle of Petron while “his” tequila pours him a shot. Yes, it’s very intimidating.

Paulie ‘Walnuts’ Gualtieri — Tony Sirico

Paulie WalnutsHBO / Roger Kisby, Getty Images

Then: Before his acting career took off, Sirico, aka Paulie Walnuts, was an actual mobster, having served two different stints in the big house in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Since then, it was goodbye crime and hello Hollywood. Oddly enough, despite his lengthy list of credits, Sirico is mainly known for playing… you guessed it, mobsters! Word has it that he agreed to play Paulie on one condition, that his character would not be a ‘rat.’

Now: Sirico seems to have slowed down since ‘The Sopranos’ ended, making appearances on shows such as ‘Chuck’ and ‘Medium.’ Lately, he’s transitioned from mobsters to cops, donning badges in films like ‘Zarra’s Law’ and the awesomely named ‘Jersey Shore Shark Attack.’ He’s also logged a guest role on the acclaimed Netflix series ‘Lilyhammer’ and done some voicework on ‘Family Guy.’

Silvio Dante — Steven Van Zandt

Silvio DanteHBO / Jason Kempkin, Getty Images

Then: Before ‘The Sopranos’ began Van Zandt was a struggling musician in some musical combo called The E Street Band headed by a guy from Jersey named Bruce Springsteen. Already having the world in the palm of his hands, Little Steven’s career hit a new high when he took on the role of Silvio Dante.

Now: Age means nothing to this guy, who consistently tours with Springsteen and the E Street Band. Aside from his first love, Van Zandt starred in ‘Lilyhammer’ and served as an executive producer on the 2013 film ‘Not Fade Away,’ which was written and directed by ‘Sopranos’ creator David Chase.

Meadow Soprano — Jamie-Lynn Sigler

Meadow Soprano
HBO / David Livingston, Getty Images

Then: Beginning her acting and singing career at the age of seven, Jamie-Lynn Sigler was cast as Meadow Soprano at just 18. In the earlier seasons, Meadow was intelligent yet somewhat troubled. However, as the show rolled on she grew into a young woman who learned the consequences of life — often firsthand, given her father’s “business.”

Now: Life post-‘Sopranos’ has been rather bright for Sigler, who guest starred on 13 episodes of HBO’s ‘Entourage’ and five episodes of ‘Ugly Betty.’ She also starred on the short-lived TV series ‘Guys with Kids.’ In August 2013, she and husband Cutter Dykstra welcomed a baby boy.

A.J. Soprano — Robert Iler

A.J. SopranoHBO / Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images

Then: Iler played Anthony Soprano, Jr., or A.J., the youngest Soprano child. His character could be seen as that of a slacker, often lazy and finding various hardships during his adolescence. Iler didn’t do much television acting before ‘The Sopranos,’ mainly appearing in commercials. However, once HBO cast him it was smooth sailing…sort of.

Now: With just one television credit post-Sopranos (he appeared on ‘Law & Order’ in 2009), Iler doesn’t seem to be doing much acting today. But he did show up on the ‘2010 World Series of Poker.’ Acting aside, Iler’s had multiple run-ins with the law for cases ranging from marijuana possession to larceny.

Bobby ‘Bacala’ Baccalieri — Steve Schirripa

Bobby BacalaHBO / Roger Kisby, Getty Images

Then: Back in the early ’90s, Schirripa was working in Las Vegas when he got a part as an extra in the Martin  Scorsese film, ‘Casino.’ It seems quick, but it was just five years after his ‘Casino’ role that he was cast in ‘The Sopranos’ as Bobby Baccalieri.

Now: Today, Schirripa is doing just fine, with minor appearances on shows such as ‘Ugly Betty’ and ‘Brothers’ to more prominent television roles like ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager.’ He also serves as the host and narrator of ‘Nothing Personal,’ a true-crime series on Investigation Discovery.

Ralph Cifaretto — Joe Pantoliano

Ralph CifarettoHBO / Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

Then: Having already racked up an impressive acting resume before joining ‘The Sopranos’ — appearing everywhere from ‘The Goonies’ to ‘The Matrix’ — Pantoliano’s character Ralph Cifaretto pushed him to new heights. Playing a largely unlikable mobster, his character held an immense presence from the day he stepped foot on set to the very moment of his death — which was certainly a gruesome one.

Now: Even today, ‘Joey Pants’ pops up everywhere, having appeared in everything from ‘How to Make it In America’ to ‘The Simpsons.’ Aside from Hollywood, he is an author, having penned two memoirs titled ‘Who’s Sorry Now’ and the more recent, ‘Asylum,’ in which he discusses his diagnosis with clinical depression.

Corrado ‘Junior’ Soprano — Dominic Chianese

Junior SopranoHBO / Mike Coppola, Getty Images

Then: Starting his career in Off-Broadway plays and cabarets way back in 1952, Chianese got his first televised role in 1974’s ‘East Side/West Side.’ He would then go on to appear in ‘The Godfather: Part II,’ which sparked a friendship with fellow actor Al Pacino. However, among his lengthy list of accomplishments, his portrayal of Junior Soprano garnered him arguably the most attention.

Now: Life post-‘Sopranos’ is rather busy for Chianese,  even in his 80s. A celebrated musician, he’s also been featured on HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ (created by ‘Sopranos’ writer Terrance Winter), ‘Damages,’ ‘The Good Wife’ and ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager.’

Source: https://offtheclothboff.com

Conor McGregor Lashes Out At Fan Trying To Film Him

When a fan spotted Conor McGregor chilling in his car and went in for a selfie the MMA fighter was far from happy about it…

The brave fan crept up beside the UFC champion and attempted to film himself next to the pro-fighter, but according to the Mirror, McGregor wasn’t having any of it.

It probably could have been predicted that the cage warrior was never going to take this lying down, so the next bit might not come as that much of a shock…

It started off looking like McGregor was just going to ignore his irritating follower, but then it seemed he could tolerate it no more…

In true McGregor style, he went for the guy’s phone, swiping it out of the way before winding the window up again and continuing to look pissed off at the whole thing.

The guy however looked ecstatic that the Crumlin man had just launched a swipe at him, as he turned back to the camera beaming before sending out a Snapchat of his footage.

He captioned it: 

” Just met Conor McGregor and he went for me. “

World famous pro-fighter McGregor has been seen out and about in his hometown of Dublin a lot recently, as he’s been taking some time out before UFC starts up again.

He’s also become a new dad recently so perhaps the lack of sleep from a newborn has started to take its toll…

Would you expect anything less from the extravagant pro-fighter though?

And to be fair on him, he did put up with the guy for a bit to start with and it almost looked like he was going to ignore him completely…

However, it seemed the persistent fan was determined to get a selfie with the UFC legend at whatever the cost…

Here’s the full version of the brush-up:

Regardless of the blunt interruption, I don’t think McGregor’s fanboy will be forgetting his little ‘run-in’ anytime soon…

After all, it’s not everyday you almost get into a showdown with an International fighting superstar is it?

 

Source: Conor McGregor Lashes Out At Fan Trying To Film Him