Capitol Wrestling Corporation Ltd. was an American professional wrestling promotion and the sanctioning body for the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) and later World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Founded by Jess McMahon and Toots Mondt in 1953, Capitol Wrestling Corporation is the precursor to today's Titan Sports (now known as WWE) run by Jess' grandson, Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
Jess McMahon was a successful boxing promoter who began working with Tex Rickard in 1926. With the help of Rickard, he began promoting boxing at the third Madison Square Garden. A few years prior, professional wrestler Toots Mondt had created a new challenge of professional wrestling that he called “Slam Bang Western Style Wrestling”. He convinced wrestler Ed Lewis and his manager Billy Sandow to implement this new solution into the wrestling industry. Following this, he formed a promotion with both men and persuaded many wrestlers to sign contracts with their Gold Dust Trio. After much success, a disagreement over power caused the trio to dissolve and, with it, their promotion. Mondt later formed partnerships with several other promoters, including Jack Curley in New York City. Mondt eventually took over the New York wrestling scene, due to the fact Curley was dying, with the aid of several bookers, one of whom was Jess McMahon.
Together, McMahon and Mondt created the Capitol Wrestling Corporation Ltd. (CWC), which later joined the National Wrestling Alliance in 1953. In November 1954, Jess McMahon died and Ray Fabiani, one of Mondt's associates, brought in Vincent James McMahon. McMahon and Mondt were very successful and soon controlled approximately 70% of the NWA's booking, largely due to their dominance in the heavily populated Northeast region they also became the main NWA territory.
World (Wide) Wrestling Federation
In early 1963, Capitol formed the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), following a dispute with the NWA over Buddy Rogers being booked to hold the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Both men left the company in protest following the incident and formed the WWWF in the process, awarding Rogers the new WWWF World Championship in April of that year. He lost the championship to Bruno Sammartino a month later on May 17, 1963, after suffering a heart attack a week before the match.
The WWWF operated in a conservative manner compared to other pro wrestling territories; it ran its major arenas monthly rather than weekly or bi-weekly, usually featuring a babyface champion wrestling various heels in programs that consisted of one to three matches. After gaining a television program deal and turning preliminary wrestler Lou Albano as a manager for Sammartino’s heel opponents, the WWWF was doing sell out business by 1970.
Mondt left the company in the late 1960s and although the WWWF had withdrawn from the NWA, Vince McMahon, Sr. quietly rejoined in 1971. At the annual meeting of the NWA in 1983, the McMahons and WWF employee Jim Barnett all withdrew from the organization.
Sale to Titan Sports
By March 1979, for marketing purposes, the World Wide Wrestling Federation was renamed the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). That same year, the son of Vincent J. McMahon, Vincent Kennedy McMahon, founded Titan Sports, Inc., originally in Massachusetts, and was incorporated on February 21, 1980.
In 1982, Titan Sports Inc. acquired Capitol's operations, effectively relocating its headquarters to Greenwich, Connecticut. In an attempt to make the WWF the premier wrestling promotion in the world, McMahon began an expansion process that fundamentally changed the industry. In the end, McMahon would never live to see his company grow from a territorial promotion to what is now a worldwide organization. He died from pancreatic cancer at 69 years old on May 24, 1984. By 1985, Titan moved to Stamford, Connecticut then establishing a new entity in 1987 in Delaware which later merged with the old company in 1988. Titan later changed its name to World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. before finally becoming World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. in 2002, and simplified to WWE in 2011, though the company's legal name was not changed.