What If the WWE Never Existed?

Stephan JohnsonContributor IJuly 20, 2009

GREEN BAY, WI - JUNE 22:   Vince McMahon attends a press conference about the WWE at the Austin Straubel International Airport on June 22, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Mark A. Wallenfang/Getty Images)

Many of the greatest wrestlers today are known for their time in World Wrestling Entertainment. Wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Brock Lesnar.

Most of the wrestlers that draw in fans come from World Wrestling Entertainment. This sparks the question, "What if the WWE Never Existed?"

Let's take a look back at some of the things that WWE has brought to the wrestling world. The WWE started in 1963 as the World Wide Wrestling Federation, after Vincent J. McMahon left the NWA in a protest against "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers losing the NWA World Heavyweight Championship to Lou Thesz on May 17 of that year.

In April, Rogers was awarded the new WWWF World Championship following an apocryphal tournament in Rio de Janeiro. He lost the title to Bruno Sammartino a month later on May 17, 1963, after suffering a heart attack shortly before the match. To accommodate Rogers' condition, the match was booked to last under a minute.

In March 1979, the WWWF became the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). The change was purely cosmetic, and the ownership and front office personnel remained unchanged during this period.

In 1980, Vincent Kennedy McMahon purchased Capitol Wrestling Corp. from Vince Sr., and began his wrestling dominance, taking over control of the NWA in the Northeastern Territory.

Several promotions were very upset when McMahon Sr. began to televise WWF matches on stations outside the territory in which it had been based.

To make matters worse, McMahon used the income generated by advertising, television deals, and tape sales to poach talent from rival promoters.

The biggest signing in WWF history came after the debut of the movie "Rocky III," which featured wrestling Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan.

Hogan became known as the biggest star in the WWF, replacing other greats such as Gorilla Monsoon, Andre the Giant, and Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka.

At this point in time, Vincent Kennedy McMahon had taken over booking control of WWF.

Vinny Mac had a huge ambition. He dreamed of the WWF being known world-wide. To start the achievement of this process, he began to tour the companies wrestling events nationally, as opposed to one venue.

Such a venture, however, required huge capital investment; one that placed the WWF on the verge of financial collapse.

The future of not just McMahon's experiment, but also the WWF, the NWA, and the whole industry came down to the success or failure of McMahon's groundbreaking concept, WrestleMania.

This huge event was televised exclusively on Pay-Per-View, available to most of the country. Vince's dream was realized when the SuperBowl of wrestling took place, shutting out all the competition with one event.

The original WrestleMania, held in 1985, was a resounding success. This event is sometimes credited as the debut of what McMahon called "sports entertainment", in contrast to his father's preference of pure wrestling.

The WWF did incredible business on the shoulders of McMahon and his all-American babyface hero, Hulk Hogan, for the next several years, creating what some observers dubbed a second golden age for professional wrestling.

The introduction of Saturday Night's Main Event on NBC in mid-1985 marked the first time that professional wrestling had been broadcast on network television since the 1950s.

In 1987, the WWF produced what was considered to be the pinnacle of the 1980s wrestling boom, WrestleMania III.

Since Wrestlermania III, the WWE has come a long way, now being the leader in Wrestling Entertainment, buying out the only major competition it had in WCW and ECW.

With all of these facts state on the WWE, I once more pose the question: "What if the WWE Never Existed?"

If the WWE never existed, superstars such as Shawn Michaels would have never shined in the limelight of main eventing Pay-Per-Views. HBK would still be at a mid-card level, probably retired, and never would have feuded with Marty Jannetty.

Other stars such as The Undertaker would have never existed, probably still wrestling for independent promotions.

Steve Austin would still be wrestling for WCW, which have never been bought out. Because of the companies contract commitment status, he would probably be retiring soon, and would have never shot an action movie.

Other young talent, such as John Cena, would still be wrestling for UPW and other respectable indy companies.

Within the next few years they might have been drafted up to the mainstream, such as WCW or ECW, which looked for talent with an established work credit.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let's just face it. As much as I hate to see the WWE dominate the wrestling world, without them there would be no wrestling in sports entertainment.

The NWA is a respectable company, but they did not allow anyone to go beyond a "cult" style status. Without further ado, I will say that wrestling just would not be as interesting without the WWE.