WWE Name Change: Sport vs. Entertainment, Steroids & the Future of Pro Wrestling

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WWE Name Change: Sport vs. Entertainment, Steroids & the Future of Pro Wrestling

The WWE made news a few weeks back by officially changing its name from World Wrestling Entertainment to, simply, WWE. In other words, the letters no longer stand for anything but are a collective entity unto itself.

Mmmmmmmkay...

There’s been a considerable amount of speculation about why Vince McMahon and crew would make such a decision, but the impression is that the McMahon and his decision-makers wanted to distance themselves from the “wrestling” inherent in the company’s name.

Obviously, wrestling is a huge part of what the company does, but it’s clear that the WWE—whether you pay attention to the words in the acronym or not—is just as, if not more, focused on the entertainment side of things.

How else could they rationalize feature-length films like Legendary, Knucklehead or (dear god) The Chaperone?

One of the major issues, though, remains the use of performance-enhancing drugs. While the going impression is that steroids are less a part of wrestlers’ lives than perhaps 10 or 20 years ago, it’s hard to believe that they’re out of the “sport” completely.

In this series of articles, we’ll look at the multitude of ways in which this name change from WWE to...well...WWE brings to life a myriad of questions about sport as entertainment, drugs in sports and the future of professional wrestling as a whole.

Stick with us, won’t you, Bleachers? And, as always, please submit questions and comments as we go along.

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