Capitol Wrestling Corporation Ltd.
Capitol Wrestling Corporation
IndustryProfessional wrestling
FoundedJanuary 7, 1953; 70 years ago (1953-01-07)[1]
FoundersJess McMahon or Vincent J. McMahon
Defunct1982; 41 years ago (1982)
SuccessorTitan Sports, Inc.
Holland Hotel
351 West 42nd Street
New York City, New York 10036
Area served
OwnerVincent J. McMahon (1953–1982)

Capitol Wrestling Corporation Ltd. was an American sports promotion company. It was run by Vincent J. McMahon from 1953 to 1982. Operating as the Capitol Wrestling Corporation (CWC), the company was originally a professional wrestling and boxing promotion and later became the sanctioning body for the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). The Capitol Wrestling Corporation is the precursor to today's WWE, as of 2023 run by Nick Khan as CEO and majority owned by McMahon's son, Vincent K. McMahon.


Early history (1953–1963)

See also: History of WWE

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 and 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. Curley's ill health led to Mondt, aided by McMahon and others, taking over the New York wrestling scene.

On January 7, 1953 the first show under the Capitol Wrestling Corporation (CWC) was produced. It is not certain who the founder of the CWC was. Some sources state that it was Jess' son Vincent J. McMahon[2][3][4] while other sources credit Jess himself as the founder of CWC.[5][6][7] The CWC later joined the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and famous New York-Promoter Toots Mondt soon joined the CWC. Together they were very successful and soon controlled approximately 70% of the NWA's booking, largely due to their dominance in the heavily populated Northeastern United States.

World Wide Wrestling Federation (1963–1979)

In early 1963, Capitol formed the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), the precursor to current-day WWE, following a dispute with the NWA over Buddy Rogers being booked to hold the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.[8] McMahon and Mondt awarded him the new WWWF World Heavyweight Championship that April. He lost it to Bruno Sammartino on May 17.

The WWWF operated in a conservative manner compared to other pro wrestling territories;[9] 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.[10] After gaining a television program deal and turning the well known tag team wrestler Lou Albano into 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 Vince McMahon, Sr. quietly rejoined the NWA in 1971.

Rebranding and sale to Titan Sports (1979–1982)

By March 1979, for marketing purposes, the World Wide Wrestling Federation was renamed the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).[11] That same year, Vincent J. McMahon's son, Vincent K. McMahon, founded Titan Sports, Inc., incorporated on February 21, 1980, originally in Massachusetts.[12][13]

In 1982, Titan Sports Inc. acquired Capitol's operations, effectively relocating its headquarters to Greenwich, Connecticut. At the annual meeting of the NWA in 1983, the McMahons and WWF employee Jim Barnett all withdrew from the organization.[8] In an attempt to make the WWF the premier wrestling promotion in the world, McMahon began an expansion that fundamentally changed the industry.[14] 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. in 1999, and later World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. in 2002.[15] Vincent J. McMahon would not live to see his company grow from a territorial promotion to a worldwide organization. He died from pancreatic cancer at 69 years old on May 24, 1984.[16]


In October 2020, WWE's NXT brand introduced a new home studio in Orlando within the WWE Performance Center training facility, dubbed the "Capitol Wrestling Center" in homage to CWC.[17]

See also


  1. ^ Hornbaker, Tim (2015). Capitol Revolution: The Rise of the McMahon Wrestling Empire. p. 117. ASIN 1770411240. He Inaugurated his promotion on January 7, 1953, [...].
  2. ^ Hornbaker, Tim (2015). Capitol Revolution: The Rise of the McMahon Wrestling Empire. p. 117. ASIN 1770411240. He Inaugurated his promotion on January 7, 1953, [...].
  3. ^ Solomon, Brian (2006). WWE Legends. p. 6. ASIN 0743490339. McMahon formed a company he called the Capitol Wrestling Corporation, and presented his first regular wrestling show under the Capitol banner on January 7, 1953
  4. ^ Sullivan, Greenberg & Pantaleo (2016). WWE Encyclopedia of Sports Entertainment. p. 372. ISBN 978-1465453136. On January 7, 1953, he put on the first-ever Capitol Wrestling Corporation event
  5. ^ "Vincent J. McMahon official bio on". From the time Vince, Sr. took over Capitol Wrestling Corporation from his father, the company continued to flourish in the northeastern United States.
  6. ^ Krugman, Michael (2009). Andre the Giant: A Legendary Life. Simon & Schuster. p. 11. ISBN 978-1439188132.
  7. ^ Cohen, Daniel (1999). Wrestling Renegades: An in Depth Look at Today's Superstars of Pro Wrestling. Pocket Books. p. 16. ISBN 0671036742.
  8. ^ a b Wrestling Observer Newsletter. July 20, 2011. ((cite journal)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "WrestlingTerritories". Freakin' Awesome Network Forums. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  10. ^ Wrestling Observer Newsletter. June 3, 1991. ((cite journal)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Hornbaker, Tim (2007). National Wrestling Alliance: The Untold Story of the Monopoly That Strangled Pro Wrestling. ECW Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-1-55022-741-3.
  12. ^ "Titan Sports, Inc. V. Comics World Corp". Leagle.Com. Retrieved 2014-06-24.
  13. ^ Hornbaker, Tim (2007). National Wrestling Alliance: The Untold Story of the Monopoly That Strangled Pro Wrestling. ECW Press. p. 353. ISBN 978-1-55022-741-3.
  14. ^ Johnson, William (25 March 1991). "Wrestling With Success". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  15. ^ "The New WWE". World Wrestling Entertainment. 2011-04-07. Archived from the original on 2011-04-10. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
  16. ^ "Vince McMahon Sr". WWE. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  17. ^ Barrasso, Justin. "NXT Unveiling the Capitol Wrestling Center at Sunday's TakeOver 31". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2020-10-30.