Vince McMahon has revealed why he hates the term “wrestling” and how it’s all down to marketing.
For a number of years it has been said that the phrase “professional wrestling” is a dirty word in WWE. While commentators and on-screen figures are banned from using the word “wrestling” across the company programming.
Instead, WWE’s performers are referred to as “sports entertainers” with the product itself known and marketed as “Sports Entertainment.”
Speaking during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Vince McMahon discussed a number of topics in relation to WWE, including his dislike for the word “wrestling.”
The WWE Chairman explained that it all comes down to promotion and marketing. McMahon pointed to how his father made the company stand out from the crowd while he was running it, something he continued by trying to make WWE not just another wrestling company.
“There’s always been wrestling,” said McMahon “I wanted to separate us from everybody else. And my dad wasn’t a part of the, well he was part of the NWA, but he had his own branding. It was World Wide Wrestling Federation, many many years ago. And I thought that was brilliant. I thought wow, okay, you’re making yourself different from everyone else. And at the time when I bought my dad’s business, he would’ve never sold it to me if he knew what I was gonna do. It’s like — separate yourself, and be who you wanna be, and especially the brand, it’s like, it’s WWE. It was WWF, which is another story.”
The story McMahon referenced, is the company losing a lawsuit in 2002 to the World Wildlife Fund, which meant they had to totally rebrand and change the name of the company. McMahon joked that “the panda got us,” before detailing how he came up with the company’s new name and slogan in just 30 minutes.
“The Panda got us to a certain extent, because the World Wildlife Fund… I didn’t even know it existed,” said Vince. “But that was a no-win lawsuit for me because you’re being tried in England, where they wear the wigs and all that kind of stuff. I wouldn’t fit in that environment. So I just said okay, we’ll change it. And it was pretty easy to do because it was like ‘Hmm, how am I gonna change it? It took about thirty minutes at most. I know what I’ll do, I’ll get the F out, so we did.”
H/t to Sportskeeda for the transcription.