VINCE MCMAHON’S FAILED ATTEMPT TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD OF BODYBUILDING

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In the pre-net age of April 1990, whispers started to flow into that Vince McMahon, head of the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE), turned into about to launch a bodybuilding magazine. The phrase became that it might act as a precursor to setting up a bodybuilding federation that might usurp the preeminence then enjoyed with the aid of the International Federation of Bodybuilders Opens a New Window. (IFBB). The WWF refuted claims of a brand new federation being launched, announcing they only had plans to supply a magazine, and as a part of their publishing group they hired Tom Platz Opens a New Window. , just about the most famous bodybuilder of that era.  The new mag turned into to be known as Bodybuilding Lifestyles, and to sell its December 1990 release, McMahon hired sales space at that yr’s Mr. Olympia contest, which became staged in Chicago. So it was on September 15 at the Windy City’s Arie Crown Theater, directly as Lee Haney Opens a New Window. Became awarded his 7th Sandow, a grasp of Bodybuilding Lifestyles personnel in Trojan horse fashion went around the audience handing out a press launch saying the launch of the World Bodybuilding Federation (WBF). The launch stated that the WBF might “Revamp professional bodybuilding with dramatic new occasions and the richest prize money within the records of the game.”

Throughout the autumn and wintry weather of 1990, the WBF went on a recruiting force flying pinnacle-magnificence bodybuilders to their Stamford, CT headquarters to seal their person offers. The end result of their labors were eventually offered at a lavish press conference staged at New York’s Plaza Hotel on January 13, 1991. There, McMahon delivered his WBF stable of 13 athletes. They have been: Aaron Baker, Mike Christian, Vince Comerford, David Dearth, Berry DeMey, Johnnie Morant, Danny Padilla, Tony Pearson, Jim Quinn, Mike Quinn, Eddie Robinson, Gary Strydom, and Troy Zuccolotto.

The depth and high-quality of the WBF squad brought about Joe Weider to signal more athletes at better costs than had been the norm that allows you to maintain them within the IFBB. McMahon had splurged megabucks to assemble his group, with Gary Strydom Opens a New Window. Reportedly inking a 3-12 months contract well worth $four hundred,000 in line with the year. At the press conference, they introduced their first World Championships might be held in Atlantic City on June 15, 1991, at the now-defunct Taj Mahal Casino, which becomes owned by way of Donald Trump at the time. They promised they might be making further signings, but no more have been ever made, even though there was a relatively publicized to-and-fro over acquiring Lou Ferrigno’s services earlier than he determined to live with the IFBB. The Atlantic City contest on June 15 was heavily promoted thru WWF’s mainstream TV programming, and it was a pay-according to-view occasion. From the get-go, it became clean the WBF’s approach to bodybuilding become a targeted extra on showbiz than display-me-the-muscle. Before each competitor came onstage, there has been a two-minute video of each, highlighting the character the WBF had attached to them. Thus, we had Troy Zuccolotto Opens a New Window. Acting as a California seashore boy, complete with surfboard and four bikini-clad women; Berry DeMey re-invented as a Dutch James Bond; Gary Strydom offered as a person-approximately metropolis whole with top hat and cane. There had been no direct muscle-institution-to-muscle-group comparisons. The men simply posed, and then the outcomes had been announced: Strydom, first; Mike Christian, 2d; Berry DeMey, third. To pro bodybuilding fans, it changed into a farce. Despite nearly widely wide-spread complaint, the WBF pressed ahead and announced the 1992 World Championships might be held in Long Beach, CA.

But whilst the 1991 contest concluded, the WWF had turn out to be embroiled in an ever-widening drug scandal. It worried Dr. George Zahorian from Hershey, PA, who were indicted for offering performance-improving pills Opens a New Window. To positive individuals. Among them were wrestlers Hulk Hogan, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and a succession of different grapplers affiliated with the WWF. When the names of those wrestlers were made public in June 1991, it became mainstream information, with USA Today going for walks a front-page tale asking, “Hulk: Bulk from a Bottle?” On June 25, Zahorian turned into discovered responsible on multiple counts and sentenced to three years in prison. Three weeks later, McMahon announced he could be invoking drug trying out for his wrestlers. The WBF had avoided mainstream scrutiny however such is the steroid stereotype connected to bodybuilding that the ultimate component the WWF wanted turned into to be related with a recreation infamous for drug use. It might be like Charlie Sheen claiming sobriety at the same time as shopping a whiskey distillery.

 

Against that history, the 1992 WBF Championships still happened in Long Beach on June 13. Three months before the event, it became announced the WBF competitors could be drug tested. Sad to mention, maximum of these that competed had been a long way from their fine as Strydom won again with Jim Quinn 2nd and Aaron Baker 1/3. It changed into the WBF’s death knell, and a month later, on July 15, McMahon placed a convention call to Joe, and Ben Weider calling them the fathers of bodybuilding and informed them he became ceasing production of the bodybuilding magazine and final down the WBF. It became mentioned that McMahon had misplaced $15 million due to his foray into bodybuilding.

In 1990, after the launch of the WBF, the IFBB introduced that those becoming a member of the new business enterprise would never be allowed to return to the IFBB. By February 1993, that ruling turned into rescinded however simplest on the condition that the former renegades pay a fine, which changed into 10 percent of anything their WBF salaries had been. Of the 13 WBF athletes, Mike Christian and Vince Comerford in no way competed again. And of those eleven who did renew their IFBB career, best Aaron Baker and Mike Quinn ever qualified for an Olympia.