WWE Video Library

WWE Video Library

The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) video library is currently the largest collection of professional wrestling videos and copyrights in the world.cite press release |title=WWE Amasses 80,000 Hours Of Content |publisher=WWE |date=2006-06-05 |url=http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2006/2006_06_05.jsp |accessdate=2008-02-20] It is comprised not only of past and current works by World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly the World Wrestling Federation) but the works of now out of business professional wrestling promotions dating back to the 1950s.cite web |url=http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwe247/videolibrary1/ |title=Video Library |accessdate=2008-02-20 |publisher=WWE |work=TV Shows > WWE 24/7 On Demand ] The library currently stands at over 75,000 hours of content; including weekly television shows, pay-per-views, and recorded house shows. The collection represents a very significant portion of the visual history of modern professional wrestling. In recent years WWE has made their classic holdings available to public view through their WWE 24/7 Classics video on demand service and various home-video releases.

The dates listed below for purchased organizations and libraries represent the duration of that company, and may not necessarily represent the extent of historical video owned.

Classic WWE holdings

The library includes all past and present World Wrestling Entertainment tapes dating back to the 1950s, including all previous forms of the company:

*Capitol Wrestling Corporation (1952-1963)
*World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) (1963-1979)
*World Wrestling Federation (WWF) (1979-2002)
*World Wrestling Entertainment (2002-present), inclusive of WWE's current brands:
**Raw (2002-present)
**SmackDown (2002-present)
**ECW (2006-present)

Although not wrestling content, the library's holdings also include footage from various WWF/E produced ventures including the 1985-1987 cartoon series "Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling", 1989 film "No Holds Barred", 1990-1992 World Bodybuilding Federation, 2001 XFL, and any motion pictures produced by WWE Films.

Non-WWE purchases

For years World Wrestling Entertainment has engaged in a campaign of purchasing libraries of defunct wrestling promotions. The first significant purchases took place in 2001, when they bought the complete historical archives of their former competitor World Championship Wrestling.cite press release |title=WWE Entertainment, Inc. Acquires WCW from Turner Broadcasting |publisher=WWE |date=2001-03-23 |url=http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2001/2001_03_23.jsp |accessdate=2008-02-21] The purchase of Extreme Championship Wrestling in 2003cite press release |url=http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2006/2006_05_25_02.jsp |publisher=WWE |date=2006-05-25 |title=WWE Launches ECW As Third Brand |accessdate=2008-02-21] gave the company the majority of all recent national professional wrestling content.

*American Wrestling Association (1957-1991)
*Championship Wrestling from Florida (1961-1987)
*Central States Wrestling (c. early 1950s-1986)
*Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) (1994-2001) and its predecessor
**Eastern Championship Wrestling (1992-1994)
*Ohio Valley Wrestling (1998-2008)ref|OVW|*
*Smoky Mountain Wrestling (1992-1995)
*Stampede Wrestling (1948-1984)
*World Championship Wrestling (WCW) (1988-2001) and its predecessors
**Georgia Championship Wrestling (1944-1985)
**Jim Crockett Promotions (1973-1988) and predecessor
***Eastern States Championship Wrestling (1945-1973)
*World Class Championship Wrestling (1966-1988ref|wccw|**)cite web |url=http://www.worldclasswrestling.info/faq/tv.htm#wwesale |title=Has Kevin Von Erich sold the WCCW videotape library to Vince McMahon and WWE? |accessdate=2008-05-16 |publisher=World Class Memories |work=WCCW Frequently Asked Questions ]
:Former WWE developmental territory:International World Class Championship Wrestling owns all post-1988 footage of WCCW and its successor promotions.

National Wrestling Alliance

Throughout its history, WWE has had a long relationship with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). For many decades, until the mid-1980s, the NWA acted as a governing body of the many various regional wrestling promotions, and membership allowed for decreased regional competition and the shared use of big-name stars for local events. WWE (as Capitol Wrestling) was a member of the NWA between 1952 and 1963, and again (as the WWWF) between 1971 and 1983.

Jim Crockett Promotions was an NWA member for its entire existence, and by the end of the promotion's run "was", more or less, the NWA, thanks to its control of the largest regional NWA promotions. This was exemplified by the presence of all major NWA titles in World Championship Wrestling when Crockett Promotions morphed into WCW in the 1980s. WCW's relationship with the NWA was even more convoluted than WWE's, until WCW left the NWA in 1993.

As a result of WWE's former membership in the NWA, through its ownership of WCW and its predecessor libraries, and through its ownership of Extreme Championship Wrestling (which was an NWA member until it suddenly severed ties in 1994) and other smaller regional promotions, WWE owns a vast amount of NWA footage, making up the majority of significant NWA matches from the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.


Although professional wrestling has been on television throughout the medium's existence, not all broadcasts were recorded, nor necessarily saved, and most promotions did not have a regular television presence until the 1970s. The historical availability of individual, non-televised matches is also sketchy, as likely only the most significant bouts were recorded for posterity, and can be lost to time.

A number of factors have adversely affected the quality of some surviving tapes. For example, upon taking control of the World Championship Wrestling library it was noted that the tapes were unlabeled and not categorized. [cite web |url=http://www.stormwrestling.com/bookmarks/DeathWCW/ |title=Part One: Lance's Thoughts |accessdate=2008-02-28 |publisher=Storm Wrestling |last=Storm |first=Lance |authorlink=Lance Storm |work=Book Marks - The Death of WCW ] The condition of some WCW tapes is such that WWE either cannot air them on WWE 24/7 Classics. [cite episode |series=The Monday Night Wars |title=June 9, 1997|network=WWE 24/7 Classics]


WWE owns the unedited master tapes for all content in the library, however, due to a lawsuit over the "WWF" initialism brought on by the World Wildlife Fund they are no longer allowed to use the letters WWF or the "scratch" logo used between 1998 and 2002. [cite press release |title=World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Drops The "F" To Emphasize the "E" for Entertainment |publisher=corporate.wwe.com |date=2002-05-06 |url=http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2002/2002_05_06.jsp |format= |accessdate=2007-09-09] As a result, any instance of someone saying "WWF" (though not World Wrestling Federation) or shots of the "scratch" logo are edited out on any re-airings or video releases, except for the UK exclusive WWE Tagged Classics DVD range.

See also

*History of World Wrestling Entertainment
*WWE 24/7 Classics and WWE Home Video


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