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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Beginning/Capitol Wrestling

Roderick James "Jess" McMahon was a boxing promoter whose achievements included co-promoting a boxing match in 1915 between Jess Willard and Jack Johnson. In 1925, while working with Tex Rickard (who despised wrestling to such a degree that he prevented wrestling events from being held in Madison Square Garden) he started promoting boxing in Madison Square Garden in New York City. The first match during their partnership was a light heavyweight championship match between Jack Delaney and Paul Berlenbach.
Around the same time, former professional wrestler Joseph Raymond "Toots" Mondt had a revolutionary concept. He decided to take wrestling to a higher level, bringing it out of back alleys and rough areas into sporting arenas. He also made wrestling more exciting with his "Slam Bang Western Style Wrestling." His next move was to form a promotion with Ed Lewis and Billy Sandow. They persuaded a lot of wrestlers to sign contracts with the newly named 'Gold Dust Trio'.
Eventually, the trio dissolved and the promotion did also, after a disagreement over power. Mondt formed partnerships with several promoters. When Jack Curley was dying, Mondt knew that New York wrestling would fall apart. Realizing this he gained help from several bookers, one of these being Jess McMahon.
Together, Jess and Mondt created the Capitol Wrestling Corporation (CWC). There is not a lot of information on the early days of the CWC, but it is known that it joined the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) in 1953.
Mondt had been using Antonino Rocca as a main eventer. He was successful in the role and Mondt was pleased to have him as part of the company. Unfortunately, Mondt was unable to keep Rocca happy.
In 1953, Ray Fabiani, one of Mondt's other associates, brought in Vincent J. McMahon, who replaced his father Jess in 1953 (around the time the CWC became a territorial member of the NWA). They controlled all of the Northeastern wrestling circuit.
Vince Sr. and Toots Mondt were a formidable combination: within a short time, they controlled around 70% of the NWA's booking -- given what a far-reaching organization the NWA was, that was a significant achievement. Mondt taught Vince Sr. about booking and how to work in the wrestling industry. This was the start of the wrestling revolution.
In 1956, the CWC signed a deal with WTTG Channel 5 to air live professional wrestling shows.

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