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The WWF (World Wrestling Federation) was founded in 1963 in controversial circumstances. After the undisputed Heavyweight Champion Thez lost a match under disqualification, the NWA rules stated that the title does not change hands on a DQ and in this case Thez also had a back injury so it would have been unfair to take the title off the man that had unified so many titles in Wrestling. But the WWWF (as it was then known) took this opportunity and formed there own company with Buddy Rogers as their champion. (Many other organisations did the same.) The NWA still recognised Thez and the WWF was born. Since this date the WWF has been the world leaders in Pro Wrestling and is seen to hold the real World Heavyweight Title, especially after its own title was unified with the WCW title after WWF bought WCW. They changed their name in May 2002 from WWF to WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), in a statement from Linda McMahon she explained it was due to the worldwide growth of the WWF. In reality the WWF had lost a court case in the UK and had lost the rights to use the initials and logo in the United Kingdom and so where forced to change their name.
World Wrestling Entertainment has gone through a huge change since acquiring WCW and eliminating all competition in the United States wrestling industry. Since this period wrestling has gone through a difficult period. The fans like an option and as the fans lead what they see on TV they have forced the WWE to change its basic format.
On 18th March 2002 Linda McMahon announced the WWF/WWE brand extension. Its main TV programs RAW and SMACKDOWN! became brand names, they have their own roster (that was initially selected through a draft.) who work exclusively for their own brand. Only coming together on occasional PPV shows.
The RAW brand initially was controlled by Ric Flair and the Smackdown! brand was controlled by Vince McMahon. Following the Invasion storyline, Vince McMahon "gained" back 100% ownership of the WWE on RAW, 10th June 2002, after interference in a match for 100% ownership. Brock Lesnar who was managed by former ECW owner Paul Heyman helped Vince McMahon win the match.
On the 15th July 2002 episode of RAW, Vince McMahon announced that RAW would be run by a new General Manager, Eric Bishoff formally of WCW. The following episode of Smackdown! saw the return of Stephanie McMahon as the new General Manager for SMACKDOWN! Steph and Bishoff declared war on each other and said they would put the other out of business.
Since the introduction of the different GM`s to the two brands the Undisputed World title has been split and the Tag-Team title has also been split. All wrestlers are now forced to compete on the show that they are contracted to.
The WWE now is run like to company's with the RAW wrestlers not interacting with the SMACKDOWN stars. PPV's are now becoming exclusive to one brand. But some PPV's will probably be WWE "Super" PPV's such as Wrestlemania and the Royal Rumble who will host both brands.