It took me about two years to complete this labor of love.* Because there are a lot of new people frequenting the site now, I’d like to re-share my maximum endeavor on a minimalist history of the World Wrestling Federation.
The History of the WWF starts with the WWWF, the Worldwide Wrestling Federation, as it was initially known, way back in 1963. I chronicled every champion, in sequencial order, from Buddy Rogers’ inaugural run up to and including Chris Jericho’s unification of the WWF and WCW titles on December 9, 2001. (The crowning of the first undisputed champion seemed like a logical place to stop.)
I did the same for Intercontinental, Tag Team, European and Light Heavyweight championship histories, as well as Royal Rumble winners and the Pay-Per-View-era Kings of the Ring. (The WWF previously held a sometimes-annual – somannual? – King of the Ring tournament every year in the Providence, Rhode Island area in the mid-to-late 80s and as late as 1991. Those Kings were not counted toward the total (although I do have characters made for the Macho King, King Haku and “King” Harley Race.) ANytime a title was vacated or held up, a black silhouette appears among the characters that make up the classic 1980s-era WWF logo that the pandas stole.
After the important wrasslers were incorporated, I went back to 1963 and added as many superstars I could find through my end date. Wrestlers who were exclusively jobbers, such as Barry O or Duane Gill, were not included, but glorified jobbers who could occasionally steal a win, like Hall of Famer Johnny Rodz and Gillberg, are absolutely a part of this poster.
The research was exhaustive. I fell down the rabbit hole of Wikipedia. A page on Ric Flair sent me to Dusty Rhodes to Dustin Rhodes to Shane Douglas to the 1991 Royal Rumble to every Royal Rumble to Rikishi. It was like that one Rev. Lovejoy sermon from an ancient Simpsons episode… which I guess is actually from The Bible. You know, begat begat begat… nothing? Go watch The Simpsons, you infidels.
There were countless YouTube videos I watched, paused and played again, so I could accurately detail each wrestler’s outfit. I did the same with old magazines, some of those awful pro-wrestling biographies (Mick Foley, Bret Hart, and Chris Jericho are the only ones who have gotten this right to date) and ultimately double-checked everything against The History of the WWE, a site that includes dates and cards for pretty much every WWF event ever.
Yes, I included the dates Wrestlers A, B, C, etc wore the outfits you see them in. Sick. In. The. Head.
In conclusion, Canadian Wolfman 4 life. He needs no wolfpack.
*I made additional changes after my initial post on this piece: adding a heading with the ring ropes (thanks, Jay!) and adjusting the blue background to a white-to-blue gradient. The title added another two inches to the total size, upping the poster to a whopping 40″ x 42″. Goodbye, photos of Grandma arriving at Ellis Island.