In the pre-net age of April 1990, whispers started to circulate that Vince McMahon, head of the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE), changed into about to launch a bodybuilding magazine. The word became that it would act as a precursor to organizing a bodybuilding federation that could usurp the preeminence then enjoyed by using the International Federation of Bodybuilders Opens a New Window. (IFBB).
The WWF refuted claims of a brand new federation being launched, announcing they handiest had plans to supply a mag, and as a part of their publishing crew, they hired Tom Platz Opens a New Window. , pretty much the most famous bodybuilder of that generation. The new mag was to be known as Bodybuilding Lifestyles, and to sell its December 1990 release, McMahon hired sales space area at that year’s Mr. Olympia contest, which becomes staged in Chicago. So it becomes on September 15 on the Windy City’s Arie Crown Theater, directly as
Lee Haney Opens a New Window. Become provided his 7th Sandow, a seize of Bodybuilding Lifestyles employees in Trojan horse style went across the target market handing out a press launch announcing the launch of the World Bodybuilding Federation (WBF). The start said that the WBF could “Revamp professional bodybuilding with dramatic new events and the richest prize cash inside the records of the sport.”
THE WBF TEAM Throughout the autumn and winter of 1990, the WBF went on a recruiting drive flying pinnacle-elegance bodybuilders to their Stamford, CT headquarters to seal their character deals. The fruits in their labors have been provided at a lavish press conference staged at New York’s Plaza Hotel on January thirteen, 1991. There, McMahon brought his WBF stable of 13 athletes. They have been: Aaron Baker, Mike Christian, Vince Comerford, David Dearth, Berry Dewey, Johnnie Morant, Danny Padilla, Tony Pearson, Jim Quinn, Mike Quinn, Eddie Robinson, Gary Strydom, and Troy Zuccolotto.
The depth and excellence of the WBF squad induced Joe Weider to signal more athletes at better quotes that have been the norm so one can maintain them within the IFBB. McMahon had splurged megabucks to collect his group, with Gary Strydom Opens a New Window. They are reportedly inking a 3-year settlement worth $four hundred,000 consistent with 12 months. At the click convention, they announced their first World Championships could be held in Atlantic City on June 15, 1991, at the now-defunct Taj Mahal Casino, which became owned
by Donald Trump on time. They promised they would be making further signings, but no more have been ever made, even though there was a highly publicized to-and-fro over acquiring Lou Ferrigno’s services before he determined to live with the IFBB. The Atlantic City contest on June 15 changed into heavily promoted via WWF’s mainstream TV programming, and it transformed into a pay-per-view event. From the get-cross, it becomes clear the WBF’s technique to bodybuilding changed into focused greater on showbiz than show-me-the-muscle. Before
each competitor came on stage, there was a -minute video of each, highlighting the personality the WBF had attached to them. Thus, we had Troy Zuccolotto Opens a New Window. Acting as a California seashore boy, entire with a surfboard and four bikini-clad ladies; Berry DeMey re-invented as a Dutch James Bond; Gary Strydom offered as a man-approximately city whole with top hat and cane. There were no direct muscle-group-to-muscle-group comparisons. The guys posed, after which the consequences had been introduced: Strydom, first; Mike Christian, 2d; Berry Dewey, 0.33. To pro bodybuilding fanatics, it turned into a farce. Despite the almost common complaint, the WBF pressed beforehand and introduced the 1992 World Championships held in Long Beach, CA.
THE SMOKING GUN But even as the 1991 contest concluded, the WWF had turned out to be embroiled in an ever-widening drug scandal. It involved Dr. George Zahorian from Hershey, PA, who has been indicted for offering overall performance-improving tablets Opens a New Window. To certain individuals. Among them had been wrestlers Hulk Hogan, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and a succession of different grapplers affiliated with the WWF. When the names of those wrestlers have been made public in June 1991, it has become mainstream information, with USA Today walking a the front-page tale asking,
“Hulk: Bulk from a Bottle?” On June 25, Zahorian becomes observed responsible on more than one count and was sentenced to 3 years in prison. Three weeks later, McMahon introduced he could be invoking drug checking out for his wrestlers. The WBF had averted mainstream scrutiny, but such is the steroid stereotype attached to bodybuilding that the closing thing the WWF wanted to be changed into to be connected with a recreation infamous for drug use. It might be like Charlie Sheen claiming sobriety even as shopping a whiskey distillery. Against that heritage, the 1992 WBF Championships nevertheless happened in Long Beach on June 13.
Three months before the occasion, it becomes announced the WBF competition could be drug tested. Sad to say, maximum of those that competed have been a ways from their nice as Strydom won once more with Jim Quinn 2d and Aaron Baker 1/3. It changed into the WBF’s death knell. 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 changed into ceasing manufacturing of the bodybuilding magazine and ultimate down the WBF. It was 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 brand new employer could in no way be allowed to go back to the IFBB. By February 1993, that ruling become rescinded but only on the condition that the previous renegades pay an exceptional, which turned into 10 percent of something their WBF salaries had been. Of the thirteen WBF athletes, Mike Christian and Vince Comerford in no way competed once more. And of these eleven who did renew their IFBB profession, only Aaron Baker and Mike Quinn ever qualified for an Olympia.