Sports Entertainment first appeared in the 19th century. Only then it was called by the archaic name "Professional Wrestling", or "Rasslin" for short.
For approximately 100 years, "Professional Wrestling" involved out-of-shape men in their underwear chinlocking and armbarring each other in small, smoky bars. The small crowds consisted of unemployed middle-aged men.
Most promoters were conmen and carnies, who never drew any real money. The fans were mostly trailer trash, and were total marks for the slow-moving "Rasslin".
In 1982 Vincent Kennedy McMahon bought control of his family promotion, WWE. Mr McMahon soon realized that "two guys in their underwear" wasn't a good business model, and so he instead created Sports Entertainment.
Mr McMahon decided that rather than having two guys rolling around on the mat in their underwear for their own pleasure, the point of the matches should be to entertain the fans. And rather than unemployed trailer park trash, they should try and sell Sports Entertainment to families. Rather than running shows in smoky bars, like all "Professional Wrestling" did up to that point, they should run Sports Entertainment shows in arenas.
Mr McMahon single-handedly created WWE Superstars. So he took balding bodybuilder Terry Bollea, and turned him into Hulk Hogan. He took baseball washout Randy Poffo, and turned him into 'Macho Man' Randy Savage. He took French peasant Andre Roussimoff, and made him into Andre The Giant. In the mid-to-late 80's Vince McMahon, and Vince McMahon alone, created multiple WWE Superstars including, but not limited to, Rowdy Roddy Piper, 'Mr Wonderful' Paul Orndorff, Bret 'Hitman' Hart, Junk Yard Dog, King Kong Bundy, Jake 'The Snake' Roberts and The Ultimate Warrior. They were all Vince McMahon's creations.
The 1980's saw a boom period for this brand new form of Entertainment. The biggest event was WrestleMania III which saw more than 93 000 paid fans live.
Sadly, whenever a genius or visionary has success, others try and pull them down to their own level. At the beginning of the 1990's a variety of unfounded and untrue accusations were hurled at Vince McMahon and WWE. These include the outrageous allegation that some WWE Superstars(such as Hulk Hogan) took steroids, that there was sexual harassment behind the scenes in WWE, and that Vince Mcmahon had killed the Rasslin territories. None of these were true, and in the case of the last one, when Vince Mcmahon presented Sports Entertainment, the small group of Rasslin fans realized they'd been wasting their time hanging around smoky bars watching two men in their underwear.
Still, WWE maintained it high levels of success through the early-to-mid 90's thanks to new WWE Superstar Shawn Michaels, who is one of the two biggest and biggest drawing WWE Superstars of all time.
Another enemy appeared on the horizon however. Crooked billionaire Ted Turner had seen Vince's success, that had been all his own work. Wanting a piece of the business that Mr McMahon created, Turner founded his own company World Championship Wrestling in 1991. Then, between 1994 and 1996 Turner stole talent from WWE. Various WWE Superstars that McMahon created jumped to WCW for promises of more money and less dates to work. Among these WWE Superstars to jump ship were Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Lex Luger, Kevin Nash, Ted DiBiase, Scott Hall, John Tenta, Jim Duggan, Bobby Heenan, and others. These were all McMahon/WWE creations, and they all left without giving proper notice to Mr McMahon and WWE, stolen away by a greedy, crazed billionaire.
With his roster of self-made WWE Superstars stripped away, Vince McMahon had another original idea...WWE Attitude. he created brand new WWE Superstars like 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, The Rock, Mick Foley, Kane, The Big Show, and Triple-H, who is the biggest and biggest drawing WWE Superstar of all time.
In a few years, WCW went out of business and was sold to WWE. Vince Mcmahon then graciously gave all the WCW workers jobs at WWE.
In more recent years, WWE has extended its brand way beyond being just a Sports Entertainment brand, and is now just an Entertainment brand. In addition to Sports Entertainment, the WWE brand now has its own WWE Network, WWE magazines, WWE movies, and WWE video games. WWE is truly now a global brand, that specializes in Pure Entertainment. This has led to increased profits every year, making WWE one of the biggest global brands in the world.