We often associate the WWE as being a circus-like act travelling the globe. What a lot of us wrestling fans tend to forget is just how crucial the WWE Headquarters are to the day-to-day operations of the company. It is inside that facility that all the magic truly happens.
Whether it be a new wrestler inking a deal with the company, or a creative storyline being born, in both situations, the facility is responsible for the act. The company employs up to 20 writers that work from the HQ to put out storylines months in advance. Chances are, the build-up to WrestleMania is most probably done and dusted at this point. Heck, even WWE legend Kurt Angle, is probably appearing at the HQ at some point to meet with the WWE staff and Vince himself. All the stuff we don’t see beforehand is born in that very building.
Rightfully so, with such information, the company wants to keep what’s inside on the down low. The WWE is very secretive when it comes to the HQ in Stanford, as fans have no access to the inside of the building unless you have an appointment in the books. Yes, it’s truly that intense. Today, we open the doors of the headquarters and take a look at some things you never knew about the facility.
15. Fourth Floor Writing Team
All those ideas and storylines you see on television don’t take place backstage during a show, but instead, are planned months in advance in the Stamford, Connecticut headquarters on the fourth floor which features the WWE’s creative team.
Times have changed drastically, and the days of Vince, Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco writing an entire show poolside are done. Today, the WWE employs actual television writers to their team of in-house writers. Each writer is given a specific wrestler or storyline to work with, and their job is to come up with the storyline while relaying their idea to the agent who then works with the wrestlers to put together the match. Of course, before all ideas are given the green light, they must be approved by Vince McMahon before making the airwaves. Vince is still very hands-on with his product so whatever goes on his show must get past him first.
14. Triple H’s Forth Floor Office
The WWE wanted us to believe that Triple H had a plain wooden office space when Lesnar completely trashed it while feuding with The Game a couple of years back, but surely, most of us weren’t buying it. The WWE Network finally exposed Hunter’s office as the late Ultimate Warrior took the tour of the room. Along with Hunter’s insane memorabilia collection such as classic pro wrestling belts, the room also features a state of the art camera system which we’ll discuss a little later.
Hunter is the Executive Vice President of talent, creative and live events for the company. Along with those prestigious titles, Hunter is also mostly known for his involvement down in NXT working as the brand’s Senior Producer along with being the founder of the developmental brand. When he’s not at a WWE show or down in Florida with NXT, he spends most his days at the office in Connecticut.
13. Elevators Contain Screens With WWE Footage
The WWE HQ is like the Area 51 of pro wrestling. All the magic from great storylines and signings take place at the headquarters. The likes of Shinsuke Nakamura and the legend himself Sting, were all present at the HQ before making their in-ring debuts for the company.
In terms of footage of what actually goes on inside, the company remains very tight lipped about the entire operation and rightfully so, if they’d choose to show what’s inside you truly believe they’d be exposing too much of the business, something Vince certainly does not want. The one time fans got a little peak was during Lesnar’s invasion of the HQ. As he stormed in and hit the elevators, fans salivated at the sight of a screen in the elevator playing WWE content. Oh, how we all wish that could have been us. Chances are, most of us would spend an entire day in the elevator alone watching classic WWE footage. Not surprisingly, Brock seemed uninterested…
12. Contains Top Of The Line Fitness Center
One thing that will never escape Vince is his passion for bodybuilding. Breaking into the wrestling business, McMahon had a huge passion for finding tremendous physiques, so much so that he even attempted to start his own bodybuilding federation which went under at the blink of an eye. Instead, Vince loaded up his roster with some larger than life athletes. Although things have changed and Vince now focuses on the athlete part when searching for a future star, he still loves the classical bodybuilding look.
Not surprising, he decided to bring that aspect of his life into work by opening up a state of the art facility which features everything from machines, to bench presses, to fully stacked dumbbell weights. His son in law Triple H, admitted his father in law is quite the savage to this day and still manages to get in a workout on the regular. Hunter admitted that not even he can keep up with Vince and his insane work ethic in the gym.
11. Assistants Work On A Separate Floor
The assistant position is pretty much like the, you all got to start somewhere type of job; although, most of us would probably take the job in a heartbeat being the fanatics we are of the company.
In the HQ, the company has the assistants all on the same floor working in cubicles. It’s the less glamorous floor of the building but hey, you’re working for the WWE so you really can’t complain. We got a shot of the floor during Holy Foley as Mick Foley visited his son Dewey who was starting in his new position as a writer’s assistant. Mick went on to discuss the countless amounts of time he’d been at the HQ throughout his careers. As you can imagine, his brief visit caused quite the stir as employees rushed the hardcore legend for a picture. Dewey wasn’t so fond of his dad’s cameo trying to play a low key role in his first week on the job. Safe to say that went out the window once Mick showed up.
10. Triple H Has A Live Feed Of The Performance Center
Along with his in-house duties that entail him to be at the offices in Stamford, Hunter also has a huge strangle hold in what goes on in NXT. As you can probably imagine, Hunter can’t be at three locations at once so he has to compromise. One of the ways he’s done so is by installing cameras at the Performance Center that redirect to his office in Stamford. So basically, Hunter is very aware of what is going on at all times. Trips has a second screen that shows the daily activity in his office. Hunter showed off his brilliant piece of technology to late Ultimate Warrior when giving him the tour of the HQ.
One can imagine that at the very least, Hunter can be at two places at once as he serves his role at the WWE HQ, while having a watchful eye on what goes on down in Florida at the Performance Center. At the end of the day it’s like the old saying goes: work hard, play hard!
9. Separate Doors For Employees And Visitors
The WWE HQ isn’t a place where you can just go and walk into, but we’ll have a little more on that in detail during our next point. In the entrance way to the HQ, the building has two separate entrances, one for visitors and one for the employees of the company. The employees use a pass to get in, while the outsiders have a separate door which they do not have access to. In the visitor’s door, a speaker is located which re-directs you to the receptionist at the lobby. Access without an appointment on the inside is prohibited to the outsiders, so if you’re planning on making a drive to see the building, don’t expect to get in as the company is very strict when it comes to outside faces coming into the place of work.
8. Tours Not Included
As we stated in the previous point, if you plan on making the drive to Stamford, don’t expect to get inside the HQ. The company offers no sort of tour and access to the inside of the building (which, as we’ve mentioned, is strictly prohibited unless you’re staff or have a planned appointment with the company). If not, you most certainly aren’t getting in. Those who have made the trip to see the facility can get content with an outside picture of the building which is truly something to behold, but in reality, it isn’t worth the time nor the money to see a building that you cannot access.
This leads us to our next question: how does the WWE not have a museum? Seriously though, think about all the money the company could be making with a state of the art facility that showcases the WWE’s very best memorabilia along with Hall of Fame plaques honoring the inductees. Yes, they do have a WrestleMania Access tour once a year, but surely, the fans would benefit greatly from having a year-round attraction to visit.
7. State Of The Art Lobby Area
One thing you can take a look at from the outside is the WWE’s lobby area of the headquarters. In style, the HQ is similar to the Trump Towers in New York and features some tremendous state of the art monuments of some of the legends from the industry. As you walk in, an Ultimate Warrior statue is located right next to the door. It also includes two other statues next to the seating area featuring WWE legends Bruno Sammartino and the late great Andre the Giant, who was a cherished WWE worker during his time in the business.
The lobby also includes a receptionist desk along with the elevators which lead you to the various floors in the building. At the very least if you plan to check it out, you can see this set-up from the outside of the building.
6. Littered With Poster Art
From the lobby to the main offices, the WWE’s HQ is littered with poster art, mostly from past PPVs. The main lobby usually holds a massive poster of an upcoming PPV event, while the other floors, such as the fourth floor, feature a variety of framed PPV posters from past events. It truly is a wrestling fan’s dream seeing all the epic posters from years prior.
Footage was also made public online of the WWE’s HQ loading dock area. The section is opened for shipping purposes and also features an array of poster art in the section. The area is littered with PPV art. Can you imagine delivering something to the WWE and entering the area? Now seriously, how many of us would have the urge to explore the facility, even though we’d risk losing our job?! Chances are, most of us would end up jobless after delivering something to the HQ!
5. New And Old Talent
A salivating part of the WWE headquarters is the amount of talent that make their way down to Stamford. This is why the company is very tight lipped when it comes to what goes on inside the building.
Surprisingly, the company finally exposed a bit of the process while making Sting’s WWE documentary. The footage showed everything from the very beginning which featured Sting showing up at the HQ and meeting Triple H. Even the Stinger himself was amazed at the facility which has grown leaps and bounds throughout the years. Now the cameras didn’t go into the meeting nor did they show Sting interacting with Vince, but surely, creative ideas and future plans were made on that day. Sting would go on to wrestle Hunter at Mania and one can imagine those plans were made a while back. When it comes to new wrestlers or even returning stars, they’re usually brought into the HQ before anything else.
4. The Conference Room
The conference room in the WWE HQ is truly where all the magic goes down. The room features a massive table with as many as 20 writers working for the company. Backgrounds of the writers vary with an array of them coming from television nowadays. The company is highly invested into storytelling which explains why they have so many writers. Back in the day, crowd reaction was huge when it came to writing, but that’s all changed as scripts are now written months in advance. Why do you think the company’s so damn stubborn when it comes to some wrestlers? Laziness to rewrite? Maybe.
Whatever the case might be, the writers plan out the scripts ahead of time and as you can imagine, things can truly get hectic with hours upon hours of programming per week. In just one week, the writers need scripts for Raw, SmackDown, NXT, monthly PPV events and the B-level shows before Raw and SmackDown. Keep in mind, that’s just one week’s worth of TV!
3. Other Offices Around The World
Although we all associate the WWE offices with the HQ in Stamford, the truth is, the company actually has various offices around the world. Their TV production office, which we’ll discuss in the next point, is in the same Stamford location close by. The other buildings such as WWE Music are widely spread apart. The Music building is located in New York, New York, while the WWE Studios are out in Los Angeles, California.
The other three building destinations (like the WWE Brand and Commercial Partnerships) are out in the United Kingdom, along with office spaces in both Singapore and Dubai. As you can see, the WWE continues to capitalize on the popularity of its product by expanding the company overseas. Thanks to Stephanie’s work as Chief Branding Officer, the company has a larger global reach than ever before.
2. WWE’s Insane Video Vault
One of the WWE’s most prized possessions has to be their insane video library of footage throughout the years. Along with WWE footage, the company also has a plethora of other pro wrestling tapes that they’ve been able to buy throughout the years. Ultimately, Vince decided to buy WCW for their video footage more so than anything else, adding to his vault.
Located in Stamford as well, the video vault is loaded with rows and rows of footage. The WWE leaked pictures through their website and the scene of the area is truly surreal with tapes just around every corner. Believe it or not, the company even has another video facility located in New York. What makes this area so unique is the fact that it’s located in a nuclear bomb-proof cave out in the Catskill Mountains of NY. The company keeps a big portion of their tapes in the area and as you can imagine, it’s just another section that’s pretty impossible to get into unless you’re Vince McMahon himself.
1. Vince’s Office
Of course, the Stamford offices are also home to the boss himself Vince McMahon, who spends countless hours a week at the HQ. If he’s not on tour with the company, he’s putting in the work at the headquarters alongside his staff.
His office features a unique T-Rex skull, which one can only imagine is worth a couple of bucks. When asked about the piece, Vince simply replied, “it’s symbolic of my voracious appetite for life”. Pretty sure nothing else needs to be said.
When travelling on the road away from his office space, Vince is usually put into a room away from the talent. Previous footage has been leaked of the area which includes countless amounts of snacks and beverages. As one can imagine however, it doesn’t hold a candle to his Stamford office.
At the age of 71, McMahon still has a strong grip on his company, and doesn’t seem like he’ll be letting go of it anytime soon.