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The World Bodybuilding Federation (WBF) was a bodybuilding organization founded in 1990 by Vince McMahon that lasted until 1992. It was a subsidiary of Titan Sports which owned and operated the World Wrestling Federation.
Vince McMahon created the WBF as competition to the long established International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB). In 1990, McMahon initially denied that he was starting a bodybuilding organization, instead stressing that he was only starting a magazine called Bodybuilding Lifestyles. He hired famed bodybuilding personality Tom Platz to oversee the publication.
The magazine secured a booth at the IFBB Mr. Olympia contest held on September 15, 1990 in Chicago. At the conclusion of that competition, the booth handed out press releases announcing the WBF's formation. The press release stated that the WBF would "revamp professional bodybuilding with dramatic new events and the richest prize money in the history of the sport." It also mentioned that Tom Platz would be Director of Talent Development for the organization.
McMahon announced at the company's unveiling on January 30, 1991 in New York's Plaza Hotel that the WBF had signed thirteen competitors, many IFBB regulars, to long-term contracts: Aaron Baker, Mike Christian, Vince Comerford, David Dearth, Berry DeMey, Johnnie Morant, Danny Padilla, Tony Pearson, Jim Quinn, Mike Quinn, Eddie Robinson, Gary Strydom, and Troy Zuccolotto. They were dubbed the "WBF BodyStars."
The first competition aired June 15, 1991 live on pay-per-view from Atlantic City, New Jersey. Regis Philbin was brought in to co-host the event with McMahon and Bobby Heenan. The show was met with mixed reviews: critics noted that the WBF's attempt at developing characters for each BodyStar went against Vince McMahon's initial promise to keep professional wrestling away from bodybuilding. To promote the show, both the WBF BodyStars and the WWF Superstars appeared on a series of Family Feud episodes.
McMahon made a deal with Lou Ferrigno, to bring him in as a competitor. He was billed as "The Legend" Lou Ferrigno, and a contender for Gary Strydom's WBF Championship. As the appearance date approached, McMahon and Ferrigno couldn't reach a final agreement and the appearance was scrapped.
The June 13, 1992 competition was broadcast live on pay-per-view from Long Beach, California. Professional wrestler Lex Luger was scheduled to participate on this show as a guest performer but was involved in a motorcycle accident prior to the event. He was instead interviewed via satellite during the live pay-per-view broadcast.
After the event received a low buyrate, Vince McMahon called the owners of IFBB on July 15, 1992 and announced that the WBF was disbanding. "The situation is very bad," he was quoted as saying. A few months later, McMahon was indicted (and later acquitted) on steroid charges.
- 1991 - Gary Strydom
- 1992 - Gary Strydom
WBF Championship - 1991
- June 15, 1991 from the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey
- 1. Gary Strydom
- 2. Mike Christian
- 3. Berry DeMey
- 4. Mike Quinn
- 5. Eddie Robinson
WBF Championship - 1992
- June 13, 1992 from Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center in Long Beach, California
- 1. Gary Strydom
- 2. Jim Quinn
- 3. Aaron Baker
- 4. David Dearth
- 5. Berry Demey
Both the 1991 and 1992 WBF Championship events were released by Coliseum Video.
WBF BodyStars was a weekly television program that aired weekends in 1992 on USA Network. Matt Lauer was advertised as the show's host prior to its première, but he never made an appearance. Instead, it was co-hosted by Vince McMahon, Cameo Kneuer, and Lex Luger. The show followed the training lifestyles of the bodybuilders, featured a variety of skits and humorous quips, and offered general bodybuilding and health-related advice.
The program changed its title to BodyStars in late 1992 after the WBF had disbanded. At that point, the program was primarily used to promote McMahon's ICOPRO line of bodybuilding supplements. Having lost much of its appeal, the show was soon taken off the air.
ICOPRO (Integrated Conditioning Program) was a line of bodybuilding supplements developed by Frederick C. Hatfield, Ph.D., Director of Research & Development, and marketed by Vince McMahon from 1992 through 1995.
The commercial slogan for ICOPRO was "You've Gotta Want It!"
WBF BodyStars and WWF Superstars helped promote the product; the "ICOPRO" banner can be seen on footage of WWF events from 1992 through 1995.
- The Pro Wrestling Chronicle's Definitive History Of The WBF
- The Rise And Fall Of The World Bodybuilding Federation