As we draw closer to the official 20 year anniversary of this site, I wanted to take the time once again to thank everyone for the incredible support we've received over the years as it's through all the visits that we've become one of the top wrestling sites on the internet for so damn long.
A lot of people who emailed me a few weeks ago were interested to know how the site started, how we became so popular and some of the coolest things that happened over the years. This might be a total bore-fest for the many of you who are here only to read the latest wrestling news, so consider this your fair warning...
I remember probably back in November 1997, I was in the second year of a Science degree and sitting in my university's computer lab with intentions of writing a paper for one of my classes. But instead, I ended up searching for "Who is Kane in WWF" because the month prior, this huge dude had shown up and attacked my favorite wrestler, the Undertaker. When I found out he was the same guy who was Dr. Isaac Yankem the dentist from the mid 90s, my little mind was blown. I spent the rest of the afternoon asking Infoseek or Webcrawler or whatever the search engine of choice was at that time all the wrestling questions I had always wondered about. I found out quickly that no, there weren't three different Ultimate Warriors and that sadly, Sable was married to Marc Mero.
I started sending all the information I found to my brother who suggested that I just create a site and put it all on there. He led me to angelfire.com and on December 5, the first edition of "Rajah's WWF News and Rumors" hit the web, with the ugliest blue and pink polka dotted background ever, along with some news I had found and some rumors that I had made up.
As I began expanding the site with more features, the "news and rumors" became a daily tradition, where I would waste all my lab time at school and all my free time at home writing these huge ass reports filled with news, rumors, speculation and other stuff. They were a massive hit and traffic to the site started to soar. I didn't have any contacts or sources back in those days, and a lot of what I wrote was pure conjecture so I'm not entirely sure why those reports were popular other than possibly things weren't that hard to predict back then and I had a somewhat interesting writing style that readers seemed to like. Later on, I introduced a part that I would fill with "one-liners, random thoughts, and rhetorical questions" and that was also a huge success...some people would visit just to read that.
Maintaining the site started taking up a ton of my time, so much that I labored through my Science degree and then decided that I hated Science and didn't want to do anything further in that field. I scaled back the "news and rumors" to twice weekly because I was literally up into the wee hours of the morning writing them up, causing me to skip classes the next day as I was way too damn tired to get up.
The site meanwhile kept evolving, moving to rajahwwf.com first and then ultimately rajah.com which is an interesting story in itself. A lot of people believe I was forced to move domains due to a legal dispute with WWE, but that was not the case at all. I always regretted naming my site rajahwwf.com, but I was not very creative and probably had a bit of an ego too so that's what it ended up being. When the change from WWF to WWE happened, I started hating the domain even more so I made several attempts to buy the rajah.com domain off of the guy who owned it. He finally caved in to my relentless harassing and I made the move soon thereafter. I still own the old domain rajahwwf.com and have it redirecting here for anyone who is wondering.
Over the next few years, things began changing even more as I started watching less and less wrestling, got married and then soon abandoned writing the "news and rumors" entirely. I also lost all my contacts within the company during this time. Most of the old favorite features of the site - the mailbag, the PPV flashbacks, the fantasy tournament, etc. also got the ax as I became more disengaged and let the site sort of run itself off of the newsboard. Also not helping matters was having kids and a "real" career to attend to, leaving me with very little time to do anything.
It's only been over the last two or three years that I've gotten back into WWE, thanks to having no answers to my son's wrestling questions and having to constantly hear things like this from him: "how come you don't know, don't you have a wrestling site or something...pffff" I guess that ego thing never went away!
So that brings us today, my involvement is still pretty minimal but I'm more in tune with the product and the people in the industry so I do help compile some of the news you see on the front page. I've been considering bringing back the ol' "news and rumors", perhaps in a shortened weekly format, and also relaunching some of the other sections so I guess stay tuned for that.
Before I leave for now, here are a couple of my favorite things from the past 20 years:
1. Back in 2008, WWE got this weird idea to feature "industry" news on their site, basically sourcing independent sites like ours and posting that news on WWE.com. I heard it was a Shane McMahon initiative and it didn't last long, but check this out http://www.wwe.com/inside/industrynews/6623090 as an example.
2. All the Rajah/RajahWWF signs that some of our most loyal readers held up over the years - https://www.facebook.com/pg/rajahwwf/photos/. It is truly a surreal feeling to see those signs on TV and it became such a craze that I began giving away free stuff for anyone who got their sign on TV as long as they emailed me beforehand. That offer still stands by the way, though WWE security will most likely confiscate any signs with .com/.net/etc.
Well, that's about all for now. Thanks for reading and once again, thanks so much for visiting and supporting us for these last two decades. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions, comments or feedback and I'll try my best to answer. If your question or thought is really impressive, perhaps a WWE t-shirt or something will be headed your way. Also check back in December for your chance to win more prizes, including one of those authentic WWE Championship belts (or something else if you don't want that).