The following is an excerpt from a Variety interview-article with both Vince and Linda McMahon:
The concept for WrestleMania was hatched during a Caribbean vacation that McMahon and wife Linda, who serves as the company’s CEO, took in 1985.
"We came back and said, ‘There isn’t any sort of national event for our particular industry,’" she recalls.
The first WrestleMania, hosted at Madison Square Garden, was inaugurated months later and become the company’s first major pay-per-view event. It immediately became a hit, with appearances from Mr. T and Cyndi Lauper helping draw in nonwrestling fans.
"WrestleMania put us on the map as a brand that we didn’t have before," Linda explains. "It did business we didn’t expect to do. It became the first major national event for our business and is now a globally recognized brand shown live in 23 countries. When you launch something, you just don’t know how it will turn out. It was everything we hoped it would be and then some."
WWE builds buzz around WrestleMania for months via its television programs. It then benefits from the matches fought by the grapplers at WrestleMania for months afterward.
"It’s an important driver for us from a financial and cultural standpoint," Vince says.
Check out the full piece at: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118001548.html?categoryid=3576&ref=ra&cs=1