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FORMER WWE LIVE EVENTS EXECUTIVE ED COHEN PASSES AWAY

By Mike Johnson on 2018-08-26 16:10:00

Ed Cohen, the former WWE Senior Vice President Of Event Operations, who was instrumental in helping to build the World Wrestling Federation as a massive touring brand and live event force, passed away yesterday. 

Cohen was involved in all aspects of the company's live event business.  He would set up the routing of the WWF live events (which given the insanity of the schedule in the 1980s had to have been insane to manage) and personally handle negotiations with the different venues.  Cohen helped secure a number of venues exclusively for WWF, keeping out other promotions and at times, even signing deals that allowed the WWF to replace the groups that had traditionally run those venues.   He was an important piece of the WWF machine, helping to lay the foundation for the global success it enjoys today.

Cohen also was responsible for securing all of the early Wrestlemania venues in the late 1980s and 1990s during the time period before markets began to bid on the rights to bring WWE to their areas for the biggest week of the year.  There is a famous story, as told by WWE executive Basil Devito in his book about Wrestlemania, where Vince McMahon decided in the middle of the night that Wrestlemania III was to be in the Pontiac Silverdome.  The only problem with that was that the venue had been booked for a business convention, so McMahon woke Cohen up at 2 AM in the morning by screaming into his answering machine with the decree that they were going to be in the Silverdome.  The next morning, hours later, Cohen was on a flight to Michigan, where he negotiated not only securing the venue but buying the convention out, allowing WWF to host what would become their most iconic event, perhaps ever.

Cohen was with the company for more than 20 years before his health started the decline, which eventually led to his exit.

Cohen's passing was first announced by WWE Hall of Fame Gene Okerlund on his Facebook page, writing, "Sad to report that long time WWE executive Ed Cohen diéd yesterday. Ed was basically in charge of securing venues for WWE house shows and later television tapings. In the early years Cohen was especially close in working with Vince and Linda McMahon because income from house shows was a main revenue stream for the then-young company. Ed remained with the company for many years but his failing health became an issue in later years and he was less involved. RIP Ed Cohen."

Everyone at PWInsider.com issues our deepest condolences to Ed Cohen's family and friends.

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