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The Muhammad Ali/Inoki fight was scheduled for closed circuit television broadcast (CCTV) in over 150 locations in the United States including the World Wide Wrestling Federation’s “Showdown at Shea” supercard in Shea Stadium. WWWF promoter Vincent Jesse McMahon scheduled an undercard of wrestling matches before the Ali/Inoki match. When ticket sales proved sluggish, McMahon realized he was in serious trouble. As Tim Hornbaker notes in his book Capitol Revolution: The Rise of the McMahon Wrestling Empire, McMahon faced possible bankruptcy due to the cost of renting the stadium and other costs. Only a successful show could save his promotion. Normally, McMahon could call on the WWWF
champion Bruno Sammartino to main event a card and guarantee success. In this case, Sammartino’s very career was in jeopardy which in turn jeopardized McMahon’s company.