With all the talk about how the WWE "always" turns a good profit, they pay you in ponies and rainbows, and the whole "Punk's stupid for saying Vince really is NOT a billionaire" thing, I just want to point something out.
I've brought up on Wrestling Roundtable before that WWE is NOT drawing what they used to. But the issue of course is that I was comparing attendance figures from the 1990's and comparing them to today.
Now Eric has pointed out that the 90's is when wrestling was enjoying a "fad" period, so if that's the case, maybe I should pick a different year. In the interest of fairness you know. ^_~
So I plucked out the year 2003. Current enough that veteren fans will remember it, yet distant enough that some of the names have changed.
Over the Limit replaced Backlash quite a while ago as the May PPV, yes? So let's compare the numbers.
2003 was not one of WWE's best years. If anything the storylines were just inexcusably BAD imo. Even the extra-large, end of the year commemorative magazine (yes I have it) they released did little to stop me from celebrating the END of that year. But take a look at this:
Judgment Day 2003: Sales of $315,000, 13,000 people in attendance.
Over the Limit 2011: Sales of $90-200,000 buys with 6,500 in attendance.
Alarming, isn't it?
Now the first event after Wrestlemania used to do pretty well, since it was the show (Backlash) that would generally carry on from the fallout of the big event, right? It's been replaced with Extreme Rules. Check this out:
Backlash buyrate from April 27, 2003: $450,000 in sales. 10,000 in attendance.
Extreme Rules: $200,000 in sales, 10,000 in attendance.
The attendance number is the same, but the sales are cut by $250,000.
This is striking. They are now at the point where they can't even keep up with their BAD years.
June of 2003 saw WWE Bad Blood, which had 10,000 people in attendance and with ticket/DVD/PPV sales combined grossed over $500,000. And this was a card in which the second match up involved Chris Nowinski in a red and white, Varsity style jacket and clear plastic face mask.
Wait back up. Varsity-style jacket with a maroon outfit... clear plastic face mask... No...
So anyway, $500,000 buys? That's pretty epic, right? Almost a UFC number for a PPV that had a small buildup and only two matches that were really talked about after the fact.
June 2011? We had the aptly named Capitol Punishment. An early estimate claims they may have done $180-200,000 in sales, but then an estimate is just a well intentioned guess. May not be December to Dismember or Great American Bash bad, but not essentially good either.
They can release all the press videos they want to, the numbers don't lie. Something is wrong with the WWE right now.