It seems like every time you think that the WWE can’t possibly expand any bigger than they already have, somehow Vince McMahon always finds a way to broaden his horizons and surpass his viewers’ expectations. The company is now expanding their product further by incorporating a new WWE Network. This network will be based on WWE content from the past and the present and is set to launch on February 24th 2014 in the United States. It is also set to launch in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom at a later date that has yet to be determined.
A huge factor was the announcement that with the purchase of the WWE Network and a 6 month commitment at 9.99$ a month, PPV’s will be available free of charge. This is a staggering concept considering wrestling PPV’s usually are in the ball park of $30 to $70. This change may offer a significant boost to PPV buys for the WWE with most fans usually complaining about the high pricing attached to these events. For a mere 9.99$ a month, watching PPV’s can now be easier and cheaper than ever before with a 6 month commitment to the channel.
With this being said, lets take a trip go down memory lane and count down the WWE’s previous top 10 most bought PPV’s of all time! As you may have guessed, they are all WrestleMania events.
10 WrestleMania XXV: 960,000 buys
WrestleMania XXV took place in Houston Texas at the Reliant Stadium, where the night was highlighted by two Texas natives going head-to-head for the first time in WrestleMania history. The highly anticipated match featured Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker, two legendary icons of the business who single-handedly stole the show in front of their home crowd. The main event of the night featured Triple H retaining his title against long time rival Randy Orton. The event was a huge success, ranking number 10 in most PPV purchases and generated nearly $50 million in the Houston area. At the time this event held the largest attendance record in WWE history with an enormous number of 72,744.
9 WrestleMania 22: 975,000 buys
This WrestleMania was held in front of 17,155 fans at the Allstate arena in Chicago Illinois. The venue was smaller than what the WWE was used to, but still managed to be a great success generating $2.5 million in revenue from the event. Tickets sold out for this PPV in less than two minutes. The night was highlighted by a co-main event in which we saw Rey Mysterio shock the world and win the world title in a triple threat match, and witnessed John Cena retain his title against Triple H in the final match of the night. This PPV was extremely successful and sits in the number 9 slot for most buys in history.
8 WrestleMania XX: 1,007,000 buys
The 20th anniversary took place where it all began, in the front of a sold out Madison Square Garden. This emotionally driven night was highlighted by the late Eddie Guererro and Chris Benoit, as they captured the World and WWE titles. The card was stacked from the title main events, going from Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg (Steve Austin as referee) to the brothers of destruction, Undertaker and Kane going head to head. This PPV made $2.4 million in ticket sales, a record for the WWE in MSG. In addition, the New York area made over $13.5 million in revenue during this time. This event is labelled as being one of the most successful in the history of all WWE’s visits to Madison Square Garden.
7 WrestleMania X-Seven: 1,040,000 buys
This PPV created a massive fan outburst as Steve Austin and Vince McMahon joined forces, helping Austin defeat The Rock in the main event of WrestleMania 17. The night was highlighted as well by the return of the second ever TLC match and a rugged street fight between Shane and Vince McMahon. The event took place at the Reliant Astromdome in Houston Texas and broke an attendance record of 67,925. The event grossed an impressive $3.5 million and sits at number 7 on the all-time best list of PPV sales.
6 WrestleMania 29: 1,048,000 buys
Although last year’s WrestleMania missed the mark as far as catching previous PPV buy rates, it was still a tremendous success and set a record as being the WWE’s greatest-grossing live event in history, making a remarkable sum of $72 million. This PPV event took place at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey before 80,676 fans, the second-highest attendance in WWE history. The night was highlighted by a rematch of the last year’s Wrestlemania between The Rock and John Cena. Despite being number 6 on the all-time list in PPV buy rates, this event is marked as the current benchmark in terms of revenue for future WrestleManias to come.
5 WrestleMania XXIV: 1,058,000 buys
This WrestleMania was the second to ever take place outdoors, and did so in front of 74,635 fans at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. The record-breaking attendance at the Citrus Bowl also contributed $51.5 million to the economy of the area. In other words, it was a massive success. The viewers witnessed Randy Orton successfully defend his title, and saw The Undertaker continue his winning streak by defeating Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship. The night, however, was stolen by Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair’s thrilling bout, which saw Michaels defeat Flair in what was titled as his last-ever match. As if this event wasn’t entertaining enough; the renowned fighter, Floyd Mayweather Jr. also made an appearance on the PPV, and made his mark by defeating The Big Show.
4 WrestleMania XXVII: 1,059,000 buys
WrestleMania 27 took place in Atlanta Georgia’s Dome in front of 71,617 fans. This WrestleMania was highlighted by the return of The Rock. Despite it being the first ever where no titles changed hands, the event was still a huge success, stimulating Atlanta’s economy to the tune of $62.1 million. The night featured Edge and The Miz both retaining their titles. Controversially, The Rock aided The Miz in John Cena’s defeat, setting up the next WrestleMania's main event between The Rock and Cena. The night was highlighted by a brutal bout, which saw The Undertaker continue his winning streak versus Triple H.
3 WrestleMania 21: 1,085,000 buys
This WrestleMania was regarded as being the start of a new era. The venue showcased both championships changing hands, as John Cena and Batista were both crowned new World Heavyweight and WWE Champions. The night was stacked with great matches, aside from the two title switches featuring Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle, which until this day, is still being regarded as the greatest match in wrestling history. “The Money in the Bank Ladder Match,” which featured The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton and the return of Stone Cold Steve Austin were all factors that aided this PPV become the 3rd best-selling WWE PPV of all time. The event took place at Los Angeles’ Staple Center, in front of a sold-out crowd of 20,193. The event made $2.1 million in ticket sales making it the highest-grossing WWE event in Staples Center history. This event proved that a fully action-packed night could certainly lead to increased PPV sales.
2 WrestleMania 23: 1,200,000 buys
WrestleMania 23 took place at Ford Field in Detroit Michigan, in front of 80,676 fans, and is tied for second place in all time most fans at aWWE event in history. The event was said to have made $25 million, which went to stimulating Detroit’s economy. The event revealed The Undertaker capture The World Heavyweight Championship and John Cena retain his title in the main event vs. Shawn Michaels. Many will remember the one and only, Donald Trump shaving Vince McMahon’s head, helping the event become one of the most popular PPV’s in history and resulting in headlines everywhere across the world.
1 WrestleMania XXVIII: 1,217,000 buys
Wrestlemania 28 holds the record at 1,217,000 buys. The event featured the homecoming and in-ring return of The Rock, in front of 78,363 fans at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Florida. The night was featured around the first ever clash between The Rock and John Cena, “A Once in a Lifetime” clash between the two dominant figures of their respective eras. The WWE did a tremendous job on advertising this match, so much so that it became the most sold WWE PPV of all time. The event also grossed an impressive $8.9 million in revenue. This WrestleMania sits as the benchmark for future WrestleManias to surpass. With the WWE’s new network and slashed PPV prices, this record may be broken sooner rather than later.
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