WWE used to completely dominate pro wrestling in New York City. Shows at Madison Square Garden in the pre-PPV era were where major scores were settled. The Garden always welcomed Vince McMahon and company with open arms and an enthusiastic crowd.
Recently, WWE has been losing its grip on the entire New York City market. For their annual MSG holiday show in December, only about half the seats were full. WWE was outdrawn by All Elite Wrestling on Long Island. Vince McMahon appears to be taking it personally.
WWE is throwing everything they have at their next MSG event. With less than 4,000 tickets out for their March 5 live event at the Garden, McMahon is bringing out the heavy artillery. Dave Meltzer wrote about the push to move tickets in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
“It’s pretty clear Vince McMahon wasn’t taking that last Madison Square Garden show doing one of the lowest crowds in the last 80 years in the building lying down. Not only did he add Lesnar to the show, and every Lesnar appearance is very expensive and hardly cost effective for a house show, particularly in a building where you need a huge number just to break even and really running the building itself with the crowd they drew the last time would be tough. They also added Rousey to the show. Rousey will also work the house show on 3/6 in Laval, Quebec where they are advertising Rousey & Banks vs. Flair & Baszler.
MSG has a loaded PPV caliber lineup with Lashley vs. Lesnar for the WWE title, Reigns vs. Rollins for the Universal title, Lynch vs. Belair vs. Ripley for the Raw women’s title and Rousey & Banks vs. Flair & Natalya. Not only do you have a house show with Lesnar and Rousey, plus Reigns defending which he never does on house shows (his matches are virtually always trios matches). There were about 3,800 tickets out when they added Rousey to the show and that was with Lesnar having been added the week before. Even with the big lineup they at press time were only at 3,979 but no doubt they’ll start discounting tickets soon. Keep in mind due to business partnerships in New York and such that WWE will have more comp tickets for MSG in general than any other arena and even AEW had 2,000 business trades in New York and WWE historically was around 3,000 even up to a few years ago.”
WWE still has another month to move tickets for their Madison Square Garden event. The company was humiliated by one of their lowest crowds there in nearly a century. Vince McMahon is hoping to turn things around on the Road to WrestleMania.