WWE is set to make their return to India, and there is a lot of excitement about that show. They are making the trip to play a 5,000 seat arena, and there is a reason why the company isn’t going for a larger venue.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted that WWE has an issue selling tickets in India, because that is not how things are done. Typically, sporting events are bought out by sponsors, and fans are able to attend for free. That tactic helps event organizers not have to worry about gates, because sponsors are there to carry the cost.
WWE has never done the model that a lot of those Indian events rely on. Instead, they charge for tickets, and now they are also holding paid shows. This next Indian show is being paid for by Sony, but the company is still charging for the 5,000 seats they have for the event.
They are running a 5,000 seat building so it will sell out even though selling tickets to sports events in India is very difficult. The way most events in India work is that the promoter sells sponsorships instead of relying on gates, and then let’s spectators in free as opposed to charging for admission. WWE has never done this and that’s why even with all their popularity their live attendance has never been what people think it would be. If they do the usual TV set up, you’re really talking closer to 3,500 there. Sony is basically paying for them to come in, so the attendance and gate for this show isn’t really the story.
During WWE’s last visit to India, they managed to draw an audience of 9,000 fans in New Delhi. The main event featured Triple H defeating Jinder Mahal, who had been heavily promoted throughout the year and even held the world championship for a considerable period. Interestingly, WWE took the title off Mahal just weeks before the show, and despite being a part-timer, Triple H went on to win that match against the Modern Day Maharaja. Unfortunately, after this event, Mahal’s push seemed to dwindle, and he wasn’t given significant opportunities.
The lineup for the next Indian event includs names like Jinder Mahal, Veer, Sanga, Drew McIntyre, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Matt Riddle, and Ludwig Kaiser. The poster also featured GUNTHER and Shanky, although Shanky had been missing from the wrestling scene for quite some time.
WWE Superstar Spectacle aired on Sony Sports, and it offered Indian fans an exciting wrestling experience, but they only had one of those events during the pandemic era. We’ll keep our eye on this always-developing story, because NXT India is always possible, but it might be an incredibly long wait at this point.
What’s your take on WWE going back to India? Do you think the company needs to hold global events on a monthly basis? Sound off in the comments to let us know what you’re thinking!