The WWE has been criticized repeatedly by fans and pundits in recent years for the lack of creativity in its characters and storylines. The downward slide has reversed course thanks to the in-ring and on-mic work of talents like Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn, the Usos, Kevin Owens, Drew McIntyre and others with behind-the-scenes direction from new creative guru Triple H, but there’s no need for creativity when it comes to WWE’s bottom line. The Stamford, Conn.-based company is a money-maker no matter which way the economy is going or if creativity of the WWE’s product is blurry, and it’s putting butts in seats and eyeballs on TV screens.
Case in point: The WWE announced Monday that WrestleMania 39 — also known as WrestleMania Goes Hollywood because it will be held over two nights at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles — has broken the WWE’s gate record for WrestleMania despite not having a single match announced. While the new WrestleMania gate record wasn’t announced, the WWE did say the previous WrestleMania gate record was $17.3 million for WrestleMania 32 in 2016 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex.
The WrestleMania gate record announcement Monday followed a year of unprecedented ticket sales in the WWE. The Royal Rumble, Survivor Series and Extreme Rules events each had its highest-grossing gate. Clash at the Castle in Cardiff, Wales, the WWE’s first major stadium show in the United Kingdom in 30 years, was the highest-grossing U.K. event in WWE history. It also was the most viewed international event in WWE history. The Money in the Bank, SummerSlam and Extreme Rules events each set a record for the most viewed in its history, with year-over-year increases of 17%, 20% and 36% respectively,
Want more WWE financial news? More than 20 in-market gate records for SmackDown and Raw events were broken during 2022 including the Dec. 30 SmackDown show in Tampa, Fla., which featured the in-ring return of John Cena.
More WWE Down Under
Flushed with cash, the WWE is continuing to expand its brand across the globe. It recently signed a multi-year agreement with the Foxtel Group, a longtime partner, to expand the distribution of WWE content in Australia. The WWE recently announced the creation of NXT Europe, which will launch in 2023. Another recent announcement by the WWE was the establishment of a “Campus Rush” recruitment tour, an initiative to improve the company’s talent development program.
Here are some final almost mind-numbing numbers to digest: WWE revenue in the third quarter of 2022, which ended Sept. 30, was $304.6 million, an increase of 19% from the previous quarter. Adjusted OIBDA, also known by business moguls as operating income before depreciation and amortization, a respected indication of a company’s financial stability, was $91.2 million, an increase of 17% from the previous quarter. Both the revenue and OIBDA numbers were WWE records for a third quarter.
1-2-3. Ring the bell.
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