WWE turned some heads when it first announced it would be holding three stadium shows this summer. The plan was to put Money In The Bank at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, SummerSlam at Nissan Stadium in Nashville and Clash At The Castle at Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Well, upon further review, that’s not actually happening. WWE reportedly sent out emails to everyone who bought tickets to Money In The Bank, informing them the location was being changed to the MGM Grand Garden Arena, which is also located in Vegas but has a much smaller capacity.
Now, we don’t know exactly what happened here. Most people on Twitter are obviously jumping to the conclusion that WWE could not move enough tickets and didn’t want the stadium to have a lot of empty seats. That would make sense given Allegiant Stadium likely would have been set up to hold 35,000 to 45,000 and the MGM Grand Garden Arena will likely be set up to hold more in the 15,000 range. I assume WWE will comment at some point, but until then and probably even after then, wrestling fans are going to speculate away.
Also worth speculating on is a pretty big change to the event’s marketing materials. Earlier today, wrestling writer Sean Ross Sapp tweeted out the email fans got informing them of the change and how to buy tickets for the new venue. This is the picture that was included in the email…
Now, you’re probably looking at it and noticing a few key people who are missing. Well, there are actually more than a few key people missing. Most of the people on the original marketing materials are now gone. Some of that may be a creative choice of who to feature, but a lot of it is likely because many of these big names are no longer scheduled to be on the show. I’m talking, of course, about Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey.
Not surprisingly, Sasha Banks is also gone, along with Charlotte Flair who is taking some time off this summer. Becky Lynch and Bobby Lashley have also been removed, though given their prominence in current storylines and seeming commitment to WWE, I’m not going to read too much into that. I'd also hold off with Ronda, as I think a lot of stuff still needs to be figured out with her in WWE.
You can check out the original poster below…
Changes were always going to be made to the poster. Cody Rhodes was always going to be added. It makes way more sense to put Bianca Belair in a more prominent role. Riddle is really hot right now. It’s nice to see him get some shine. I’m the biggest Miz fan in the world; so, I’m happy to see him on the poster too, as well as The Street Profits who deserve way more shine than they usually get. They’re terrific. But from an objective standpoint, is this lineup more appealing to the average fan than one that has Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns? It’s clearly not.
WWE has been trying to push Money In The Bank as the fifth key premium live event on the yearly schedule alongside WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, SummerSlam and Survivor Series. It’s certainly a big deal with a key role to play in plotlines, but this may be a sign that the event doesn’t hold quite the same ticket-drawing appeal as the other major ones. Or maybe it’s a sign that Las Vegas isn’t the best venue for this size of a wrestling show. WrestleMania 9 was in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace, but that was in a smaller venue of around 16,000. Or maybe it’s a thoughtful WWE retreat after they realized announcing Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, maybe Ronda and more being gone would reduce the demand for further tickets. The first two shouldn't come as a shock given the rumors around Reigns and Brock's absence since WrestleMania, but that doesn't mean fans weren't still hoping.
I don’t know what’s going on, and I’m not in the WWE marketing department. That being said, if it were me, I’d take a look at my entire strategy right now. Clash At The Castle, WWE’s first premium live event in the UK since SummerSlam ‘92 seemed like it would be the easiest slam dunk sellout of all time. More than 85,000 people pre-registered for tickets, but the prices ended up being so high that only 30,000 people allegedly bought during the pre-sale.
More have since gotten on board, and I’m sure it’ll eventually sell out or get close, but those prices cost them the PR win of an immediate sellout. Now they’re moving a huge live event to a significantly smaller stadium. Maybe that level of aggressiveness is worth looking into, especially when live gates are only a fraction of the total money WWE is bringing in.
Expect to hear way more about what happened here but also who to expect on the Money In The Bank card when the specifics start getting ironed out over the next month. The event will take place in Las Vegas on July 2nd. I'd certainly expect the smaller venue to be a sellout.
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