– WrestleMania XXII looks likely to end up as the third-biggest wrestling PPV of all time, with a potential gross revenue of up to $49 million. The initial estimates have it at 925,000 buys, with 600,000 domestic buys. The biggest wrestling events in history currently stand as follows:
1. WrestleMania XVII [1,040,000 – The Rock vs. Steve Austin]
2. WrestleMania XXI [985,000 – Triple H vs. Batista]
3. WrestleMania XXII [925,000 – John Cena vs. Triple H]
4. WrestleMania XX [885,000 – Triple H vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels] *
5. WrestleMania XVIII [840,000 – The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan] **
6. WrestleMania XVI [824,000 – Triple H vs. The Rock vs. The Big Show vs. Mick Foley]
7. WrestleMania XV [800,000 – The Rock vs. Steve Austin]
8. InVasion [770,000 [Booker T/Rhyno/DDP/Dudleys vs. Austin/Angle/Kane/Undertaker’Jericho]
9. WrestleMania XIV [730,000 – Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin; Mike Tyson as referee]
10. SummerSlam ’98 [700,000 – Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker]
11. Backlash ’00 [675,000 – Triple H vs. The Rock] ***
12. Royal Rumble ’02 [665,000 – Chris Jericho vs. The Rock] ****
13. Starrcade ’97 [650,000 – Hulk Hogan vs. Sting]
14. WrestleMania V [650,000 – Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage]
15. SummerSlam ’05 [636,000 – Hulk Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels]
16. Unforgiven ’00 [605,000 – The Rock vs. Chris Benoit vs. Kane vs. The Undertaker] *****
17. Bash At The Beach ’98 [600,000 – Hulk Hogan & Dennis Rodman vs. DDP & Karl Malone]
18. SummerSlam ’99 [600,000 – Steve Austin vs. Triple H vs. Mick Foley; Jesse Ventura as referee]
* While this was the main event and remains the most memorable part of the event, the most attention in the run-up to the show was given to the Lesnar/Goldberg and Evolution/Rock & Sock Connection matches.
** Not the actual main event but by far the most advertised match.
*** Helped tremendously by being Austin’s first televised appearance since his career-threatening neck surgery, even if he didn’t actually wrestle on the show.
**** Similarly, the main focus here was on Triple H’s return from his torn quadricep.
***** Again, helped greatly by Austin’s advertised return.
In terms of largest actual percentage of homes with PPV capability purchasing a show, WrestleMania III’s 400,000 buys in 1987 remains a record.
Although there has been a noticeable decine in domestic PPV buys, this has been offset not just by an increase in the international market but in the DVD sales too. WrestleMania XXI is on course to become the biggest selling wrestling DVD of all time.
In other updated PPV buyrate news, Vengeance ’05 currently stands at 245,000, No Mercy ’05 at 230,000, Taboo Tuesday ’05 at 245,000, Survivor Series ’05 at 400,000, and both Armageddon ’05 and New Year’s Revolution ’06 at 335,000. All of these shows are down slightly from their numbers the year before, as are No Way Out ’06 and WrestleMania XXII. Meanwhile, Backlash ’06 is currently being estimated at a very disappointing 212,000 buys, down 24% from last year.
Credit: Wrestling Observer Newsletter (click here for subscription information)