At a time when hardly any professional wrestler has a big impact on live ticket sales, John Cena continues to do so for WWE events.
WWE may never create another star like John Cena, and it shows in the quality of the moving ticket shows whenever he’s involved. TV ratings for Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown, and even AEW Dynamite can be interpreted in several different ways. Ticket sales are what they are, especially since it’s generally common knowledge how many were purchased and how many were given away for free.
Keeping tabs on the secondary market ahead of pay-per-views and live events is one way to get an idea of how a show will perform in a particular market. For example, the request for Hell in a Cell notes on the secondary market rose when Bray Wyatt teased a potential return to wrestling on Twitter. That didn’t materialize, of course, but fans were still treated to an all-time great performance from Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins.
There aren’t many wrestlers that WWE can just say they’ll be at an event, and several thousand extra tickets are being moved, however. Even Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar can’t move the needle that way, but Cena is still able to make a real, noticeable impact on ticket sales. Dave Meltzer broke Cena’s impact on Raw like this one in the latest edition of The wrestling observation bulletin: “Cena is still the only proven major live ticket mover. They announced on Raw on 6/6 that Cena would be returning on 6/27 Raw in Laredo TX. Over the next six days, tickets for this show went from 3,726 to 5,080 and are now at 5,154.“
The July 27 episode of Raw is billed as Cena’s 20th anniversary show, so the interest in this event makes a lot of sense. Meltzer noted that some of those tickets sold were scalpers, but that’s still a form of interest in the show. There’s no demand for them to capitalize on if there are 2,000 unsold tickets to a show, after all. It’s unclear what WWE and Cena have planned for this show, but there’s no shortage of threads they could pull on.
It could be as simple as The Face That Runs The Place getting a promo or two during the broadcast, but that seems like an underutilization of Cena’s return. Roman Reigns took to Facebook to post a cryptic message to Cena, writing, “Recognize” to accompany the arrival of their match at Without mercy in 2017. A fight with Theory, possibly at Slam summer was teased by him and Cena, but recent reports indicate that WWE may have cooled this possibility. Especially with the likes of Cody Rhodes and Randy Orton injured, it seems likely that Cena could find something a little bigger to chew on at the biggest party of the summer.
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