Leading up to last month’s Stomping Grounds pay-per-view (PPV), there was lots of talk about WWE “papering the house” (offering free tickets) in order to get fans into the Tacoma Dome. It was part of a wider discussion about ratings and declining popularity for the biggest wrestling company in the world, and was mostly just considered evidence of the bigger problems Vince McMahon & team were facing. After all, it was a new show crammed into a packed schedule, with a card full of rematches being sold to a small market. If anything, the line-up was seen as emblematic of WWE’s creative issues, and lackluster ticket sales didn’t seem surprising when considering the bigger picture.
Slow ticket sales for July 14’s Extreme Rules show in Philadelphia? That’s a bit more noteworthy in and of itself. It’s not a “Big 4” PPV, but it’s a name show in a big city – and the place that birthed the company which inspired the PPV. They also brought back the Undertaker for the main event, and are riding a wave of interest off the naming of two new members of the creative/management team… one of whom, Paul Heyman, founded the Extreme promotion that gives the show it’s name.
But a little more than a week before Extreme Rules, Wells Fargo Center was running a Buy One, Get One deal on tickets. It was promoted as a Fourth of July sale, but the link is still working as of this writing here.
And this offer appears to be ongoing:
The good news, I guess, is that the deals seem to be working. A quick searches of the “Me plus 3” offer turns up lots of sections that are full enough to not have open blocks of four.
But that the deals exist at all is going to raise eyebrows from fans and critics looking for signs of trouble in Vince McMahon’s company.