Daniel Bryan announcing his retirement on Monday Night Raw last week will go down in the annals of World Wrestling Entertainment history as one of the most memorable moments that the company and the WWE Universe have ever seen.
Yet, it wasn’t quite enough to generate a sold-out Raw. In fact, WrestlingInc.com cited a Wrestling Observer Newsletter report saying that none of the six Monday Night Raw live shows during this young 2016 have enjoyed a sold-out crowd, including last week’s memorable retirement announcement and send-off for the beloved former WWE World Heavyweight champion.
The Wrestling Observer reported that last week’s Raw in Seattle’s Key Arena drew an attendance of 10,000 fans, falling about 1,000 tickets shy of reaching full capacity. What’s especially startling about that was earlier that Monday, Bryan had tweeted about announcing his retirement on Raw.
“Due to medical reasons, effective immediately, I am announcing my retirement. Tonight on Raw, I’ll have a chance to elaborate,” Bryan tweeted hours before the live Raw show.
So, essentially, he was giving the WWE Universe the heads up about his retirement speech and what an electric moment that would be later that night on Raw.
That being said, the live show still failed to reach a sold-out attendance. Pretty significant.
Combine that with the report that every Raw live show this year, beginning with the Jan. 4 show in San Antonio to New Orleans (Jan. 11), Columbus, Ohio (Jan. 18), Miami (Jan. 25), Birmingham, Ala. (Feb. 1) and Seattle last week on Feb. 8, have failed to sell out.
While the same Wrestling Observer report claims that the first sold-out Raw show is expected to take place tonight in Anaheim, Calif., this growing theme of WWE’s flagship television program failing to sell out compounded with last year’s reports about the same show experiencing slumping ratings should be troubling, concerning trends with the WWE … especially considering it’s happening during its road to WrestleMania 32 on April 3.
Last December, it was reported that Raw ratings dropped by 50 percent from its high earlier in 2015.
WWE will need that to change working toward WrestleMania 32, which will be held in ATT Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, having a chance to set an all-time record for attendance.