Live event analysis for May 2023: Another strong month for WWE

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Market-to-market comparison

All values are an estimate of tickets distributed, sourced from WrestleTix, based on analyses of ticket maps. The data goes back to July 2021. Tickets distributed include those sold as well as comps.

This market-to-market comparison aims to compare events held by the given company of the given event type (Raw, Smackdown, Dynamite, PPV, house show, etc.) against the previous event in that market of the same event type (e.g., Raw in Albany versus the last Raw in Albany).

For WWE in May 2023, there were seven events that fit those criteria from July 2021 to present. All seven of those events had a greater tickets distributed count than the previous comparable event.

Of the WWE events without a qualifying comparison, three had a comparable TV event of the opposite brand: Raw in Hershey, PA; Smackdown in Columbia, SC; and Raw in Fort Worth, TX. All three of those comparisons were also favorable.

The Fayetteville, NC house show is the show that Roman Reigns was initially advertised for before that advertising was pulled. That’s also the house show with the greatest positive comparison, +73% from the prior house show in Fayetteville.

For AEW, there were three qualifying comparisons. Two were negative (Double or Nothing in Las Vegas and Dynamite in Detroit) and one was positive (Dynamite in Baltimore).

Monthly trends

Although Smackdown had one fewer taping in May than usual — there was a double taping ahead of travel to Saudi Arabia — Smackdown set a new high for monthly average tickets distributed for any weekly TV show since the return to touring in July. In May, Smackdown averaged 12,056, more than Raw’s average for March of 11,287.

WWE’s four event types defined here (PPV, Smackdown, Raw, house shows) all had positive year-over-year comparisons for May. The measure of total tickets distributed for house shows was down as there were five fewer house shows in the month this year.

The average for tickets out for Dynamite was down 7% compared to last year’s May, and the total was up 17%, the latter thanks to an additional event in the month. AEW’s PPV Double or Nothing measured -20% versus last year.

Brandon Thurston has written about wrestling business since 2015. He’s also worked as an independent wrestler and trainer.

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