WWE's 2023 Royal Rumble sets records as WrestleMania looms
WWE's viewership spike comes amid rumors of a potential sale
WWE’s Royal Rumble kicked off 2023 on Saturday and proved to be a smashing success.
WWE announced Monday that this past weekend’s Royal Rumble was the "highest-grossing and most-viewed Royal Rumble in company history."
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The event took place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, and saw Cody Rhodes and Rhea Ripley win the 30-man and 30-woman Royal Rumble matches respectively. Rhodes returned to action after a long layoff due to a torn pectoral muscle and Ripley became the first woman to start the Rumble as the first entrant in the contest and win. She eliminated Liv Morgan, who was the second entrant, to win.
In the main event, Roman Reigns defended his undisputed championship against Kevin Owens. He and The Bloodline beat down Owens after the match but Sami Zayn would turn on the "Tribal Chief" and receive a big pop from the crowd in the process. In turn, Zayn received a beatdown as well.
LOGAN PAUL, RICOCHET STUN PRO WRESTLING FANS WITH ELECTRIC ROYAL RUMBLE MOMENT, ELON MUSK WEIGHS IN
With all of that action, WWE benefited immensely.
"The event set a new all-time gate record at more than $7.7 million, far surpassing the previous Royal Rumble high in 2017 by more than 50%," the company said in a news release obtained by Fox Business. "Viewership of the event saw a 52% increase versus the previous record set in 2022."
|WWE||WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT INC.||98.38||-0.29||-0.29%|
WWE’s merchandise sales were also up 135% versus last year’s Royal Rumble and sponsorship revenue was up 200% versus 2022, the company said. Part of it came from the MTN DEW Pitch Black match featuring Bray Wyatt and LA Knight. The Royal Rumble clock was sponsored by Applebee’s.
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The viewership increase came amid rumors of a potential sale of the company.
WWE’s next events are Elimination Chamber on Feb. 18 and WrestleMania on April 1 and 2.