5 Years After WWE’s Worst Attended PLE, Business Has Never Been Better

It’s been five years since WWE’s worst-attended Premium Live Event, and in that time, the promotion has done incredibly well. 

June 2019 saw WWE host its first (and to date, only) Stomping Grounds PLE which took place from the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. Including the pre-show, the event saw two title changes as the Cruiserweight and United States Championships were won by Drew Gulak and Ricochet respectively. 

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Stomping Grounds’ Record

WWE Stomping Grounds has gone down in history for having the lowest attendance of a WWE Premium Live Event. The show saw just 3,500 fans pay to watch the show. WWE did what it could to hide this embarrassing fact, including putting large black clothes over thousands of empty seats. 

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Countless seats were left empty and covered to avoid being seen on TV. 
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For context, the Tacoma Dome can seat 21,000 people at max capacity, making this 3,500 figure all the more unfortunate. The venue has hosted WWE TV tapings in the past, with many of them outperforming this PLE. 

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Five Years Later

Plenty has changed since Stomping Ground 2019 and WWE’s business has arguably never been better. With PLEs today, WWE can issue a report about the record-breaking success of the show, a testament to the company’s good business. WWE attendances have improved with this year seeing a run of sold-out TV tapings, in addition to well-attended PLEs. 

Changes backstage can also be credited for an improved product that naturally has led to high-attendance figures. The exile of Vince McMahon in January 2024 paved the way for Triple H to be unquestionably in charge of WWE’s creative team, which fans on the whole believe is for the best. Storylines are now tighter and feel more sensible than before, instead of the past which saw unnecessary twists and ideas being dropped out of nowhere. 

The irony of this is that this success has come while WWE’s main rival, AEW has continued to get bigger. In 2019, AEW was still an upstart company that by the time of Stomping Grounds, had hosted just one PPV. In spite of AEW now being a bigger company since then, support for WWE and its product has only strengthened in recent years. 

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What’s Next? 

WWE’s next PLE will be the Money in the Bank show next month, which is expected to perform very well. Between this show, SummerSlam, and the upcoming Bash In Berlin marking WWE’s first PLE in Germany, expect the company to continue to thrive and for WWE Stomping Grounds to be resigned to the annals of history. 

Related: Fanatics CEO Surprised By ‘Absolutely Insane’ WWE Merchandise Sales

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