WWE Records Highest Watched, Grossing Program Ever With SummerSlam 2021

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)

While fans insist that the Attitude Era was the best that WWE has achieved, recent SummerSlam numbers indicate otherwise. The annual pay-per-view event broke a number of records for the professional wrestling organization. Everything from television views to in-person seating.

There were more people watching Saturday’s event on Peacock and WWE Network than any SummerSlam in history, according to BusinessWire. That goes all the way back to August of 1988. When compared to the 2020 numbers, this year’s event absolutely blew them out of the water. There was a seven-figure global audience during the show. That was 55% higher than last year and 29% more than in 2019. It really seems that WWE has hit a stride of sorts.

Those are just the results from those who watched at home. The in-house crowd was the largest in the company’s history for SummerSlam. There were 51,326 in attendance which shattered the indoor attendance record for the event. In fact, compared to the last in-person SummerSlam, attendance was four times larger than in 2019. Absolutely astounding numbers.

Fans were also busy spending their money. While attendance was through the room and views were skyrocketing, merchandise sales went up 155% compared to 2019. An increase like that is almost unprecedented for WWE pay-per-view events. For those wondering why numbers were so high, there is a good reason.

Brock Lesnar & John Cena Return to WWE

With the WWE return of Brock Lesnar, fans were excited to get in their seats and order the event on their televisions. Although he has received criticism in the past, Lesnar is still able to command large audiences. He is one of the best that sports entertainment has to offer regardless of era. Couple that with the fact that John Cena returned for the Money in the Bank PPV, and the anticipation is at an all-time high.

Of course, the two wrestlers have had their own legendary matches with one another. Lesnar’s return received more than four million views on Instagram. That is higher than John Cena’s return earlier last week. That makes the Lesnar video the most-watched Instagram video EVER from WWE. Of course, the company is all about storylines, and if these two legends are back, that means one thing…a head-on collision with one another somewhere down the line.

With AEW challenging WWE in the last year, this is good news for the company. Perhaps the competition between the two promotions has led to this influx in wrestling excitement. Or, WWE has put together a storyline that fans are invested in and want to see. Maybe the lack of Cena and Lesnar in the last few years has caused a drought for fans. After all, Cena is one of the biggest stars the company has ever produced and Lesnar is the perfect foil. Whatever it is, Vince McMahon and his family sure are happy.