During last night’s WWE Money in the Bank pay-per-view event, Dean Ambrose won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Seth Rollins who had just defeated Roman Reigns for it. Ambrose cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase that he had won earlier in the night and capitalized on a vulnerable Rollins.
The title change came as quite a surprise since Reigns seems to be WWE’s new poster boy for the company and for the fact that his most recent run with the WWE Title was only about 3 months old. While it is not known for sure why exactly WWE decided to pull the trigger on Ambrose so soon, Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer has provided some interesting information that could have lent to WWE’s decision making process.
Meltzer’s most recent edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter stated that WWE’s live event attendance in May dropped significantly in the last year, from 5,600 in 2015 to 3,900 in 2016. That’s a 30% decline. Missing big names like John Cena and Randy Orton likely had an effect on these numbers. However, it was mentioned that the “A show” and “B show” attendance numbers were roughly the same, with Reigns headlining the “A shows” and Ambrose headlining the “B shows.” What’s more eye opening is that Ambrose and the “B shows” would take place in smaller markets where attendance numbers likely weren’t expected to compete with that of Reigns and the “A shows.”
Here’s what Dave Meltzer said about it on last night’s Wrestling Observer Radio: “Last month the ‘B’ shows with Dean Ambrose, that were often in smaller markets, were drawing just as well as the ‘A’ shows with Roman Reigns. Roman Reigns is drawing really bad. Before he wasn’t, but now he is, so now it’s an issue. Does that mean that it led to this (title change), or is this just another way to get Roman Reigns more over, because that’s been the goal for the last however long? Time will tell.”
Thank you to WrestlingInc for the transcription.
Mark’s reaction: Seems like a valid reason as to why WWE would want to shake things up and put the WWE Title on Ambrose. I would have liked to have seen Ambrose as champ at WrestleMania 32 as he was red hot on the Road to WrestleMania, but better late than never. Meltzer makes a good point, as mentioned above, how this could be just another way to try and put Reigns over even more… but then again, maybe not. If it seems like you’re the cause of low attendance number and/or ratings, then it’s time for a change. WWE can try and do everything they can to get you over and be the next John Cena, but if you’re not selling tickets then there’s not much else they can do other than try out different people in that spot.
Good for Ambrose. I’m happy he won last night and has gotten an opportunity to show what he can add to the company as champ. With the WWE Draft just under a month away and this shake up in the WWE Title picture, I’m expecting quite the interesting next few weeks.
Pictures used above are courtesy of WWE.com.