The AEW WrestleDream PPV was considered a big success on screen, but in terms of attendance, it set a new record low for the company.
AEW WrestleDream took place at the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, which is the home of the NHL’s Kraken. It’s an arena that is similar in size to most NBA/NHL arenas in North America that can hold over 18,000+ people for sporting events, which means it can hold anywhere from 13,000 or more for pro wrestling.
A reason why AEW likely chose Seattle is because they have several superstars from the city or nearby in the state of Washington. Those wrestlers included Bryan Danielson, Swerve Strickland and Nick Wayne. Danielson beat Zack Sabre Jr. in a Dream Match on the show that was rated an incredible 5.5 stars by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer.
Swerve Strickland also had what was arguably the best match of his career when he defeated “Hangman” Adam Page in a terrific match that Meltzer rated just 1/4* shy of five stars.
Darby Allin is also a Seattle guy who wrestled in the main event of the show as he tried to regain the TNT Championship from Christian Cage in a 2/3 Falls Match. The devious Cage found a way to win by using Nick Wayne to turn on his mentor Allin. During the match, Christian destroyed Allin by slamming him back-first onto the steel stairs.
Attendance for AEW WrestleDream set a new low
While AEW WrestleDream was critically acclaimed for having many great matches, the attendance in Seattle was disappointing for an AEW PPV. It was the lowest attendance for an AEW PPV that doesn’t include the pandemic era. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter revealed what the paid attendance was.
“The show drew 7,300 total fans with 6,500 paid. Aside from the pandemic shows in Jacksonville, this would be the lowest numbers for an AEW PPV show in is history. Some have tried to make the excuse that they had two shows in the market with the Saturday Collision show. But almost every time AEW does a PPV show, they have two shows in the market and often three, and last year they were doing consistent $1 million gates.”
“This is also a market they haven’t run to death (one show previously which outdrew this one) and a market where three people in top matches (Danielson, Darby Allin and Swerve Strickland) were from the market. A negative was that even in tight shots of ringside, you could see a lot of empty seats just a few rows down. They kept trying to change camera angles from usual to avoid shooting them. WWE covers that using seat fillers. It was noticeable even deep into the show.”
Next up on the AEW PPV calendar is Full Gear on November 18th at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles.