It’s official. World Wrestling Entertainment is heading back on the road. After 14 months of shows during the “Pandemic Era” caused by COVID-19, WWE announced today that they are going back on tour starting with a live edition of Friday Night Smackdown in Houston on July 16. They also announced that Money in the Bank will take place on Sunday, July 18 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
Here’s the short press release that WWE sent out this morning:
WWE® RETURNS TO LIVE EVENTS WITH 25-CITY TOUR BEGINNING JULY 16
STAMFORD, Conn., May 21, 2021 – WWE (NYSE: WWE) will return to live event touring with a 25-city schedule through Labor Day. The tour will debut this July in Texas with a trio of shows:
- Friday, July 16: SmackDown – Toyota Center in Houston
- Sunday, July 18: Money In The Bank – Dickies Arena in Fort Worth
- Monday, July 19: Raw – American Airlines Center in Dallas
Additional tour stops and on-sale dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
The WWE Champion Bobby Lashley is ready to welcome fans back.
— Bobby Lashley (@fightbobby) May 21, 2021
The news of WWE fans returning to shows was first reported by Andrew Zarian of Mat Men Podcast, which we covered here.
TJR Thoughts: I’m excited. I have missed the fans. Texas is a good place to start since they are allowing a lot of people that their sporting events, so it’s a smart move by WWE to begin in that state.
SummerSlam Likely Taking Place in Las Vegas
This year’s SummerSlam event is expected to be bigger than normal. It was reported by Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer that Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas is the likely venue for SummerSlam on August 22. It’s the home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders and it’s a domed stadium so even though Las Vegas is very hot in the summer, there’s a roof on the building. Meltzer added that he expected an announcement imminently, so that should be something WWE announces in the very near future.
It was noted by Meltzer that WWE feels that by going to a tourist city like Las Vegas, it’s likely that fans would be willing to travel to check out SummerSlam. It’s always possible that WWE could run Smackdown on Friday and Raw on Monday from Las Vegas as well, so WWE could make a whole weekend of it.
It would be interesting to see what kind of setup they had for SummerSlam at Allegiant Stadium, which is likely a future home of WrestleMania since it’s a stadium that opened last year. The stadium’s capacity is 65,000 for NFL games with the ability to fit more and that means for wrestling shows they could hold probably 70,000 or more fans. However, it would be tough to sell that many tickets for SummerSlam, so WWE could opt to set it up for 30,000 seats by blocking off part of the stadium and it also depends on if the state of Nevada allows for full capacity by August.
TJR Thoughts: A stadium show for SummerSlam will definitely make it feel like a bigger deal. I think WWE shouldn’t try to use the whole stadium and try to limit it to about 35,000 fans or so. You don’t need to try to get 70,000 people in there unless there’s some huge main event. The only thing I can think of it that would feel really big is if they can do something like Roman Reigns vs. John Cena, but I’m not sure if they would want to do that at SummerSlam or try to save it for a WrestleMania.
Anyway, since the date is two months away, we should expect WWE’s SummerSlam announcement very soon.