WWE yesterday reported that they had recorded their highest-ever revenues over the course of 2018 as part of their financial report for the final three months of 2018 and the year as a whole.
Whilst international revenue streams have provided a big boost to the company, not every section is thriving
The reports indicate that fan attendance for live broadcasts of Raw and SmackDown remained steady, along with boosts given for overseas events in Australia and Saudi Arabia, but the 'house shows' are suffering compared to everything else.
In what is seemingly a trend for the past few years, the live event attendances on average have shown to have decreased year-on-year both quarterly and yearly.
Whilst WWE Co-President George Barrios tried to defend the stat by outlining that revenue had increased from such events over the past years and actual attendances had risen, this was because there was an increasing number of events year-on-year until 2018, which had 308 live events compared to the 312 of 2017.
Vince McMahon has his own theory for why live events have suffered more than anything else in the WWE's economy though, and it is to do with injuries.
"The unfortunate aspect of sometimes in our business, is that our performers are not cartoons. They get hurt. This year, leading up to where we are now, we've had an inordinate number of injuries," stated McMahon, per WrestlingInc.
"And when you have injuries, there's a whole bunch of them. Roman Reigns being the principle among them.
"In addition to that, we've had injuries to Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, who is one of our top female performers, was injured. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Bray Wyatt, Charlotte Flair, Alexa Bliss, Braun Strowman, Dean Ambrose, Ember Moon, Samoa Joe, Akam [from AOP], Jason Jordan, Fandango, Big Show, Seth Rollins. It's like we had all these injuries, which is really unusual for us, and they're characters.
"It's no different if you're writing a soap opera and all of a sudden your main character wasn't there. You're in the middle of production, what do you do? You very nimbly change the storyline, but it's not as good as the original one.
"Sometimes it is better because we're pretty good at it, but those are things that we're faced with, and one of the reasons why television ratings have dropped. And one of the reasons, obviously, from a live event standpoint, that's dropped too. Because if you don't have your favorites on television, obviously you can't see them at a live event either.
"We're wide open and Ronda [Rousey] has done an extraordinary job. There will be other individuals coming from different areas that will join us on a longterm basis, that will help us as well."
Looking at some of the names McMahon mentioned about being big misses, quite a few of them are big reaches - for example Akam, Fandango, Jason Jordan and Ember Moon are hardly household names and Big Show is never around even at his full fitness anymore.
Some of those you could say 'fair enough' to, Reigns for example has a lot of fans and some on social media stated they would not watch WWE until he returned.
So for Vince to pin the main reason on decreasing average attendances on injuries just seems very, very strange indeed.