Mere minutes after winning the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, Dean Ambrose scored even bigger, successfully cashing in against newly crowned champion Seth Rollins to capture his first WWE World Heavyweight Title. Recent attendance numbers may have been a factor in WWE’s decision for the belt to change hands.
It was reported last week in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that live event attendance was down 30% from May 2015 to the same month this year. John Cena’s absence was a major factor in the drop from an average of 5,600 tickets sold last year to 3,900 in May of 2016. But things get interesting when comparing the two rosters and the guys headlining different shows happening at the same time.
One tour was regularly main evented by then-WWE champ Roman Reigns. The other by Dean Ambrose. Despite the Reigns’ show usually running in larger markets, attendance figures were reportedly equal for both tours.
On the post-Money in the Bank edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer openly wondered about the connection between those figures and the decision to put the strap on Ambrose in Las Vegas.
“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,” Meltzer said. “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.”