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The guy lost me at "holds 16,200 for hockey...arena holds 1,000-2000...looks to be about 16,000 empty seats". PLEASE!!!! This guy probably drank so much everyone was a blur!!!!

YES, business in 2002 was not what it was from 1998-2001, but business in 2002 was FAR better than 2019-2021!!!!!
Except it wasn't.

June 2002 live Raw Dallas attendance ~7,000. Very clear the top section is tarped when camera zooms out


Last live Raw in Dallas summer 2019, 13,500 sellout. Very obvious top section is full


Average paid attendance for WWE in 2002 was 5,200. May to December it would be lower again as January to April inflated it a little with Hogan's return.
 

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HBK was actually a very good draw as champion. House show business was up on the previous year and that was with no supporting cast and competition from the NWO.

With the right booking he would have drawn as much as Austin.
Not true at all. In fact, I rate him as the lowest drawing champion, prior to 2000.

Royal Rumble PPV buyrates:
(1.10) - Bret Hart vs. Taker - RR 96
(1.00) - Diesel vs. Bret Hart - RR 95
(0.90) - Yokozuna vs. Taker - RR 94
(0.70) - HBK vs. Sid - RR 97

WrestleMania PPV buyrates:
(1.68 grossing $5.2 million) - Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna - WM 94
(1.40 grossing $5.1 million) - Diesel vs. HBK - WM 95
(1.20 grossing $4.0 million) - HBK vs. Bret Hart - WM 96
(0.77 grossing $2.5 million) - Taker vs. Sid - WM 97

King of the Ring PPV buyrates:
(0.85) - Piper vs. Lawler - KOTR 94
(0.65 ) - Diesel/Bigelow vs. Sid/Tatanka - KOTR 95
(0.60) - HBK vs. Bulldog - KOTR 96
(0.50) - Taker vs. Farooq - KOTR 97

SummerSlam PPV buyrates:
(1.30) - Taker vs. Taker - SS 94
(0.90) - Diesel vs. Mabel - SS 95
(0.80) - Bret Hart vs. Taker - SS 97
(0.58) - HBK vs. Vader - SS 96

Survivor Series PPV buyrate:
(0.90) - Taker vs. Yokozuna - SS 94
(0.89) - Bret Hart vs. HBK - SS 97
(0.58) - HBK vs. Sid - SS 96
(0.57) - Diesel vs. Bret Hart - SS 95

In Your House PPV buyrates:
(0.83) - Diesel vs. Sid - IYH 1 [14 May 95]
(0.75) - Diesel vs. Bret Hart - IYH 6 [18 Feb 96]
(0.70) - Diesel vs. Sid - IYH 2 [23 July 95]
(0.70) - Diesel/HBK vs. Yokozuna/Bulldog - IYH 3 [24 Sept 95]
(0.65) - Diesel vs. HBK - IYH 7 [28 April 96]
(0.60) - HBK vs. Taker - IYH 18 [5 Oct 97]
(0.59) - Hart Foundation vs. Team USA - IYH 16 [6 July 97]
(0.57) - Austin vs. Taker - IYH 15 [11 May 97]
(0.50) - Bret Hart vs Taker vs Austin vs Vader - IYH 13 [16 Feb 97]
(0.50) - Bret Hart vs. Austin - IYH 14 [20 April 97]
(0.48) - HBK vs. Mankind - IYH 10 [22 Sept 96]
(0.45) - HBK vs. Bulldog - IYH 8 [26 & 28 May 96]
(0.45) - HBK vs. Taker - IYH 17 [7 Sept 97]
(0.44) - HBK vs. Shamrock - IYH 19 [7 Dec 97]
(0.40) - Diesel vs. Bulldog - IYH 4 [22 Oct 95]
(0.40) - Taker vs. Mankind - IYH 11 [20 Oct 96]
(0.37) - Vader/Owen/Bulldog vs. HBK/AJ/Sid - IYH 9 [21 July 96]
(0.35) - Bret Hart vs. Sid - IYH 12 [15 Dec 96]
(0.33) - Bret Hart vs. Bulldog - IYH 5 [17 Dec 95]

Diesel/HBK comparison:
(1.00) RR 95 - (0.70) RR 97 (bigger draw = Diesel)
(1.40) WM 95 - (1.20) WM 96 (bigger draw = Diesel)
(0.83) IYH May 95 - (0.45) IYH May 96 (bigger draw = Diesel)
(0.65) KOTR 95 - (0.60) KOTR 96 (bigger draw = Diesel)
(0.70) IYH July 95 - (0.37) IYH July 96 (bigger draw = Diesel)
(0.90) SS 95 - (0.58) SS 96 (bigger draw = Diesel)
(0.70) IYH Sept 95 - (0.48) IYH Sept 96 (bigger draw = Diesel)
 

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Not true at all. In fact, I rate him as the lowest drawing champion, prior to 2000.

Royal Rumble PPV buyrates:
(1.10) - Bret Hart vs. Taker - RR 96
(1.00) - Diesel vs. Bret Hart - RR 95
(0.90) - Yokozuna vs. Taker - RR 94
(0.70) - HBK vs. Sid - RR 97

WrestleMania PPV buyrates:
(1.68 grossing $5.2 million) - Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna - WM 94
(1.40 grossing $5.1 million) - Diesel vs. HBK - WM 95
(1.20 grossing $4.0 million) - HBK vs. Bret Hart - WM 96
(0.77 grossing $2.5 million) - Taker vs. Sid - WM 97

King of the Ring PPV buyrates:
(0.85) - Piper vs. Lawler - KOTR 94
(0.65 ) - Diesel/Bigelow vs. Sid/Tatanka - KOTR 95
(0.60) - HBK vs. Bulldog - KOTR 96
(0.50) - Taker vs. Farooq - KOTR 97

SummerSlam PPV buyrates:
(1.30) - Taker vs. Taker - SS 94
(0.90) - Diesel vs. Mabel - SS 95
(0.80) - Bret Hart vs. Taker - SS 97
(0.58) - HBK vs. Vader - SS 96

Survivor Series PPV buyrate:
(0.90) - Taker vs. Yokozuna - SS 94
(0.89) - Bret Hart vs. HBK - SS 97
(0.58) - HBK vs. Sid - SS 96
(0.57) - Diesel vs. Bret Hart - SS 95

In Your House PPV buyrates:
(0.83) - Diesel vs. Sid - IYH 1 [14 May 95]
(0.75) - Diesel vs. Bret Hart - IYH 6 [18 Feb 96]
(0.70) - Diesel vs. Sid - IYH 2 [23 July 95]
(0.70) - Diesel/HBK vs. Yokozuna/Bulldog - IYH 3 [24 Sept 95]
(0.65) - Diesel vs. HBK - IYH 7 [28 April 96]
(0.60) - HBK vs. Taker - IYH 18 [5 Oct 97]
(0.59) - Hart Foundation vs. Team USA - IYH 16 [6 July 97]
(0.57) - Austin vs. Taker - IYH 15 [11 May 97]
(0.50) - Bret Hart vs Taker vs Austin vs Vader - IYH 13 [16 Feb 97]
(0.50) - Bret Hart vs. Austin - IYH 14 [20 April 97]
(0.48) - HBK vs. Mankind - IYH 10 [22 Sept 96]
(0.45) - HBK vs. Bulldog - IYH 8 [26 & 28 May 96]
(0.45) - HBK vs. Taker - IYH 17 [7 Sept 97]
(0.44) - HBK vs. Shamrock - IYH 19 [7 Dec 97]
(0.40) - Diesel vs. Bulldog - IYH 4 [22 Oct 95]
(0.40) - Taker vs. Mankind - IYH 11 [20 Oct 96]
(0.37) - Vader/Owen/Bulldog vs. HBK/AJ/Sid - IYH 9 [21 July 96]
(0.35) - Bret Hart vs. Sid - IYH 12 [15 Dec 96]
(0.33) - Bret Hart vs. Bulldog - IYH 5 [17 Dec 95]

Diesel/HBK comparison:
(1.00) RR 95 - (0.70) RR 97 (bigger draw = Diesel)
(1.40) WM 95 - (1.20) WM 96 (bigger draw = Diesel)
(0.83) IYH May 95 - (0.45) IYH May 96 (bigger draw = Diesel)
(0.65) KOTR 95 - (0.60) KOTR 96 (bigger draw = Diesel)
(0.70) IYH July 95 - (0.37) IYH July 96 (bigger draw = Diesel)
(0.90) SS 95 - (0.58) SS 96 (bigger draw = Diesel)
(0.70) IYH Sept 95 - (0.48) IYH Sept 96 (bigger draw = Diesel)
HBK was up against the NWO and still managed to improve house show business on the previous year.

HBK wins.
 

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Someone with actual charisma, someone with more personality, someone who could actually cut a promo could have done much better.

Seth cant do any of those things so he will always bomb in the top spot. There's a reason the best run of his career came when he had like a 7 person stable around him every week.

Pro Wrestling is bad booking. 9 times out of 10 the shit that gets over is quite dumb. I mean The Rock got an eyebrow over. Cody Rhodes got a moustache over. Rusev and Aiden got 'Rusev Day' over. Daniel Bryan got screaming "Yes" over.

The Rock is historically one of if not the worst booked top guy in history. He lost the vast majority of his feuds even at him most over, yet he's top 3 at worst all time most over Pro Wrestlers.

Maybe you're boy Seth just isn't that good? He was given everything and bombed, again. Even the Indy obsessed workrate smarks turned on him for a bit there.
Ya, that was comical tragedy
 

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Prove it.
That would literally be dozens of pages of house show results, which I'm not going to post. The majority of male fans in the key demographic couldn't stand Shawn. Fortunately they pre-taped and edited many of their shows, because the male crowds were vicious to him. Live shows with in-ring interviews w/ him were always risky. Don't believe me? Go watch the 8/11/97 RAW. Before RAW, they had pre-taped one of their other shows and he did an in-ring interview that never made it to TV because the crowd ate him alive and he was stumbling over his lines. I guess they prepped him for what to say in case it happened again during RAW.
 

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Seth won the
That would literally be dozens of pages of house show results, which I'm not going to post. The majority of male fans in the key demographic couldn't stand Shawn. Fortunately they pre-taped and edited many of their shows, because the male crowds were vicious to him. Live shows with in-ring interviews w/ him were always risky. Don't believe me? Go watch the 8/11/97 RAW. Before RAW, they had pre-taped one of their other shows and he did an in-ring interview that never made it to TV because the crowd ate him alive and he was stumbling over his lines. I guess they prepped him for what to say in case it happened again during RAW.
Why did house show attendance go up from 1995 and 1995?

Why did Raw's ratings remain steady in 1996 with competition from Nitro and the NWO?

Given HBK was booked terribly as champion you have to say his drawing power in 1996 was very impressive. Who else could have done a better job?
 

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Ah a drawing thread. These are always fun!

By world champion I mean those who won the WWE Championship, the World Heavyweight Championship and the Universal Championship. I personally don't consider the WWECW championship a world title.

So, I think it's pretty unanimous that Diesel was the worst drawing WWE champion of all time. At least I don't recall ever seeing anyone disputing that. So I guess it's practically safe to say he is indeed the worst drawing world champion in the company's history.

But who are the other ones that come right after Diesel? As in, those who complete the top 5/bottom 5?

JBL seems to be often referred to as the worst drawing WWE Champion since Diesel. I could see that. He was a midcarder who suddenly got a gimmick change and about 2 months later was WWE champion and had a 10 month long reign. I mean, that doesn't really scream money, does it? Plus, I don't think he had a lot of merch made.

Is JBL truly the 2nd worst drawing champion in the company's history though? That I don't know. I've seen people claiming Eddie to have been a worse draw.

Surely Shawn Michaels is one of the worst drawing champions ever too? I mean, he was the WWE champion when WCW was kicking WWE's ass in the ratings department. And it's no secret that Shawn Michaels has never been a big draw.

I dunno if any modern day champions are in the discussion. WWE has been a monopoly in the past 20 years. And they're more easily available than ever all over the world. Plus, everyone seems to have a bunch of merch nowadays too. So I'm sure even the worst drawing modern day champions have drawn better than Diesel, JBL and Michaels. Including Jinder Mahal lmao.

So, I'm guessing the top 3 or bottom 3 is Diesel followed by either JBL or HBK.

I wonder how much Yokozuna and Sid drew...
99955


Sid averaged 4,971 fans in the four months he was champion, although it's a bit inflated by the 97 RR. In Nov and Dec 96 he outperformed Bret Hart at the same time period in 1995, Kevin Nash/Bret Hart in 1994, and Yokozuna in 1993.

Yoko's run between Jul and Dec 1993 outperformed Savage and Hart in the equivalent time period in 1993.

Kevin Nash's lengthy run had really low house show numbers. Another way to look at it was the maximum and minimum monthly average for each champion:
99956
 

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That would literally be dozens of pages of house show results, which I'm not going to post. The majority of male fans in the key demographic couldn't stand Shawn. Fortunately they pre-taped and edited many of their shows, because the male crowds were vicious to him. Live shows with in-ring interviews w/ him were always risky. Don't believe me? Go watch the 8/11/97 RAW. Before RAW, they had pre-taped one of their other shows and he did an in-ring interview that never made it to TV because the crowd ate him alive and he was stumbling over his lines. I guess they prepped him for what to say in case it happened again during RAW.
It’s so weird reading this considering how respected and admired HBK would become later on.
 

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It’s so weird reading this considering how respected and admired HBK would become later on.
A lot of folks bought into his claim that he had found Jesus and was "reborn." There's no denying his talent. HBK drew better on house shows, but Diesel's ppv buyrates were superior.

Bottom line is, Shawn didn't appeal to everyone. He appealed to females, and kids, but not to their primary demographic. Bret Hart was HUGE overseas, but not so much on U.S. soil. It took a guy like Stone Cold - who appealed to the masses - to put WWF back on top.
 
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