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Wrestlemania XIX is the greatest Wrestlemania in terms of quality.

It was loaded with star-power and had a stacked card - even the Woman's title and Cruiserweight title had good matches.

However, the buy-rate was a weak 550,000.

That was a significant decrease from Wrestlemania X8 and the lowest since Wrestlemania 13 (When PPV wasn't as widespread).

Furthermore, WWE was predicting 880,000 buys.

Why do you think it drew so poorly?

My guess:

1) Overemphasis on Hulk Hogan vs Vince McMahon.


Hogan vs Vince was Wrestlemania-worthy, but WWE hyped it as the biggest match on the card.

Many posters featured a stare-down between Vince and Hogan, and the two of them often ended Smackdown shows each week.

In fact, many people guessed that Hogan vs Vince was going to end the PPV!

This hype, I think, hurt the PPV and drove casuals away. It should have been an upper-mid card match, not a main-event attraction.

2) Angle - Lesnar not a big enough draw

This one may surprise, but I think Lesnar and Angle was not big enough.

Lesnar was the new guy who debuted 8-9 months earlier. He was booked strong, but people didn't know him well enough.

Angle, on the other hand, was more well-know, but he has never been big among casuals.

If WWE had gone HHH vs Brock Lesnar, I think Wrestlemania XIX would had been more successful.
 

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WM 19 on paper looks like a great card but the show was pretty bad. It had some good matches, don't get me wrong, but nothing about it really "clicked". Austin/Rock chapter 3 should have been a much bigger deal but Austin was well past his prime and Rock wasn't as big as he had been because he was so frequently gone doing movies by that point.

They followed a 23 minute Jericho vs. HBK match with a 2 and a half minute divas "catfight". Undertaker vs. Big Show and Albert? Why not just Big Show, that would have been much better than a handicap match. Triple H vs. Booker T? Wasn't this around the time that Booker was tag teaming with Goldust? Some of the matches just didn't make sense.
 

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I agree on your two major points in bold. There was a lot of Hulk Hogan exhaustion by that point following his resurrection to world championship in 2002, and the McMahon/Hogan war just never really excited most people on a visceral level the way even Rock/Hogan (after a period of time without Hogan on TV, for one thing) did only a year earlier.

Also, Lesnar/Angle was not a big draw at all. Sometimes it's like you can't go a week without hearing about the quietness of the crowd during Jericho/Triple H as the last match the year before, and yet Lesnar/Angle received almost identical levels of heat but no one talks about it for some reason.

Wrestlemania XIX (and to a much lesser extent, Wrestlemania XXVI) are proof that it's not star power alone that attracts very strong buyrates. You need more. Put simply, there wasn't much energy for the product at the time, the Boom period was clearly in the rear view mirror and even Rock/Austin felt like a fairly pedestrian reworking of the Attitude Era's "greatest rivalry" based on sheer star power.

Booker T/Triple H didn't draw, either, though. And at the time, many still believed Shawn Michaels wasn't going to be truly "back" full-time during his feud with Jericho going into this event.

It's a curious Wrestlemania, though, for a million different reasons. One being the obvious point that it's loaded with star power but received such a weak buyrate. I remember talking with friends and almost no one I knew ordered that event. Some of it was almost like a sense of exhaustion with wrestling itself following the end of the proper Attitude Era, and that kind of excitement didn't really pick up for good again until the parallel rises of Batista and Cena a couple years later.
 
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- Lesnar was a horrible draw as WWE champion in late 2002. Which makes what he has become for UFC so much more amazing.

- Triple H had horrible angles and matches left and right in the several months leading up to WM19. TWO PPV matches with the Big Bad Booty Daddy (complete with memorable moments such as posedowns and bench press challenges), plus the subtle racist feud with Booker.

- Even though the Rock was displaying the greatest gimmick of all-time, the feud with Austin (who had lost so much momentum drawing-wise since his heel turn at WM17) just wasn't fresh. Also, doing the job for Hurricane (who went on to not appear on WM19 whatsoever outside of maybe being a Heat lumberjack) just made Rock look less credible. It wasn't the job so much, as the fact that he did it for someone left off the Grandaddy of 'Em All.

- Hogan vs. Vince, and a been-there-done-that Rock vs. Austin feud were not good enough top two main events in terms of marketing. Something else fresh with proven draws booked successfully for many months should have been marketed as THE top match, with the Monday Night Wars matches right underneath.

- Raw was just fucking atrocious during this period whenever the Rock or HBK/Jericho wasn't on the screen.
 

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WM 18 and 19 are both strange because they are transitionary Wrestlemanias, caught in a rather slow transition between two different eras. They had matches most of us didn't think we'd ever see (Hogan/Rock, HBK/Jericho), and some matches that none of us ever really wanted to see (Booker T/Triple H, Austin/Hall).
 

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the road to Mania XIX was bad. Lesnar was a new main event guy and had not been established to be a major draw for the company so WWE gave him the Main Event with a badly hurt Kurt Angle. We then had Triple H who was coming from a dreadful angle with Steiner which has two awful matches and a load of bad segments on RAW. Booker T had not been given a good run with WWE he was at the time with Golddust and he was challenging Triple H an established guy in the world title picture. Hogan and Vince could of been a major draw but these dudes were way to old to have the main match on Mania. Hogan had been really over exposed after the Mania X-8 match with Rock and i guess no one cared anymore. Rock and Austin though it was a decent match could'nt draw at all in 03. Austin had lost a lot of his momentum from the Heel run and he was easily on the last of his legs as a in-ring worker. Rock had been gone too many times from 2001-2003 for people to get behind him despite the great Hollywood gimmick he had got the match just didnt have anything to offer in 2003 as opposed to 2001 at Mania X-7.
 

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I guess we will never really know because on paper the card was great with Lesnar/Angle, Austin/Rock 3, Michaels/Jericho, a great tag team title match with Los Guerreros against Team Angle and Benoit and Rhino and also Hogan/McMahon which was billed as "twenty years in the making" and for me i really enjoyed the PPV. I think what hurt the PPV was that a lot of it was just thrown together without much build up and then there was a lot of uncertainty about the main event because Vince McMahon didn't want to put a lot of emphasis on Lesnar/Angle when Kurt Angle was said to be 50/50 because of his neck.

Everyone had also seen Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock twice before which was HUGE but this time round everyone knew that Stone Cold Steve Austin wasn't 100% and had been away for so long that his star had faded quite a bit and The Rock by this time whilst entertaining had drawn the ire of fan's by just coming back every now and again. I had read a few times that originally and even as late as February that Vince McMahon was going to go with Shawn Michaels and The Rock at WrestleMania 19 which i believe would have boosted buyrates alone but once Stone Cold Steve Austin had agreed to return they nixed Michaels/Rock in favour of Austin/Rock 3 based around The Rock's promo about "Stone Cold Steve Austin can take his ball and go home".
 

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Because the card was crap?

None of the matches on the show except for Hogan/Vince were legitimate draws at the time. As wrestling fans, it may have been a nice card on paper but from a business perspective, the show was crap.

It was evident by that time that The Rock was not coming back. That he was gone and he was just finishing up with the WWE. He was also a heel. Added to this issue was Austin. He'd been absent for a long time, and the WWE itself was lacking any clear direction at the time. Putting them two together, while great from a historic perspective considering it was Austin's last match, was not a good business decision.

Angle/Lesnar...I shouldn't even need to say much here. Lesnar was a rookie and hardly a draw at the time. Angle has never been a top draw. He's a supporting player. Put them two as your main event and it's no shocker there isn't much interest. There were other problems with this feud too.

Triple H/Booker T made no sense. Booker T wasn't exactly a main event competitor at the time and Triple H's booking had been horrible for the few months prior to Wrestlemania.

Michaels/Jericho, not a draw. Not even going to bother with this. It's a solid undercard match, that's it.

Undertaker/Big Show & A-Train was just a stupid match. At the time, the streak was not important. There's no added appeal outside of the people inside the ring. The bigger problem here that WWE was realising was Undertaker simply didn't work as well as he did in the Deadman gimmick. His Amercian Badass gimmick was becoming far too human. Add in the tripe Nathan Jones angle and this was a disaster.

Hogan/Vince was the only match on the entire show that had good drawing potential. But considering the crappy supporting card, it's not going to do much on it's own. It's Hogan/Vince, not Hogan/Rock.

The huge issue was the overall card. The big matches were poorly put together. Add in the fans dying interest because of Austin/Rock basically going away, the lack of company direction, and the result is Wrestlemania 19's buyrate.

If anything, WWE was caught slightly off-guard with the changes and couldn't prepare properly.
 

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i think Hogan VS Mcmahon being the biggest attraction was a fail because although they have a history and what not everyone knows that neither of them can wrestle meaning Vince never could and still can't and Hogan was never anything special and by then his plastic knees and hips were surely a liability i mean whats the point of having a match at Wrestlemania when neither of them can wrestle?
 

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Angle/Lesnar...I shouldn't even need to say much here. Lesnar was a rookie and hardly a draw at the time. Angle has never been a top draw. He's a supporting player. Put them two as your main event and it's no shocker there isn't much interest. There were other problems with this feud too.
Also, it was a Smackdown (B-show) feud.
 

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becaseu it was in the aftermath of Katie Vick, Deadman cheating, Al Wilson and that Evolution BS
 

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I had read a few times that originally and even as late as February that Vince McMahon was going to go with Shawn Michaels and The Rock at WrestleMania 19 which i believe would have boosted buyrates alone but once Stone Cold Steve Austin had agreed to return they nixed Michaels/Rock in favour of Austin/Rock 3 based around The Rock's promo about "Stone Cold Steve Austin can take his ball and go home".
HBK vs Y2J was was set since the Raw after Armageddon. There were no plans whatsoever for a HBK vs Rock match. Rock never wanted to wrestle HBK.

But you're right, Austin vs Rock was not the original plan. The original plan was Austin vs Triple H for the title and Goldberg vs Rock. Since Goldberg was not available for Mania, they decided to go with Austin vs Rock 3.

So now WWE had to find a new challenger for HHH. Therefore WWE wanted Kevin Nash to fight Hunter but he was not yet cleared to wrestle. HHH vs Kevin Nash was the original plan for Summerslam 2002 as well before Kevs injury. And when Nash did return 8 days after Mania, he immediately (re)started his feud with Helsmley.

Since Kevin was no option, and since Tripe H buried RVD, Kane and Steiner, Booker was the only credible babyface left.

This weak World title match, for me, is the main reason why Mania 19 had such a poor buyrate.
 

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Is 550,000 the domestic or the worldwide, if it the worldwide, then damn that's disappointing, because it turned out to be the best if not second best Wresltemania of all time. Really surprised with tis buyrate, with Austin vs Rock, Hogan vs McMahon, Brock vs Angle, HBK's WM return against Y2J, how it did that bad baffles me. I know Brock may not have been a huge draw at that point, but still the undercard was more than strong enough to take care of it. If WM19 did this badly I could only imagine WM27's buyrate with not one but two guys in Miz and ADR who are not big draws whatsoever main eventing.
 

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One of their big mistakes was not making Austin vs Rock a career vs career match or something to signify it as Austin's last match.

It pains me to see the crowd meh'ing whilst one of the most popular superstars of all time walked away from the ring for the last time as a competitor.

Yeah he'll say and they'll say 'well we didn't know if it would be'. Come on. He was in terrible condition. Watching him take those three Rock Bottoms makes me wince more than it does to see Foley fall through the roof of the Cell.

Another issue is putting Undertaker in one of the shittest Wrestlemania matches of that decade for him.

And yeah, the main events weren't exactly the most anticipated - I mean, according to Kurt - the Lesnar match only went ahead last minute - he was gonna lose the belt to him on Smackdown instead.

But yeah, the focus of this PPV should be a return to Wrestlemania for Mr Wrestlemania himself - and Stone Cold Steve Austin's last ever match. Real emphasise on that could have built up more interest in this card.
 

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It dosen't bother me that the buy rates for Wrestlemania 19 were low, i don't pay attention to the buy rates. This is the best Wrestlemania of all time in my opinion, i think the card was soild, the build up was good and i think had it moments as well.
 

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WrestleMania 19 was great and no WrestleMania since then has topped it. The buy rate was low because the WWE lost a shit load of viewers for GOOD in 2002 when Rock/Austin left in the middle of the year. Sure they came back in early 2003 for a few months but at that point the perception by the general public was that they were done and many people were over wrestling. Also Triple H's endless reign lost a shit load of viewers too.

Also Rock/Austin was not stale or played out. It was a fitting and necessary final chapter to the greatest feud in wrestling history.
 

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One of their big mistakes was not making Austin vs Rock a career vs career match or something to signify it as Austin's last match.

It pains me to see the crowd meh'ing whilst one of the most popular superstars of all time walked away from the ring for the last time as a competitor.

Yeah he'll say and they'll say 'well we didn't know if it would be'. Come on. He was in terrible condition. Watching him take those three Rock Bottoms makes me wince more than it does to see Foley fall through the roof of the Cell.

Another issue is putting Undertaker in one of the shittest Wrestlemania matches of that decade for him.

And yeah, the main events weren't exactly the most anticipated - I mean, according to Kurt - the Lesnar match only went ahead last minute - he was gonna lose the belt to him on Smackdown instead.

But yeah, the focus of this PPV should be a return to Wrestlemania for Mr Wrestlemania himself - and Stone Cold Steve Austin's last ever match. Real emphasise on that could have built up more interest in this card.
Totally agree, I think the pure focus should have been Rock/Austin rather than other matches (Angle/Lesnar and Hogan/McMahon) that didn't have the same drawing power. Whether Austin/Rock involved the belt or not didn't matter, if they wanted it to The Rock could have won the title on RAW the day following No Way Out. Then you could have done Title vs. Career, with Austin losing and then Rock dropping the belt to Goldberg at Backlash.
 

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Also, doing the job for Hurricane (who went on to not appear on WM19 whatsoever outside of maybe being a Heat lumberjack) just made Rock look less credible. It wasn't the job so much, as the fact that he did it for someone left off the Grandaddy of 'Em All.
Rock like jericho stone cold and undertaker are teflon, losing to the hurricane didn't damage his cred in the least bit. The problem is they focused all their attention on vince/hogan and that match was awful imo. I loved xix from the build up to the set and to the matches but i have no idea why it did such a low buyrate.
 

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One of their big mistakes was not making Austin vs Rock a career vs career match or something to signify it as Austin's last match.

It pains me to see the crowd meh'ing whilst one of the most popular superstars of all time walked away from the ring for the last time as a competitor.

Yeah he'll say and they'll say 'well we didn't know if it would be'. Come on. He was in terrible condition. Watching him take those three Rock Bottoms makes me wince more than it does to see Foley fall through the roof of the Cell.

Another issue is putting Undertaker in one of the shittest Wrestlemania matches of that decade for him.

And yeah, the main events weren't exactly the most anticipated - I mean, according to Kurt - the Lesnar match only went ahead last minute - he was gonna lose the belt to him on Smackdown instead.

But yeah, the focus of this PPV should be a return to Wrestlemania for Mr Wrestlemania himself - and Stone Cold Steve Austin's last ever match. Real emphasise on that could have built up more interest in this card.
you hit the nail on the coffin with this post. HBK returning to Mania should of been a huge deal but it was'nt we got Vince and Hogan bullshit in 2003 cos yeah they figured it would draw. And if the company knew Austin only had a match left in him why not built the event up saying that Steve Austin was gonna be in his last offical match at the event it would of drawn attention if they knew Austin was done with h is in-ring carer. I know Austin was not at the height of his popularity at the time but he was still a huge name in wrestling. The Main Events I agree with they seemed rushed just so the titles could be on the PPV and so Lesnar could officaly become the "guy".
 
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