According to various trade journals, the preliminary buyrate report for WrestleMania 26 is so low, Vince McMahon is reportedly considering rebranding the quarter-century-old franchise.
With 50 of the top 100 markets already able to report exact buyrates, Multichannel News estimates this past Sunday’s event only drew 550,000 buys, barely more than last year’s Summerslam and only half of the last three years’ average of more than 1 million viewers. Variety is reporting that Vince McMahon is not furious but rather “in panic mode” and ready to try anything possible to retain the small audience WWE has built in the past year (with Monday Night Raw ratings climbing to an almost-steady 0.4 increase over this time in 2007).
“McMahon has met with producers, writers, agents and some veteran wrestlers, including 3 a.m. emergency conference calls, to discuss renaming WrestleMania, much like WWE has done with other monthly pay-per-view events,” said a Variety reporter. According to an anonymous WWE producer, McMahon has pitched ideas like “ConfrontationMania,” “WrestleKindaStillEnjoya” and the revenue-raising “Slim Jim Presents Slim Jim and WWE: Snap Into It! Brought to You by Slim Jim.” -Eric