Analysis Shows WWE's Fan-Driven Business Metrics Improved Under Paul Levesque

However you feel about the state of WWE programming and the specifics of how shows have or haven't differed when spearheaded by Paul "Triple H" Levesque as compared to Vince McMahon, there absolutely have been differences. Levesque brought back various wrestlers who had been cut by the previous regime, and under his guidance, the last-minute changes that were constant under McMahon had subsided. Past that, it becomes a matter of personal preference and business metrics. On Thursday, Wrestlenomics offered the latter, comparing TV ratings and live attendance for Levesque's eight months running creative to how McMahon's WWE was doing a year earlier. And the answers are favorable to Levesque.


On the TV side, "WWE Raw" averaged 1.80 million viewers each week under Levesque, up 4% from McMahon a year prior, which is doubly impressive considering USA's reach among cable customers has dropped. "WWE SmackDown," meanwhile, saw a bigger increase, going up 6%, from an average of 2.14 million viewers under McMahon to 2.28 million viewers under Levesque. Since "SmackDown" is on FOX, a free broadcast network, the caveat about its potential viewership does not apply, though.

As for ticket sales, that data is from WrestleTix, which is able to count tickets distributed, but without being able to distinguish between paid admissions and comps. With that out of the way, for every month of the Levesque era, "Raw" averaged a higher number of tickets out than the McMahon regime did a year prior, and "SmackDown" did the same for all but one month, even with the latter including the initial surge in interest when WWE resumed touring after COVID-19 precautions eased. Across the full eight-month periods being compared, "SmackDown" averaged 8,555 tickets distributed for Levesque vs. 7,532 for McMahon, a 14% increase, while "Raw" averaged 8,463 tickets distributed for Levesque vs. McMahon's 6,787, a 25% increase. And though the McMahon period had a 2% lead on Levesque's for domestic house shows, that gain was carried by August through November 2021, the early months of post-pandemic touring.