WWE bosses are in secret talks with major British sporting venues about hosting a PPV on our shores, according to a leading US wrestling expert.
Dave Meltzer reports that officials are due to meet with representatives of Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium today and have already spoken to Old Trafford and ‘a stadium in London’, believed to be Wembley.
The original Wembley Stadium hosted SummerSlam in 1992, arguably the most important wrestling event to ever occur on these shores.
Along with featuring the likes of Randy Savage and the Undertaker, the pay-per-view was headlined by one of the greatest matches in history – Bret The Hitman Hart v The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith.
It’s thought that if WWE can hammer out a deal with a British venue for 2013, SummerSlam would return for the 21st anniversary of that memorable show.
More than 80,000 fans attended SummerSlam 92, which is officially WWE’s second-highest recorded attendance ever, behind WrestleMania III, for which the genuine number is often queried.
Despite the huge gate, WWE have never produced an international PPV outside of North America since then, largely due to a mix of a poor domestic buy rate, logistical costs and time-zone issues.
For a time, WWE produced UK-only PPVs such as Rebellion and Capital Carnage for Sky Box Office, but stopped in 2002 as sales dwindled.
Of the three rumoured stadia, all have capacities of over 74,000, while the Millennium and Wembley both have retractable roofs.
Current WWE star Wade Barrett, from Preston, weighed in on Twitter following the report in Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer, stating his desire for Vince McMahon’s entertainment company to produce another major show on British soil.
Wade said: “WrestleMania 29 tickets go on sale this Saturday and I’ve no doubt the Brits will again make up a disproportionately large percentage of sales.
“After showing they are the best fans on the planet this week in Brum, I think it’s about time SummerSlam made a return to Wembley.
“There is no place in the world I’d rather beat Sheamus than in the centre circle of the greatest stadium in the world.”
WWE may just be persuaded to host a PPV here by the quality, not just quantity, of crowds in the UK.
This week’s Raw and Smackdown emanated from Birmingham’s LG Arena, where the crowd, particularly for Raw, was praised worldwide for being one of the hottest in recent memory, while TNA Impact had two tapings at Wembley Arena in January in front of their biggest and rowdiest audiences ever.
Attendances on this UK tour are said to have been lower than usual, but Birmingham sold out for Raw and a major PPV would undoubtedly spark a major rise in demand.