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“Lots and lots of empty seats” – WWE Hall Of Famer Is Concerned About AEW

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During a recent episode of Busted Open After Dark, WWE Hall of Famer Bubba Ray Dudley (aka Bully Ray) raised concerns over the falling AEW attendance across the United States.

During its first few years, Tony Khan’s All Elite Wrestling managed to pack arenas all across the country, but that has changed since and their numbers are struggling.

Here’s what Bully Ray had to say:

“I think the real discussion is in what AEW is doing in the States and the houses that they are drawing in the States right now because in the first couple of years, we were used to seeing packed houses every Wednesday night for AEW. [This past Wednesday on Dynamite], I think, and I’ve been gracious here, I think there were 2,500 people in the building.

AEW Dynamite Cincinnati September 2023 Empty Arena Seats WrestleFeed App

Now, that doesn’t mean that those 2,500 people need to suffer. AEW still needs to deliver the best show that they possibly can for those people, and I think they go out there, and they do.

But when you’re in an arena that holds 15,000 people, and you’re one of 2,500, and you look out there, and you see lots and lots of empty seats, it makes you wonder if you’re at the cool show in town anymore, and thus, I believe it affects people’s willingness to be as interactive with the show as they would have been as if it was a packed house.”

Bully Ray then compared it to his favorite band Motley Crue, who also had to deal with the once-packed arenas having significantly fewer attendees.

Here’s what the former ECW/WWF/WWE/TNA Tag Team Champion said:

“I’m not just pulling that out of thin air. I’m pulling that from experience. I remember when Motley Crue had broken up and Vince Neil had left the band. Then Vince and Motley got back together. I went to the first show at Nassau Coliseum, Motley Crue getting back together, and I was so excited. I could not wait.

My favorite rock’n’roll band of all time we’re back together and I was going to see another great Motley Crue show. At about a half an hour before the show, only half of the arena was full. There’s probably only 7 or 8,000 people in the Nassau Coliseum. I was like, ‘Wow, I guess people are showing up late. It’s going to be packed and it’s going to be sold out by the time the house lights go down and Motley hits the stage.’

Well, the house lights went down, and Motley hit the stage and it was still only about 7 or 8,000 people there. The arena was half full.

It’s one of the only concerts that I can remember being at where I kind of sat down because I was like, ‘Wow, my band isn’t the biggest band in the world anymore’, and if I found it harder to be as into the show knowing that maybe this wasn’t the place to be anymore’.

Grunge had taken over and Pearl Jam, and you know, bands like that were selling out.”

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