During recent contract negotiations, a number of talents in WWE were told that the “old way of touring” and doing house shows is not coming back, even after the U.S. bounces back from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Dave Meltzer noted that the recent releases of close to a dozen employees, including long time ring announcer Tony Chimel, was another indication that WWE was possibly moving on from live events, which was a significant revenue source for the company in the past.
With WWE setting record profits even without doing house shows, the company is gradually moving toward the mindset that it no longer needs to tour for 300 days a year. Furthermore, Meltzer noted that the live events division, which started over the past year, was often “a money loser” and had become dispensable for WWE in the longer scheme of things.
Meltzer wrote that with the economics of the wrestling business different than they’ve ever been, house shows are now viewed by WWE as a place where they can sell merchandise and give exposure to inexperienced talents. “What they found out is that with no house shows, all of a sudden WWE shop merch numbers skyrocketed and the total merch sales ended up being almost identical to when there were shows, which shocked everyone,” wrote Meltzer.
The pandemic era has seen lesser travel, exhaustion and wear-and-tear, and thus fewer injuries, which has been seen as a positive by WWE brass.