In today's edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer questioned the wisdom of AEW booking the United Center in Chicago for The First Dance, the second episode of AEW Rampage heavily teased to feature the AEW debut of CM Punk. Meltzer wondered whether the market could support a second major AEW show when the All Out PPV, scheduled for September, is already booked for September 5th, along with episodes of Dynamite and Rampage in the same arena a week prior.
Greetings, comrades! It is I, your El Presidente, reporting as always on the juiciest gossip in the world of pro wrestling. Noting that only All Out has sold well so far, Meltzer wrote today:
It's late. The traveling fans who are needed for AEW to pack an arena like that have already made plans for Chicago two weeks later. There will be a presale on 7/30 through 8/1 and tickets go on sale on 8/2.
A key is that while Friday is a good night for spectators to attend, it's a one hour show plus likely filled up with taping of Dark for that week. How the marketing of the show will be done is interesting. If enough people know about Punk, and they believe the company won't swerve them, perhaps there will be a huge sale without the announcement. But if tickets don't sell well this week, they would almost have to outright tell people it is Punk's debut.
But it wasn't long before Meltzer answered his own question, as numbers for the presale are in and he tweeted:
The United Center has a capacity of over 20,000, though Meltzer notes it's around 15,000 for a wrestling show. So it looks like the mere hint of CM Punk appearing at a wrestling show is enough to, probably once the dust has settled, sell out an arena. Of course, the nonstop CM Punk changes at WWE shows over the last five years might have provided a clue to Punk's drawing power. Now, AEW has no choice but to deliver Punk… or they'll be the ones victimized by neverending CM Punk chants for the foreseeable future. Haw haw haw haw!
Until next time, my friends: socialism or death!