WWE SummerSlam 2021 Proved to Be a Huge Financial Success

WWE put out a press release on Tuesday confirming that this past weekend's SummerSlam event was not only the highest-grossing SummerSlam of all time but also the most viewed. Taking place inside Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, the show also set the record for the largest indoor crowd in the show's history, bringing in 51,326 fans to see the main event between WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and John Cena.

The release read, "Following a weekend of record-setting metrics, WWE (NYSE: WWE) delivered the most-viewed and highest-grossing SummerSlam in the company's history.

Highlights include:

  • More people watched Saturday's event live across Peacock and WWE Network than any other SummerSlam in the company's history. The seven-figure global audience marked a 55% increase over 2020 and a 29% increase over 2019;
  • The sell-out crowd of 51,326 broke SummerSlam records for indoor attendance and gate receipts. With tickets purchased by fans from all 50 U.S. states, Saturday's live gate was more than four times greater than the last SummerSlam held with fans in attendance in 2019;
    Merchandise sales posted an increase of 155% over 2019;
  • SummerSlam set a new sponsorship record, growing by 25% vs. 2019 and 18% vs. 2020;
  • With more than four million views, Brock Lesnar's return became WWE's most-watched Instagram video of all-time — surpassing the video of John Cena's return at Money In The Bank. In total, SummerSlam videos generated more than one billion views across all WWE social platforms during the week.
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The show closed with Reigns defeating Cena to retain his Universal Championship, followed by the surprise return of Brock Lesnar. "The Beast" caused Reigns and Paul Heyman to retreat, then attacked Cena once the cameras stopped rolling.

Cena then confirmed on social media that he'd be stepping away from pro wrestling again to focus on his acting career. The past month, dubbed the Summer of Cena, saw the 16-time world champion appear at a variety of WWE events and wrestle 14 matches.