The latest observer flashbacks have tickets still selling for WM 3, my question is simply, when did Wrestlemania become a thing where the name alone sold all (or mostly all) the tickets? You mention this year they sold about 70,000 on Shane/Taker alone, but that was surely just cause of the name not the match?
I recall Summerslam 92 in London it done that, but was there an occasion beforehand?Or the first time in the U.S.? Now I’m talking big shows like PPVs, not house shows etc.
Wrestlemania essentially sells 50,000 tickets every year before they even announce the main event, so clearly the event itself is the draw at this point. I’d say that WM23 was about where it moved from someone like Cena needing to be on top to where people were just like "Yay! Wrestlemania!" and they were able to fill a stadium. When I said Shane/Taker sold 70,000 tickets that was obviously an exaggeration, but they did sell a lot. WM was sitting at about 50,000 when they announced the match, and then it suddenly surged to a sellout again. So you have to credit that one with a lot of live tickets.
Up until the late 90s, that was definitely not the case. Wrestlemania 13 was basically just another PPV (and one of the lowest drawing in history, to boot) and 14/15 turned things around a lot, but without Austin on top they would have been dead in the water.