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The WWE Backlash 2023 PLE in Puerto Rico on Saturday night broke numerous records for WWE.
The company announced that this year’s Backlash event was the highest-grossing and most-viewed Backlash event in history. The event drew the largest gate for any Backlash show in history and was the highest gate in Puerto Rico that WWE has ever done. In addition, viewership for WWE Backlash 2023 increased 28% over the 2022 edition of the event.
STAMFORD, Conn., May 8, 2023 – WWE® (NYSE: WWE) today announced that WWE Backlash®, which emanated from the Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot in San Juan, Puerto Rico, became WWE’s highest-grossing and most-viewed Backlash in company history.
Viewership of Backlash saw a 28 percent increase versus the record set in 2022. The event, which featured Bad Bunny, the most-streamed music artist in the world, marked the largest gate ever for any WWE event held in Puerto Rico and the largest gate in the history of Backlash.
More than 34,800 fans descended on San Juan, Puerto Rico, for back-to-back sellout nights of SmackDown (16,896 attendees) and Backlash (17,944 attendees). It also marked the most social Backlash of all-time, led by over 40 million views of the San Juan Street Fight featuring Bad Bunny vs. Damian Priest. The hashtag #WWEBacklash, accompanied by a custom Bad Bunny emoji, trended No. 1 across the entire evening of sports.
In addition, Backlash broke merchandise and sponsorship records. As the first-ever WWE event under the expanded partnership with Fanatics overseeing the on-site event retail experience, top-selling items included the WWE Backlash and LWO Puerto Rico t-shirts. Sponsorship revenue surpassed any Backlash event in history, breaking last year’s record with a 98 percent year-on-year increase through partnerships with Netflix’s FUBAR, Mike’s Harder Lemonade and Xfinity.
WWE Backlash 2023 was headlined by a double main event featuring Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes and Bad Bunny vs. Damian Priest in a San Juan Street Fight. Rhodes defeated Lesnar and Bad Bunny beat Damian Priest after numerous run-ins including Carlito and Savio Vega.
Other matches on the show included Bianca Belair defeating Iyo Sky to retain her Raw Women’s Championship, Rhea Ripley defeating Zelina Vega to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship, Austin Theory retaining his United States Championship over Bobby Lashley and Bronson Reed, Seth Rollins pinning Omos, and much more.