Backlash 2017 was WWE's lowest-drawing pay-per-view since the same event last September.
The company didn't announce the show's attendance at the start of the night, and while there few visibly empty seats, the event didn't sell out, as reported by Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio.
This is surprising. Chicago is a passionate wrestling hotbed, but WWE attracted just 9,800-10,000 fans to the Allstate Arena last Sunday, having once believed that a sell-out was a given. By comparison, the last PPV held there (Payback 2016) drew an audience of 13,250.
Ticket sales reportedly started hot, with around 9,500 sold before the matches were announced. They stalled as soon as the card started unravelling, however, with WWE shifting just a few hundred over the last few weeks. This corresponds with Jinder Mahal's main event push, and while other factors likely contributed towards the stagnation, the timing is too close to be a pure coincidence.
SmackDown ratings have also sunk since Jinder became number one contender on April 18th, and plummeted to just 2.175 million viewers last week - a new low for 2017. The push's long-term impact remains to be seen, but the figures show business has taken a clear hit in recent weeks.