John Cena has been confirmed by Wrestling Observer gaffer Dave Meltzer as the 10th biggest live event draw in wrestling history following review of his year-by-year gate receipt rankings.
Meltzer keeps tabs on attendance figures and profits of all WWE house shows, with a system in place that determines the difference-makers on the cards beyond the core audience that show up just to see Vince McMahon's product swing by their town.
Filing his report in the most recent Wrestling Observer Newsletter, he said, "John Cena would now be the 10th biggest live event draw in pro wrestling history trailing Jim Londos, Bruno Sammartino, Lou Thesz, Bill Longson, Hulk Hogan, Ed “Strangler” Lewis, Argentina Rocca, Ric Flair and Buddy Rogers. Other active wrestlers in the top 25 are HHH, Original Mistico and Randy Orton. The latter two would be the highest rankers not in the Hall of Fame. Of the top 53, the only other non-Hall of Famers would be Kane, Roman Reigns, Dick Shikat, Danno O’Mahoney, Seth Rollins and CM Punk."
Still one of the few bonafide headliners in an increasingly barren time for individual ticket-selling stars, Cena's success flies in the face of the prioritisation of the 'WWE' brand recent years. Randy Orton, Kane, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins' positions as the only other full-timers to make a similar dent in sales highlights what the company will either view as a broad success story for their contemporary philosophy or a worrying trend in lack of personalised audience investment.