At the risk of setting this off again.
I would be interested in seeing an specific wrestling event. I'm not that big a fan of "real" sports so wouldn't want it mixed with boxers, footballers etc.
Having read the whole of this thread there is a lot of truth being said on both sides. Hwever it's not changing the facts.
1) "WWE" wrestling was huge in this country during the attitude era, but it's not as big now. They're not selling out the O2 and other venues like they were.
2) "Wrestling" is popular but it's not "big" or "huge" if it were all of the UK promotions would be doing fantastic trade. The truth is lots are pulling low crowds and many producing poor shows. For every IPW:UK or FWA show there are at least 5 promoions peddling crap as wrestling.
If there were as many "wrestling fans" out there as some people belive and are making out there are the UK scene would be different to what it is. The correct way of saying it is there are lots of WWE and/or TNA fans. Unfortunately there are more fans of fishing, but they isn't a demand for professional anglers singing events either.
3) There have been successful signings/cons in this country but there have been bad and in some cases fans have been ripped off. Because of this wrestling fans are very wary and skeptical when an con or big signing event is announced. There was one that said Hulk Hogan was appearing. That caused up uproar of laugher and BS replies on forums. What a surprise, Hogan didn't and was never going to do that show. The idea was announce him, people go wow buy the ticket. Now the promoter has the money to "try" and get him.
Whilst it wouldn't be impossible for ME/SM to get the fans onside and buy tickets, despite their reputations it wouldn't be as simple as "name them and they will come." It would take an substantial amount of work my ME/SM to get these people to believe in them. The easiest way to do it is to run an event accept that they may lose money as "unbelievers" won't turn up. After they run a show at a loss, but proving they can deliver on their proises of getting the guests, this time the "unbelievers" will be more likely to accept what they are being told/sold.
Simple question, what kind of company would do that and do something they know they will lose a lot of money on, just to get people to believe they will deliver next time?
I like wrestling. I've seen both WWE and TNA live and go to UK promotions such as IPW:UK. I mix with and talk to the fans. I can't claim to represent them and their views or even to be an expert on anything, but bsed on my personal knowledge of the many fans I have met from a few prootions they would all say they love the idea and they would "so go" to it. But when they start looking at the costs involved the vast majority wouldn't.
1) There is a difference between driving hours, paying £10-£25 for a seat to a wrestling show and paying £80+ and the at least that, possibly more for occomadation for a weekend if it;s a con, especially if it doesn't have actual wrestling matches as part of the weekend.
2) Most would laugh and say sod off if they saw the prices they would be expected to pay for autographs. Most would be looking at about £50 tops all in for entry and all autographed photos from each guest.
Whilst I think it is possible for ME/SM to do a really good event (IMO it would be better a con rather than a signing event. More people will travel to spend a weekend with signings, photo with and talks than just signings) it may take a long time to do so. At each signing session bring one or two wrestlers over then in a couple of years when they decide to do a purely wrestling con they can show they have got xxxx in the past, they do have the contacts. They can deliver the goods perhaps with a few matches as evening;s entertainment in a ring in one of the big conference rooms.