While this may not be an exact representation of what the New York sports crowd thinks of WWE, it is still quite interesting and rather alarming given the market.
In the latest edition of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer wrote about a reader named John Carroll who attended a New York Rangers preseason game on September 23, two days before WWE’s Smackdown house show at Madison Square Garden (aka “Bret Hart Appreciation Night”). During the second intermission, it was noted that the game was sponsored by the WWE Smackdown World Tour coming to MSG in two days and pushed tickets were still available. The reaction to this sponsorship: booing.
At this point the reader noted many bad things started being said about WWE and wrestling in general around him such as the famous, “It used to be good back when.” However, when Bret Hart’s name was announced it received a star ovation. It was not plugged that Hart would be wrestling on the show. When other names like The Undertaker, Kane, Big Show and CM Punk were mentioned however, the names were described as being met with “dead silence.” The reader felt it was quite the eye-opener in terms of the current popularity of WWE and wrestling in the New York area.