Nearly 1M Buys for WrestleMania 21

Preliminary estimates indicated that World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. pinned some 940,000 pay-per-view buys for WrestleMania 21 earlier this month, according to officials at the grappling group.

That’s 14% more than the 825,000 buys WrestleMania XX pulled at a comparable time last year, with the tally from that event eventually nosing past the 1 million-buy plateau, WWE executives said.

“Certainly we’re hoping to surpass that mark when all of the reporting is complete,” spokesman Gary Davis said, noting that the official tally from digital-cable and satellite operators for the April 4 event at Los Angeles’ Staples Center is months away.

This Sunday, May 1, WWE will present Backlash from Verizon Wireless Arena in New Hampshire, featuring Hulk Hogan’s ring return with tag-team partner Shawn Michaels and the main event pitting champion Batista against Triple H, who lost the crown at WrestleMania 21.

Backlash is the first of 16 PPV events WWE will host in its current fiscal year.