Gone are the days of WWE pay-per-view events being held on Sunday nights. In recent years, the WWE has shifted its PPV events to Saturday nights. In the past year, the WWE changes include the 2022 Royal Rumble, the first night of WrestleMania 38, Money in the Bank, SummerSlam, Clash at the Castle, Extreme Rules, Crown Jewel, Survivor Series: WarGames, and this year both Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber. According to Fightful Select, the change has received support from many within the WWE.

WWE PPV-style events are moving to Saturday nights

Moving to Saturday nights means the WWE is not afraid of competition from other sporting events.

The upcoming Backlash event is scheduled for May 6 in Puerto Rico, the same night as UFC 288, which is expected to draw a crowd.

Despite the other events, WWE says they still expect a large group. Dave Meltzer of Wrestling News noted that it would be a hot crowd, with it being in Cinco de Mayo and Puerto Rico. While boxing and UFC may take center stage, WWE's event is free on Peacock now, so fans who watch the UFC fight can go back and watch Backlash later. Back in the day, these European events would be earlier in the day because they were pay-per-view, and it had to be a particular timeslot, or it wouldn't sell.

The actual PPV event was WrestleMania I, back in 1985. It was a significant gamble by at the time CEO Vince McMahon.

McMahon wanted to take his company on the road and go national, but he also needed a way to make it sustainable regarding finances. He created a wrestling super card, delivering high-profile matches and cameos to make the event the WWE's version of the Superbowl.

The first PPV was a huge success leading to even more PPV-scheduled events

WrestleMania 1 was a huge success, despite lackluster storytelling and wrestling. The spectacle drew crowds, and WWE made bank. Muhammad Ali was the guest referee in the main event.

The gamble paid off, and WWE moved forward with airing more PPVs. The lineup started with just WrestleMania and Survivor Series.

SummerSlam and Royal Rumble were quickly added. McMahon has to remain set on PPV events airing on Sundays. However, in 2022 most of the events were set to air on Saturdays. The international fans have been asking for PPV events to be on Saturday nights, as Sunday showtimes usually bled into the early hours of Monday.

WWE faces fierce competition from UFC and boxing

The initial concern was the competition from UFC and the occasional significant boxing events. UFC and Fight Nights hold events on Saturdays, and McMahon wanted to not part in a head-to-head competition with the UFC.

The UFC's main event was always scheduled to start as soon as WWE's event went off the air. Now with the Peacock deal, WWE moved away from its original method in favor of subscription-based service. For now, it appears that WWE has made a move permanent. It also caused AEW to move its events to Sundays to avoid fierce competition with WWE.