Wrestling superfan Lee McAteer is grappling for a piece of the billion-dollar WWE pie after launching a wrestling travel company – the first of its kind in the UK.
McAteer caught the wrestling bug as a young boy when his parents took him to watch a live match in Manchester where two of the sport’s legends, Ric Flair and Bret Hart, battled it out.
WWE has emerged as big business and a social media powerhouse with over half a billion followers across its accounts – with WWE superstar John Cena among the world’s most popular athletes with 45 million followers on Facebook and 11.5 million on Twitter. The company’s weekly broadcasts are seen in over 100 countries and have almost daily shows in arenas around the globe.
A grand total of 25 years later, McAteer, now aged 34, is still as madly in love with wrestling as ever and has now turned his lifelong passion into a booming business.
His Wrestling Travel company creates bespoke packages to the world’s best wrestling events, including WWE’s WrestleMania and Royal Rumble.
Taking inspiration from WWE’s founder Vince McMahon, McAteer wants to capture a slice of the wrestling market which today is a global phenomenon.
McAteer commented: “I was a fan of wrestling as a kid and have been hooked ever since! The way I see it is if you love what you do then you never work a day in your life so combining hobbies and passions into a business is never a bad thing.
“As a huge fan of WWE and professional wrestling, I can put myself in the shoes of the consumer as I am one! Having been to the last four WrestleManias, I always ended up buying everything late and struggled for accommodation at a reasonable price and therefore, the experience always cost me a lot more than it should have.
“I knew there was a gap in the market for it as it was something I wanted myself as a huge fan. We now have over 100 people on a waiting list for WrestleMania packages, which is crazy!”
Wrestling Travel, which is a member of ABTA and ATOL through McAteer’s parent company Invasion, creates complete packages with tickets, accommodation, transport and flights. Its most sought-after event is WrestleMania.
McAteer added: “Although we concentrate mostly on WWE, we also offer packages for Ring of Honor (ROH), What Culture Pro Wrestling, Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW), Impact Wrestling, New Japan Pro-Wrestling and many more.
“Having been to numerous wrestling events, we understand what is needed in order to have a great time without the hassle of organising every single detail. What makes us even more different is that we can arrange just accommodation and transport packages if you already have tickets to your designated wrestling show.”