I went to the locar bar that broadcasts WWE PPVs once again for Vengeance. The crowd was definitely the smallest I've seen for VKMs company. There were easily 50 seats untaken, including a row of stools, most of the bar, a booth and a table with a great view, and the entire pool room. This is a place that once was SRO for WWF PPVs.
Two PPVs ago was packed, but cleared out a lot after Austin's match. Last PPV was packed for the whole show.
My local bar was packed. I got there early in the day to watch the end of the British Open (I was the only one there for that!), and then stayed and watched the NASCAR race (only 6 people for that), but there were close to 100 people for the PPV, and very few left early at all.
You're right; the hand theme is already in play. Unless it's to suggest the obligatory shocking swerve. Which I'm not advocating. All the more reason to stick to five guys and avoid a polarization of the complete roster a la the NWO.