WWE's Corporate site released it's weekly Key Business Drivers document, revealing preliminary estimates for the No Way Out buys...in the neighbourhood of 195,000, the lowest No Way Out has ever done and the lowest WWE buyrate since October, when No Mercy & Taboo Tuesday dipped into that region.
Since we have more information, here's the rankings of PPVs by virtue of buyrates since WrestleMania XX: -Royal Rumble [~450,000] -SummerSlam [~425,000] -Survivor Series [~400,000] -Bad Blood/Backlash [tied with ~300,000] -New Year's Revolution [~280,000] -Unforgiven [~275,000] -Vengeance [~250,000] -Armageddon/Judgment Day [tied with ~240,000] -Great American Bash [~250,000] -No Mercy [~225,000] -No Way Out [~195,000] -Taboo Tuesday [~185,000]
FACT: Less people watch PPVs on a Tuesday. FACT: Less people buy Smackdown PPVs. The fact that JBL was main eventing pretty much all of them doesn't bode well.
Originally posted by Freeway420FACT: Less people buy Smackdown PPVs. The fact that JBL was main eventing pretty much all of them doesn't bode well.
Well, only if you're JBL. I figure he's been entertaining enough. He's certainly impressed me as I thought that this reign would be a train wreck they would pull the plug on within weeks. If nothing else, him having the title has kept other guys from getting stale.
The only other options they had were keep it on Eddie which obviously wouldn't have worked for personal reasons (by Eddie's own confession) or give it to Cena and start the "Cena is totally stale... NOW" countdown a lot earlier than they will when he finally does get it.
Attribute some of it to too many friggin PPVs on the schedule..12 is a good number, once a month, and is a little more doable as far as when they try to stuff 2 in a month. I don't get SD anyways, which hurts as far as their PPVs go, but 35 bucks to see a main event with Bradshaw...no fucking way. I can't bring myself to do it.
As far as PPVs selling less when JBL is on top, well, yeah, they're not doing well, but I daresay that a lot of that is on Smackdown's shitty booking rather than JBL. I'm not saying that JBL is the guy that you want to be on top if you're trying to have a resurgence in business, but the numbers have held pretty steady since he's become champ. TV ratings have even gone up a tick or two. I don't think that Eddie would have done any better, and unless there is a serious shift in talent during the draft lottery or a marked improvement in booking, I doubt that Cena will do much better.
Plus, any idiot in WWE ought to be able to look at that and see that at NYR and above, all of those shows had at least one, and in some cases, more than one, match that had been built for a long time prior. The cards all seemed to be fairly well thought out, unlike the crap that they put on the other PPVs, mainly Taboo Tuesday and the SD! PPVs.
And I do agree that 12 PPVs is enough. With the split brand concept, there really isn't enough talent to try to do a PPV every single month. I liked that each brand basically had 8 PPVs a year so that they would often have two months to build up some of their single brand shows. But now, SD has missed just one month (September) of PPV since the summer, and Raw has missed just one month (December) since Spring.
EDIT: Well, I've become quite the JBL apologist, haven't I? :)
JBL has done well in his role, however his role would be better for everybody if he were doing it in the US Title picture instead of the Main Event picture. However, because of bungled booking and what looks like lesser big name talent combined with the fact that the Smackdown Title always seems to get second billing to the Raw Title, I'd say the numbers could be far worse.
JBL isn't going to save Smackdown, but he is far from the problem.
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Nash and Hall jumped at the end of May '96. Russo didn't have much power at that time, as he was just at the magazine and the clown on Livewire (why yes, Hector Garza will make everyone forget about Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio).