Well, the title is certainly not surprising. It is not going to be very difficult for WWE pay-per-views in 2012 to defeat some 2011 buyrates. However, Extreme Rules saw a major upswing.
Of course, these are just early numbers and not final. The official results will be released during the next quarter earnings report in the next month or so.
My Thoughts on This News
My initial reaction is that everybody paying for the event certainly got their money's worth. It is all opinion, but I can't imagine what else any wrestling fan could have wanted from that show. Top to bottom, WWE came through with an excellent show.
The next thought in my head was that it furthers my stance that WWE can do monthly pay-per-view right. If you build it, they will come. Remember that saying?
When people call for the end of monthly pay-per-views, that is just laughable. When the company hypes a huge show, fans will pay to see the show. It is just that simple. Extreme Rules was a "must-see" event. Thus, the buyrate reflected that.
From April 1st to April 29th, WWE is looking at nearly 1.5 million buys. All of it is unofficial, but that sure sounds like huge money to me. The "pay-per-views are dying" theory is simply not true.
Just like last year's Money in the Bank pay-per-view!
Fans act as if that show had some sort of huge hype for months on end with CM Punk. It didn't. WWE created buzz within three weeks and created a huge main event in July. Just three weeks, folks! Again, if you build it, they will come.
WWE built up a Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena main event, and fans paid for it. There was no year-long anticipation. It was not one of the "big four" shows. Extreme Rules was just a nicely laid-out show with a huge main event fans had to pay to see.
That's all it takes.
Another topic here is Brock Lesnar's contract. The rumor (stress the word rumor) is that he is getting $5 million over the next year. While many overreacted to that number, I had no issues with it.
It is already paying off for WWE.
Do the quick math on the Extreme Rules buyrate increase from last year. WWE is easily going to make more than $5 million off Lesnar over the next year, and it began last month.
Over the next year, it is only going to get better for both sides. Their contract, agreed to before Wrestle Mania, was more than fair. We are seeing that now, as numbers are starting to come in.
The final point to discuss is if this will matter for the Over the Limit buyrate. Does this show interest in WWE pay-per-view again or will the May event see a steep decline?
Honestly, my feelings have been well stated on where I think the Over the Limit will end up. Over time, we will find out if my concerns are needed or not. For now, Extreme Rules looked to be a success in terms of "popping" a good buyrate for Lesnar's return right off the bat.