WWE headquarters was given a small glimmer of good news this morning when the company released its key indicators in regards to buy rates from May's Over The Limit PPV.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter recently lit up the Internet with a report stating trending numbers indicated Over The Limit had just barely avoided a record-low buy rate, attracting 65,000 buys in the United States.
2006's widely-despised ECW December to Dismember PPV reached only 55,000 buys in the U.S. and currently holds the record for the WWE's lowest-ever PPV buy rate. In contrast, the second-lowest buy rate ever for a WWE PPV was last year's Fatal 4-Way PPV, which attracted 143,000 buys (TWICE as much as the projected figures for this year's OTL).
The fact that OTL had supposedly attracted only 10,000 more buys than D2D was latched onto by the IWC and message boards erupted in a wave of disdain for the PG product, the excessive number of PPVs, and John Cena and Randy Orton in particular.
Many pundits had forecasted a low buy rate due to the sheer predictability of the PPV's main events, with Cena taking on The Miz in an "I Quit" match for the WWE Championship—a match where Cena's "never give up" ethos effectively sealed the Miz's fate.
Despite the Miz's prophecies of a new, original way unseen by the WWE universe to make Cena quit, it actually turned out to be a rehash of the tape recorder angle used by The Rock during his 1999 Royal Rumble "I Quit" match with Mankind. Riley crucially dropped the tape recorder, revealing the ruse to everyone in the arena and costing Miz the title in the process.
Criticism was also levied at the Randy Orton-Christian match for the world heavyweight championship, with many fans stating Orton's victory was a lock, and Christian would not retain the title.
Despite the presence of a fully-formed card of seven matches (something unfamiliar to WWE PPVs over the past year or two), many detractors still prophesied visions of buy rate doom for the event.
However, it seems these naysayers have been proven wrong, as PWInsider has reported today that WWE key indicators show this year's Over The Limit actually attracted just more than 200,000 buys. This is an increase in buys from last year's OTL PPV, which got 197,000 buys and also featured Cena competing in an "I Quit", this time against Batista.
While The Wrestling Observer had indicated that trending patterns were not completely accurate, they cited various examples that implied they could be relied upon to give an accurate figure. But the fact that their figures were only a third of the actual total suggests that either The Wrestling Observer or their source has deliberately falsified figures to scaremonger readers and the IWC.
The Wrestling Observer has not issued a comment on the discrepancy yet.
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