The 2012 Royal Rumble has gotten a lot of criticism as “one of the worst Rumbles ever,” but that might be a little bit harsh.
Sure, it wasn’t one of the best Rumble matches we’ve ever seen, but it featured a number of memorable spots, some comedy that was actually funny and a nicely done finishing sequence with Sheamus and Chris Jericho.
I enjoyed it, and I was willing to pay to see it. But how many other fans were turned off by the supposed predictability or lack of star power in the match?
Let’s find out.
WWE its monthly “end of month” business figures for February this week and one of the more newsworthy items is that the 2012 Royal Rumble drew approximately 438,000 pay-per-view buys.
272,000 of the 438,000 buys were domestic (from the United States, while 166,000 buys were international.
This year’s 428,000 buys is down from 446,000 in 2011 and the 462,000 in 2010.
While there might be a lot of panic, both among fans and WWE officials, because the Royal Rumble buyrate dropped for the third straight year, I wouldn’t read too much into this one.
Only 8,000 fewer fans reportedly bought the 2012 Rumble than the 2011 Rumble, and though that sure sounds like a ton of fans, it’s not a considerable enough drop to cause everyone to freak out.
At roughly 50 bucks a pop for pay-per-views, the WWE is still making bank on them, and it’s going to take a lot more than a minimal decrease in pay-per-view buys to result in any sort of wholesale changes to the WWE’s PPV philosophy.
In fact, I’d actually be pretty pleased with this buyrate if I worked for the WWE.
Though Sheamus wound up winning the Royal Rumble match (the main selling point of the PPV), the widespread belief was that either Jericho or Orton would win it likely caused a number of viewers not to buy it because it was “predictable.”
Considering that “predictability” and the fact that there were main event newcomers in both World title matches, the pay-per-view actually did surprisingly well in my eyes.
Hopefully, this will make WWE officials more willing to take risks on up-and-coming talent—like they’re currently doing with Daniel Bryan—throughout 2012, even if that means they’re facing off against established veterans.