This week, WWE had a double whammy of bad news on the PPV business front. As reported in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter by Dave Meltzer, the Hell In A Cell PPV did 172,000 total buys, 93,000 of which were from North America. That would be down 18% in total and 15% domestically, continuing a very worrying downward trend in B-show PPV business that only this year's Money In The Bank PPV has managed to buck and even that show should have done better off the back of CM Punk's infamous "shoot" promo. The short two or three week build, together with the lack of blood and failing to time a hot program to peak for the show, has killed the marketability of the Cell gimmick match, which used to be good for at least 185,000 buys in North America alone.
Vengeance did even worse, which should be no surprise coming after the tone deaf payoff of the Triple H walkout angle, which saw Triple H fired as onscreen COO, replaced by John Laurinatis and become bosom buddies with arch enemy CM Punk. No-one wanted to pay to see Punk team as friends with Triple H against anybody, yet alone those jokesters Miz and R-Truth, so it should come as little surprise that Vengeance drew the second lowest WWE domestic PPV number dating back to the mid '80s. It is estimated to have done 130,000 worldwide and 70,000 domestic, only down very slightly from last year's Bragging Rights PPV, but that was the day after UFC 121 - Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez, the last UFC PPV to break the million buy barrier, so it's not really a fair comparison. Without that extenuating factor, WWE's second October PPV would also have been down 15% from last year.
Thanks to The Rock's first match back in over seven years, Survivor Series will inevitably be up from 2010, but with the WWE creative team even managing to drop the ball with the build for that once in a blue moon opportunity and this persistent decline in WWE's PPV buying audience, it probably won't be up as much as it should have been.