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WWE Money In The Bank 2011 drew 265,000 buys, according to the latest performance indicators released by the promotion, which is over 100,000 more buys than last year's edition of the PPV and the WWE's third best selling pay-per-view (PPV) of the year, behind only Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.
What does this tell us?
Despite Raw's ratings staying within their usual range, between CM Punk's merchandise sales and Money in the Bank's PPV numbers, it is clear the Punk storyline has reinvigorated the hardcore audience in a way that hasn't been seen in years.
When your biggest babyface appeals mostly to children, you will always run into the same problem. Said children have no disposable income, which means they have to run begging to their parents with pleas of, "But PLEASE, can I get the new Cena shirt," or, "PLEASE, I have to see Cena win at SummerSlam."
When you have a babyface that appeals to guys in their 20s and 30s, that is the demographic that has the disposable income and interest to drop $20 on a shirt or $50 on a PPV.
Summerslam's buyrate will probably be the make or break moment for Punk's rise. If Summerslam cracks a half million buys, I think its safe to say Punk will be a made man in the company from now on. Will it?
Correction by Keith Harris with the title of the post edited appropriately:
Dave Meltzer of f4wonline.com insists that the line graph on page 4 of the performance indicators document on the WWE corporate website is erroneous, as the number for the Money In The Bank PPV includes 91,000 late buys from the preceding quarter, most of which came from WrestleMania, which did considerably better than they thought even a few weeks ago. He says that the real numbers are 185,000 worldwide with 132,000 of them coming from the domestic market. This tallies up with the Average Current Period buys bar chart on page 3, as there has only been one PPV event in the quarter so far. It should be noted that Money In The Bank wasn't broadcast on PPV in the UK, which probably cost the event around 30,000 buys, which should be taken into account when it's compared with other shows that were broadcast on PPV in the UK (Elimination Chamber is the only other WWE PPV this year that was also broadcast for "free" on Sky Sports in the UK, the equivalent of a premium cable channel like HBO or Showtime in the US, instead of on their PPV channel).