WWE pay-per-view business down this year for both Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber

Those who ordered the Royal Rumble pay-per-view were treated to this man, Sheamus, celebrating as the winner.

There's been a ton of news coming out of Vince McMahon's quarterly conference call with investors and we've covered the major stories. World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is still a highly profitable business that is doing quite well for itself, save for costs related to the WWE Network.

One issue, however, is pay-per-view (PPV) business continues to decline. Here are the numbers (which aren't final) for the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber PPV events that took place in January and February, respectively.

-- Royal Rumble 2012: 443,000 buys
-- Elimination Chamber 2012: 178,000 buys

Compare those numbers to the last two years for both shows and an alarming trend shows itself:

-- Royal Rumble 2011: 446,000
-- Royal Rumble 2010: 462,000
-- Elimination Chamber 2011: 199,000
-- Elimination Chamber 2010: 285,000

WWE claims the declines are because of failing international business but the domestic numbers "remain essentially unchanged." That may be true but the fact that PPV will only be up this year because of the record breaking 1.3 million buys WrestleMania 28 did is cause for concern. Especially when one considers how they got to that number, using The Rock's star power and what was one of the few truly big money matches left.

It's unlikely the company would ever do so but it might be time to consider dropping the February PPV altogether. The Royal Rumble has always been and will always be a big money show. It's also the unofficial kickoff of the so-called "Road to WrestleMania."

Having another PPV sandwiched between the two often only serves to complicate the build to the biggest show of the year, especially since they've been using the Chamber gimmick as a way to ensure both the WWE and world heavyweight titles are on the line. Simply put, it just makes no sense, other than to snag those 178,000 buys.

But is it worth it anymore with the rapid decline showing no signs of stopping?

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