This year's WWE SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV) event, which took place back on Sun.., Aug. 18, 2013, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, was a hugely important show. Not only would it set up the major angle WWE is planning on riding all the way to WrestleMania XXX in April of next year, but it was the first major show Daniel Bryan was in the main event for challenging for the WWE championship against the always reliable John Cena.
It's just too bad the news on the initial buyrate isn't better.
As released by WWE in its monthly business report, the show did roughly 298,000 buys breaking down to 186,000 domestic (North America) and 112,000 international. Here's how that compares to the past five years:
SummerSlam 2012: 358,000 buys (Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar)
SummerSlam 2011: 296,000 buys (John Cena vs. CM Punk)
SummerSlam 2010: 350,000 buys (Team WWE vs. Nexus)
SummerSlam 2009: 369,000 buys (CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy)
SummerSlam 2008: 470,000 buys (Undertaker vs. Edge)
What's truly frightening about the number is the fact that it came just before Cena was to go on a hiatus of four to six months to repair a torn triceps. He's likely out until the Royal Rumble, as is Sheamus. That doesn't mean Night of Champions won't end up being a PPV success, but it certainly doesn't inspire confidence.
Then again, WWE television has been much better as of late with multiple intriguing storylines playing themselves out. There's reason to be optimistic but there's still some cause for concern.
It could be a lean winter.