When TNA decided to cut back on its live pay-per-view (PPV) business, it did so to create more time to promote a "Big Four" schedule similar to what WWE used to run with Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series with Genesis, Lockdown, Slammiversary, and Bound for Glory. The idea, of course, is that with more time in between shows, the company would be better able to promote the shows as big events that fans couldn't afford to miss out on.
The first show to receive the extra time, Lockdown, went down this past Sunday night (March 10, 2013) at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, and featured Bully Ray turning heel in revealing himself as the President of the Aces and 8s en route to winning the heavyweight championship.
Estimates are in for the buyrate and, according to the Wrestling Observer, they aren't any higher than they were last year:
The show broke the North American company attendance record of about 5,500 set for the company's first show at Cyclones Stadium in Brooklyn, but that number was also due to having a fireworks display after the event. The early indications of PPV numbers look to be around 17,000 buys, or similar to last year's numbers. It's way too early to see if cutting back on PPVs will lead to more success since there was only one month without a PPV.
It is indeed too early to know if the extra time will make a difference but so far, it didn't. The big question is whether or not Slammiversary will receive a bump, seeing as Lockdown and Bound for Glory are both bigger shows that have done well for TNA, like a super scaled down version of the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.
It's a shame more fans didn't tune in because the show, though it got off to a slow start, finished strong with Ray's near perfectly executed heel turn to win his first major singles championship, something he's deserved for some time now.
Still, this should be considered a success ... for now.