After the Survivor Series buyrate came in with much lower numbers than anyone at WWE was hoping for, there was a sense of doom regarding the next pay-per-view (PPV) event on the schedule, TLC, which went down on Dec. 16, 2012, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Adding to the anxiety was the fact that WWE Champion CM Punk was unavailable for the show thanks to a knee injury and subsequent surgery. That left Ryback, a loser in two straight PPV main events, to try to carry the day in a six-man tag team match alongside Team Hell No against The Shield in their debut match in WWE.
It wasn't actually the main event -- the match to go on last -- but it was advertised as such. Well, WWE released its monthly business figures and the show drew an estimated 170,000 buys, down from the past few years. The 2011 show drew 179,000 buys on a main event of CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. The Miz and the 2010 show drew 195,000 buys on a main event of John Cena vs. Wade Barrett at the conclusion of the awful Nexus storyline.
The actual main event of this past year's show was John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler for the latter's Money in the Bank briefcase that saw AJ Lee finally turn on Cena and align herself with Ziggler.
But that's surely to be forgotten or simply brushed aside.
The reality, though, is this was all just window dressing leading up to the big returns of The Rock and Brock Lesnar and Royal Rumble, the very next PPV on the schedule, was seemingly a smashing success in every measurable metric so far. There's no reason to think it will be any different when the PPV numbers come in.