With The Rock committing to far more dates during his run this year, WWE took full advantage by having him win the WWE championship from CM Punk at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) in January to set up a rematch between the two at Elimination Chamber the next month. With the Rumble having done 498,000 buys, it was expected the rematch would pop a solid buyrate for a "B" show that has struggled in recent years.
Well, it did, although maybe not as much as the company was hoping for.
This year's Chamber event, headlined by the aforementioned Rock vs. Punk rematch for the WWE title, drew 221,000 buys, according to monthly business figures released by WWE today. Here's how that figure looks in comparison to the past five years:
No Way Out 2008: 329,000 buys
No Way Out 2009: 272,000 buys
Elimination Chamber 2010: 285,000 buys
Elimination Chamber 2011: 199,000 buys
Elimination Chamber 2012: 178,000 buys
As you can see, the bottom dropped out on the WWE PPV business a couple years ago and last year represented the worst showing for the February event in quite some time. The Rock was able to get the number back up over 200,000 but couldn't do much better than that.
At this point, WrestleMania 29 is expected to be so lucrative that it should pay for damn near the entire year anyway, so anything above and beyond where they were last year, when WrestleMania 28 basically did the same with Rock headlining against John Cena, is a positive, though it is possible WWE was hoping for a bit more bang for its buck.
Any of you Cagesiders surprised at these figures?