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WWE SummerSlam 2014 buy rate announced; was John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar the 'right attraction'?

WWE has released their latest "Keynote Performance Indicators", and included in those figures are the first indications of how well the August SummerSlam 2014 event did on pay-per-view (PPV).

Was John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar the 'right attraction'?

The indicators point to SummerSlam generating between 140,000 and 150,000 buys.  That's down considerably from last years 298,000 - a figure that lead Vince McMahon to famously tell investors that Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena was not the 'right attraction'.  That buy rate and those comments were seen as the impetus for Bryan's removal from the championship scene by Survivor Series...a booking decision that was only reversed after live audience revolt at the Royal Rumble and an episode of Raw in Seattle proved too much for the company to ignore.

Of course, last year there was no WWE Network.  With an estimated 700,000 subscribers getting SummerSlam and all of WWE's other PPV events for $9.99 per month, that understandable erodes the year-to-year buy rate.  There's no way to tell how many orders Lesnar vs. Cena would have garnered in 2013.

The fact that they were able to sell 150K PPVs at roughly $55 a pop while the $9.99 alternative is out there does speak to their drawing power, however.  It also goes to show that there are still fans with outside factors keeping them from the Network, whether that be geography, telecommunications limitations or unfamiliarity with over-the-top technology.

Are you surprised by the initial SummerSlam numbers?  Better or worse than you thought they'd be?  What does it mean for the state of WWE's business?

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