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Initial AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door PPV buy figures are here

All Elite Wrestling

The performance of AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door has been more closely monitored than most wrestling events. There are lots of reasons for this, including but not limited to: the novelty of a cross-promotional PPV, the hope there will or won’t be future ones between the two companies, critiques of the build to the show, and the general WWE vs. AEW “war”.

Into a debate that already included the television ratings and secondary ticket market leading up to the Sun., June 26 show in Chicago, we can now add initial PPV buy rate data.

Tony Khan already touted a dollar amount — $5 million — but AEW’s head honcho isn’t exactly an unbiased source, and his use of PPV revenue instead of the traditionally cited number of buys led to some skepticism.

Wrestlenomics and Wrestling Observer are both reporting the buy number at 125,000-127,000 between AEW’s usual PPV outlets and New Japan’s streaming service, NJPWWorld. For comparison sake, AEW’s best ever number came from last September’s All Out, which did 205K buys. This year, February’s Revolution did 173K, and May’s Double or Nothing 155K.

In the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer indicated an issue in the drop off was the show failing to generate much interest outside the United States:

80% of the total buys were from inside the United States which he said is a higher percentage than normal. BR numbers were down slightly from Double or Nothing and Revolution, while European FITE and cable buys weren’t nearly as good... the PPV got just 7000 buys on New Japan World, but it also aired live from 8 AM to 1 PM local time on Monday in Japan.

What does it mean? Without knowing what the show cost to put on, it’s hard to say — and that’s before we even get into other difficult to measure aspects like, “did adjusting creative for Forbidden Door hurt either company’s plans for future shows?” But at a glance, I’d say a show that sold out and got a decent amount of interest on PPV despite a build everyone (even TK) admits had issues should be considered at least a moderate success.

Let us know what you think, Cagesiders.

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