Friday, August 26, 2011

From the A1 Message Boards: Me and Jerseyboy on the Money in the Bank Buyrate

Don't worry 'bout Punk
Photo Credit:
Normally, I hate talking about things like buyrates and ratings. Like Jason Mann said, they're boring. However, sometimes, you get dragged into conversations with people who take those sorts of things seriously. In addition to my post on why I don't think they need to be taken seriously at Fair to Flair, I got into it a little bit at A1-Wrestling with the people reacting to ratings and getting a bit in a tizzy because ratings haven't shot up.

I posted the now-determined-to-be incorrect buyrate for Money in the Bank, which was actually really good, before I was corrected by poster and sometimes TWB commenter KoppoKick bringing up Meltzer's analysis of the sheets bringing the number down a bit. The correct number, 185K as compared to the erroneous number of 276K, was still pretty good, at least I thought. Here's the passage of three posts over there that I think dictates why, regardless of how "good" or "not good" the numbers are, why, again, we shouldn't really worry about the business side when it comes to what they're going to do on the side we SHOULD care about, i.e. the shows themselves. Two of my posts will sandwich one by poster and regular TWB commenter Jerseyboy, with whom I may disagree from time to time. Despite that, he really is smart when it comes to this kind of thing, and I'm glad he reads and comments.

Yes, this will be directly C&Ped from the A1 board, but I think it's worth sharing. At least I hope you think it's worth sharing.

[Referring to the discrepancy between the originally reported 276K and the real 185K] It just goes to show that wrestling journalism has a long way to go, and wrestling fans such as myself have a long way to go before trusting any of these sites. My bad.

That being said, 185K is still a good number.
I agree. To me, it meant that Punk/Cena had some juice.

The big thing that people need to keep in mind is that if there's going to be business turnaround with Punk as the centerpiece, it isn't going to happen overnight. Again, the things to look at over the next 3-6 months aren't the TV ratings so much, but to see if there's a bump in PPV buyrates and house show attendance and merchandise sales. If Punk means something, that's where the initial bump's [sic] going to come from.

Of course, the WWE might look at ratings and a less than expected PPV number and decide Punk needs to be shunted back down the card. But I'm thinking at this point that they're pretty much out of options and will go all the way with him.

Because if you move Punk back to the mid-card, who do you move up in his place? Exactly.
Me again:
Yeah, I think you're right in that they won't move him back down for whatever reason. They're already seeing the initial bumps in merch. MitB was slightly up, from this time last year, which is still up. Ratings are ratings, but in the last two months, they've been mostly stable. Plus, as Triple H gets more influence, I think the decision making might turn more rational over the long term. I think Punk will be fine.

Normally, I don't care about this kind of thing, but I posted the number just to try and allay concerns (before I found out that I had bitten on a bad one, again, my fault there) that something that we found good was going to continue to pay dividends and that really, we should probably stop worrying about the business end of things. 10 million people watch the Jersey Shore. Is that a measurement of how enjoyable that program is going to be to you? Hardly. Therefore, why should it matter how many people consume wrestling if what the company is producing is good? And unlike Fatty, there really isn't a consensus on this angle being good or bad (although most people I interact with have loved the last two months with hiccups here and there).

If WWE was proving to be reactionary, then they wouldn't have put Punk over Cena at MitB, they wouldn't have put him over Cena again at SummerSlam, and they wouldn't have programmed him against someone who is so obviously hateable and polarizing the other way that everyone, not just the "Attitude Era holdovers", men and anti-Cena crowd, would cheer him. Say what you want about Nash and Punk being programmed against him, but again, the logic there isn't to bury Punk or put him out of mind. It's to get everyone to cheer the man, and it's a prelude into a potential feud with the boss. Whether you think Nash should have been the segue into that or whether you think that a boss/employee feud in 2011 is a good idea is one thing, but I think it's undeniable that Punk is a priority to WWE right now.

This is program #1 or at least #1a (with Cena/del Rio being #1). The moment that Punk gets thrown back to the Dolph Zigglers and Kanes of the world is when we start panicking, at least in my estimation. But again, I'll be utterly shocked if that happens. Call me myopic. Call me overly optimistic. Call me a "WWE fanboy" (like that means anything among adults in 2011, even if there wasn't a shitload of evidence to prove that I come down on what I feel is bad wrestling regardless of company) even. Just don't call me late for dinner. But I have a really good feeling about the direction of WWE right now, and when it's all said and done, I really feel like come WrestleMania time, CM Punk is going to be fully integrated into the main event firmament.
I think that's a passage worth relaying. Again, numbers are numbers, and even if they do affect what they put on the screen, you always have the option to vote with your own remote control and not watch. Life's not long enough to the point where worrying about the performance indicators of WWE is worth it.

Also, I encourage you, like I always have, to sign up for an account at A1-Wrestling and post there. It's a really good community with great discussion for wrestling and so much more.

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