As previously reported, the Extreme Rules PPV 251,000 buys worldwide. 147,000 of those buys were within North America, and the numbers were up 17% from the 216,000 buys that Extreme Rules 2011. Many feel that the buyrate is a disappointment due to the price tag that came with Brock Lesnar, especially compared to the business Lesnar did in the UFC.
UFC buyrates were at an all time high during the time Lesnar was with the company, and the feeling is that the UFC audience did not follow Lesnar back to the WWE.
One source within WWE is not blaming Lesnar for the PPV not doing big numbers, noting that the buyrate blame shouldn't go on Lesnar, but on the company itself for making fans believe that the secondary PPVs aren't important anymore.
"No one should spin this as Brock failing. Brock didn't fail the company. The company failed itself in that we've conditioned the majority of the audience that only Wrestlemania is important now. This show came right after Mania, so you are going to lose fans that invested money in that show. No one will remember that. But, we also rushed out a marquee match and it didn't really succeed for us, either. I think the lesson to be learned is that no matter who is on what show these days, the branding won't be strong enough, no matter how good or bad the creative side may be. We've conditioned everyone to see it as Wrestlemania and then everything else, because we spent a year building Mania. There was going to be a drop-off after that climax."
The source also stated that Lesnar as a PPV draw is not a lost cause, noting the following…
"We had to reintroduce him to our new audience. Seven year olds didn't know who Brock was. Now they do. The numbers were up so on paper, it looks good. This is part of another year-long build. The upside is that when we hit Wrestlemania, then Lesnar will draw and the company gets our investment back that way - because now it's Wrestlemania plus the talent that draws, not the talent drawing for Wrestlemania. That's the lesson we need to learn here, in my opinion."