Between Hulkamania and The Attitude Era there was a mostly terrible period in WWE history called “New Generation”. It featured cartoony characters, occupational gimmicks, and occasionally a stellar match from, or between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. I was a huge fan in the 80’s but dipped out until Stone Cold Steve Austin dropped the Austin 3:16 promo at the 1996 King of the Ring pay per view. Suddenly pro wrestling felt like it was real. Suddenly, there was an edge to what we grew up with and it was refreshing. Still, that doesn’t mean it didn’t have its fair share of pay per view duds. It would seem no matter how strong the era was there were no sure things. Even in the modern eras of post 2010, WWE never knew how much money fans would shell out.
Here are the five lowest pay per view buy rates in WWE history.
5. TLC 2012
This was one of the gimmick pay per views that should have done much better than it did. Unfortunately we were smack dab in the middle of ‘Super Cena’ hell. John Cena was portrayed as a smiling super powered baby face who was also a walking merchandising ad. Fans were tired of watching John bury younger talent and of the squeaky clean hero being shoved down our their throats. As a result the PPV managed to bring in only a dismal 75,000 buys.
4. Over the Limit 2011
There seems to be a pattern forming here… 2010-2011 felt like the New Generation did. It was still WWE but something just felt off. Fans noticed it, too and as a result they missed out on the oh so memorable Jerry Lawler vs Michael Cole ‘kiss my foot’ match and John Cena winning yet another ‘I Quit’ match against – The Miz. Viewers were over it and this PPV only pulled in 72,000 buys.
3. Bragging Rights 2010
And the pattern continues. Bragging Rights in 2010 produced one match worth watching again in Daniel Bryan vs Dolph Ziggler. Other than that we got Wade Barrett winning against champion Randy Orton by disqualification at a time Wade needed the belt more than Orton. A 14 man elimination tag match that went on forever and had zero stakes was also shoved in there for 71,000 people to fall asleep to. Finally, Kane buried the Undertaker alive with the help of The Nexus. Yawn….
2. Vengeance 2011
Another 2010’s pay per view and another featuring John ‘jean shorts’ Cena. The main event was Alberto Del Rio vs. Cena in a Last Man Standing match that felt like a rerun you had seen too many times. Del Rio as the rich heel wasn’t working despite Vince McMahon’s dreams of it happening. It also had a plodding match between Mark Henry and The Big Show that felt like it was in slow motion. 65,000 people wish they hit skip and got their money back.
1. December to Dismember 2006
Is this really a shock to anyone? WWE controlling ECW was always going to end up in disaster. Producer Kevin Dunn famously stated that no one will watch ECW unless it has WWE stars, thus unintentionally making it WWE and no longer ECW. Sadly, Dunn is still there. Because ECW was not allowed to be ECW it was an absolute failure. The main event was won by freaking Bobby Lashley and included The Big Show….The Big Show. Hardcore Big Show… This sad show only garnered 52,000 buys.
What did you think of the list?