Why Was SummerSlam 2013's Buyrate Low?

By Damian Seeto
Summerslam 2013
Image from John Cena – WWE Universe Facebook

The preliminary buyrate for SummerSlam 2013 is now in, and it’s a significant drop from last year’s show.

The buyrate for this year’s show came in at only 298,000 buys. This is a steep decline from SummerSlam 2012’s buyrate of 358,000 buys. One has to wonder if WWE did a good job of promoting the show, or were people not excited about the matches that were booked?

The main event for last year’s show was Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H. These two had never faced each other in a one-on-one match before, and a lot of old-school fans were looking forward to the contest. Not to mention, the match itself was advertised heavily and it was Lesnar’s second match back since he returned to the WWE after leaving the UFC.

This year’s show was headlined by CM Punk vs. Lesnar and also John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan. On paper, these matches looked excellent and they did deliver. Why did the buyrate drop so heavily since Lesnar was a part of both events?

The main thing that I feel WWE did wrong in this case was that the Lesnar’s feud with Punk appeared to be more of a feud between Punk and Paul Heyman. Lesnar wasn’t really a part of the build-up as he mostly just came in to beat up Punk whenever Heyman called for him. Lesnar also made fewer appearances than he did during last year’s build-up.

As for Cena and Bryan, you could say that Bryan is still a relatively new wrestler and casual fans may not know him too well. The fans that watched the product in the Attitude Era may not know he is either.

It will be interesting to see what WWE comes up with for next year’s event. The buyrate for every SummerSlam event has dropped a lot since 2008. The shows used to hover around 500,000 buys, but have been averaging around the 300,000 mark.

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