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Brock Lesnar Gives WWE SummerSlam 2012 Buyrate A Big Boost

The buyrate is in for WWE SummerSlam 2012 and it is great news for the WWE. The buyrate came back with an enormous boost from previous years. The happiest man today may be Brock Lesnar who now finds himself in a great position for his next contract.

Wrestling Observer writer Dave Meltzer reports that the numbers came in at an astonishing 265,000 buys domestically for the Biggest Party of the 2012 Summer. To put that number into perspective, that is almost 100,000 more buys than SummerSlam did last year worldwide. Needless to say the number is a success and the credit goes to former UFC champion Brock Lesnar for the big bump.

The number will become part of the story in 2013 when Brock Lesnar renegotiates his new WWE deal. According to Meltzer, it almost assures that Brock will get a raise from his current $5 million deal. Meltzer reports that Lesnar’s deal is up right around WrestleMania 29. These numbers are a good indication that the WWE will do everything they can to keep him on their big shows.

Another story to this is that SummerSlam took place the day after a UFC pay per view. Generally, the WWE doesn’t do well piggybacking off of a UFC pay per view. UFC 150 came in with an estimated 190,000 buys which is terrible for a UFC show. There is some speculation that crossover fans faced with purchasing one or the other decided to wait a day and save their money to see Brock Lesnar. It is no coincidence that Lesnar was the UFC’s biggest draw when he was fighting for the company.

I think this also goes back to something I wrote about after Extreme Rules. The wrestling media went ballistic on the Internet days following Extreme Rules about how Brock Lesnar was ruined as a draw after losing to Cena. I argued that the loss will have no big impact going forward on Lesnar’s ability to draw if the feud was done right. I think that evidence is clear that it doesn’t matter whether Lesnar wins or loses, people still want to see him regardless and will continue to do so in the interim.

This also brings up the old question of less is more in pro wrestling. I don’t believe for a second that Brock vs. Triple H would have drawn this big of a number if Brock was a regular WWE star. There is something to be said about using someone like Brock sparingly, sprinkled lightly over the course of a year on the big shows, with a couple of B-show appearances if necessary.
There was some talk about pushing the Lesnar vs. Triple H rematch up to Survivor Series. Again, I think that would be a bad move.

I think the WWE should stay the course and hold the match off until WrestleMania, at minimum 2013. It is easy for the WWE to overreact here and push Lesnar to appear on more shows. Yet at the end of the day I think it would be wise for everyone to look at the big picture here and understand that this number isn’t coming if Lesnar is wrestling weekly or even monthly as a WWE character.

Brock Lesnar is a shrewd negotiator. I have no doubt he will try and bring the UFC into negotiations when those talks begin. Unfortunately for the UFC it may take a lot more money than they anticipated to bring him back into the octagon. Expect the WWE to make Brock an offer he can’t refuse to keep him around until WrestleMania 30.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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