When speaking about Punk's main eventing, I was (and am) talking about his whole push. I am including as far back as MITB. Going further back would be unfair, but starting there is fair imo, since that's when he first gained the WWE title.
If you want the actual, factual numbers of the PPVs Punk main evented that Cena did not, here they are: the Royal Rumble...
Got to cut it off right there, since Punk did not main event the Royal Rumble.
Hint: The main event of that PPV is in the title.
No doubt this will likely provoke a reply with an ad hoc stipulation along the lines of 'you know what I mean! Da last match BEFORE da royale! Da royale don't count (since Punk wasn't in it)!!!1!
Well, the 2011 RR it was the...
that went on just prior to the battle royale, so does the divas match count as the Main Event over the royale?
The royale is the main event of the Rumble, not the match prior. Punk didn't main event the RR 2012.
buyrates were down about 4.2% from 2011 (428k from 446k, and about 8% from the year before that (462k). NoC buyrates were down by about 2.5% from 2010(161 from 165k, and yes, they sucked bad the year before too), and TLC buyrates were down about 16% (182k from 211k. This is the one where Cena didn't appear at all).
Here's some more facts: From NoC to RR, 3 of those 5 PPVs featured Punk in the main event,and not Cena.
No. Only two did.
All 3 had decreased buys from the previous year.
Two. All two had decreased, one of which was by a comparatively small margin, and yet also actually increased
domestically (NoC), allegedly.
The other two, featuring Cena as the main event, had increased buys. Seeing this obvious trend, the WWE switched gears and just put Cena as the main event for every PPV since the first one, and lo and behold, buyrates are up for the year.
Too bad that strategy didn't work for them the previous year.
Perhaps these numbers will make it more clear to you why I'm open-minded enough to credit Ryback and the storyline before I will believe that CM Punk is mostly responsibile if HIAC has increased buys. Going on trends, that'd be the least likely scenerio.
And what trend did Ryback have? You go on to say "Punk is 0/3 in getting increased buys without Cena" (actually 0/2) prior to HIAC, yet Ryback prior to HIAC is 0/0 in getting increased buys without Cena. By your own criteria their score was even going in, thus by your own criteria there is nothing to justify crediting Ryback anymore than Punk.
Yet, given that Punk is an established main event talent and the Champion, my bias goes to him. If Ryback was still in the ME but not Punk, the only other person I could conceive of as getting as good or better a number than Punk would be Cena. However, in vice-versa, there are still a few names I would suspect could have been thrown in there against Punk and yet still would have drawn as good or even better than Ryback.
If I said Punk got good buyrates when he main evented and Cena didn't, I'd be a liar.
Exempting HIAC, of course.
Punk is 0/3[0/2 actually] in getting increased buys without Cena, so yes, I am going to see who he was facing and what was going on before I speculate that CM Punk is main reason why the buyrates were good. Facts and trends matter more than opinions.
And likewise, Ryback was 0/0 in getting increased buys without Cena, so yes, I am going to see who he was facing and what was going on before I speculate that Ryback is the main reason why the buyrates were good. Facts and trends matter more than absolutely no facts or trends to go on at all, i.e., no Ryback main events wherewith we may compare.
(And do note that I have not
said that you did
speculate Ryback was the reason.)
I have to wonder though, are you consistent and do you do the same thing with the inverse data? When Punk main events and numbers are down from the previous year, do you likewise look to see who his opponents were, and what their trends were going in?
For instance, since TLC was down, was the fact that his competition was Del Rio & Miz taken into consideration before 'speculating that Punk was the main reason'? Is Del Rio's trend going into that PPV taken into account, namely, the fact that he just main evented two previous PPVs, both of which were down from 2010?
Can even the best draw in the world still draw well even if he were booked against a "broom-stick"?
And since you use Cena as a main variable in your data, what was his trend in 2011? In fact, is it taken into account in your data that the trend for 2011 overall was a relatively downward trend, with eight of the thirteen PPVs (the majority) all doing worse than the previous year, most of those in the latter part of the year? Interestingly enough, that same year, 2011, is when the two PPVs you selected to use against Punk occurred. His positive gain (HIAC) happened this year.
Since you tried to compare Punk's main event PPVs without Cena in 2011 against the previous year's numbers as data against his drawing ability, and since your elimination of Cena implies you treat him as a better draw, it is interesting to see how Cena holds up when your same ad hoc test is applied to him.
The following data is courtesy of Wikipedia.
While the numbers vary depending on which site you go to, the up or down from the previous year is still consistent, and the margin of difference from site to site is nothing major.
For convenience I chose the Wiki numbers as they are the most commonly repeated I have seen. So if you have more accurate data from a reliable source, cite to me the link and if reliable, I will make the correction.
Royal Rumble = Down
ME: Rumble (Winner Del Rio)
ME: Rumble (Winner Sheamus)
Elimination Chamber = Down
Me: EC, Jericho over Punk, Morrison,R-Truth, UnderTaker, Rey
ME: EC, Cena over Punk, Morrison, R-Truth, Sheamus, Orton
Down? No Cena a better draw than Cena?
Wrestle Mania = Up
ME: UnderTaker over Shawn Michaels
ME: Miz over Cena (Rock as guest host)
Extreme Rules = Up
ME: Cena over Batista
ME: Cena over Miz & Morrison
Cena was in both, so the variable is the Miz + Morrison. They a better draw than Cena?
Over The Limit = Down
ME: Cena over Batista
ME: Cena over Miz
Cena was in both. Cena can't draw as much as Cena? Miz & Cena both in ExRu, so variable is Morrison. Morrison draws 69k more than Cena & Miz combined (sans Rock)?
Capitol Punishment = Up
F4WAY 2010 ~143k
ME: Cena over Sheamus, Edge, & Orton
ME: Cena over R-Truth
Cena was in both, so variable is R-Truth. Cena can't draw as much as Cena? R-Truth a better draw than Edge, Orton, and Sheamus combined?
Money In The Bank = Up
ME: Sheamus over Cena
ME: Punk over Cena
Cena was in both, so variable is Punk.
Summer Slam = Down
ME: 7 vs 7 Elimination, WWE over Nexus
ME: Punk over Cena
Cena in both, so variable is Punk. Understandable that the combined force of 13 other superstars can edge out Punk alone. Ironically, though down from '10, still drew significantly more than their MITB match, which was UP
from '10. Is 195>296?
Night of Champions = Down
ME: 6-Pack Elim. Orton over Sheamus, Cena, Edge, Barrett, and Jericho
ME: HHH over Punk
Understandable that 6 stars outdrew 2, one of which was in semi-retirement. Although, the 6 combined only made a difference of 4k.
Hell In A Cell = Down
ME: Kane over Taker
ME: Del Rio over Punk & Cena.
Includes both Punk & Cena. No excuses here. Not yet, at least.
Vengeance = Down
Brag. Rights 2010 ~137k
ME: Orton over Barett
ME: Del Rio over Cena
Worst draw of the year. It even did worse than Bragging Rights from the previous year, which is quite a feat, given that BR 2010 was considered such a flop that BR 2011 was cancelled and eventually replaced with Vengeance. So actually, this was the worst draw of the past TWO years up to that point (possibly even further, haven't checked yet. And who headlined? Who drew the worst buyrate of the past two years from '10-'11?
Del Rio and...
When they had Punk a moth earlier, they weren't far off the 200k mark. When it was just Punk & Cena earlier in the year, they WERE around the 200k mark and later around the 300k mark.
I ask again, can even the best draw in the world still draw well even if booked against a "broomstick"?
Evidently, the answer is no.
Should Punk be expected to draw any better with the same broomstick? I don't think it's fair to. Yet Punk DID do better with that broomstick at TLC.
Survivor Series = Up
ME: Orton over Barrett
ME: Rock & Cena over Awesome Truth
You talk about trends, well, one I'm noticing that is rather conspicuous is that the Rock still draws.
TLC = Down
ME: Punk over Del Rio & Miz
Punk booked against that same broomstick didn't seem to manage to bring down SS, and when booked in a rematch the very next PPV, while down from TLC 2010, it still WAY outdrew Cena with the broomstick.
Both Del Rio & Punk also main evented HIAC, so the variable here is Miz replacing Cena.
Since you excluded Punk's main events that included Cena because you suspected Cena's drawing power skews the data, I too will exclude Cena's main events that involve the Rock, as I likewise suspect that skews the data, hence I shall nix WM and SurSer.
Also, since you counted even the one where Punk main evented with more than one opponent, I shall likewise not exclude the main events where Cena had multiple opponents.
That leaves Cena with 8 main evented PPVs in 2011, 3 of which were UP, 5 were down, and one of those 5 was the absolute worst of 2011 AND 2010, and in a year that was already on a downward trend at that.
2011 was just a bad year period, the few high points seem to be connected with the Rock or Punk's "shoot" buzz.
Cena on his own doesn't seem to be that much more of a draw than Punk, if at all.
Our only common data point between them is when they faced each other and/or Del Rio, in which case, Punk appears to have drawn better with Del Rio than Cena did. You might be able to argue a Miz factor in there, but by that point (TLC) he had fallen from grace.
So I think Toxie still has a point. Punk hasn't been able to outdraw Cena because he hasn't been given as much opportunity as Cena, he hasn't been booked as well as him, even after being champ. Only now, in the latter half of 2012 is WWE finally starting to book Punk in a way as if to see if their time invested in him will pay off. And if HIAC is any indication, it looks like it is finally starting to.
Ryback has appeal, he has potential to be
a draw, but I say as of right now there is no data to say that he is, at least, no data to say he is MORE
of a draw than Punk.
Depending on how this month's PPV is booked, I don't expect it to do all that great, since rumor is Punk dropping to Rock at Rumble has been written in stone for a while now, so December will probably just be a filler month until then. Though this Ambrose/Reigns/Rollins stable has me intrigued.