During his run, how much of a draw was Rock as a merch seller? I know he was a beast when it came to video games.Austin turned heel thus forfeiting his numero uno babyface position. He was number 1 only when Rock was not around.
In overall merchandise sales John Cena is the number 1 guy. Peak sales for one calendar year, Austin still holds the record.
PPV buys? No one can touch The Rock, peak, cumulative, absolute, doesn't matter. 4 Mania headlines with over 1m buys, more than 17 headlined PPVs with over 500k buys, it's not even close.
Also you say WWF couldn't draw huge PPV buys in 80s? Wrong. Hogan vs Savage @WM5 drew 767k buys. It took WM 15 and The Rock in the main event as the WWF champion for WWF to break that record with 800k buys. Hogan was a huge PPV draw.
You are a good poster, but do not let your Austin fanboyism skew the numbers.