No Way Out did a disappointing buyrate, with a first company estimate of just under 200,000 buys. WWE were expecting an above-average buyrate on the back of the ‘dream team’ main event of John Cena & Shawn Michaels vs. Batista & The Undertaker. The card also had Bobby Lashley vs. Ken Kennedy, so the main stars from all three brands were represented in keeping with the recent decision to feature Raw, Smackdown and ECW on all 16 PPVs.
That decision had arisen from Vince McMahon’s recent concern over the success or lack thereof from the single-brand PPVs, which he began to express after Cyber Sunday and increased tenfold after December to Dismember. The ‘big nine’ stars, listed as Cena, Michaels, Batista, Undertaker, Triple H, Edge, Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton and Lashley will now be on virtually every PPV, supplemented by workers on the level of Kane, Booker and Kennedy, while those on the level of Paul London & Brian Kendrick will be featured less on PPV, subsequently pushed less on TV, and be in line for fewer bonuses as a result. As well as the wrestling talent, all three announce teams are expected to work every PPV show too.
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