AJ Styles might have a little more leverage in his ongoing negotiations with TNA, as Impact Wrestling managed to score a dramatic increase this week. Approximately 25% more people tuned into the episode, which featured Styles's final match, than they did the previous week.
The expectation was that ratings for Monday Night Raw would rise this week because fans would tune in to see if CM Punk would make his return or not. However, the opposite took place. WWE saw a 12 percent drop in viewership, which has to be a bit alarming since it is the time period between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania 30.
When Batista made his return on Monday Night Raw, WWE officials were said to be rather upset with the lackluster reaction from the audience. However, management then saw the television ratings for the segment and placed the blame on the Dayton crowd instead.
"It's ridiculous. I hate to sound like I'm attacking the WWE or (I) devalue what they did because Vince McMahon, say whatever you want -- and he's always smashing us and talking s—t about us, but I will tell you this, I was watching WWE I was a little kid and Vince was the commentator in WWE -- this guy has been kicking ass, breaking rules and doing things that people said he couldn't do over and over and over again. Now I'm older I don't get the whole thing, it doesn't work for me, but what he's able to do, the ratings he's able to pull and the things he's done ... And when I look at his model and he's basically taking everything in and devalued it. Saying everything we do is worth $10. That doesn't make sense to me," White said during a media luncheon on Monday. If he pulls in 2 million subscribers, he's crushing it. So it's a risky move, it's a crazy move, but Vince has been doing risky, crazy s—t since the beginning of time. If anybody can do it, maybe Vince can do it."
- UFC president Dana White on Vince McMahon and WWE Network
Impact Wrestling drew in one of the highest ratings that the show has seen in a couple of years this week. The belief is that WWE fans tuned in this week to see what would happen during the match between Sting and Brutus Magnus, as many are hoping that the legendary performer will end up at Wrestlemania 30 this year.
How would you describe your two bosses Vince McMahon and Dixie Carter? You can't compare Vince to anybody, if it wasn't for Vince McMahon I wouldn't be here talking to you. He knows how to make money and make stars, I wouldn't be working for Dixie Carter right now if it wasn't for Vince McMahon doing what he did for me. Dixie is a woman and she has that caring aspect about her, sometimes she lets personal [issues] get involved with business because she can't help it. She cares about the wrestlers and their wellbeing and their welfare. Other than that I think Dixie has done a great job, we are talking about a woman that has been involved in the entertainment business but not the wrestling business. It is different when you are involved in music and go over to wrestling, there is so much difference, I think the last 12 years she has had to learn on the job and I think she has done a good job. I can't say anything bad about her, one thing I'll say is that I'm not sure she would have made it without the help of Jeff Jarrett because she did need someone to help transition here and there and Jeff has a great mind for the business. She has learnt a lot during her time at TNA but at the same time she has to make business decisions that she doesn't necessarily like. Lately she has made some very rash business decisions when you are talking about Hulk Hogan and AJ Styles but she has to do what is best for the company, if she thinks that is what is best for the company she has to do it. Would other people agree, no, but she is doing what is best for her company and you can't blame her for that."
- Kurt Angle on comparisions between Vince McMahon and Dixie Carter
"It's tough, even Hulk Hogan was a tough loss to accept. Sting has been the cornerstone of the company, Jarrett founded the company and I think he might be the best heel in the business, and AJ Styles is just the best athlete I've ever been in the ring with. From three different perspectives it is a tough pill to swallow because they are three of the best. When you don't have them in the company you hope to god that the young talent steps up, guys like Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and James Storm seem to be stepping up. Will they replace Sting? You can't replace Sting, will they replace AJ? Probably not, AJ is irreplaceable, but will they become their own characters and do really well, yes they will do phenomenally well and it's not about replacing anymore, it's about making new stars."
- Kurt Angle on TNA losing stars recently
During a recent interview, AJ Styles revealed that he was contacted by lawyers representing TNA, in regards to a nation wide speakig tour that he had initially planned on doing in March. Things are being worked out, and the tour has been moved to a possible July start date.
While a lot of wrestling fans would love to see him making his debut in WWE, AJ Styles has revealed that there has been no contact between he and the company. The former TNA champion also revealed that he did not receive a courtesy call to just gauge his insterest.