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.
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.
JTG has surprised a lot of people backstage by still being on the WWE payroll despite not being utilized much. His last appearance on Monday Night Raw was back in December of 2012, where he lost to Brodus Clay. He appeared on television just seven times in 2013.
Brodus Clay vowed to earn himself a spot on the main Wrestlemania 30 card this year, and he even managed to convince WWE officials to turn him heel and give him a character makeover. However, as of right now, it does not appear that he will be picking up enough momentum to earn that coveted spot.
The current plan in WWE is to have Naomi and Cameron leaving Brodus Clay, who has now turned heel, and Tensai to join Xavier Woods and R Truth. The segment on Monday Night Raw this week was designed to further that story line.
Initially, the feud was designed to give the spotlight to newcomer Xavier Woods, but it now appears that WWE has shifted the attentiont to Brodus Clay and his impending heel turn instead. That's why they went with that segment on TLC last night.