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.
WWE has sent out a memo, stating that the company will be allowing Chris Benoit footage to air on their new network. There will be a warning before each show that he is featured on. No word yet on why the company has changed their policy.
Jim Ross has answered his final question about Chris Benoit. The long time WWE commentator has told fans to stop asking him any further questions about the former world champion, as he is tired of repeating himself on the matter.
"One night, Chris ended up killing his wife and his kid. That is an act so terrible and horrible I can't even comprehend or guess as to what happened in that house. That will always overshadow any accomplishment Chris had in the ring. He'll never be in the Hall of Fame, it will just never happen. His career will speak for itself but his record as a human being, his first and foremost, and those actions will never be forgotten. That's my feelings on that, we don't even need to talk about the Hall of Fame. Speaking for myself, Chris Benoit as the person I knew, loved him. Chris Benoit as a wrestler, loved him. Chris Benoit as the person who did what he did, unforgivable. Bottom line."
"Well first and foremost, what I think about Chris Benoit is that guy was one of the most nicest guys I ever met in my life. He's one of the most talented, hard working cats I'd ever seen in the squared circle. Anybody who knew Chris would tell you those exact two things. That guy loved the damn wrestling business, he was born to be a wrestler and was absolutely phenomenal. Drawing a lot of his influence from The Dynamite Kid, he blazed a path as the Pegasus Kid and his legacy as The Crippler Chris Benoit was just one hellacious career."
"Chris was dark, he was extremely dark. We used to have a joke that Chris was tri-polar, because it was a step up from bi-polarity. He would flip sometimes. I think a combination of Chris' background of with steroids, mixed with the partying, is a recipe for disaster. One of them is a recipe for disaster. Its literally taking Drano and pouring it on your hard drive. See what that does for your computer."
Chris Benoit shocked the wrestling world when he was able to win the Royal Rumble and earned himself a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania. He was successfully able to eliminate the Big Show to win the match.