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.
Colt Cabana, a good friend of CM Punk in real life, was given another tryout not too long ago with WWE, but the company opted not to sign him to a contract just yet. It now appears that he is being considered for a possible role on the upcoming WWE Network.
"CM Punk did the most memorable promo in the past 20 years of wrestling to 4 million people watching at home and I'm sure millions more who watched it online," Colt said. "If even 10 percent of the people who watched it scratched their heads and looked me, that's a whole lot of people. At the time he did that promo I had a lot of different projects going and things that I was very proud of including my podcast. I always say you can lead a horse to water but you can't make the horse drink s***** water. I like to think I had some great tasting water. Since that time a lot of people have come to check me out and stayed on for the ride. It's been great having those people as fans."
"I'm just riding the wave of fun right now. The WWE has been weirdly talking with me for over a year now. I can't rely on them though. I do my own thing until stuff gets concrete. Right now, I can't worry if I'll be doing announcing or anything else. I know I want to concentrate on continuing to wrestle around the world and growing my comedy stuff. All I can say about the future is that I'm going to be having fun with wrestling. That's a guarantee."