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.
"I still think the Superkick is the best finisher ever. It was just so good. There's so many [favorites]. I think Antonio Cesaro's finish right now is cool. I always loved the Piledriver, so an adaptation of the Piledriver is very awesome to me. I've always loved submission holds, so I love the Sharpshooter, that sort of thing. I love Dean Malenko's Cloverleaf. The things that I never really liked as finishers were the stuff that was wacky, stuff like the Von Erichs, who did the Tornado Punch, you know what I mean? The Ultimate Warrior, even though he was my favorite as a kid, had the Press Slam, and then he'd hit the ropes a couple of times and give 'em the Big Splash, the Hulk Hogan Legdrop, stuff like that was all stuff where I was just like, 'Eh.' To be fair, I honestly always hated the Rock Bottom. To me, it was just like, 'Uh, that's weird and stupid.'"
- Daniel Bryan discussing finishing moves and how he hates the one used by Rock