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.
There has been little to no talk backstage of bringing Edge in for a special appearance at Wrestlemanie 30. The belief is that he has moved on from WWE and only made his recent appearance in September to do promotions for Haven, the television show that is currently working on.
Edge won't have to look through the classifieds any time soon, as SyFy has decided to renew the Haven television series for another season. The network likes the show so much that they have ordered 26 episodes next season, and Edge will be back to portray Dwight Hendrickson for several of those.
"And I really wish Edge were still here. It killed me when I was out injured and he ended up having that final match with Alberto Del Rio. He was there while I was with the Nexus and he was just such a joy to be around. He's a good human being and just knew so much. He was always helping. Its guys like that that I wish were around still."
- Ryback on the retirement of Edge
"We are thinking of making you guys the new 'Midnight Express. I just went, 'Oh, no. Anything new, whatever it is, it's not going to work.' That (idea) was doomed for failure right away. What are you going to say? That's brutal… a horrible idea, and I know Sean (Morley) felt the same way. We were like, this is not good, but we'll make it work and be a kick-ass tag team no matter what they call us; we'll do good with this."
Edge has confirmed that he will not be appearing on the upcoming Old School edition of Monday Night Raw. He stated that he simply could not make it, which has added fuel to the speculation that he only deals with WWE when he is instructed to.
"Then finally when I signed my deal deal, my very first deal, they also paid all of my college fees as a bonus. I think I owed like 40 grand, which they didn't have to do, I always felt was very, very cool of JR to do. He was like we're going to take care of your college, by the way. I was like oh, because that had been hanging over my head while I had been trying to just get somewhere and make it. I was like oh, man. I got this 40 grand that's over my head and I'm making 50 bucks on this show. Cool, now I'm making 210, but that's not going to chip away at 40 grand. So they took care of that when I signed my deal."