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.
Some last minute replacements were added to Royal Rumble 2014. Initially, Xavier Woods and Wade Barrett were given spots in the big match, but WWE officials decided to remove them and replace them with JBL and El Torito instead. The feeling backstage was that the fans would react better to those the latter two performers.
Batista won Royal Rumble 2014 by eliminating Roman Reigns in the end. Other contestants during the match were Alberto Del Rio, Alexander Rusev, Antonio Cesaro, Big E Langston, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, El Torito, Erick Rowan, Fandango, Goldust, Great Khali, Jack Swagger, JBL, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, Kane, Kevin Nash, Kofi Kingston, Luke Harper, R Truth, Rey Mysterio, Ryback, Seth Rollins, Sheamus and the Miz.