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.
It has been a couple of months now since he was sent home from the company, and it appears that Eric Bischoff is very unlikely to make his return to the TNA front office. He is making a good amount of money by being a television producer, and he really appears to enjoy his personal time, where he hangs out with his family and travels frequently.
While a lot of fans are still critical of his abilities, Eric Bischoff is proving to many that he does know what he's doing when it comes to being a producer. One of his shows, the Devils Ride, made its third season premiere on Monday night, and the show has lasted a lot longer than some had predicted.
One of the most controversial moments in wrestling took place when Eric Bischoff signed Alundra Blayze away from WWE. Well, it turns out that the former WCW president is still close to his former employee. The two of them were spotted hanging out together in Arizona recently.
"There is no real comparison, that is like comparing a diamond and a chunk of coal. Vince McMahon is an absolute master, he is a brilliant man, you take a look at going up against WCW, Ted Turner and that whole organisation. Turner gave us all no cut contracts; Hulk Hogan, Brutus Beefcake, Bret Hart, and myself all went to WCW. Vince then took all the cast offs like Triple H and Steve Austin and turned them into global superstars and once again he was on top. You've got to give Vince credit, he is not your friend, if you want a friend go buy a puppy, Vince is your boss. He will use you and make you money but when the time is right he will flush you down the toilet and won't think twice about it, welcome to the real world."
- Jim Duggan on Eric Bischoff
"Bischoff was a genius. He could be an asshole at times. I had an amazing relationship with him. We don't even talk today, which is so f---ed up to me, and it's his fault, because he sucks on the phone. We don't even have a relationship anything like we had, but at the time, it was a real relationship... (Now) he doesn't even return a phone call, which is so obnoxious."
Another name on the chopping block in TNA right now is Garett Bischoff, who has not really done much in the company since management decided to split up the Aces and Eights stable. His father, Eric Bischoff, recently scaled back on his duties within TNA.
"I never had anything but good experiences with Eric. He was always a straight shooter with us, especially with Bad Influence. He was a big supporter of our act and I could always go to him with ideas and get an honest response from him. So I hope that he comes back and does stuff, and if he doesn't, I'm sure that wherever he ends up, he's going to end up being successful. But personally, selfishly speaking, I had fun working with him and I hope that he gets a chance to come back and sort of, continue adding his two cents to our creative direction."
"Um I think Bischoff is still around, I think it's just a production capacity. I think with Hogan, some people think he had more clout than he did. I think they really wanted him to do a bit more but I think he just didn't want to really do more at this time. As far as Hogan as a person, cool cat. As far as working with him, I wouldn't know. I never worked with them. I never see them, I never talk to them. When they just asked me 'This is what we need from you' I did it and that was that."
It was a phone call, but the FedEx came the next day. It was basically exactly what Eric Bischoff said. "Steve, based upon the amount of days you've been incapacitated, and the amount of money we're paying you, we're going to go ahead and exercise our right to terminate the agreement." So basically you're telling me I'm fired, right? He said, "yeah, you're fired." So this was right when I had tore my triceps off my elbow and I was making my recovery. I was going to be a few more weeks. I had been out for several months. When you have a triceps detached it takes a while to grow back. So it was during that time, and prior to that I had had some knee issues. I had some messed up knees. Hey, man. I was a hard working guy and put it all on the line, but some debilitating injuries you just can't make your shots. So anyway, that was the way he broke down firing me. I think it had something to do with that, and him just not seeing a big future for a guy with thinning long blond hair called Stunning Steve Austin. Although, I was very angry when I got fired, because that was my job. I need my job to pay my bills. When I look back and look through Eric Bischoff's eyes at where he was and my look, my character or lack of, and what I was presenting, I don't blame him for making the decision that he made. I don't at all.