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.
Randy Orton was able to retain the WWE championship at Royal Rumble 2014 by using an RKO to pin John Cena, who was distracted by the arrival of Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. The trio might have been going after Orton due to comments he made earlier in the night.
After a match filled with crowd pleasing signature spots, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan picked up the win over Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. Bryan blasted Rowan with the running knee, as Punk pinned Harper after the Go 2 Sleep finisher.
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.
Since the start, Bray Wyatt has done all of the talking to the Wyatt Family. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan generally just stand to the side and in the background during the interview segments. On Smackdown this week, though, Harper actually says a few words.
WWE has quietly released Judas Devlin, a developmental wrestler who was supposed to have been called up to the main roster to join Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in the Wyatt Family stable. He has been removed from the official roster page for WWE NXT.
Rumor has it that John Cena will be removed from the main event scene following Royal Rumble 2014. Randy Orton is expected to be moved into a program with a new challenger, most likely to be Batista, while Cena is rumored to be joining Daniel Bryan in his battle against Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan.
There is a strong push within WWE to put the tag team titles on the Wyatt Family. Initially, it was supposed to take place later in 2014, but several officials are pushing to make them champions before the Royal Rumble pay per view next month.
Since Big Show suffered an injury during a WWE live event over the weekend, his match against Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble 2014 was kept extremely short. The former UFC champion utilized several chair shots and an impressive F5, where he walked around the ring first, to finish off Show.