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 are talks that TNA will be taking the tag team championship from Robbie E and Jessie Godderz soon. The feud involving Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards is supposed to take center stage, and the belts will more than likely be used in that program.
Wrestle-1, the new promotion founded by the Great Muta, is about to get an influx of talent from TNA for an upcoming live event in March. Austin Aries, Abyss, Bobby Roode, Brutus Magnus, Christopher Daniels, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Frankie Kazarian, Gail Kim, Madison Rayne and Samoa Joe have been confirmed for the trip.
Since Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian have wrestled all over the world, it makes sense for them to have friends overseas. Bad Influence is currently in Europe right now, and they decided to meet up with Prince Devitt for a couple of drinks.
TNA had originally planned on giving Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards an immediate championship push, but management opted against taking the belts away from Robbie E and Jesse Godderz, so the American Wolves will be working with Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian instead.
Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels have grown to become highly entertaining role players on Impact Wrestling, but that could be coming to an end soon, as their contracts with TNA are expiring in April of 2014. Some believe that they could both become cost cutting casualties.
"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."