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.
"They made it known that I wasn't one of those beautiful people. They were very transparent about that. Like, when they would have a rehearsal for one of the Lumber-jill girls matches. They would position the girls exactly where the cameras would go. The girls that they felt weren't 'The Pretty Ones', they would move them to the side. It was a clear message."
- Gail Kim revealing that WWE officials backstage did not view her as a pretty girl
"Here's the story on that. I was there as she was coming in. They knew we had worked together in TNA so they told me. 'Okay, you are going to be her first match'. Everyone knows that her first match is going to be a squash match. So she starts killing all of the girls in the ring. Then we have a house show loop and they tell me. 'Okay, you and Eve are going to get laid out'. I knew they were out to kill everything that we had done in TNA. They kept pushing off that singles match on TV and finally they said 'okay, it's going to happen'. I remember she was there and then all of a sudden she went home. She came back for a pay per view, i think it was in Seattle and she set me aside and told me 'I have to tell you something, I'm pregnant'. I told her congratulations but a part of me was also happy that it was divine intervention to save our history. I sat back said, thank you Lord."
- Gail Kim on Kharma story line in WWE
"When fans come up to me and ask me when am I going back to the WWE...well, I just put it this way. I was made more for TNA. The way that the women are treated, the time for the matches. That's what I enjoy. I'm so much more happy in TNA."
- Gail Kim discussing another potentail WWE return
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.