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.
"Special thanks to the Rock for making my childhood dream come true! U have no idea how many couches and old mattresses I jumped off thinking I was one of y'all! U, Ultimate Warrior, Sting, Legion of Doom, Goldberg and The Undertaker I could watch all day plus many more! I feel like a little kid again. Thanks again Champ!"
- NBA superstar LeBron James
While the chances of it happening are extremely close to none because the two sides simply cannot come to an agreement on financial terms, WWE is still holding out a little bit of hope that they can sign Goldberg and have him wrestle Ryback at Wrestlemania 30.
There were rumors that WWE had a million dollar deal on the table for Goldberg to make an appearance and work Wrestlemania 30, but the former WCW Heavyweight Champion took to Twitter to let fans know that there is no truth to the rumors.
While negotiations have not advanced too far, WWE still wants Goldberg to make a return and work a big match at Wrestlemania 30. In fact, there are those that believe that the creative department is saving a spot specifically for him.
"People will say Ryback - 'What would Warrior have been like with Ryback?' Or Goldberg. I know why they say those things - because of the intensity and body look, the aggression, the power. Those kind of matches tend to be f**king stinkers, you know? You want to work with somebody who's got a different style. Wrestling is more than just being big."
The negotiations between WWE and Goldberg are not going too well at the moment, as the former WCW star is asking for a really high amount of money to work Wrestlemania 30.
"I have a great amount of respect for Bill Goldberg, but I'm not going to beat around the bush and say I wanna be best friends with the guy. I'd like to face him in the ring. I've heard him say he's not happy with comments I've made about him, if he has a problem with it let's settle it at Wrestlemania."
There's talks that Ryback received even more backstage heat within WWE for doing moves that are clearly associated with Goldberg. Some say that he did them without permission from management.