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.
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.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust will be mixing business with pleasure this week, as the siblings are going to down to Florida on Thursday night to work a WWE NXT live event. Their father, the legendary Dusty Rhodes, works closely with the developmental program.
Prior to joining the company, Goldust was heavily pitching to WWE to allow him to work a match against his little brother, but as of late, he has changed his tone by telling fans on Twitter that he does not want to work against Cody Rhodes. Some believe that he is just trying to sell an upcoming story line.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust will be defending the WWE tag championships against Road Dogg and Billy Gunn before the Royal Rumble 2014 starts. The kickoff match was announced via the website, and there should be a mention of it on television tonight during Monday Night Raw.
In an attempt to steal the show, Cody Rhodes climbed to the top of the steel cage during a live event in Madison Square Garden this week and delivered a flying moonsault during a tag team match featuring Goldust, Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger.
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