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.
"Everything just went so quiet, it was a sellout, can you imagine that, here I am, wrestling my hero, the champ, and I end up winning the belt, one, two, three, a knee drop of the top, and I say, "where is the belt?" Finally, he raises my hand and he says, go back to the dressing room; you'll get the belt back there. They were afraid of a riot. I didn't pick up on it, but I did notice the people were very, very quiet. You could hear a pin drop, because they couldn't believe that Bruno got defeated after what, seven years? As far as Bruno was concerned, a lot of people don't realize, but those rings up there in New York are the boxing rings, the four ropes and a lot more stable base on the ring and not as much spring on the ring. Consequently us wrestlers, taking big back drops and suplexes on that, it ends up taking a toll on the body a lot more, so I really believe that Bruno needed the time off maybe surgery, maybe just get some rest. You know, I can imagine wrestling nearly every night and the pressure is on you because you're the champion and you have to draw money, so it was the whole idea that Bruno didn't mind the situation that much, because he wanted time off any way."