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
In a rather pleasantly surprising move, Antonio Cesaro has earned himself a main event spot at Elimination Chamber 2014. Despite being stuck in a mid card tag team with Jack Swagger, he defeated Dolph Ziggler in a qualifying match on Smackdown this week.
Not only does Christian make his return to WWE on Smackdown this week, but the former world heavyweight champion is actually going to be receiving a nice push right off the bat. By defeating Jack Swagger, Christian earns himself a spot at Elimination Chamber 2014.
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.
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.
Despite being involved in a high profile match at the Royal Rumble against Brock Lesnar, Big Show was removed from this week's telecast of Monday Night Raw on Hulu. WWE did not feel that his match against Jack Swagger was important enough for the shortened version.
While he has finished serving his punishment for the DUI arrest, WWE is said to be rather upset with Jack Swagger because he cannot travel into Canada for shows because of those legal issues. He was forced to miss a recent show in Montreal.
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.
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.
Jack Swagger is almost done with his six months probation sentence that stemmed from his DUI arreste earlier in the year. The belief was that WWE refused to push him during tha time, so it will be interesting to see what management does now.
There were plans over the weekend to put the WWE Tag Team Championship on Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro during the fatal four way match at TLC. No word on why management changed their minds and kept the belts on Cody Rhodes and Goldust.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust retained the WWE Tag Team Championship at TLC. Curtis Axel and Ryback were elminated first, followed by Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesario. Big Show and Rey Mysterio were eliminated when Cody pinned Mysterio.
There are still plans within WWE to turn Antonio Cesaro into a baby face. It was supposed to have happened already, but the creative department simply has not found the time nor a suitable story to break him away from Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger.
Roman Reigns was made to look like the featured attraction, as the Shield member picked up the win for his team against Rey Mysterio and his squad.
Rey Mysterio made his surprise return on Monday Night Raw during the main event to reveal that he is the mystery partner during the big tag team match at Survivor Series.
On Monday Night Raw, Miz turned heel on Kofi Kingston by walking away from his partner during a tag team match against Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro.
A lot of WWE fans tuned away during the segment involving Triple H, Big Show and Stephanie McMahon on Monday Night Raw this week.
Daniel Bryan, Chris Jericho, Kane, Mark Henry and Randy Orton all stepped into the steel cage at Elimination Chamber 2013, but it was Jack Swagger, accompanied by Zeb Colter, who victoriously walked away from the event with a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship.
Alberto Del Rio won Royal Rumble 2011 by last eliminating Santino Marella. Other participants in the match include Alex Riley, Big Show, Booker T, Bray Wyatt, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, CM Punk, Curtis Axel, Daniel Bryan, David Otunga, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Ezekiel Jackson, Great Khali, Heath Slater, Hornswoggle, Jack Swagger, John Cena, John Morrison, JTG, Justin Gabriel, Kane, Kevin Nash, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, Mason Ryan, R Truth, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Sheamus, Ted DiBiase, Tyler Reks, Tyson Kidd, Vladimiz Kozlov, Wade Barrett, William Regal, Yoshi Tatsu and Zack Ryder.
Edge won Royal Rumble 2010 by last eliminating John Cena. The other contestants in the match include Batista, Beth Phoenix, Big Show, Carlito, Chris Jericho, Chris Masters, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Evan Bourne, Great Khali, Jack Swagger, John Morrison, JTG, Kane, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy, MVP, R Truth, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Ted DiBiase, The Miz, Triple H, Yoshi Tatsu and Zack Ryder.