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.
While it only seems like yesterday to some of his most loyal fans, it has now been a decade since Eddie Guerrero shocked the wrestling world by defeating Brock Lesnar for the WWE championship. JBL, the Monday Night Raw and Smackdown commentator who took the belt from Guerrero, noted the anniversary on Twitter.
Scott Armstrong, former WWE referee and the older brother of Road Dogg, provided some laughs today on Twitter when he posted this Tweet to mock referee and good friend Charles Robinson. It even got a rise out of JBL, who quickly retweeted the message on his own account.
Some last minute replacements were added to Royal Rumble 2014. Initially, Xavier Woods and Wade Barrett were given spots in the big match, but WWE officials decided to remove them and replace them with JBL and El Torito instead. The feeling backstage was that the fans would react better to those the latter two performers.
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.
Michael Cole will not be on commentary for Smackdown this week. Instead, JBL will be joined on television by Josh Mathews. No word yet on why Cole did not work the event, but there does not appear to be any backstage heat from WWE towards their long time commentator.
While many within WWE, including JBL, are pushing for him to be called up to the main roster soon, management currently does not have any plans of bringing Adrian Neville up from the developmental program just yet. The plan is to keep him in NXT until at least Wrestlemania.
JBL is a pretty ambitious individual. The WWE commentator will be attempting to climb Mt Elbrus again in July. He had previous attempted the feat, but severe weather conditions in Russia forced him and his fellow climbers to give up on the trek before they made it to the peak.