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.
Since the company likes fresh starts at Wrestlemania, WWE officials have been checking out a couple of the developmental wrestlers to see which ones are ready to be called up to the main roster. This week, they're checking out Tyler Breeze, who worked live events with Justin Gabriel this weekend.
Jimmy Uso and Naomi are now husband and wife. The WWE couple had their wedding in Hawaii this week. The event was attended by Jey Uso, Justin Gabriel and a couple of other wrestlers. The production crew for Total Divas was there as well, filming footage to be shown on an episode next season.
Apparently, WWE has informed some of the performers backstage already about their status for the upcoming Royal Rumble match, as Justin Gabriel has revealed to fans through Twitter that he will not be working the big pay per view this year.
Justin Gabriel has been working as an in ring trainer this week, as WWE has him working with Alexander Rusev during the last few live events. Management wanted a better look at the NXT developmental wrestler to see if he is ready to be called up to the main roster.
Plans for forming a new tag team of Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd have been put on hold, so that the latter can work with Natalya Neidhart.