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.
Things in professional wrestling have a way of leaking out of backstage, but the reason for Layla El being gone from WWE has been a tightly kept secret. She has not been involved in a televised match since September, and there does not appear to be a rush to have her return.
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.
Over the last several weeks, Layla El has been given time away from the road, but the long time WWE diva recently made a return to the company during a special New Year's Eve photo shoot. No return date has been revealed for her yet, though.
Layla El, who has been taking time away from WWE for an undisclosed reason, recently attended the Kanye West concert with a friend.
Layla El has not been seen on WWE television for a couple of months now and many are wondering what her status with the company is. Many are under the impression that she is not injured and simply taking time off to deal with personal issues.
A lot of WWE fans tuned away during the segment involving Triple H, Big Show and Stephanie McMahon on Monday Night Raw this week.
Layla El once danced with Kanye West during a performance at the MTV Music Awards.