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.
WWE received some criticism from the fans last night because they did not put more of an emphasis on their tribute to Mae Young, whose death last week saddened the wrestling world. More feathers will be ruffled, as management has opted to remove the video completely from the Hulu broadcast of Monday Night Raw.
While WWE has been paying tribute to Mae Young, who died earlier in the week, at live events by showing a special video, Natalya Neidhart has decided to take it one step further, by dedicating her victories over AJ Lee at the live events to the hall of fame performer.
Now that the legendary performer has passed away, people will be given one final chance to say goodbye to Mae Young. Visitation is being held this upcoming Tuesday at the Dunbar Funeral Home in Columbia, South Carolina, and the funeral itself is being held the following day at the same location.
"When I ran into the duo at shows, Moolah would always remember me from our catering convos, and in the middle of talking Mae Young would go, 'Now which one are you again?' in that shaky voice to which Moolah would say, 'Oh Mae Hush Up' to which we would all share a laugh."
"I'm just grateful for the moments I got to spend with her. Both Moolah and Mae were an important part of my life in WWE, especially in my first couple years in the company as they were my biggest cheerleaders. They were always encouraging me and telling me they liked how I didn't 'wrestle like a girl'. She was an inspiration to me and so many of the girls in the locker room. I used to tell her 'Mae, I want to be just like you when I grow up'. I'm going to miss her a lot."
"From the moment she first stepped through the ropes, Young established herself as one of the most active and successful female Superstars – including becoming the first U.S. Women's Champion, carrying out one of the most storied rivalries of the time with the legendary Mildred Burke in 1954 and being among the first female competitors to tour post-war Japan. The entire WWE Universe offers a standing ovation to a true queen of the canvas and bids Mae Young a heartfelt farewell."
"My condolences go out to the family and friends of Mae Young. She was the toughest person I have ever been in the ring with. She was definitely what we call a class act Thank you for making the Dudley Boyz who we are today without you that would have been No Dudley Boyz you will be missed but never forgotten we love you Mae. May u rest in peace"
- Devon on the death of Mae Young