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.
Prior to becoming the voice of WWE, Michael Cole worked as a journalist for CBS Radio. Presidential nominee Michael Dukakis, who famously lost the election race to George Bush, was his first major assignment. He had to explore the losing side of things in the piece.
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.
Since Miz is someone that the company wants to keep around for a long time, WWE is experimenting with him as a commentator on Smackdown this week, where the former heavyweight champion will be joining Michael Cole and JBL for the entire episode.
Since they are friends in real life, Michael Cole flew down to Houston this week to do commentary at Reality of Wrestling Christmas Chaos, an event promoted by Booker T. The two of them requested and received permission from WWE to do so.
During Monday Night Raw, a peculiar scene took place where JBL, Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole were taking pictures of themselves. That segment was done because Vince McMahon wanted to take a jab at Barack Obama for doing that at the funeral of Nelson Mandela.
In an attempt to try to give him some momentum, Wade Barrett is being repackaged by WWE yet again. The former Nexus star is receiving a new gimmick, and it is being said that he will be using the Bad New Barrett character seen on the JBL and Michael Cole show.