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.
"That is another reason I'm pretty sure I won't be returning there any time soon. Hunter was pretty obviously jealous of certain individuals. I'm not saying he was jealous of me. I could tell he was envious of (Rob) Van Dam. He was extremely envious of Rob's success. He was jealous of Van Dam's personality. He was jealous that people gravitated towards Rob, because people liked being around Rob because he was very positive. The most glaring was the work rate. Hunter has had the same matches his whole career. If the guy is so damn tough, why does he need a sledgehammer. How do you justify this guying be a bad ass if he always has a weapon. Hunter is like that nerd that throws out a joke expecting the room to start laughing and ends up laughing at his own joke."
"Chris was dark, he was extremely dark. We used to have a joke that Chris was tri-polar, because it was a step up from bi-polarity. He would flip sometimes. I think a combination of Chris' background of with steroids, mixed with the partying, is a recipe for disaster. One of them is a recipe for disaster. Its literally taking Drano and pouring it on your hard drive. See what that does for your computer."