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.
A lot of WWE fans tuned away during the segment involving Triple H, Big Show and Stephanie McMahon on Monday Night Raw this week.
Samoa Joe revealed some bad news on Twitter. While he was off in Europe touring with TNA, he had a death in the family. His grandfather passed away. Since he did not want to leave work, he was forced to miss the funeral.
Wrestle-1, the new promotion founded by the Great Muta, is about to get an influx of talent from TNA for an upcoming live event in March. Austin Aries, Abyss, Bobby Roode, Brutus Magnus, Christopher Daniels, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Frankie Kazarian, Gail Kim, Madison Rayne and Samoa Joe have been confirmed for the trip.
"I would say the best person - because it was the best match-up - would be Samoa Joe. Usually you pick people that are retired and been out of the business for a while. Not for me - it's the guys that made you. Joe was a big part of that, so I would love it to be Joe but I don't know who it's going to be yet."
- Kurt Angle on who he wants to induct him into the TNA hall of fame
Since TNA wants Brutus Magnus to have a solid run as the heavyweight champion, the creative department will be lining up some challengers, so he can work memorable feuds. Aside from Samoa Joe, another candidate being discussed is James Storm, who has routinely gotten the best reactions from the live audiences.
Rumors are spreading that Angelina Love could be making a surprise return at the Genesis edition of Impact Wrestling tonight, as the former TNA knockout was spotted on a plane with Samoa Joe, who is heading to Huntsville to perform at the show.
"I think with TNA now, especially with the inner office changes. I think hopefully I will be on top. I told them already. I said, 'Look, you guys have tried to do things in different ways.' I told them at the beginning of last year. 'You guys have been using me in a utilitarian way for the past 2 or 3 years. I'm cool with it. I know this is a team effort but I'm ready to run with it and produce for you if you give me the opportunity.' I've told John Gaburick the same thing. 'You guys have been using me in a utilitarian way for the past 2 or 3 years. I'm ready to get s--t done. If you want to run with me, It's going to be this year.' The ball is in their hands and we will just see what happens."
"Um I think Bischoff is still around, I think it's just a production capacity. I think with Hogan, some people think he had more clout than he did. I think they really wanted him to do a bit more but I think he just didn't want to really do more at this time. As far as Hogan as a person, cool cat. As far as working with him, I wouldn't know. I never worked with them. I never see them, I never talk to them. When they just asked me 'This is what we need from you' I did it and that was that."
Samoa Joe recently revealed that he has asked the TNA front office to give him a bigger role to work with. He is in a contract year, and he wants to be able to show his true value to the company. Joe has been stuck in the mid card for quite some time now.