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.
Last night, WWE wanted to push the heel turn by Titus ONeil, so they gave him a match. Since someone was needed to put him over, officials backstage went with Zack Ryder, who has not worked a televised match on Monday Night Raw since October of last year.
In preparations of an upcoming feud against his former Prime Time Player teammate and real life good friend, Darren Young has gone with a shorter haircut. While many are expecting Titus ONeil to be on the receiving end of the push, WWE may be elevating both performers.
A shocking heel turn took place in WWE at the Smackdown taping tonight. Titus ONeil turned on his Prime Time Player teammate Darren Young during a match against Curtis Axel and Ryback. ONeil turned heel and vicious assaulted Young after proclaiming that he was tired of losing all the time.
There are talks backstage that Titus ONeil could be on the verge of receiving a push in WWE. With his good friend Batista making a return to the company, some feel that management will try to appease him by pushing the Prime Time Player member.
"I honestly don't know. Nobody ever had that discussion with me. So to me, it's interesting. I just go out there and do the best I can. But I think that might have certainly played a part in it. And especially, man, that was awesome, seeing it. So, Titus ONeil, he had texted me. He said, 'Dude, if you're in your hotel room, you have to turn on SportsCenter. I think they'll replay it in probably about 15 minutes.' And he didn't tell me what it was, but he just told me that I was mentioned. And then I saw it, and they mentioned me and the whole Michigan State basketball thing doing the thing, and I was like wow. That's really cool. And the guy that actually started it, he's going to be coming to the show tonight with three of the guys from, I think, three of the guys from the football team. I don't know if that's true, or if it's just three of his buddies. But he is from the football team, so he's going to be coming. It'll be pretty neat to meet him."
- Daniel Bryan
Darren Young and Titus ONeil are down in Miami today, working on that rumored television show for the WWE Network. No word yet on what the show will be about, but the Prime Time Players are wearing suits on the set. There are talks that it could be a sports related show.