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.
Some last minute replacements were added to Royal Rumble 2014. Initially, Xavier Woods and Wade Barrett were given spots in the big match, but WWE officials decided to remove them and replace them with JBL and El Torito instead. The feeling backstage was that the fans would react better to those the latter two performers.
Xavier Woods was originally given a spot at Royal Rumble 2014, as evident by the advertisement stating his participation in the event his year, but WWE officials changed their mind backstage at the last minute and pulled him from the event.
One of the perks and hassles of being a WWE performer is that you get to visit a lot of cities across the world. Xavier Woods is taking advantage of that opportunity now that he is on the main roster. He is currently on a mission to visit a local video game store in every city that he travels to.
The current plan in WWE is to have Naomi and Cameron leaving Brodus Clay, who has now turned heel, and Tensai to join Xavier Woods and R Truth. The segment on Monday Night Raw this week was designed to further that story line.
Initially, the feud was designed to give the spotlight to newcomer Xavier Woods, but it now appears that WWE has shifted the attentiont to Brodus Clay and his impending heel turn instead. That's why they went with that segment on TLC last night.