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.
While we still do not have a definite answer as to how long he has been upset with the company, we do know now that CM Punk was already contemplating a departure from WWE as early as Royal Rumble 2014. He vented to Mick Foley at the time about not being happy within the company and having trouble dealing with injuries.
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.