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.
It looks like Alexander Rusev is extremely close to being called up by WWE. The developmental wrestler is once again on tour with the main roster this weekend, where he is working matches early on the card against veteran performer Zack Ryder.
Zack Ryder took to Twitter to post a quick message about the death of Mae Young, and the longtime WWE star also included a picture of himself with the hall of fame diva.
Rumor has it that Kane will start wrestling again soon, as WWE has started putting him into matches during live events. He recently worked an extremely sloppy match against Zack Ryder, before being beaten by the Big Show afterwards in Buffalo.
There are many people within WWE that are impressed with Zack Ryder for how he has handled himself as a professional, despite being essentially buried by the company. He still shows up to work with enthusiasm, and he genuinely seems to enjoy his job.