Welcome to this week’s WWE Raw Rankings. Here I will rank every Superstar from worst to first based on their performances on this week’s edition of Monday night Raw.
The *New Era* of WWE continued tonight on Raw and they made sure you knew it was a New Era by mentioning it 40 times in the first hour.
Despite the gluttony of branding, they put on a great show that had very few hiccups and boosted by a great Omaha crowd, Raw this week was a fun show.
Of course, there were some the stood out more than others and they need to get due respect in this week’s rankings.
Nattie is a fantastic wrestler and she’s a brilliant storyteller in the ring, but don’t put her on commentary. She floundered big time and when asked legitimate, story building questions by Michael Cole, she flat out refused to answer them! This is what’s keeping Natalya back from being a legitimate chance of winning the Women’s Championship.
- R-Truth, Goldust, Fandango and Tyler Breeze
Six months. Unbelievably, it has been six months since R-Truth and Goldust started teasing a team up and they’re still going. For a team that’s going to be nothing more than a gag team, it’s gone beyond a joke. Judging by Raw, it’s safe to assume they’ll become a team by the end of the month but at the same time, this needs to come to an end before people give up on the team before they’ve even formed.
Raw was a very well booked show in every segment outside of this one. Why on Earth would you have Rusev lose to Sin Cara via a distraction roll up? With two weeks to go until Extreme Rules and Rusev coming off a long run of not being taken seriously, surely this was the chance to give him a dominant victory. This was the biggest blemish on the show tonight and just plain made no sense.
- The Dudley Boyz
The Dudley Boyz basically existed to further the feud between The New Day and The Vaudevillains and they did their job adequately. It’s hard to see them being used for much more than that any time soon, especially with Enzo out for a while.
- Zack Ryder
It was smart to have multiple spots in the Intercontinental Championship match up for grabs, especially with Sami needing to earn his. This is probably the final chapter in Zack Ryder’s Intercontinental Championship story, but it was well wrapped up and was a good use of Shane and Stephanie as a babyface authority. The only thing that might give Zack another chance to poke his head above water would be a brand split.
- Sin Cara
Sin Cara and Kalisto were the other half of the poor booking equation this week, but there’s not really much more to add from Sin Cara’s side as the win does absolutely nothing for him and just detracts from Rusev.
- The Usos
The Usos were the only members of the main-event to not get entrances and they served as really nothing more than a way of getting us to the final fight between Roman and Styles. At this point, their only defining character trait is that they’re Roman’s cousins. There’s nothing about them that makes them worth rooting for as characters. Their role in this feud is to make Anderson, Gallows and Styles look strong and basically nothing else.
- The Miz
Miz and Zayn put on a quality match and one that gave Sami a strong win heading into Extreme Rules. The Fatal 4-Way match will be fantastic and The Miz makes a great heel champion in the middle of three crowd favourites. Miz escaping with the title or Cesaro winning are the two best options for the match.
- The New Day
The New Day, despite coming out late in hour three, still got one of the biggest pops of the night. The trio didn’t really have their story advanced from their end a great deal and their match with the Dudley’s was just a means to set up the attack ending so there’s not much to discuss from their end. Xavier Woods and Aiden English should have a sing-off at some stage though.
- The Vaudevillains
The Vaudevillains have done well to get some heat since Payback. Beforehand, the crowd barely moved when they came out, but these two are far too talented to go out Ascension-style. While it’s still unclear if their gimmick will work on the main roster, they’re doing all they can so far. Maybe a single’s win over The New Day next week is the way to go.
- Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose
Jericho and Ambrose’s feud needs more. As great as the Mitch antics are, fighting over a talk show, a plant and now a jacket feels well beneath what these two could be capable of. There’s no substance to this feud and no reason to cheer Ambrose or boo Jericho. This rivalry had the potential to resemble Jericho’s feud with CM Punk from a few years ago, but at the moment has close to nothing going for it.
- Kevin Owens
Even when Owens has a minor role, he’s still incredibly entertaining. The way he attacked Ryder, saying he shouldn’t even exist was hilarious. His new style of hitting the pop up powerbomb is also cool and makes more sense for use on badly beaten opponents. It was another strong week for the man who SHOULD be Mr Money in the Bank in a few months.
- Becky Lynch, Emma and Dana Brooke
Dana Brooke earned my respect as a wrestler in her match against Asuka showing she could hold her own in the ring, but she is not ready for the main roster. She is, without question, the worst wrestler on the microphone in the entire WWE and should simply never be allowed to speak if she is to succeed. She has the ‘look’ WWE are after, but she is not ready for anything more than being Emma’s enforcer. As for Becky, at least this elevates the feud slightly and means she may bring someone of her own in to deal with Emma and Dana. Hopefully this is neither Sasha nor Bayley though as this is beneath Sasha who should be feuding for the title and not the right way to debut Bayley. We’ll have to wait and see where they take it from here, but hopefully it focuses on Emma and Becky in the ring rather than Brooke.
- Sami Zayn
Sami got another big win on RAW to highlight the fact that he’s probably only behind Owens in terms of how well he’s been booked since coming up from NXT. This Fatal 4-Way match for the Intercontinental Championship is everything we should come to anticipate from this New Era in WWE and if we get even one Zayn/Cesaro match out of it, that’ll be the icing on the cake. It was good booking to have Sami earn his spot in the match. Everything Zayn does should position him as an underdog fighting from beneath.
- Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin
Ziggler and Corbin didn’t have a great deal of time to work with, but what they delivered was a frenetic, high intensity bout that delivered everything it needed to. Ziggler came off as a veteran who knows how to fight giants, and Corbin was portrayed as the dominant figure he should be. While this is WWE 50/50 booking at its finest, it shouldn’t be the last time we see these two go at it and expect Corbin to get a comprehensive victory when that happens.
- Colin Cassady
Last week, I had Colin Cassady as my number one ranked superstar coming out of Raw and it’s clear Vince did too. Cass is money and has every asset needed to be a massive star and the WWE are seemingly using this period without Enzo to test his potential as a single’s star. Despite not getting that main-event match, he gets a massive thumbs up from here as he has a very bright future ahead of him.
Charlotte and Paige put on the match of the night seemingly out of nowhere. Booking Charlotte in matches against quality opposition with Ric banned from ringside is smart booking in the lead up to Extreme Rules and it’s almost surprising how well WWE nailed it this week (outside of putting Natalya on commentary). Charlotte will win at Extreme Rules and prove she can do it on her own, but making her look incapable of winning on her own for the time being is great booking because it makes Natalya look like a credible threat and builds Charlotte as a character. Hopefully this leads to Charlotte realizing she doesn’t need Ric, attacking him and becoming the ultimate heel she should be before taking on Sasha.
- AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Gallows and Anderson have been booked in main-events since coming to the WWE and yet something still feels off in their booking. Crowds are giving them nothing and that’s because no time has been invested in their characters and they’re beaten to a pulp every single time by Roman Reigns, usually by himself. Tonight was no different with Anderson being eliminated by a roll-up and Gallows by a freaking Superman Punch! Way to put over the “greatest tag team in New Japan history”, guys. As for Styles, he is probably the most compelling character in WWE right now. Torn between winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, being loyal to his friends, his desire to be liked by the fans and win the title on his own while disliking Roman and The Usos all clashing against each other and all coming to a conclusion one way or another at Extreme Rules.
While this win does nothing for Paige who isn’t in the title scene, she was the victor in the best match of the night and got a massive pop from the crowd when she did so. Paige doesn’t get enough credit for her ability to get a crowd invested in her work, heel or face, and she put on a fantastic contest with Charlotte. Paige has been the forgotten woman of the women’s division since January and while that probably won’t change any time soon, this was a showcase of what she can do. Having her and Sasha feud for a few weeks while Charlotte and Natalya were in the spotlight may have been the answer, but who knows. Well done to Paige and Charlotte for stealing the show.
- Roman Reigns
Roman is looking better and better every week as this tweener character and this week was particularly good. His biggest problem is the same flaw is that he’s simply unbeatable and that was on display this week on Raw, but it worked this week because it didn’t hurt AJ Styles and if anything made Styles feel like he belongs in the main-event because he held his own with Reigns. Reigns is obviously leaving Extreme Rules with the championship and you’d assume that Styles will be the focal point of the match with the Bullet Club and possibly Finn Balor getting involved, but it’ll be interesting to see where Roman ends up after Extreme Rules. There’s no logical next challenger for Roman unless they go with Ambrose for a few pay-per-views before Rollins and Cena are back in the fold.