Welcome to this week’s WWE Raw Rankings. Here I will rank every Superstar and Diva from worst to first based on their performances on this week’s edition of Monday night Raw.
The go home Raw before the TLC pay-per-view gave us a thrilling, chaotic and exciting first hour an intriguing middle and then there was the third hour… we’ll get to that.
The New Day held a slight lead over Roman Reigns and Sheamus before this week’s show, but who will be declared this period’s Raw Rankings Champion? Let’s find out!
- Adam Rose
I left Rose off the rankings last week because I assumed it was a onetime skit. For what it was, it didn’t flop, it even had a humorous moment or two, but this week’s edition of the Rosebush will hopefully be the last. Adam Rose is as talented as they come, but this idea isn’t going anywhere and this week’s edition was awful. The potential lies in a skit like this to help provide extra storyline exposition, but as always with comedic segments, you either nail them or they get awkward and unfortunately for the massively underappreciated Rose, this got awkward.
Do you remember how the Stardust gimmick came into existence? Cody and his brother were on a losing streak after dropping the tag team titles to The Miz and Damien Sandow and Cody blamed himself for the losses. He began a quest to find Goldust a new tag team partner and eventually found him one – Stardust. Such a simple and virtually meaningless storyline idea has trapped Cody Rhodes in this gimmick for well over a year now. Don’t get me wrong, Stardust, like everything Cody does, is entertaining and that’s what it’s all about, it’s just such a shame seeing someone who should be a main-event guy being held down and it doesn’t get any further down than jobbing to Swagger with no entrance.
- Wade Barrett
Barrett is a part of the League of Nations. His role tonight was to stand in the ring alongside his allies, have a few tags in the 16 man tag match and then go home. Everyone else in the four factions had multiple segments on Raw, but not Barrett.
Well, at least they’re teasing something interesting with him… sort of… I think? Remember guys, The Miz is better at getting people over as babyfaces than anyone else. He got Alex Riley over and helped make Damien Sandow one of the most popular guys on the roster, before both men were re-buried. Good luck, Adrian!
- Brie Bella and Alicia Fox
Alicia Fox is such an anomaly. Sometimes, like tonight, she looks like she could be a legitimate women’s wrestler, but whenever she’s put in the spotlight, she doesn’t perform. What that comes down to, we can only speculate, but the storyline here was sound. The Bella’s are outnumbered and being beaten down for the first time in their careers. They belong underneath the likes of Sasha Banks and if this is the way to get them there, so be it.
- Titus O’Neil
Titus has replaced Cesaro in this feud with Stardust and the backstage segments highlight just how entertaining both men are. Will this lead to a big pay-per-view clash? Of course it won’t, if anything, it’ll probably be the pre-show match this Sunday, but good to see Titus getting some spotlight.
- Tyler Breeze
It’s time to start getting some character development into Breeze. The crowd is already not-reacting to him. There were so many segments on Raw this week that didn’t need to be there or that featured the same superstar twice so why wouldn’t they use that time to develop Breeze? Give the guy some promo time.
Adam Pacitti from What Culture Wrestling made an outstanding point that Ryback could potentially be the funniest wrestler on the roster… just not on purpose and this was a great example of why. Ryback’s mannerisms and the way he randomly adds high flying moves into his arsenal is just plain funny.
- Roman Reigns
The gigantic 16 man tag team elimination match to kick off the show was an excellent, chaotic and fun way to start the show. The promo to close the show could be the worst main-event segment of the year. Raw ran close to 15 minutes over time and yet we were still forced to sit through that awful back and forth between Reigns and Sheamus where they one by one removed an item from the ring. It was something that belonged in a children’s book. I like Roman Reigns, but this is the problem, this is why the majority of the fan base can’t get behind him – passion, believable and real passion. His promo started off fine, talking about his ascension up the WWE ladder, but he sounded like he was reading from a script… because he probably was. Give that exact promo to Dean Ambrose or Seth Rollins and they would make you feel for them and make you believe they have worked their way up to the top with passion in their voices and facial expressions to match. Sheamus cost him the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and yet Reigns is still smiling and calling him fried potato snacks. The casual racism of it all aside, this was an awful main-event that summed up why Roman Reigns should be kept away from any promo longer than two minutes.
- Jack Swagger
Even Swagger gets it! In his short brawl with Del Rio, you could feel the tension and the passion behind what Swagger was doing. He’s hunting a title, he’s trying to get back at the man who abandoned him and that comes across in his mannerisms and his voice. Swagger is not the poster boy for promo’s or selling a storyline, but he has turned what should be a boring undercard feud into something worth paying attention to.
- Sasha Banks and Naomi
The TLC pay-per-view takes place in Boston. I can guarantee you that the event will be flooded by ‘We Want Sasha’ chants for not just the entirety of the Divas Title match, but for the whole show. They may want to consider putting her on the pre-show to satiate the fans. Sasha will get her time in the spotlight and the sooner the better because she is too good to be anywhere other than the top of this division. Naomi also looked good out there tonight and an alliance between Team BAD and The New Day would be amazing.
- Alberto Del Rio
Thank you WWE. MexAmerica is dead and may we never speak of it again. There’s not much more to add here except the Chairs Match between Del Rio and Swagger should be a good match and let’s hope Del Rio can find some way to get a reaction out of the crowd. Del Rio should retain comfortably against Swagger.
Turning Charlotte heel is an excellent idea. She plays the heel role so naturally that she struggles to maintain being a babyface at the best of times. The only issue is it means that we’re going into TLC with two heels facing off for the title. No one is going to want to cheer for Charlotte given the way she’s acted over the last two weeks and you’re not supposed to cheer for Paige so it’s a weird situation. Adding Becky or Sasha to the match would have fixed that and would have helped set up any future rematches for them, but they’ve elected to go down the Charlotte/Paige singles path again. Let’s hope they deliver
The problem with the League of Nations stable at the moment is that it is more or less Sheamus and three faceless guys teaming with him. From how they’ve been used so far, it could be Diego, Fernando and Adam Rose in the stable and the results would be no different and that hurts someone like Rusev when he has to perform twice in one night because it overexposes him and we don’t have a reason for him teaming with Sheamus when he’s so set on being with Lana and attacking Ryback. Hopefully this Rusev/Ryback feud doesn’t make the TLC pay-per-view. They’ve shown they don’t have much chemistry and there’s really nothing interesting to this storyline whatsoever.
It was strange that Paige was almost portrayed as the babyface in this segment. The way Miz introduced her and the way the whole angle was set up was certainly designed to get the crowd to pop for her. Remember when she said Charlotte’s brother died because he wasn’t much of a fighter? Yeah, go ahead and forget that, it has been put in the Curb Stomp corner of history. Charlotte is now a heel, Paige is still a heel, The Bella’s and Alicia Fox are still technically heels so that leaves Becky Lynch and Natalya as the only true babyfaces on the roster. Having said that, people will cheer for Paige and Sasha no matter what so their status is less important, so long as they have defined character traits. Except Charlotte to retain at TLC, maybe through some sort of heel shenanigans.
Sheamus had a good night outside of the main-event. He stood out like a champion should in the anarchy of the 16 man tag and his promo afterwards made sense and had the passion that Reigns’ promos have lacked. However, the awful mess that was the main-event means he loses some serious points. As far as TLC goes, I think we’ll get a match with lots of interference and I think Sheamus has to drop the title to keep him out of the title match at WrestleMania.
- The Usos
Honestly, I’ve actually wanted to see an Uso splash someone in a submission hold for ages now and it was cool to see the idea put into action this week. Jimmy Uso on commentary for Smackdown was one of the best moves of the year and it was great to get another taste of that tonight.
- The Miz
Miz, as always, did an outstanding job tonight. He managed to make a backstage segment with a D Grade (being generous) celebrity somewhat entertaining and then did a brilliant job of building tension and sucking the Flair’s in. Despite the fact this was a ring full of heels, he managed to build it up in such a way that got the crowd invested and made Paige’s appearance feel like a great ‘gotcha’ moment.
- The Lucha Dragons
The Dragons take the momentum into TLC with another big win under their belts against the tag champs. Part of me is incredibly excited to see what they do when ladders are involved, but I’m also very scared someone is going to get seriously hurt. They’ll be flirting with danger either way.
- Dean Ambrose
Don’t even care about anything he did in the opening match, Ambrose eating popcorn and drinking soda was more entertaining than half the show tonight and having him come out after a hard fought match to simply throw it in Owens’ face was a great move. This is the approach WWE should be taking with Reigns. They have to realize that sometimes no words says more than a 10 minute promo.
- The Dudley Boyz
The surprise of Rhyno appearing was dampened a little by the hope that Rob Van Dam would be returning, but overall it still makes their match with the Wyatt’s a highly anticipated one and Rhyno gives them some size which they certainly needed heading into a match with the Wyatt’s.
- The Wyatt Family
Can you imagine the Wyatt Family turning face? While tonight didn’t seem like a foreshadow of something like that, it certainly showed that it could work. Yes, it would be hard to pull off and I don’t think you could turn them fully towards the light, but you could probably pull off having them neutral and targeting heels. It’s something to watch out for in the coming months. I think it’s safe to assume they’ll be leaving TLC with a victory.
- Dolph Ziggler
Dolph and Owens showed once again what happens when you give talented guys time. We rarely see extended singles matches on Raw which is strange considering all the junk we get in the three hour show. When you put two guys as good as Ziggler and Owens in the ring, you know what you’re going to get. Ziggler and Breeze had a pretty heated exchange in an interview on the WWE’s YouTube channel which is also worth checking out.
- The New Day
And the Oscar goes to… Big E for ‘Tree’! They turned heel after WrestleMania and their shtick is as entertaining as it was on day one. They deserve to hold the tag titles right through to WrestleMania and should retain at TLC. It’ll be interesting to see how they use Xavier at the event. There are no disqualifications in a ladder match so really, this is almost a handicap match.
- Kevin Owens
Owens didn’t even do anything special this week, he simply dominated and won the best match of the night in the best segment of the night. It’s just that the rest of the show was so average that it meant no one else could finish in first spot this week. He should retain against Ambrose, hopefully leading to a rubber match between TLC and the Rumble.
With TLC a few days away, it is time to unveil the Rankings Champion for the period between Survivor Series and TLC. Was defending champion Kevin Owens able to retain his title or did the flu cost him the title?
|The New Day||26, 19, 24||69|
|Sheamus||20, 22, 16||58|
|Dolph Ziggler||15, 18, 23||56|
|The Usos||22, 14, 17||53|
|Charlotte||24, 15, 13||52|
The New Day are your new rankings champions! Kofi Kingston is now the first person to be a multiple time winner of the rankings.
Do you agree with this week’s rankings? Tweet us your thoughts @CamelClutchBlog and @NicNegrepontis