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.
Well… that was… unexpected.
After Fast Lane provided absolutely nothing worth talking about, Raw the following night gave us a show that did more to set up WrestleMania than the previous three pay-per-views.
Of course, we need to rank all the performers from worst to first and let’s see where Shane-O-Mac comes in!
- The Ascension
Coming in last this week was the biggest afterthought of the night and that was The Ascension. The Ascension served as punching bags for The Usos who themselves are in a feud that probably will not even feature on the WrestleMania card. The Ascension have replaced Los Matadores as the jobbers of the tag team division and it is such a shame.
- Kane and Big Show
The decision to have this team win at Fast Lane is one of the strangest booking moves in WWE history. Neither Kane nor the Big Show have anything to gain from the win and Ryback losing twice in a row would’ve made for a better heel turn anyway. The stupidity of the decision to have them win at Fast Lane was compounded by the fact that they lost tonight on Raw, meaning that this duo gain nothing while the Wyatt’s lose any credibility they had left.
- The Dudley Boyz
The Dudley Boyz’ heel turn has been a massive success and they appear to be enjoying and thriving in this new role. Tonight was their turn to take a backseat while The Usos picked up a win so expect more from them next week. Whether this feud with The Usos leads anywhere other than the WrestleMania pre-show is the question, because it seems unlikely that it will.
Naomi and Sasha have good chemistry and Naomi showed that she’s willing to take a few nice bumps for the boss, which shows that the entire Divas division is stepping up on the road to WrestleMania. Unfortunately for Team BAD, they will not be featured at WrestleMania, but they have severed as a worthy build up for Team BAE.
- The Wyatt Family
The Wyatt’s have been on a steady downhill slope for a few years now and despite a strong resurgence in the middle of the year with the addition of Strowman, they are at their lowest point ever. They aren’t credible as a threat, they don’t currently have plans for WrestleMania with Ambrose getting Lesnar and the crowd no longer reacts to them whatsoever. The only place they can go from here is have Strowman turn on the others and ‘injure’ Rowan, have Harper go his own way and have Strowman feud with Bray, turning Bray face. There is nothing else interesting this group can do.
- The Usos
As already mentioned, The Usos picked up a simple win over The Ascension and will continue their feud with the Dudley’s. This was the most straightforward segment of the night so onto next week.
- The Social Outcasts
The Outcasts continue to truck on and it’s good to see them being utilized on Raw, but they need to be careful to venture into annoying territory. The New Day have found the perfect balance between annoying and funny, but these guys are a little on the annoying side. Adam Rose and Bo have stood out as the clear two best members of the group and Slater is a good leader. Axel doesn’t quite fit in with what they’re doing. He’s not a particularly funny person and this is where Sandow would’ve been perfect.
- Neville and The Lucha Dragons
These guys had the difficult task of following not only the return of Shane McMahon, but a 30 minute opening promo and they did an okay job. Neville’s 450 splash from the ring apron is an absolute thing of beauty and Kalisto following it up with a flip of his own off Neville’s back was probably the spot of the night. It’ll be interesting to see where Kalisto goes from here as champion. A feud with Neville would be superb. Speaking of champions, very strange that Kevin Owens did not appear on this show at all.
Sheamus served as a means to get the brawl between Triple H and Roman underway. The match itself was nothing special and I’m still worried that Sheamus has returned from a serious injury far too early, simply because the company has absolutely no one left. Did the ref count him out? Roman rolled back in the ring at eight, but Sheamus was still out at a count of nine before Triple H’s music hit and the ref stopped counting. He didn’t even call for the bell so what was the official result of the match?
A new look for the big guy has now been compounded with a much needed change in attitude. Since dropping the Intercontinental Championship, Ryback has gone from one filler feud to another and the crowd have dropped off him to the point where they now chant ‘Gillberg’ at him. A heel turn mightn’t lead anywhere, but it’s a change-up that he needed. As long as we don’t get Ryback versus Big Show or Kane at WrestleMania… that would be awful.
- AJ Styles and Chris Jericho
This was a fairly mediocre follow-up to a great match. Jericho cut a fairly stock standard and a little corny promo that didn’t really lead anywhere or accomplish anything. The match afterwards was nothing we didn’t see on SmackDown a few weeks ago too. Where they go from here, who knows, but the focus was on others tonight.
- The New Day
The New Day had a very strange and unfulfilling promo at Fast Lane with Edge and Christian. It was good up until The League of Nations got involved, but the prospect of them feuding at WrestleMania is incredibly underwhelming. When Edge was reeling off all the teams they had beaten, it seemed like they were setting up for the debut of Enzo and Cass, which would have been awesome, but instead we get Sheamus and probably Alberto Del Rio taking on The New Day. It wasn’t followed up on tonight so maybe our apathy towards it will see them change it because The New Day shouldn’t turn face and this certainly isn’t the feud for the grand stage of WrestleMania.
- Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Charlotte
Well, the stage is set for the first serious women’s or divas championship match in a very long time. This might even be the first one ever without some kind of weird feud like Mickie James’ stalker fetish or shaving bald stipulations. Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks will face off with the winner taking on Charlotte at WrestleMania. There are really only two possible options, the first of which being Sasha winning and going on to face Charlotte, but the second, and hopefully the option they go with, is Charlotte interfering in the number one contenders match leading to the Triple Threat at WrestleMania. All three of these women deserve to be on the grand stage and if anything, Becky leaving with the title would work out the best long term. Either way, expect a fantastic number one contenders match.
- Roman Reigns
Roman winning at Fast Lane was always going to happen and was the best result possible. I do not get why people are upset. Who else was Roman going to fight at WrestleMania? People don’t think too far ahead when they complain. They were never going to turn Roman heel either. The amount of work they’ve put into getting him over as a babyface, successful or not, they wouldn’t undo that all right before the payoff. Reigns vs Triple H will be a fantastic match and so will Brock Lesnar versus Dean Ambrose which Roman winning also gives us. The problem will be the majority of fans cheering for Triple H, but most smarky wrestling fans would cheer for Mohammad Hassan over Reigns at this point.
- Brock Lesnar
Lesnar comes out of Fast Lane poised for a heel turn, which actually isn’t much of a change for Brock. His mannerisms and characteristics don’t change it’s just the words from Heyman that change. A match between Brock and Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania would have been incredibly underwhelming and so this change not only freshens things up, it gives up by far the most anticipated match on the card.
- Dean Ambrose
While the ambulance (or Ambrolance, I’m hilarious, laugh dammit!) was a little much, Ambrose once again looks like the guy that just will not die and is willing to take several beatings from Lesnar until he finally gets a few good shots in on the beast. This has a similar feel to Lesnar’s match with Punk which was an absolute classic and probably Brock’s best match of all time. If booked similarly, this match will be fantastic. Expect Ambrose to get the upper hand on Lesnar at least once between now and the match.
- Triple H
Any time Triple H’s old theme music hits, business picks up. It doesn’t matter when or where, when it’s time to play the game, things go up a gear. Outside of wrestling Daniel freaking Bryan who is the exception to every rule, nobody over the age of 12 is going to cheer against Triple H in this match and that might prove to be a problem. The beating he gave Roman was an Attitude Era style beat down and it fit in with everything these two men have done to each other fantastically. Thankfully, that was not Roman’s nose being broken by Hunter’s fists, but blood capsules passed to Roman by Byron Saxton. It’s worth clearing that up so people don’t think Triple H actually broke the man’s nose!
- Shane McMahon
Nobody else could possibly take the number one spot this week. The ovation Shane received when he came out was as loud as anything in recent memory. I could break it down harshly that the segment was too long, that Shane legitimately nearly teared up at several points, that Shane is 46 and surely can’t be in great wrestling shape or that McMahon versus The Undertaker is very strange considering no one is going to want to cheer against The Undertaker at WrestleMania, but they have five weeks to set this all up and so I’m willing to sit back and see how this plays out because this is the most intriguing thing the WWE has done, possibly ever. We’ll break this match down more in the future, but for the time being let’s just welcome back the prodigal son with open arms.