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.
This week’s show rightly revolved around one man and the rankings will reflect that, but there were still some excellent segments and great storyline developments despite the change up to the usual Raw structure.
There were very few losers this week, but someone has to come in last so let’s get the rankings started.
- R-Truth and Goldust
Truth and Goldust delivered with every segment up until this one. Unfortunately, this one didn’t quite land as they almost tried too hard and it just wasn’t funny. On a night when we got a flashback to one of the greatest comedic teams of all time, Team Hell No, Truth and Goldust will need to be better going forward – and they will be.
- Alicia Fox
Tonight, Fox got a chance to show off her athleticism in a longer match with the Divas Champion. While it wasn’t bad and was undeniably better than what Charlotte’s actual opponent at Fast Lane can muster up, it still wasn’t anything to write home about and highlights that while Fox has mastered a handful of moves, she’s quite limited beyond that which hurts her in longer matches.
- The Lucha Dragons
If anything, Sin Cara’s return hurts Kalisto’s momentum. Kalisto was having a great single’s run and has put on some fabulous matches since the Royal Rumble, but that momentum seemed dissipate when he returned to tag team action. Hopefully Kalisto retains his title, the Dragons break up and he gets a real shot in the single’s division as the United States Champion. Teaming with Sin Cara was always going to be a short term prospect for someone as talented as Kalisto.
- Titus O’Neil
Titus has been on a massive winning streak in 2016. In fact, tonight was his first loss outside of the Rumble match itself this year and he has nine television wins to his name. There’s no doubt the company want to keep O’Neil strong, but tonight was a case of good booking with the Social Outcasts really needing, and getting a credible win.
It was a new look and a varied move-set for the big guy. He looks much better with tights and I like the fact that he’s trying new things. It shows that he wants to work hard and try things to get over, so good for him. It appears we may be getting The Wyatt’s versus Ryback and Big Show or something of that variety at Fast Lane which isn’t overly appetising.
Rusev has been treading water for six months now. The League of Nations is going nowhere, especially now that both Barrett and Sheamus are injured. The best thing to do would be to have Del Rio lose to Kalisto and have these two form a tag team. Otherwise, Rusev is bound to just be a heel used to get others over and he’s better than that.
- The Usos
The Usos were simply there to take the beating in the Dudley Boyz’ heel turn, otherwise there was no real point to what was the most random tables match of all time. Jimmy and Jey need fresh material and a feud with The Dudleyz, even short term, would be interesting. If I had to guess, I think we’ll be seeing a multi-team championship match at Fast Lane.
- The New Day and Mark Henry
The New Day didn’t really get the opportunity to shine as much tonight with the change ups to Raw forcing them into a random match in order for there to be a match of main-event calibre before Bryan closed the show. Having said that, their antics with the tables was still hilarious.
- Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks
Team BAE versus Team BAD has been confirmed for Fast Lane and it occurred to me today that there may be more talent in this pairing of Sasha and Becky than there is in the entirety of the rest of the main roster women’s division. Seeing these two reluctantly team up adds another nice element on the road to them fighting Charlotte at WrestleMania and letting Team BAD get the win tonight was a smart call. Hopefully we get Naomi versus Sasha Banks next week. It’s really the only match we haven’t seen in the division yet.
- The Social Outcasts
As already mentioned, it was a much needed win for The Social Outcasts tonight who have been reduced to comedic jobbers in the last few weeks. Adam Rose is supremely talented and is easily the best of the Outcasts so him getting the win is also a bonus. They need a feud or something tangible soon however as they are really involved in nothing right now.
- Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio picked up a win to gather some momentum before Fast Lane. He and Kalisto have wrestled a lot together, but still don’t seem to have great chemistry which makes the prospect of their pay-per-view rematch less exciting. Rusev and Kalisto showed better chemistry last week and Neville, the man who has completely disappeared from WWE television, had a fantastic match with him on SmackDown a few weeks ago.
- Bray Wyatt
Bray picked up a good win in a good match against Ryback. Ryback and Bray Wyatt have shown great chemistry in the past and tonight was no exception. It was much better than the filler matches have been in recent weeks.
- Team BAD
Tamina picked up her first single’s win in… probably ever and it was over Becky Lynch. In any other circumstances, that would leave me furious as Tamina is about one stage above the likes of Eva Marie and Cameron in terms of wrestling ability, but this storyline is playing out nicely. It’s a nice change to see two totally separate storylines in the women’s division with those storylines both culminating in pay-per-view matches. If anything, this match is more exciting than the title match. Naomi deserves the chance to have a long match with Sasha so we can see whether she can hang with the NXT girls.
- Roman Reigns
Reigns, for the second week running, has become a total afterthought in his own feud. Remember, he’s the one will probably be winning this match and yet this whole feud has revolved around Ambrose wanting a piece of Lesnar. That part of the feud has been absolutely fantastic, but Reigns has been lost in the shuffle. Him winning the match off of this build up would be anticlimactic as Ambrose is the one that has been portrayed as willing to do anything to win. The crowd will certainly not be behind Reigns at Fast Lane.
Every heel reaches a moment where they become established. It’s a point where their character has been built strongly for a long enough period of time for the crowd to accept them as not just a legitimate threat, but as someone they respect and Charlotte has now reached that. A good win over Brie Bella at Fast Lane will do her no harm. They should still have Ric interfere in the match as that’s the storyline that’s been developing all year and a Triple Threat at WrestleMania takes Flair completely out of the equation.
- Kevin Owens
Owens and Ziggler have wrestled three weeks in a row and each match has been sequentially better than the last. Unlike Del Rio and Kalisto who have little chemistry, Owens and Ziggler click perfectly and I’m willing to let this play out until the end before judging that there has really been little story development so far. Owens throwing commentator notes or annoying Michael Cole has become my favourite part of Raw each week.
- AJ Styles
Styles had a minimal role in the outstanding Miz TV segment, but he did everything he needed to do. The rematch between Styles and Jericho feels big and significant which in turn makes SmackDown feel more important. The WWE seems to be right behind AJ, giving him crucial slots at the top of the hour and he’s rewarding their faith so far. Who he faces or what he does at WrestleMania remains a mystery for the time being.
- Dolph Ziggler
Dolph cheating to win isn’t out of his character, but it was still a solid swerve. The effectiveness of it will depend on what they do from here. Is this the beginning of Dolph turning heel or will there be no explanation for it? Lean towards the latter, but it adds some curiosity to the Owens/Ziggler feud which will probably wrap up at Fast Lane.
- Brock Lesnar
Brock picking up that contract signing table and throwing it in Roman’s face was probably the funniest thing to happen on Raw this year. Lesnar did what Lesnar does, he destroyed everything in his path and while I’m a little disappointed Ambrose wasn’t allowed to get more offense in before Brock laid him out, the story being told between Lesnar and Ambrose is incredibly intriguing. We’ll see what happens at Fast Lane.
- The Miz
The Miz showed once again just how underrated he is by the wrestling community. He delivered a fantastic match with Styles on SmackDown and backed that up with a brilliant segment with Jericho where he perfectly planted the seeds for Jericho turning heel. The Miz is in the best few talkers on the roster and would probably be a fantastic commentator if he wanted to transition into that role post wrestling.
- The Dudley Boyz
For the first time since September last year, The Dudley Boyz are relevant. This was the heel turn they drastically needed and gives them a chance to get back to the top of the division. They have plenty of ammo to use with the fans not really caring about them and their friendship with The Authority can also be utilized.
- Chris Jericho and Potted Plant
Jericho crushed it, showing just how good he is when he is given something to work with. Before the Rumble, he really had no feud and no material and so he was really just spewing catchphrases, but now he’s shining. An inkling of the 2008 Chris Jericho seemed to come out late in that beautifully crafted segment which is certainly best for business. Jericho should cheat to defeat Styles on SmackDown before Styles gets his revenge at Fast Lane. From there, have Jericho go after Ambrose and the Intercontinental Championship. Good to see the potted plant from SmackDown a few weeks ago returning. It better not become a Highlight Reel causality – that’d be too far, dammit!
- Dean Ambrose
This is the strangest booking the WWE has ever done. Roman Reigns is their guy. He is the one who will win at Fast Lane and main-event WrestleMania. He’s also the one with plenty of history with Brock Lesnar and yet it is Ambrose who has gotten every bit of the storyline so far while Reigns sits in the bleachers. Ambrose wanting to take Lesnar’s best shot to show Brock that he won’t be kept down has been enthralling viewing over the past fortnight and couple that with Ambrose being in the final two of the Rumble, the crowd will be firmly behind him at Fast Lane. On top of that, any fan not cheering for Ambrose will be cheering for Brock so the WWE have booked themselves into quite a pickle here!
- Daniel Bryan
There aren’t words to describe how good a person this man is so I won’t try. Inside the ring, he was one of if not the greatest of all time and his contributions to pro-wrestling will live on forever in one of the greatest WrestleMania moments of all time. His segment ran 20 minutes overtime and I don’t think anyone will mind. If you haven’t read his book, I highly recommend getting it because his story is incredible. Thank you Daniel Bryan for proving that anyone can reach the pinnacle and enjoy the rest of your life, however you choose to spend it.