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.
Tonight’s holiday edition of Raw had a strong U.S theme that was felt throughout the course of the night. They seemed to use the July 4th holiday as an excuse to not treat the Raw particularly seriously, with only a couple of storylines actually getting any progression. Everyone else was simply lumped into the festivities and an average Raw resulted because of it.
There were a lot more competitors than usual on Raw tonight, so let’s rank them.
- Summer Rae
It’s good to see two women’s segments on Raw, especially when there are legitimate storylines developing, but Summer, by default, takes the bottom place on this list due to her botch against Becky Lynch that nearly saw the Lass Kicker dropped on her head. Thankfully Becky was not injured, but it will not reflect well on Summer who is being given an opportunity with the likes of Naomi, Tamina, Emma and Alicia Fox all injured.
- The Social Outcasts
Damien Sandow’s dress-up gimmick didn’t die after all. It just got transferred to three men, attempting to meet the comedic timing of the one they’re replacing. Slater and Dallas are both quite funny, but they’re not on Sandow’s level. This segment fell flat immediately and considering Enzo and Cass aren’t exactly known for their in-ring prowess, this was one of the most forgettable segments of the night.
- The Golden Truth and The Vaudevillains
The Vaudevillains were never going to be anything more than glorified jobbers, but their fall since Extreme Rules has been sudden. There’s very little chance of them playing any major role even post brand split. Golden Truth are a kids act and whether they’re succeeding at that is too soon to say, but they’re nothing more than that.
- Titus O’Neil
Unfortunately for O’Neil, he had his best chance yet to impress and he fell well short of it. Rusev brought the intensity necessary for the bout, but Titus seemed a step behind and even though he was fighting a Bulgarian champion for the United States Title on the fourth of July, he still appeared as nothing more than a challenger well beneath Rusev’s talents. It’s hard to see Titus getting another big single’s push and it’ll be worth watching to see how he’s used after the draft.
- Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, Chris Jericho, The Lucha Dragons, Mark Henry, Kane, Apollo Crews, The Dudley Boyz and Jack Swagger
The WWE are prone to the odd awful festivity-driven main-event, but this was something else. Not only was it taking the July 4th stuff way too far, it created a situation where the crowd was supposed to cheer against the likes of Sami Zayn, Cesaro and Kalisto due to the fact that they’re not American. Considering WWE is an international product, it’s rather tasteless from that scope. Everyone listed here was simply there to make up the numbers in a match that would’ve been sub-par as a second-tier house show main-event.
- Becky Lynch
Aside from being dropped on her head, Becky did everything she needed to do in this match. She played the babyface in trouble role as superbly as ever and her comeback offense got the crowd into the match when they had every reason to be quiet. Her natural charisma is capable of lighting up a crowd even in the dullest of matches. The fact that she gets a singles match with Natalya at Battleground is very promising. Assuming, of course, that they actually let them wrestle and don’t give them six minutes with Natalya winning via hair pulling or something.
Cesaro gets a slightly higher place than the others as he at least made the match slightly more interesting. The Real Americans throwback was a nice touch and he brought energy to the match that was otherwise lacking. It’s time to just put the Intercontinental Championship on him at leave it there for the rest of 2016.
- The Miz
The concept of a Champion versus Champion match is incredibly interesting on paper, but when you see it twice in a week, it’s not quite so great. The Miz is a fantastic heel and Ambrose is Ambrose which made this reasonably entertaining, but impossible to invest in given the obvious nature of the result. Who Miz defends his title against next is the fascination considering there is nobody even in the title picture right now.
- Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens
Zayn and Owens brawling their way out of the match was perfect and probably the only storyline that could’ve been developed out of that mess of a main-event. Owens’ performance in the food fight was also hilarious. Hopefully we get some more serious stuff from these two before Battleground though.
- Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady
Enzo and Cass were as good as ever in their intro, but they shouldn’t be continuously given squash matches to go along with them. Let them cut a promo, clear the ring and leave it there. They’re in-ring work isn’t particularly good which means when they have the same match over and over again, it’ll eventually get tedious and fans will tire of them. Pairing them with Cena was a good call, it gives them something to do and evens the numbers for Battleground.
- Dean Ambrose
The WWE (not-World-Heavyweight) Champion had a quieter show and considering Roman’s suspension, it’s not surprising that they don’t really know what to do with this feud. Unfortunately, Reigns’ suspension is souring what should be an epic feud and an epic moment in time – the first match between all three members of The Shield. Because Roman isn’t there, the feud is entirely focused on Rollins and Ambrose which is always fantastic, but The Shield triple threat itself deserves all three men and a WrestleMania-worthy build up. No matter how many Spanish announce tables Dean joins, it’s just not quite the same.
- Zack Ryder and The Big Show
Two weeks before the brand split, Zack Ryder and The Big Show stood tall to close Monday night Raw, defeating Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio as the final two members of the opposing team. As terrible as it was, it was at least unexpected? Is that a positive? Nope, this was a dumb main-event, but these two did their job and did it to expectation. Ryder is fantastic and while Show is slower, he can still get a crowd to their feet.
It’s a strong top 10 this week and kicking it off is Charlotte who had a fantastic segment with Sasha Banks, explaining some of their storied past and who they are as people. This gave us some fantastic character depth and Charlotte really nailed her end of the deal. Her promo voice is still tough on the ears and it sounds like she’s yelling all the time, but that seemingly won’t be changing any time soon. The fact that it’s the one year anniversary of Charlotte, Sasha and Becky being called up next week, hopefully they have something noteworthy planned for it.
- Big E and Kofi Kingston
With Woods’ current story arc, E and Kingston have been forced to do the brunt of the promo work and they’ve done a great job of it. They’ve carried on in this feud against The Wyatt’s as if it’s just another opponent which has made Xavier’s fear feel even starker. Hopefully Kingston’s previous battles with the Wyatt’s is mentioned as this feud has done a fantastic job of staying grounded so far and that will bring it full circle.
Rusev is doing everything possible to recapture the moment he had before his feud with Cena and he is once again looking like a powerful monster. The only difference is it’s him doing the talking and not Lana who has gone from powerful manager to escort. Regardless, Rusev should be a cornerstone of whichever brand he is drafted to considering the dominance he’s had over mid-card since winning the United States Championship.
- John Cena
It was good to see Cena spare us the 15 minute America speech he rolls out at every opportunity. There was enough patriotism for one show without it. Instead, he got straight to the point and called out The Club. While it seemed pretty dumb for him to do it, it led to his allegiance with Enzo and Cass and sets up the Battleground match. I was sort of hoping for American Alpha to debut as his partners, but Enzo and Cass is a nice substitute.
- The Wyatt Family
The Wyatt Family didn’t even necessarily appear on the show, but their promo work sold the feud a lot better than previous weeks. It was initially hard to see the teams meshing since they’re polar opposites, but thanks to some creative work by Bray and Xavier in particular, they’re starting to get on the right path. Hopefully we see a more serious New Day rather than the Wyatt’s losing their intensity.
- The Club
AJ Styles effectively won this feud. Cena could not overcome these odds. He could not defeat The Club. It’s not like the numbers game has been an issue for him in the past considering he took out the entire Nexus, but these three men proved too much for him. Styles, Gallows and Anderson will probably all be drafted to the same brand, but it would make sense to separate him from Cena, allowing them to have one final match at SummerSlam before parting ways.
- Dolph Ziggler
We know Ziggler can put on an A grade match in his sleep, but it’s always refreshing to actually see him given the chance to do so. This match meant effectively nothing and yet it was better than every other match on the show combined. Ziggler talks a lot about being the best, but he most certainly can back it up. He mightn’t have long left with the company, but he deserves some focus on him after the draft.
- Sasha Banks
This is why Sasha Banks is the best female professional wrestler on the planet. Not only can she produce stellar matches, her promo work is simply elite. Charlotte is getting strong on the mic and there are others who are serviceable, but nobody brings the intensity and realism that Banks is able to produce. Hopefully they don’t split the rosters and hopefully Sasha is allowed a lengthy reign over the division until WrestleMania, because you can be sure that the championship is going on her at SummerSlam.
- Seth Rollins
As already mentioned, Dolph and Seth put on the clear match of the night and it’s the final bit of proof we needed to show that Rollins hasn’t lost a step since returning. He was a little slower against Roman, but that’s completely understandable since it was his first match back. He had his speed back here and Ziggler was the perfect opponent for him in that regard. The Dirty Deeds on the table spot was unnecessary though. The table was never going to break from that impact and for something so minor that it probably won’t get mentioned again, risking a neck injury for Seth and a spine injury for Dean wasn’t worth it.
- Xavier Woods
This man is almost singlehandedly holding this feud together. We haven’t seen someone genuinely afraid of Bray before making this a fascinating feud to witness. Woods sold his fear perfectly and while walking out on his team may seem drastic, it was the perfect ending to the segment. The New Day will patch themselves back together, but this in-fighting is the perfect thing to make The Wyatt Family look menacing again. Splitting The New Day up the in draft would be a massive error so hopefully they just let this feud play itself out.