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.
Money in the Bank was an eye-opening pay-per-view and the follow up needed to deliver to continue the momentum WWE created.
This week’s show did that in a number of ways, but also failed in a few others and they will be discussed now in the rankings.
- Dana Brooke
Enough is enough. The women’s division has been through enough since WrestleMania without Dana dragging the division down further. Wrestling is all about believability and selling the sport and Dana can do neither. Her promos are the worst in the entire company and her trash-talk during matches is just plain cringe worthy. On top of all of that, she botched the finish to the match, failing to get Charlotte’s leg on the ropes and doing it in plain view of the referee who had no idea what to do. The women’s title picture finally looks like it’s about to pick-up, but it’s going to struggle if Dana has too much involvement.
- Zack Ryder
Ryder took a loss to Corbin in a quick match that didn’t really do anything but showcase Corbin. There isn’t anything to evaluate here from Ryder’s standpoint.
- Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows
Styles and Cena put on one of the best matches of 2016 last night, but the follow up on Raw was barely passable. Firstly, making Anderson and Gallows apologize like children to both AJ and Cena made them look like tall versions of J&J Security and secondly, Karl Anderson being destroyed by Cena in less than five minutes was ridiculous. Anderson did not get any offense in and was made to look like an unnamed enhancement talent. There were so many directions to go with this feud, but hurting Gallows and Anderson that badly was not necessary.
- The Vaudevillains
The Vaudevillains were always going to fade from the spotlight as the weeks rolled on. With so much talent in the tag team division, they are doomed to be lost in the shuffle. The WWE need to make sure they’re not pushed down too far before the brand split however.
- Titus O’Neil and Rusev
O’Neil and Rusev were always going to continue through to Battleground and the personal addition of O’Neil’s family to the mix gives the feud a little more spice going forward. We need a Rusev feud centred on something other than the boring cliché of hating America. Titus is still yet to prove he can cut it as a single’s competitor in the ring and Battleground will be his big opportunity.
- The Wyatt Family and The New Day
On paper, this sounds like a great idea, but it didn’t quite mesh. On one hand you have the serious, cult-like Wyatt’s who were on the border of turning face and got an incredible reaction from the crowd and on the other, you have New Day who are… New Day. Both of them are fantastic on their own, but it’s going to take something special to produce something that works for both teams without veering too far away from what makes both teams great.
- Baron Corbin
As mentioned earlier, there isn’t much to dissect from Corbin’s win over Ryder, but his match quality continues to improve as his time on the main roster increases. Corbin has blown passed Apollo Crews in terms of making the bigger impact since debuting and looks certain to be a big part of the brand split. Maybe a feud with Bray would’ve been the way to go.
- AJ Styles and John Cena
Whatever you thought of the finish to the match, everything to that point was incredible and these two put on a match that lived up to the hype. Everything pointed to the feud continuing and all it needed was a subtle push forward to keep rolling on. Instead, in one night, WWE made Styles’ win feel unimportant, made Gallows and Anderson look weak and made Cena look childish for being so upset about the contract. They have a few weeks between now and Battleground to rectify this because this was a bad day for everyone involved.
- The Miz
The Intercontinental Champion hasn’t been on Raw since he retained his title in a match of the year candidate at Extreme Rules and has instead been sending videos of himself on the set of a movie – and it’s fantastic. Everything The Miz has done with the title has been fantastic because he is generating heat for not defending his title and Maryse continues to do a fantastic job of making Miz look even more like a Hollywood snob. Considering Cesaro wasn’t on Raw, you could probably assume we’re going to see Cesaro challenge Miz again soon and that would be the best case scenario.
- Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady
Enzo and Shane, what more is there to say? These two’s popularity continues to rise and rise, but they need direction. This is why it’s strange The Wyatt’s and New Day seem to be going at it, because this seemed like the logical next feud. Enzo and Cass versus New Day at SummerSlam seems like the money match and now we don’t know where they’ll be heading. It might be a sign that WWE is splitting them up and is just passing time until the brand split, but who knows.
- Becky Lynch and Natalya
Becky Lynch is the only true babyface in the women’s division. Sasha and Paige are both anti-heroes and everyone else is a heel. For the fourth time in her WWE/NXT career, a wrestler has turned on her which kind of makes you feel sorry for the Irish Lass Kicker. As for Natalya, whether she can actually pull of a heel turn will be something we need to wait and see on as she struggles big-time with the character side of pro-wrestling. This was an effective and to-the-point segment to get the feud in motion.
It’s good to see some logic in WWE booking. Paige had two clean victories over Charlotte and she got a title match because of it. The match itself was solid too. The crowd was right into it and following every near-fall. Considering the finish to the match, you’d assume Paige would stay in the championship picture for the time being, but it’s hard to see two triple threat matches on the one pay-per-view.
- Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens
There was a fleeting moment where it seemed like these two were going to conclude their feud on Raw and move on to other things, but it soon became apparent that their feud is only just beginning. Even with the brand split around the corner, there’s at least one and probably two more pay-per-view matches to be had between these two, and honestly, is anyone complaining?
- Charlotte and Sasha Banks
The decision to delay this feud until now is pretty baffling as the women’s division was dragged through the mud between WrestleMania and Money in the Bank. WWE logic usually dictates you simply forget everything that’s happened up until now and be happy we’re getting the feud, but it’s hard not be frustrated by the wasted potential here. Charlotte and Sasha will probably have two to three pay-per-view matches and they’ll probably steal the show. If they’re allowed to, of course, they might get eight minutes before Ric Flair dressed as a clown interferes or something.
- Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns lost clean at Money in the Bank. That is the inescapable fact that can’t be lost in the shuffle here. Whether it had anything to do with his 30 day suspension we’ll probably never know, but as far as Raw went, Roman’s clearly closer to a heel than a face right now. It’s probably even worth ignoring that whole classification with him as he is neither. He wrestled both matches with Seth more or less as the heel and the way he treats the crowd is clearly the kind of thing a face would never do. His suspension will be lifted in time for Battleground so whether he remains in the match or not will be the question going forward.
- Seth Rollins
Seth has had an incredible first month back. Despite everything, he’s still red-hot with the crowd and his ‘win’ at Money in the Bank makes him the most credible heel the WWE has had in a long time. It’s too early to dig into what will happen with this triple threat as they must have something bigger planned for SummerSlam, otherwise they wouldn’t be giving away such a big match here. The brand split might be a factor in why we’re getting this match at Battleground rather than SummerSlam.
- Dean Ambrose
“You deserve it” chants summed up Ambrose’s night. This was a celebration of someone who’s earned this moment in every possible way. It may have been the obvious angle, it may have detracted from Seth’s victory, but it doesn’t matter – because it’s Ambrose. Had it been anyone else, the crowd probably would’ve left the show disappointed, but Dean has been fingertips away from the title for two years now and the fact that he cashed in on Seth at the pay-per-view where Rollins cost him the Money in the Bank briefcase and ripped the WWE Championship away from his hands in successive years was a fantastic storyline in itself. Hopefully he isn’t just a transitional champion and he holds the title well into the brand split. It was also good to see him standing tall on his first night as champion.