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.
Ladies and gentlemen we are eleven days away from the greatest show of the year. Eleven days away from NXT Takeover Dallas featuring possibly the greatest card in pro-wrestling history.
Unfortunately, two days later is WrestleMania 32 and two weeks away from the event that will break the record for the biggest crowd in pro-wrestling history (probably), Raw remains just as average and lethargic as ever.
Almost nothing is building excitement for WrestleMania and everything seems mundane and predictable – but the rankings must go on!
- The Wyatt Family
Another one bites the dust. The body count on the road to WrestleMania increases again this week with Luke Harper suffering what appeared to be a serious knee injury in the dark main-event of Monday night Raw. Yes, it wasn’t even during a segment, it was a pointless dark main-event and the knee injury seems serious. The Wyatt’s have completely faded into obscurity since Fast Lane and are bound for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, but it’s such a shame for Harper who is probably the best of the Wyatt’s. Michael Cole failed once again in the main-event when Ambose hit Dirty Deeds on Strowman. Cole HAD to put that moment over as something massive. If he can do it to Strowman, something NOBODY has been able to do, he might be able to do it to Lesnar. Instead, we got his usual dribble.
If you forgot Fandango existed, don’t feel bad because this was his first match on Raw since July 27 2015. The ‘WrestleMania Rewind’ concept would be genius if it gave us a few high profile matches, but instead it led to what was simply a squash match for Jericho. Styles even distracted Jericho and he still beat Fandango! Don’t be surprised if he’s among the next group of talent fired because they’ve given him absolutely nothing in well over a year now.
- R-Truth and Goldust
Tonight it was Goldust that came to the aid of Truth who served as the second jobber of the night, losing to Bubba Ray Dudley. These two, as I’ve said for months now, will debut as a team the night after WrestleMania so everything between now and then is really just filler.
Kane also made his Raw return tonight coming to the aid of the Big Show before the whole ‘battle royals are every man for themselves’ thing was used again. Considering the amount of talent on the injury list right now, Kane will probably be pretty prominent in the battle royal. Also, the plaque on the Andre the Giant trophy listing previous winners is a really cool touch and hopefully will become part of the fabric of WrestleMania for years to come.
- The Social Outcasts
The Social Outcasts seem to be finding their groove as a group. They’re no longer irritating and they actually provide some good humour as a group. It was good to see them getting the upper hand on the Big Show because considering where they are in their respective careers, The Social Outcasts being able to take down Big Show is a nice little feather in their cap going into WrestleMania.
- Big Show
Can I just say, I’ve been watching a lot of Paul Heyman’s SmackDown from 2002-2003 over the last week. This was probably the best Big Show was ever booked and he was downright awesome as dominant heel who was on par with the likes of Lesnar and Angle. It was therefore strange seeing his much older, balder self come out with a big smile on his face and high-fiving kids. Show won’t win the Battle Royal, but he’ll probably be the last guy eliminated by the Wyatt Family before they win.
- The Dudley Boyz
This feud with The Usos has gone nowhere since the week it begun. The intensity has been good between them, but we don’t know why they’re fighting? Yes, The Dudley’s turned on The Uso’s months ago, but why keep fighting? There’s nothing at stake, there’s no reasoning – give us something if it’s going to be on the WrestleMania card. This match is destined for either the pre-show or the slot between main-events so people can go to the bathroom.
- The Usos
The Usos should give Reigns tips about intensity, because they have all of it and he has none of it. Even though this feud has nothing going for it, Jimmy and Jey do a great job making it feel important with their body language and their palpable energy. Reigns has failed at both when it comes to his feud with Triple H.
- Vince McMahon
Okay I have like four questions about this whole feud. Firstly, if Vince is calling The Undertaker such things and treating him so poorly, why is The Undertaker fighting for him? Two, why is The Undertaker so against Shane, what makes him choose Vince over Shane? Three, if The Undertaker loses to Shane and is forced to retire by Vince, can’t Shane, who for winning would now be in charge of the company, just rehire him and tell him he can wrestle as long as he wants? Finally, why is a match with such massive stipulations falling so short of what it could potentially be? We saw virtually the exact same thing at Survivor Series 2014 and Cena and Triple H did a fantastic job of building it up. Why are they failing so badly now?
- The League of Nations
The League of Nations serves as fodder for The New Day’s babyface run. That’s about as interesting as they get. King Barrett laughing at everything New Day were saying was hilarious. He clearly no longer cares and it’s beautiful.
- Roman Reigns
Roman’s segment with Stephanie accomplished nothing except for confirming that Triple H was in the building. Roman’s second segment with Triple H made no sense. How did he know Triple H and Stephanie were there? Why did he wait until the door was all the way up before running in if he’s so desperate to fight them? And once again, there was just no intensity about anything between Roman and Triple H. It’s because unlike Ziggler or Ambrose or Bryan, Reigns doesn’t have any legitimacy to his words or his actions because he hasn’t experienced any real struggle within the WWE. That’s why this anti-authority stuff is so hard to swallow, because really, he’s their favourite guy!
- Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks
People may think that Becky was spewing pre-prepared catchphrases on commentary this week, but anyone who follows Becky closely knows she’s more than capable of thinking up weird and hilarious catchphrases and puns on the spot. This segment was overly crowded with the banter between Sasha and Becky seeming more important than the match itself. They’ve done a good job building this match, but they need one more promo segment letting the three talk about how much this means to them to really nail the build-up.
- Stardust, Sin Cara and Zack Ryder
WWE are known for illogical booking and this more or less takes the cake. So Sami Zayn debuts and we all think we’re getting a Zayn versus Owens match at WrestleMania, then Miz and Ziggler are thrown in and we think we’re getting a fatal 4-Way, but now it’s a seven man ladder match involving Sin Cara and Zack Ryder? I’ll tell you what #FreeWrestleMania stands for – it means literally everyone on the roster gets to be a part of the show so they all feel happy and special. A singles match between Zayn and Owens would’ve been the wrong call, that storyline deserves to be played out over months, but a seven man ladder match featuring the very bottom of the roster? This is not how you make WrestleMania feel special. Finally, how in the blue hell does a triple threat match get called off via disqualification? It’s little illogical things like that holding WWE back.
- Charlotte and Natalya
Even though Charlotte and Natalya weren’t the focus of this segment, they did what they always do and that’s deliver a great match. Charlotte versus Natalya is just as good a rivalry as any in the history of the women’s division and these two have chemistry like no other. The WWE is extending #FreeWrestleMania to the Divas too with the eight Diva tag team match I called weeks ago being announced on the Raw pre-show. WrestleMania is a show for your best seven or eight matches, not a show shoehorned with everyone on the roster, injuries or not.
- The Miz, Dolph Ziggler and Sami Zayn
When Sami Zayn returned a month or so ago, we knew we were getting a Zayn versus Owens feud which, if given the chance, will be the best feud of 2016. The WWE seem to know this as well and that’s why we’re not getting a singles match between them at WrestleMania. It’s too soon for them to fight one on one. Give this storyline some time to flesh out properly. This means Owens needs to retain the title at WrestleMania and steal it away from Zayn, but a fatal 4-way was the perfect match for this, not a ladder match. There are enough injuries without a pointless ladder match thrown into the mix. Miz and Ziggler would’ve made great opponents to get the ball rolling with Owens and Zayn and both men deserve a marquee match at WrestleMania. This seven man match just devalues the title and devalues these three men who should have more spotlight.
- Chris Jericho
Jericho is the master of being a heel. Everything from ripping up a ‘Get well Bret’ sign at Roadblock to telling fans to put their phones away on Raw just shows that he understands how to get people to turn on him. Styles and Jericho will finish their feud at WrestleMania and it will be interesting to see how Styles convinces Jericho to agree to the final match. This is probably the only feud outside of Lesnar versus Ambrose and the Divas title that has actually been booked well, which is probably because Jericho and Styles had control of it.
- Dean Ambrose
It’s amazing how every week WWE make so many mistakes with Roman and yet continue to make Ambrose more likable and get him more over every single week. Strowman versus Ambrose as the main event of Raw was a terrible decision considering we’re two weeks from freaking WrestleMania, but Ambrose going around towns and being amongst people is just such a smart way of getting him over. It makes him feel even more relatable and that’s the key to getting people over in this day and age. Will Ambrose actually bring the chainsaw to WrestleMania? Something tells me he won’t be able to get that through airport security.
- AJ Styles
Styles and Owens delivered one of the best matches of 2016 and while Jericho interfering made perfect sense, it’s a shame we didn’t get a fair conclusion. My question is this: where does AJ go after WrestleMania? Owens will be feuding with Zayn, his feud with Jericho will be done and there isn’t really another top heel for him to feud with to keep his momentum rolling. Going after the United States Championship seems well beneath him and the roster is bereft of heels right now. The only thing I can think of is Balor Club debuting as heels and going after Styles, but outside of that, it’s something worrying to keep an eye on.
- The New Day
The New Day’s babyface run is going to be something special. Within two weeks they’ve completely flipped the crowd and are probably as popular as anyone on the roster right now. It’s amazing how good a babyface turn can be after a great heel run and the New Day boys are about to cash in. They just need a big win over the League of Nations at WrestleMania to cement it.
- Kevin Owens
Raw this week seemed to revolve around Owens, it’s just a shame the feud they gave him was a poor choice. Owens is brilliant in ladder matches and he has been his whole career, but he should’ve been given the fatal 4-way I mentioned earlier with Kalisto, a man who’s very much a high flying, spot wrestler, being given the ladder match position. Flipping them would’ve been the best showcases for their respective talents.
The WWE have two more shows to nail WrestleMania and this writer is very concerned. Seth and Bryan aren’t here to save the show this time and both main-events are floundering right now.