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.
We’ve entered the Fast Lane to WrestleMania, but first we have to get over a Roadblock and probably a few more road related puns before we get to the grandest stage of them all.
This week’s show was your typical Raw, with two hours of good content and an hour of forgettable stuff that’s really just there to fill out the three hours.
Who came out on top of the rankings, let’s find out.
- Naomi and Tamina
As more or less the only two heels in the entire women’s division outside of Charlotte, you can expect Naomi and Tamina to do a lot of losing over the coming weeks, but this was bad. Firstly, Naomi spent under a minute in this incredibly short Fast Lane rematch with Tamina doing the brunt of the work. The problem with that is… well… Tamina is terrible. I’m sorry, there’s no sugar coating it, she botched two incredibly easy spots in the match and made everyone else look bad in the process. Naomi is too good to be lumped with Tamina and unless Tamina remains her silent enforcer who doesn’t compete in matches, then it’s time to send Naomi solo.
- Tyler Breeze
Tyler Breeze has been confined to the role of a jobber, but he still stands out as someone too good for that role. His charisma, promo skills, wrestling ability and storytelling are all that of someone who could be a main-eventer if given the push. His match tonight on Raw was a showcase of someone who deserved a push for so long and is now getting it, Kalisto, versus the man who is now in Kalisto’s old shoes.
- The Social Outcasts
I’m sorry, but what was Curtis Axel chanting? Was that an axe noise? If so, please stop. Tonight was the match we’ve all been waiting for. After breaking up two years ago, Rybaxel squared off against each other. These guys look like they’re having fun out there which at least is a step up on their pre-Outcast jobbing.
- R-Truth, Goldust and Mark Henry
You can tell Golden Truth is a team that is going to debut the night after WrestleMania, everything between now and then is just filler. Tonight’s was particularly entertaining as it featured Mark Henry and a circular food thing Chicago natives refer to as ‘pizza’. Henry actually became the funniest part of the segment, sneaking of with said food object.
- Summer Rae
Another win for Summer on Raw. Good for her, she’s much better than people think and the fact that she’s one of four heels in this division will give her some spotlight heading into WrestleMania and possibly even at WrestleMania as I have a theory on a possible second Divas match at WrestleMania…
- Brie Bella and Lana
Brie Bella versus Lana in a single’s match at WrestleMania won’t happen for the simple reason that if Brie is the one carrying your match, you have a serious, serious problem. Instead, this is probably leading towards an eight Diva tag team match to showcase the remainder of the women’s roster and serve as a pee break for WrestleMania, as crappy as that sounds. It will be Brie Bella, Alicia Fox, Natalya and Paige versus Lana, Naomi, Tamina and Summer Rae. The only interesting factor in the match will be Lana making her debut as a wrestler.
- Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch
After the announcement was made on SmackDown that the Divas Championship would be defended on a triple threat match, Raw this week didn’t really give us any follow up. Instead, we got a Fast Lane rematch and the champion beating down her challengers. They still have four weeks to build this feud so there’s nothing to be concerned about at this stage, but there’s not really much to discuss this week.
Tonight was another good win for Kalisto on the road to WrestleMania with the U.S Champion finally getting a single’s match without Sin Cara in his corner. Kalisto appears to be en route for a singles match at WrestleMania, something that nobody would’ve predicted a few months ago. Singles matches at WrestleMania are prestigious, especially when many expected the United States Championship to be defended in some kind of multi-man match, so good for Kalisto who will do a fantastic job.
- Dolph Ziggler
Tonight certainly was a little more interesting on the Ziggler front. First, Dolph sent out rather inflammatory tweet before deleting it and sending another one highlighting his frustrations. It reminded me of CM Punk in his last few months with the company. Then it was seemingly revealed to be a work as the tweet was used to put Dolph in a three on one handicap match. It seems like The Authority want to make an example out of Ziggler before WrestleMania almost to remind everyone of the consequences of Shane losing. Geez, whose bright idea was it to use Ziggler as a pawn in the Shane versus Undertaker feud? Genius, that bloke.
- The League of Nations
The League of Nations are nothing more than an instrument of The Authority’s power which means they’ll get some good airtime in the lead up to WrestleMania. Until their program with The New Day starts though, they’re really just treading water. Barrett being the one to take the elimination is pretty harsh on the guy who has been pushed further and further down with each passing match.
- Bray Wyatt
The Wyatt Family have faded that far into obscurity this year that there was close to no reaction for Bray throughout the entire match. The only flicker from the crowd came when he came face to face with Triple H, but let’s face it that would happen if almost any wrestler went face to face with Triple H. The Wyatt Family are done without some kind of swerve. Right now, their only hopes are the Bullet Club. Bray will get mauled by Brock at Roadblock.
Charlotte left Raw this week looking like a strong champion who is not afraid of her opponents. Unfortunately, we got no follow up to her being upset about the match being a triple threat as they weren’t given any serious mic time. Again, they have a month to put this feud together and as long as they keep it simple and focused on what a title match at WrestleMania means to them, it’s going to be a fantastic match at WrestleMania.
Despite an incredibly monotonous promo, this Ryback change in persona is actually very interesting. He’s ‘turned heel’ in the sense that he only cares about himself and becoming a champion, but he hasn’t lost respect for guys like Kalisto and Kane who he respected as a babyface. It’s a smart change rather than turning him from a smiley good guy into an evil monster, he’s a real person who believes this course of action will get him a championship. It couples well with his change in move set and change in ring attire too. Ryback versus Kalisto at WrestleMania, if that’s what they’re doing, has my attention at this stage.
- Shane McMahon
Shane-O-Mac kicked off Raw to another massive ovation and kicked this feud into the next gear. Two weeks ago, he made a lot of legitimate points about Vince running the business into the ground and talking about ratings, injuries and the like, but this week he took another problem a lot of wrestling fans have with Vince and nailed it. He called Vince out of touch with wrestlers, fans and the business to a massive pop from the Chicago crowd. It’s funny because, obviously, Shane is probably being given these promo ideas by a creative writer or Vince himself so they clearly know that wrestling fans have these strong opinions about Vince and now they’re using them in an angle against him! The irony is strong.
- Triple H
Triple H had less of a role this week as it was Ambrose’s time to shine, but he still came across as the badass champion who nobody is going to boo at WrestleMania. They’ll boo him at Roadblock because fans are desperate for Ambrose to have any kind of success, but come WrestleMania, they’ll all be firmly in The Game’s corner. Keeping Roman off Raw makes sense with Roadblock happening, but it does make you wonder… was Shane McMahon referring to Roman when he said wrestlers who get all the breaks, but have no talent?
There’s almost* no question about it anymore, Neville is the best wrestler in the WWE right now and again he showed in a short match just how jaw-dropping some of his offense can be. I’ve followed Neville since before NXT and I’ve never seen anything like that second rope maneuver he pulled off on Raw. It just goes to show you how good he could be if the machine got behind him. *The other man fighting for the best wrestler spot saw this match and decided to try and one-up Neville later on in the show.
- Dean Ambrose
Ambrose isn’t winning at Roadblock, sorry guys. I’m glad they brought up the chaos it would cause if he did win seeing’s as they’ve already made posters and advertisements for Roman versus Triple H and Ambrose versus Lesnar. Unless this is a Y2AJ T-Shirt style red herring and Ambrose really is taking the championship into WrestleMania, expect Triple H to win and gain some momentum heading into the main-event. Roman may even return at Roadblock to stop Triple H from beating the daylights out of his friend.
- AJ Styles
Yes, Styles saw Neville’s freakish offense from earlier in the night and decided to try and trump him. They’re both winners. Really though, Styles is the winner as he’ll be going one on one with a 20 year veteran in Chris Jericho in what’ll probably be their final clash. This was the best call and I’ll talk more about their Tag Team Title match later on, but Styles versus Jericho finishing at WrestleMania with Styles winning the feud three to one is a great move and allows the greatest heel of all time to put over the man who may become the hottest babyface in the company come SummerSlam.
- Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Speaking of hot feuds, Sami Zayn is back on the main roster and it looks like Owens versus Ambrose is set for WrestleMania! Owens and Neville put on a fantastic match and Owens attacking Neville afterward was the perfect catalyst for Zayn coming out to help his long-time friend. Owens versus Zayn is that personal rivalry that this WrestleMania was missing and it’s the perfect way to catapult Zayn onto the main roster. This is going to be something special.
- The New Day
What a performance. You can be as entertaining as you like, but at the end of the day it comes down to how you deliver inside the ring and The New Day delivered what was probably the best Tag Team Championship match without a stipulation in quite a few years. They’re clearly moving into a feud with The League of Nations at WrestleMania which doesn’t sound like anything special, but if anyone can make it worth watching, The New Day can.
- Chris Jericho
When Chris Jericho returned in the lead up to the Royal Rumble, he felt stale almost immediately because he was a catchphrase spewing babyface who had no direction and didn’t wrestle a match. Post-Rumble, he began this feud with Styles, but remained almost in Styles’ shadow with all eyes on the Phenomenal One. Now, Jericho has turned heel and the greatest heel of all time will get a chance to strut his stuff. He’ll probably put Styles over at WrestleMania, but Jericho’s heel turn was executed perfectly and following that A+ match, it was without a doubt the segment of the night, possibly the year. I just hope he starts calling people hypocrites again.