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 WWE RAW was a show of firsts. The entire show was flipped on its head by the injury to Seth Rollins and with injury, comes opportunity and as I mentioned in a previous article, this was the time for the WWE to spotlight the Divas – and that they did. We were also treated to pay-per-view quality matches in the tournament including some fresh match ups that we haven’t seen before.
As this was the last show before Survivor Series, here we will crown the rankings king or queen of the period between Hell in a Cell and Survivor Series. As of last week, Kevin Owens holds a commanding lead, but will he hold on? Let’s find out.
- The Ascension
This segment existed for the sole purpose of eating up time in a match that was probably more suited to Main Event than Raw. On a plus side, at least they have new face paint, right? You didn’t even notice, did you… for shame. The Ascension face Chad Gable and Jason Jordan this week on NXT. I would not be surprised if they chained themselves to Full Sail University and begged to stay.
Truth served as tonight’s other jobber, but he at least got a little more offense in. Truth, at 43-years-old, probably won’t be used in any other role for the remainder of his time in WWE, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the father of five.
Ryback probably had the match of the week with Kalisto on Smackdown last week, (if you don’t include Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks on Main Event… yes… that happened, on Main Event… I’m not kidding.) But after falling out of the tournament he was always going to be left as one of the odd men out without a feud to fall back on. He competed as the sixth man with The Usos against The New Day and shoved the referee aside in what was a strange finish to the match. Considering the match should have focused on, well everyone else, it was strange that Ryback caused the DQ finish. Maybe this is the beginnings of a Ryback heel turn?
- The Dudley Boyz
I get the feeling they were used more for sake of the live audience than anything. Still, it felt like a pretty pointless use of the veterans. I was hoping for some kind of angle that would set them up as Kane and The Undertaker’s partners for Survivor Series, making it a traditional Survivor Series match. Alas, it was just a filler segment.
- The Usos
It’s great having them back in the division. They bring an energy to every match they’re in. I just hope WWE doesn’t rush them back to the top too quickly because The New Day have done a fantastic job and should hold onto those titles until WrestleMania. The face paint in tribute to Paris was also a nice touch.
It’s a shame WWE didn’t keep the fairy tale going, but I guess Roman Reigns versus Kalisto would be a rather weird match. The Kalisto, Del Rio match didn’t quite live up to expectations and was the worst of the four tournament matches and that hurts his ranking. Hopefully Kalisto gets a decent single’s run one day, he’s shown he can hold his own.
- Tyler Breeze
The injury to Seth Rollins was always going to cause damage further down the card and it has meant that Breeze has had to take a back seat on Raw while Ziggler competes in the tournament. Because of this, he was simply given a squash match to get his first Raw win this week. I’m sure they’ll return to the feud after Survivor Series so there’s nothing wrong with simply getting a win under his belt for now. Oh, and the lip gloss thing was absolutely hilarious and if it’s not in the weekly Raw top 10 video, I will be very upset!
- Alberto Del Rio
As previously mentioned, this was the worst of the four tournament matches and if Del Rio doesn’t deliver in the ring, well he doesn’t really deliver anything else so despite the win, I can’t have him much higher than here.
- The New Day
When you consistently provide A+ grade work, when the quality slips even a little, it’s noticeable. This wasn’t their best week on the mic, but they get a pardon due to their previous 100 good promos. Their in ring work was great as always and it’s hilarious that they can annoy Ryback so much that he tosses a ref out of the way to get to them.
In hindsight, I’m surprised they didn’t have the opening segment as the main-event. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they didn’t, because that would’ve been a dull way to end it, but it’s still odd that they opted for Paige and Charlotte ahead of the Brothers of Destruction. Kane didn’t really do much in this segment outside of a pretty standard hell, fire and brimstone promo that we’ve heard 1000 times so nothing really to see here.
- The Wyatt Family
I give the extra point to The Wyatt Family here, just because of the cool twist with the druids. Of all the supernatural shenanigans that this feud has presented us with, this was the most effective so well done to whoever came up with that. It’ll be interesting to see if the druids ever appear at Bray’s side again. However, I’m still disappointed that they’ve opted for a tag team match instead of a traditional Survivor Series bout. I feel like that’s a missed opportunity.
Neville and Owens have had good matches before, but this was the best of them. This was exactly what a WWE Championship tournament match should be. It had everything from believable near falls, to moves usually only reserved for pay-per-views and that flipping spike Neville used was incredible. While he seems destined for a WWE career trapped in the mid card, you can clearly see that whenever he’s given an opportunity to be at the top, he’s going to shine.
It is awesome to see women in the main event of Raw, this division is more than talented enough to be there, but was this the right time? At the moment, I’m going to say, I’m just glad it happened because it means they can do it again, but I don’t necessarily think this was the feud to be spotlighting in the main-event, just because it hasn’t really reached its peak yet. This segment could’ve opened the show easily and that would’ve been great and from there, you go into Survivor Series with a hot angle and a passionate rivalry and it’s then that they should be given a main-event spotlight, because then you have a feud and material to work with. The fact that they were given this slot on the go-home show before the pay-per-view is still awesome and a big step forward for women’s wrestling. Rating Charlotte’s performance, you can tell she stumbled a bit and possibly even forgot a line or two, but think about it this way. Four months into her time on the main roster, Paige was just as awkward and uncomfortable on the mic and now she’s the number one diva on the roster with the mic. It’ll take time, but Charlotte will get there, especially with the added exposure of getting to work a main event segment. It’s worth investing in this division and it’s only upwards from here.
- Dolph Ziggler
That was a spectacular match and easily in the best twenty or so matches of 2015. Ambrose and Ziggler are two guys we haven’t really seen go at it and adding the dynamic of them both being pretty popular babyfaces, it made for a great story being told in the ring with two guys simply doing everything possible to make it to Survivor Series. I love the fact that all four tournament matches ended clean and Dolph isn’t hurt by this loss whatsoever.
Whether it’s intentional or not, the WWE right now are booking Cesaro perfectly. He is proving that he is just as good as everyone at the top of the card and while he suffered a big loss tonight, that loss will just make the fans that love him and the fans that hate Roman feel even stronger, cheer even louder and print even bigger Cesaro Section signs. This is how you book an underdog in the WWE. You tease fans into thinking their favourite is going over and then back away and it makes fans cheer for him more because they feel he’s getting less than he deserves and that makes supposedly smart fans angrier. If they play their cards right, WWE could be looking at Cesaro getting as over as Daniel Bryan was in 2013 and 2014. As long as they consistently give Cesaro a lot of time in matches and keep him prominent on Raw until after WrestleMania, this should work. The post WrestleMania crowd will do the rest.
- Roman Reigns
As good as Reigns has become over the last six months, it’s hard not to see how limited he is in comparison to someone like Cesaro. In saying that, his body of work in 2015 shows that he can put on quality matches and he’ll undoubtedly continue to improve so it’s not necessarily a criticism of Reigns, more of a reminder of how good Cesaro is. Reigns is winning this tournament, simple as that. The only thing that might stop him would be Sheamus cashing in or Ambrose turning heel. WWE just have to make sure they don’t undo all the good work they’ve done with Reigns since WrestleMania. A heel turn might be the way to go to get him truly over down the line.
- Kevin Owens
I was disappointed to see Triple H talking with everyone else because the tease of Owens joining The Authority was excellent and would have left the door slightly ajar for him to go over The Shield boys and claim the top prize. His match with Neville, as I already mentioned, was fantastic and Ambrose is the perfect opponent for Owens at Survivor Series. I get the feeling this is the match they wanted to do at Survivor Series (with the intercontinental title on the line) pre-Rollins injury anyway so I guess this side of the bracket was reasonably predictable from that point of view. Also, Kevin Owens’ weekly pre or post Raw interviews are becoming my most anticipated parts of the show each week. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look them up.
- Dean Ambrose
There’s not much to add, but Ambrose and Ziggler put on the best match of the night and Ambrose goes into Survivor Series with the potential to have two highly anticipated matches. His match with Owens will obviously be awesome, but an Ambrose/Reigns final will be epic. It’s a shame it’ll only have an hour or so to be built up given it’s a match that’s really two years in the making. Who’s winning the tournament? I’m tipping Roman Reigns… in a best for business fashion.
One line got Paige to the top of this week’s rankings and you already know what it is. Saying that Charlotte’s brother, the man whom Charlotte claims is responsible for her even making it to the WWE, didn’t have much fight in him (because he’s dead) was absolutely brilliant. Yes, the segment overall was a little awkward and mistimed but that last line not only made the awesome brawl feel like more than the average fight, but it got people talking – it felt real. People can whinge about it being in poor taste, but to those people I say this. Welcome to pro-wrestling. Just like when CM Punk interrupted Paul Bearer’s eulogy to confront The Undertaker, call it distasteful or whatever you like, it was effective. People complain about wanting TV-14 and wanting the Attitude Era back, well that is as much attitude as you’re ever going to see and it was awesome. It was masterful heel work and obviously, Paige wouldn’t have gone there without Charlotte’s permission so anyone saying it’s distasteful really need to step back and realise that the comment wouldn’t have actually affected anyone. To give you a glimpse of how big that segment was, in Melbourne Australia throughout the entire show, Raw did not trend once. The only superstar that trended was, you guessed it, Paige. She got people talking, she’s going to have plenty of heat come her way on Sunday and you know what, that was the first time women have main evented Raw properly in a long time and it needed to be memorable and despite some poor execution and a few too many tears, it was EXACTLY that.
With this week’s rankings complete, that brings us to the overall scores and the FINAL scores of this period. Defending rankings champion Kofi Kingston has finished in 6th place and your new rankings champion is…
|1||Kevin Owens||21, 21,20, 17||79|
|2||Paige||18, 22, 15, 19||74|
|3||Roman Reigns||22, 16, 13, 16||67|
|4||Dolph Ziggler||20, 13, 19, 14||66|
|5||Cesaro||17, 11, 21, 15||64|
|6||Kofi Kingston*||15, 14, 16, 9||54|
|7||Big E||14, 14, 16, 9||53|
|8||Dean Ambrose||0, 15, 18, 18||51|
|9||Bray Wyatt||16, 10, 10, 11||47|
|10||Becky Lynch||5, 18, 17, 0||40|
*labels defending rankings champion.
For anyone wanting a refresher on how the scoring works, The Ascension for finishing last receive one point. Paige, for finishing first, receives 19 points as there were 19 competitors on Raw this week. Seth Rollins, for not being on Raw at all, receives zero. Everyone else scores linearly.
This periods ‘at least you tried’ award is a tie between R-Truth and Big Show who scored the equal fewest points with three.
As of next week the scores all return to zero as we look ahead to TLC to see if the new champion Kevin Owens can defend his rankings crown.
Do you agree with the rankings results? What would your rankings be? Tweet us @NicNegrepontis or @CamelClutchBlog with your feedback!