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. Coming off what has been universally described as the worst pay-per-view main-event in a very long time, Raw really needed to deliver this week… and it didn’t…
It predictably kicked off with The Authority and Sheamus and despite the best efforts of four spectacular women and three amazing unicorns, it could not be saved.
Kevin Owens is the current Camel Clutch Blog Rankings Champion. Can he defend his title as we build toward TLC? Let’s find out.
- Heath Slater
The one man band made his first appearance on Raw since, I assume, when Bret Hart hit him with a microphone in Canada before Sami Zayn’s debut. Basically, this segment was the second segment of the night making fun of country music which about highlights the ability of Vince McMahon to come up with ways to get heat out of a crowd. Good for Slater getting some spotlight, but this was a live event segment at best and not worthy of the flagship show the week after a big pay-per-view. If they’re giving any jobber the spotlight, couldn’t it have been Sandow?
- Mark Henry
I want to give Henry credit for putting guys like Neville over. Yes, he did kick out before the three count for some reason, but it’s the kind of thing a veteran in the last months of his career should do so kudos to him. However, as above, there should be no time for a segment like this on the Raw after one of the big four pay-per-views, but as the show went on to prove, this would turn out to be a very poor show. Henry did get some more time later in the show, for some kind of Tex-Mex commercial. As an Australian I have no idea what was being advertised and all I see is a four minute ad with JBL and El Torito that could have been given to… literally anything else…
- The Dudley Boyz
Speaking of first shows after a big pay-per-view, does anyone remember the reaction these guys got after SummerSlam? WWE sure doesn’t. Or, more likely, they had no idea how to book them and now The Dudley Boyz are simply a part of the tag team division and, as a team with a little credibility, were used to get a win under The Wyatt’s belt. Too late for that WWE, you already buried them 24 hours ago, again. We’re coming up to TLC, the one pay-per-view that the Dudley’s should be used for, but all of these pointless matches, appearances and losses have squashed their momentum and so they probably won’t even be on the card.
- The Cosmic Wasteland
I genuinely laughed when Viktor got pinned off a scoop slam by Goldust at Survivor Series. Mainly because less than a week beforehand, they went 15 minutes with Chad Gable and Jason Jordan on NXT. Oh WWE, never change. Anyway, tonight on Raw the Cosmic Wasteland were part of the obligatory six man tag match and lost. Yeah, that’s about it really. Hopefully Stardust and Goldust get the feud they deserve this time.
- Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper
Name a feud that Bray Wyatt has won? Outside of a feud with Daniel Bryan in the lead up to WrestleMania 30 in order for him to lose to Cena and a feud with Dean Ambrose in the lead up to WrestleMania 31 in order for him to lose to The Undertaker (catch my drift) he hasn’t won a thing and his credibility is gone. Tonight on Raw they got a win over The Dudley Boyz in a nothing match with some outside interference.
- Wade Barrett
I apologize for the overly jadedness of this list so far, but it’s very hard to be positive with the WWE at the moment and this was another example of that. For a brief moment, when Barrett attacked Roman to end the match, things picked up. Are we getting this full, dominant European stab… Nope, Roman’s beating them all up, never mind. I mean, they might go down that path anyway, but a tired Roman Reigns beat them all up with a chair, so clearly they’re no threat. Booking 101: don’t make the bad guys look weak at the START OF THE FEUD.
- Alberto Del Rio
The Big Guy is still in limbo after losing his Intercontinental Championship, but with Cesaro, Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton on the shelf and John Cena still absent, Ryback will probably have something coming his way soon. Sidenote, that injury list is absolutely tragic…
- Tyler Breeze
Tyler Breeze has been on the main roster for a month now and he’s already taking clean losses. I understand that the company has absolutely no heels right now and has therefore pushed Breeze into a regular role rather than giving him time to build up a few wins, but he really got made to look silly out there after a great win over Ziggler the night before. More on the tag match itself later.
Not much more I can really say about the segment, it was a filler segment with Henry probably asking to have a match with Neville to put him over. Strange that the company would do that after having Neville be the only person on the winning team eliminated at Survivor Series the night before. Of everyone, Neville was eliminated. At least it looks like they have some kind of plan for him going forward with The Miz looking on.
- Jack Swagger
Yes, we’ve seen Alberto Del Rio versus Jack Swagger more times than we can count, but it was good to see someone who hasn’t been on Raw in a long time go straight out there and get a good response out of the crowd. Swagger is one of those cases where he’s a great wrestler, but not a great sports entertainer, but this is a situation where his gimmick fits the feud. Again, the injuries to guys like Cesaro have probably opened the door for Swagger here and he needs to take the opportunity with both hands.
- The Prime Time Players
It looks like the WWE are using Titus O’Neil to fill the spots they planned on using Cesaro for. I assume Titus took his place in the pre-show match at Survivor Series and the flow on effect means the Prime Time Players get some air time on Raw. While Darren Young is rather uninteresting, Titus has everything it takes to be a top guy, he just needs the machine to get behind him.
The veteran made his return at Survivor Series and looked as good as ever. He should be used to finish off the Stardust gimmick and to bring Cody Rhodes back from the fifth dimension. In a time where injuries are happening every week, it’s nice to get someone back.
- Kevin Owens
After the match of the night with Ambrose at Survivor Series, Owens was relegated to a tag team match with no entrances and really nothing to write home about. Instead, time was dedicated to Heath Slater getting laid out by Ryback, too many Undertaker tributes and previously mentioned burger commercials. If we are going down the path of Dean Ambrose versus Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental Championship, why not set that up this week? After everything that happened at Survivor Series, capitalize on the emotion that Dean Ambrose would be feeling and have him challenge Owens. The show needed passion and energy and outside of the Divas Championship match, there was just no fire to this show.
- Dolph Ziggler
Same as the above, Ziggler was put in a pointless tag team match designed to simply use the four talented superstars. Again, there were plenty of better ways to use the time. Have Ziggler come out and cut a promo on how he didn’t think Breeze could beat him and that he caught him off guard. Advance the storyline instead of giving us a pointless match.
- Becky Lynch
Despite the fact that they were only given four minutes, Lynch and Banks showed why they are the best two wrestlers on the women’s roster. The match was short, but it told a story. Lynch caught Banks, had her beaten and then the three on one came into play and Sasha took advantage to win. From Becky’s point of view, this could set up a number of things. She could turn on Charlotte for not having her back any more, she could turn to Natalya for help with Team Bad or she could go about trying to break Team Bad up herself. Either way, it was just a teaser of what those two girls can do and if it means we’re getting another ten plus minute match between the two in the near future, I am in.
- Dean Ambrose
I’ve already talked about what he should have done so I won’t repeat myself, but it was again disappointing that they didn’t do anything with the rage Dean Ambrose would be feeling after Survivor Series. He got the pinfall victory over Tyler Breeze making him the only person to have defeated Breeze on the main roster. Feud idea: have Breeze go on a long undefeated streak against everyone else, but have him lose every single time against Ambrose. Both men would be able to make something hilarious out of that.
- Sasha Banks
Team Bad seem so much cooler coming out to Sasha Banks’ theme and not Naomi’s. Anyway, Sasha is probably the least utilized talent on the roster right now and that’s because there’s really only one big Divas feud at a time. However, if they’re building towards something like Team Bad versus Becky, Natalya and possibly a huggable partner of their choosing, then I would definitely be okay with that.
Again, it’s great to see people returning from injury and Rusev made an immediate impact. As much as the main event being Roman Reigns versus Rusev didn’t really have anyone waiting with anticipation, at least he’s being used at the top of the card. As I mentioned before his injury, Rusev was falling down the card and needed to be rebooted. The injury was a blessing because it immediately ended the nonsense love triangle storyline and as long as they make this European trio look much stronger very quickly, this could be interesting.
We all knew Sheamus would be winning the title at some point, but this was not the time to do it. A 16 man tournament shouldn’t be rendered worthless like that. Especially since Sheamus’ cash-in meant that the Ambrose versus Reigns match had to be cut down to nine minutes which is mind-bogglingly frustrating, considering it was the final of the tournament. Sheamus as the top heel on the roster is not a pleasant thought and something needs to be done about that and soon, or people just won’t watch.
- The Lucha Dragons
The tag team division is on fire at the moment and The Lucha Dragons being taken more seriously is a big part of that. Kalisto is one of the most fun to watch Superstars on the roster so I can’t wait to see what they do from here. While they didn’t get a title match on Raw, the segment had an energy about it that the others didn’t have and that’s why they’re up so high.
- The Usos
Similarly, this hunt for the Tag Team Titles is really interesting and the fact that we haven’t seen either of these teams get a title shot in months helps that. If we get what they’re teasing which is a triple threat TLC match for the Tag Team Titles at TLC, then we could be in for something really special with these three teams.
- Roman Reigns
Roman has improved enormously since WrestleMania inside the ring and on the mic, but it’s the little things that make a top Superstar. Little things like facial expressions and body language, something Roman hasn’t quite nailed yet. When his music hit and he was coming down the ramp, he was smiling. Dude, your first championship reign lasted five minutes, don’t smile! I didn’t even want him to speak when he came down to the ring. He should’ve just hit Sheamus in the face, turn to Triple H and demand a rematch. This feud between Sheamus and Reigns needs something interesting and soon, otherwise people simply will not watch.
Kudos to these two for knowing that, while their match at Survivor Series was good, it wasn’t a match that fit the feud. It should have been what we got on Raw which was a fight between two people that legitimately want to hurt each other. Charlotte had a great intensity during the match and if it weren’t for the double count out finish, the match probably would’ve been the main-event.
I love the fact that a heel complained about something and that they had a legitimate gripe for a change. As soon as Paige called Charlotte a cheater, I was apprehensive about what was going to follow, but she was right that the hold should’ve been broken. I would love to see a Tables Match for the Divas Championship or some kind of stipulation women haven’t gotten access to in the past to finish this feud off. I think they wasted an opportunity to put the title on Paige either at Survivor Series or Raw. They should have capitalized on her heat and a loss would give Charlotte a chance to build as a character.
- The New Day
From the moment their First Anniversary Country Music Jamboree was announced, they were always going to be number one. Dolph Ziggler summed it up in a tweet saying no person or team has been given a worse gimmick and made more out of it than these guys. They were given a chance when they turned heel and they have become the undisputed best part of Raw each and every week. Kofi breaking the fourth wall to ram the point home that country music sucks was hilarious and they now must keep the titles right through to WrestleMania because whatever entrance they come up with at the show will be worth the price of admission.
So that wraps up this week’s rankings. The first Camel Clutch Blog Rankings Champion Kofi Kingston and his New Day friends take the early lead. Can the defending champion, Kevin Owens retain his crowd? Find out over the next few weeks!