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 show took place in Manchester England in the wake of Seth Rollins’ relinquishing of the WWE Championship due to injury. We already knew there would be a tournament taking place, but there was a sense of intrigue going into the show, not knowing what was going to happen. The show itself delivered for the most part by focusing on the tournament, but some stars shone more than others and that brings us to this week’s rankings.
Kevin Owens sits atop the Survivor Series Rankings as of last week. Can he hold his spot on top? Let’s find out!
- Alberto Del Rio
There was a lot of good on this week’s show, but this was far and away the worst part for a number of reasons. Firstly and simply, just don’t let him speak, ever, that’s why Zeb is there. Secondly, this MexAmerica stuff is just plain garbage, makes no sense and does not suit a heel whatsoever. It doesn’t suit a heel because while they’re preaching unity between two countries, you have Zeb being blatantly racist to get some heel heat out of the English crowd and failing miserably because, and there’s no other way to put it, nobody cares about Alberto Del Rio. It’s harsh, but it’s true. This segment could go down as one of the worst of 2015 and the United States Championship has lost all the prestige that John Cena bestowed upon it.
The Divas Champion took a back seat this week in order to give us a match between Becky and Paige which was the right call to make. She ran in to make the save as Becky was locked in a submission move… on a table? Of course, given Paige was the hometown girl, Charlotte was never exactly going to get the babyface reaction so it was the right call not focusing too heavily on the feud between the two of them this week. There is plenty of time for that next week.
- Big Show
[adinserter block=”1″]This isn’t the Big Show’s fault. The fact that the WWE still relies on Big Show as one of the top heels in the company for a big tournament is their own fault for not developing the likes of Stardust, Bo Dallas or Curtis Axel. They may not be a threat to Roman Reigns, but at least they’re going to be around for a few years to come. The WWE is in a position now where Seth Rollins and Rusev are injured, seriously crushing their heel depth when it comes to a 16 man tournament and we’ve seen that with Ryback facing Kalisto on SmackDown in the tournament and the two quarter final matches so far being face versus face. Imagine if Del Rio, as boring as he is, hadn’t returned. Imagine if they hadn’t called up Tyler Breeze. The tournament would be a mess. The WWE needs some top class heels as soon as possible and they can’t turn to Randy Orton, so they need to give us something fresh.
- Neville and The Usos
Pretty standard six man tag here. The face team are about to win, the heels use a trombone to distract the ref and steal a win. The Lucha Dragons looked like they were getting a push before The Usos’ return last week so hopefully they don’t rush the high flying Samoans back into the title picture too quickly, which would be a mistake. Oh and this next part is addressed only to Michael Cole. We’ve had six months without hearing the phrase ‘Uso-Crazy’ on commentary and it was a good six months. Stop.
- Wade Barrett
For someone that was just on the outside he had a pretty entertaining night. We all know that Neville will probably beat him on SmackDown, but Barrett getting slapped by Rooney was hilarious and the pairing of Barrett and Sheamus will be great if they’re fully entrenched in the tag division.
- Team BAD
Naomi wrestled the match but it was only two minutes long and her teammates had more of a say in proceedings anyway. It looks like they’re going to split these girls up, which is a good call on one condition: keep Sasha Banks heel. With Charlotte, the champ, being a babyface turning Sasha would be a bad call. The crowd will cheer her either way and she’s already more over than most of the roster which proves that. The quicker she goes her own way, the better. I’ll give Tamina the points here, but once again she did next to nothing.
- Titus O’Neil
Titus has every attribute to be a top star in the WWE and yet it was almost strange to see his name in this tournament. He was always going to lose to Owens, but it shows that the company still has some faith in him when it comes to the singles division. Maybe he’ll get a legitimate chance one day.
Natalya looked a bit sluggish in the ring which is strange because she normally works well with Naomi. That aside, it’s another win for Natalya who looks set to take on Sasha soon and if Natalya can find one last good match in her, the new best women’s wrestler in the WWE and the former best could put on quite the show.
Looked great (figuratively speaking) in what was the match of the night. You can always count on Sheamus and Cesaro to put on a hard hitting fight and that’s exactly what they did. I wonder what the money in the bank contract says about cashing in when there’s no champion. Surely Sheamus can just claim the title? Ah well, if they just don’t address it at all then they don’t need to correct the logic… I guess.
- The Wyatt Family
There was nothing wrong with Bray’s promo and we all knew Undertaker would be coming out once the segment was set for the main event, but they got laid out so easily! Considering all the build-up last week, it would’ve made more sense for The Wyatt’s to lay out the weakened veterans or have someone, come out and help The Brothers of Destruction deal with the numbers, but it was just a little strange seeing them taken out so easily. The brawl itself was poorly timed with Strowman standing by and watching his brothers get chokeslammed and Bray himself literally walked into the last chokeslam he received. It was cool to see the Brothers of Destruction together again, but the feud could be so much more with better execution and a different story. I was almost hoping The Wyatt’s would beat Kane and Undertaker down and we’d see Finn Balor come out and help them out. That’d be an epic pairing.
- The Miz
This was The Miz’ best match in recent memory. Dolph and Miz are good friends and know each other so well it’s no surprise that they have such good chemistry in the ring, but it was an aggression we haven’t seen from The Miz for a few years now. He’s a safe option for the WWE to turn to in order to pick up some of the slack left by Rollins, Rusev, Cena and Orton.
- Tyler Breeze
Breeze has transitioned seamlessly onto the main roster. His character has picked up where he left off, his backstage promo was great and he dominated Dean Ambrose for most of the match before being outsmarted by the experienced Ambrose. The loss itself doesn’t hurt Breeze as long as he does one of two things. He needs to either attack Ziggler on SmackDown and leave him hobbling ahead of his match with Ambrose or he needs to take out Dolph all together next week on Raw and face Ambrose again. Then again, there’s no need to rush this Breeze/Ziggler feud.
- Roman Reigns
The seeds have been planted. Whether Reigns turns heel at Survivor Series or whether Ambrose steps up and takes the offer to join The Authority, we know now that the potential for a turn is there. As mentioned, someone needs to fill the main-event heel void and Roman, storyline wise, makes perfect sense. He’s been denied at every opportunity by forces outside of his control and it’s probably fair if he snaps and lashes out given what’s happened. Have him turn on Dean in the final and side with Triple H, it’s as easy as that.
A quick reminder, part timers aren’t included in the rankings so we’ll focus on Kane and not The Undertaker here. Kane didn’t really have a big role, he sort of just followed his brother’s lead, but it was still a great throwback to see these two together again. I was almost hoping with their ‘powers’ gone we’d see Kane revert to his original costume and Undertaker return to being the American badass, but I guess it’s too late for that now. Hopefully we end up with a four versus four traditional Survivor Series Match out of this. I can think of a certain NXT champion I’d like to see team with this fellow demon.
Despite the fact that Becky Lynch and Paige’s first match together should have been saved for a pay-per-view, this was a treat to see compared to the main roster women’s wrestling of the past. The ending was strange in that Paige lost in her hometown, again, but Becky Lynch needs all the wins she can get and the ending, despite the weird use of the announce table, put Paige over as the vicious heel which she plays so well.
- The New Day
I agree with Big E, it is outrageous that The New Day weren’t involved in the tournament, especially considering the lack of heels in the thing. Though, I guess it’s better to not have them in the tournament then to have them lose early on in it. As always, The New Day were at their comedic best with Kofi dropping in a line about how Harry Potter sucks after comparing himself to the aforementioned wizard the week beforehand. Consistency, Kofi, geez!
- Becky Lynch
Becky is incredibly entertaining when she gets to work at a quick pace and that’s what they were able to produce in this match. It was a little disappointing that the crowd didn’t seem too into the match, but overall the Manchester crowd was pretty poor all night. Becky needs all the wins she can get and a single’s victory over Paige, especially because she pulled Paige’s tights, shows how good and how cunning she is and that’s the sort of character she needs to portray.
- Dean Ambrose
Dean did a great job of putting Breeze over. Once he ‘injured his shoulder’, he masterfully sold Breeze’s assaults on it. The ending was smart in that it protected Breeze and made Ambrose look like the veteran he is. The prospect of Ambrose versus Ziggler is incredibly interesting. I can’t recall if the two have ever had a one on one match and certainly not in the last year or so. Either way, it’s an interesting matchup that I can’t wait to see next week.
- Dolph Ziggler
[adinserter block=”2″]When I saw the bracket, I very much expected Dolph to lose in the first round with Breeze interfering, because WWE rarely pull the trigger on face versus face matches. So I was pleasantly surprised to see Dolph win. With Ambrose injuring his shoulder and Ziggler injuring his knee it’ll be interesting to see how they play up the injury angle or if they don’t go there at all. If WWE throw a curveball here and has the Show Off go over Ambrose, I think we might have to consider that he’s a legitimate chance to walk out of Survivor Series with the title.
- Kevin Owens
You see, that is how you do an international heel promo. Owens appealed to what the fans themselves thought made them special and then shot them down. He didn’t shoot down the entire country or cross into racial territory he just nailed them with a line about how he thinks they’re not smart fans. His attack of the monarchy was also hilarious and spot on. He was always going to beat Titus and he’s going to beat Neville so we’ll wait and see how far Owens progresses in this tournament.
No one came out of round one of this tournament looking as good as Cesaro did. The otherwise quiet Manchester crowd popped big time for the Swiss superman and he and Sheamus delivered the match of the night. He is legitimately the most entertaining wrestler to watch in the ring and the way he countered a Brogue Kick into the Sharpshooter was crazy. He takes on Roman next week and that is a match up I am very excited to see. Yes, Cesaro will probably lose, but he and Roman will put on one hell of a match.
With this week’s rankings completed that brings us to overall scores. For those that haven’t read the previous rankings articles, the scoring works like this. Del Rio, for finishing at the bottom of the rankings gets one point. Cesaro, for finishing first, gets 21 points because there were 21 competitors on Raw this week. Ryback, for not appearing at all, gets zero.
Kevin Owens and Paige sat first and second on the Survivor Series Rankings table after two weeks and now let’s have a look at the updated top 10 to see if they’ve held their positions.
|1||Kevin Owens||21, 21,20||62|
|2||Paige||18, 22, 15||55|
|3||Dolph Ziggler||20, 13, 19||52|
|4||Roman Reigns||22, 16, 13||51|
|5||Cesaro||17, 11, 21||49|
|6||Kofi Kingston*||15, 14, 16||45|
|7||Big E||14, 14, 16||44|
|8||Becky Lynch||5, 18, 17||40|
|9||Bray Wyatt||16, 10, 10||36|
|10||Seth Rollins||13, 20, 0||33|
*labels defending rankings champion.
Who will win the rankings in the lead up to Survivor Series? Tweet your predictions to @NicNegrepontis and @CamelClutchBlog on Twitter!