Each week, we will break down the current roster and examine who has gone up the WWE hierarchy and who has unfortunately taken a step down the ladder. Factoring in things such as wins and losses, suspensions, injuries, making a name for one's self, being humiliated, and more, who is at the top of the food chain and who needs to make up some ground next week?
Mentioned only due to appearing in two matches and the small number of competitors on WWE television this week, Adam Rose & The Bunny suffered a pair of tag team defeats. Despite entering last in the tag team turmoil match, they were handily dispatched of by the Usos due to their persistent bickering. Then on Main Event they fell victim to Gold/Stardust in similar circumstances. If anybody working at WWE reads this, stop insulting your fans’ intelligence with lame ‘comedy’ acts like this. Please.
For R-Truth just getting a chance to perform on television is an achievement in itself, so an appearance on this list must be a dream come true. The rapping veteran was fed to too young stars on RAW and Main Event this week, first being demolished by Bray Wyatt. On Tuesday he battled another dancing star in the shape of Fandango, with R-Truth playing the role of the latest stepping stone in his recent push.
Brie Mode failed to fully activate this week for the recently turned Diva, who felt a couple of defeats and the wrath of her sister’s impudence. On RAW she and Nikki continued their strife at the hands of AJ Lee, as she and partner Naomi took the victory. Then on SmackDown, this trend continued as Brie once again lost to the former Funkydactyl, courtesy of that most lethal weapon to female wrestlers, the roll-up. It seems reuniting with her twin permanently has proved more trouble than it’s worth.
Nattie’s husband was thrown into the tag team division this week, with less impressive results than he has recently attained. Tyson Kidd was paired with Cesaro in the tag team turmoil match on RAW. Kidd looked good as always in his new team, the pair defeating the New Day before having their run ended by eventual winners The Usos. However, on SmackDown, Kidd and Cesaro’s makeshift pairing came up short against the New Day.
Cesaro had the same week as that listed above, the Swiss Superman still treading water on the card due to his failure to grab the ‘Brass Ring’. His power and presence alongside Kidd showed potential in defeating the New Day in the tag team turmoil match on RAW before being eliminated by the Usos. On SmackDown they were fed to the recently debuted team, but Cesaro at least was not the member of his side pinned.
The Divas Champion is first to appear in a poor week for the champions of WWE, as she and her sister once again were outclassed by AJ Lee. On RAW the Bella Twins reunited in tag team action for the first time in months to face AJ and Naomi, but could not celebrate this reunion with a victory as the champ tapped out to the Black Widow. On SmackDown she then witnessed from ringside Brie’s defeat to Naomi, and was once more embarrassed by AJ with a blindsided attack off the apron.
Dean Ambrose might be one of the most over stars on the roster, but that can’t always rescue you from a poor spot on this coveted list. The Lunatic Fringe demonstrated his fighting spirit on RAW, not backing down from Bray Wyatt in the face of their upcoming TLC match. Ambrose ended the segment by destroying Wyatt’s beloved rocking chair, but the Eater of Worlds would respond in kind on SmackDown. Before Ambrose could battle US Champion Rusev, he would be assaulted by Wyatt with a steel chair, and eventually stretchered out of the arena.
For Kane the suit remains the same, but the position of power continues to drain. He was certainly smiling at the opening of RAW, helping the former members of Team Authority dispatch of a variety of rivals, including John Cena, Dolph Ziggler and Kane’s opponent at TLC, Ryback. Yet, by the end of the night he was on the losing end of these three superstars, tasting defeat in a six-man tag. And SmackDown didn’t improve his lot much, as his attempt to help Seth Rollins and Big Show defeat Ryback and Erick Rowan did not reap any reward.
The former Tag Team Champions did not make the most of their attempt to become number one contenders on RAW. Entered in the tag team turmoil first, they also had the indignity of being the first team eliminated by the new group on the scene, the New Day. They immediately got revenge by interfering to bring about their victors elimination, and rode this into Main Event where they overcame Adam Rose and the Bunny. On SmackDown they made their intentions toward the New Day clear, as their rivalry took on a cosmic dimension.
2014 has been a fantastic year for Mr. Money in the Bank Seth Rollins, but it appears as though the final month is the setting for a sudden downturn in form. With the Authority no longer at his beck and call, Rollins did manage to help destroy a number of Team Cena members at the opening of RAW, including future TLC opponent John Cena. But, his week to a drastic turn for the worst beyond that, losing consecutive tag team matches on RAW and SmackDown, the latter of which seeing him pinned by the Big Guy, Ryback.
The Intercontinental Champion was once again the beneficiary of the championship advantage. On RAW, he was alongside a number of Team Authority members in the decimation of some rivals at the top of RAW. But, following this he was on the losing end of a six-man tag team match against Dolph Ziggler, John Cena and Ryback. Worse was to come on SmackDown, as he once more lost to Ziggler in a title defense, only maintaining his grasp of the belt through disqualification. This was followed by a facebuster on a ladder, with the announcement by interim GM Santino Marella that a Ladder Match would settle the championship picture at TLC.
The United States Champion fared little better this week, but Rusev’s low placement is mainly as a result of his inactivity. On RAW he attacked Zeb Colter backstage, costing Jack Swagger his match with Fandango in the process. Rusev then proceeded alongside Lana to continue his anti-American tirade for the remainder of the week, before being chased away by a vengeful Swagger, who appears more determined than ever to end the Bulgarian’s undefeated streak, and take the US title with it.
Big Show remained in the position of a traitor in the eyes of the WWE Universe following his actions at Survivor Series, entering the loving embrace of the darkside following the opening of RAW. After this assault he faced Erick Rowan later in the evening, losing by disqualification when he made the sheep-masked individual very familiar with the steel steps. With the announcement they would compete in a ‘Steel Steps Match’ at TLC, Show then felt defeat on SmackDown alongside Seth Rollins against Rowan and Ryback.
The Real American had a poor start to the week, losing his inspirational mouthpiece to a backstage assault by US Champion Rusev on RAW. This distraction kept him from his match later on to look after his manager, losing to Fandango by forfeit. His next action was to make his intentions to defeat and separate Rusev from his title as soon as possible, and demonstrated his determination with a solid victory over Titus O’Neil on Main Event. On SmackDown his pursuit of the Bulgarian persisted, the gold and American pride firmly on his mind.
The return of Fandango has been successful for the dancer in terms of results, whilst relevancy might still be up in the air. The flamenco performer was on light duties on RAW, as he celebrated a forfeit victory over Jack Swagger with his new partner Rosa Mendes. He had to get a bit more physical come Main Event, as he took on another dancing superstar in the form of R-Truth. But he capably dispatched of the veteran with his newly-found aggression embodied in his Latin persona.
The former Divas Champion remained a thorn in the side in current champ Nikki Bella and her sister Brie’s respective sides. On RAW AJ’s fate was left in the hands of the WWE Universe, as they decided on her tag team partner opposite the Bella Twins. Their choice of Naomi proved to be an inspired decision, as their tandem showed solid chemistry in defeating the sisters, with AJ forcing Nikki herself to tap out to the Black Widow. On SmackDown her presence on commentary and then at ringside helped even the odds for Naomi in her victory over Brie Bella.
Entering their first full week in WWE, the New Day made the most of their opening contest by defeating Gold/Stardust in the first tag team turmoil match. However, some interference from the bitter former champions prevented Kofi Kingston and Big E from progressing further after being eliminated by Cesaro and Tyson Kidd. They returned the favor though on SmackDown, with Kingston and Xavier Woods besting Cesaro and Kidd, before welcoming any challenge the golden brothers present them.
John Cena started RAW staring up into the sky, but ended it flying through the air. At the opening of the show he looked to save the crowd from the presence of the Anonymous General Manager, but the segment devolved into a brawl with members of Team Authority. At its conclusion he was powerbombed through a table by upcoming TLC opponent Seth Rollins. But, he returned to winning ways by the night’s end, defeating Rollins, Kane and Luke Harper in six-man tag team action.
An excellent week for Naomi in the ring, whilst outside of it was nothing but drama. In spite of some undesired ‘career advice’ from the Miz, Naomi was selected to team with AJ Lee in her tag team match against the Bella Twins. Taking the brunt of the sisters’ assault, she survived long enough to help her partner score the victory. And on SmackDown she achieved a second consecutive win, beating Brie Bella in singles action thanks to some assistance by AJ, who kept Nikki occupied at ringside.
The Tag Team Champions experienced a mixed week, as they were kept separate in three singles matches. Damien Mizdow was in action on RAW, defeating Fernando of Los Matadores by submission as the crowd got behind the beloved stunt double. The Miz did suffer a slap from Jimmy Uso whilst on commentary due to his advances towards his wife Naomi, leading to a match on Main Event which Jimmy won. However, his brother was less successful on SmackDown against the movie idol, as the Miz was able to overcome one half of the number one contenders via a Skull-Crushing Finale.
The Cult Leader, likely riding a high from some praise by Vince McMahon on his podcast appearance, earned a victory over R-Truth on RAW with consummate ease. This was immediately followed by a physical confrontation with Dean Ambrose, the Lunatic Fringe earning the upper hand on this exchange by destroying Wyatt’s coveted rocking chair. However, as he often does, Wyatt ended the week laughing loudest, when he assaulted Ambrose prior to his match with Rusev. This was capped off with wrapping his neck in a steel chair against the barricade, sending his rival out of the arena on a stretcher.
The Usos firmly launched themselves into title contention on RAW, becoming the number one contenders by winning tag team turmoil. On the way they eliminated Cesaro and Tyson Kidd as well as Adam Rose and the Bunny. But, the feud became more than about the title belts when the Miz started sniffing around Jimmy’s wife Naomi. Jimmy responded with a victory over the movie star on Main Event in a volatile battle. But, after Miz continued his mind games that tipped Jimmy over the edge on SmackDown, Jey couldn’t overcome the A-Lister on his own, ending the week on a sour note.
One of the biggest surprises in the past month has been the development of Erick Rowan as a sympathetic babyface. The wearer of the sheep mask and a man of few words, Rowan’s morals have endeared him to the audience. He defeated the Big Show on RAW in a solid big man encounter by disqualification, but would end the night being smashed into the steel steps. With the pair set to match up again at TLC, Rowan then teamed with Ryback on SmackDown to battle Show and Seth Rollins, with the face team earning a hard-fought win.
Dolph Ziggler is finally knocked off his perch on the top rung for the first time in a month, but once again his refusal to quit keep him on a winning run. Like most of the main babyfaces on the roster, he suffered a beating at the hands of Team Authority at the start of Monday night. But, this was then rectified by another victory in the main event of RAW for the second week running, on the winning side of a six-man tag team match against Seth Rollins, Kane and Luke Harper. He then challenged Harper once again for the Intercontinental Championship on SmackDown, but his victory by disqualification did not grant him the gold. He will get his opportunity at TLC in a ladder match to reclaim his title.
Do you think anyone should be listed differently?