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?
Turning to the dark side hasn’t exactly changed the fortunes of the leader of the Exotic Express. Adam Rose teamed with Cesaro and Tyson Kidd to challenge the New Day trio on Main Event. Despite the collective strength and technique on his team, Rose was the one to fall to the Midnight Hour, sending his side crashing to defeat.
These two might claim to be the best team in the world, ‘FACT’, but they can’t even rise up to the New Day at this point. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd suffered back-to-back defeats to the optimistic trio, first on RAW in a tag team match against Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods. Then, with Adam Rose on their side, they still failed to overcome the collective on Main Event.
Naomi endured the wrath of the Authority’s issues with the Usos’ opinions on RAW, forced to compete against Alicia Fox with the added handicap of one arm tied behind her back. Despite a gutsy performance and a lot of high kicks, Naomi could not withstand this lopsided assault. Then on SmackDown she teamed with her Uso family to battle Fox, Miz and Damien Mizdow. And once more she found herself on the losing side when her husband got hit with the Skull Crushing Finale.
Luke Harper has been featured less prominently as of late, but on RAW he was tasked with the unenviable job of stopping Roman Reigns. The two powerhouses produced a physical encounter that didn’t disappoint. But, when Harper attempted the Discus Clothesline, he found himself on the receiving end of a Spear that sent him crashing to defeat.
The Director of Operations might be back in power under the Authority, but victories were hard to come by on SmackDown for Kane. The Corporate Demon was selected to make Daniel Bryan’s return to action as painful and brief as possible. But he first lost a match to the bearded wonder by disqualification, and then in a second tag team match was pinned by his former tag team partner.
The Tag Team Champions faced a difficult week, as their outward displeasure of the departure of the recently fired superstars found them in hot water with the Authority. A distraction from stunt double Damien Mizdow cost Jey Uso his singles match with the Miz on RAW. This led into a six-person tag on SmackDown, where they alongside Naomi once again felt the bitter taste of defeat against the A-List combination of Miz, Mizdow and Alicia Fox.
A less than spectacular seven days for Paige after her immense victory over Divas Champion Nikki Bella on Main Event last week. RAW was less pleasant against Brie, as a minor distraction from Natalya’s husband Tyson Kidd caused her to be rolled up in a pin. The anti-diva got a measure of revenge with a post-match slap to Kidd, and then proceeded to aid Natalya in defeating Nikki once again on SmackDown.
John Cena has had the deck typically stacked against him by the Authority, and that continued on RAW when he was given the opportunity to restore the jobs of Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan. This would be a Lumberjack Match against Seth Rollins, but with heels surrounding the ring, a WMD by the Big Show sending him crashing to another loss. Then during the contract signing for the Triple Threat WWE Championship match, Cena managed to slam Brock Lesnar through a table, but was laid out by a Curb Stomp.
The Divas Champion needs to find some momentum from somewhere soon, as Nikki Bella continues suffer at the hands of her rivals. Whilst she likely enjoyed watching sister Brie defeat Paige on RAW, when she stepped in the ropes the smile was slapped off her face. In a match with Natalya on SmackDown, Nikki was forced to tap out to the Sharpshooter after a well-timed slap from Paige at ringside.
The Luchadore pulled off a shock victory over Bad News Barrett last week, and for that Sin Cara was granted an Intercontinental Championship shot against the Brit. Unfortunately, on SmackDown this time it was Bad News for Sin Cara, as he flew into a Bullhammer that sent him spiraling to defeat.
A couple of more successful masked athletes this week, as Los Matadores heaped more misery on the bizarre Gold/Stardust tandem on Main Event. A decent tag team affair ended when some help from their little bull El Torito allowed Diego to roll-up Goldust.
Big Show might be pleased that the Authority has returned, but Roman Reigns continues to prove a challenge even the Giant can’t rise above. His week started well on RAW, as a pair of knockout punches both decimated John Cena and Reigns, leaving the Big Show standing tall. But, as part of a six-man tag on SmackDown, the combination of Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Daniel Bryan proved too much for his team.
The WWE Champion might hold the most coveted prize in professional wrestling, but he was likely wishing that he’d have stayed at home this past week. Brock Lesnar took part in a contract signing alongside his upcoming challengers at the Royal Rumble, John Cena and Seth Rollins. And although he landed a few German suplexes, Lesnar was sent plunging through a table by Cena, before suffering a Curb Stomp by Rollins to leave him flat on the canvas.
Brie Mode was well and truly on during RAW, even though it took a little help from an unexpected source. Brie Bella defeated Paige on Monday night, thanks in no small part to a short distraction from Tyson Kidd for the Brit. Still, at a time where the Bellas have endured numerous losses to Paige and Natalya, any victory was a welcome sight.
Although their in-ring work has not exactly endeared them to the crowd, the Ascension continue to get results against the local jobbers. The war-painted tandem of Konnor and Viktor decimated teams of nobodies again on RAW and Main Event. Still, if they are to prove greater than the Road Warriors and Demolition like they claim, they will need to step up their game soon.
The Intercontinental Champion recovered from the disappointment of the last week’s SmackDown to recover with a successful title defense. Bad News Barrett made short work of Sin Cara in a manner that was more anticipated than their previous contest, the Bullhammer ensuring that the belt remained around the Brit’s waist.
Natalya might be adding a little more to her attire soon in the form of a Butterfly belt if recent history is anything to go by. On SmackDown she once again battled Divas Champion Nikki Bella in a non-title match. With Paige at ringside to help the Queen of Harts combat any threat from Brie, Natalya forced her rival to tap out to the Sharpshooter.
Another week, another loss to a high-profile talent for Dean Ambrose. On RAW, he battled the undefeated Rusev, and despite a typically gutsy performance filled with reckless abandon, the amount of damage his leg endured convinced the referee to stop the match in favor of the United States Champion. But, he recovered in time to help Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns defeat Seth Rollins, Big Show and Kane on SmackDown.
Alicia Fox continues her impressive winning streak over Naomi this week, both in singles and tag team action. With her opponent restricted with one arm tied behind her back in a match on RAW, Fox took advantage of the circumstances with a brutal scissors kick. This moved into SmackDown where Fox sided with the Miz and Damien Mizdow once again to defeat Naomi and the Usos.
The New Day seems to not be close to setting if recent results are anything to go by. The threat posed by Cesaro and Tyson Kidd don’t look like wiping the smiles off the faces of the athletic trio, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods scoring a victory over them on RAW. Then on Main Event, with Big E and Adam Rose added to the mix, the result remained the same, as the New Day keeps rolling on with the sunset nowhere in sight.
The United States Champion was back in competition this week, reveling in the departure of the Big Guy Ryback, who was previously proving a thorn in his side. Still, Rusev had his hands full on RAW with Dean Ambrose, but scored a victory as the referee determined that the Lunatic Fringe could not continue due to damage done by the Bulgarian to his knee. Then, on Main Event, Justin Gabriel proved to be little threat to the powerful Rusev, locking in the Accolade with ease.
The former Tag Team Champions gained some momentum over the team that captured the belts from them a few weeks ago, the Usos. Heading into their rematch at Royal Rumble, the A-List tandem were victorious in a pair of matches this week, the Miz defeating Jey Uso in singles action on RAW. Then, their partnership was joined by Alicia Fox to overcome the Usos and Naomi in a six person match on SmackDown.
His week may not have ended as ideally as he wanted, but once again Seth Rollins makes arguably the biggest impact in WWE this week. Mr. Money in the Bank won the first match of the week on RAW, using the advantage of the lumberjacks around ringside to best John Cena once more, a huge psychological edge heading into the Royal Rumble. And this was only added to when Rollins stomped both Cena and Brock Lesnar’s faces into the canvas leading into their championship encounter. Yet, he was on the losing side in a SmackDown six-man tag, as Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose stood victorious.
Results continue to go the way of Roman Reigns heading into the Royal Rumble, with the favorite tag that many have placed on him seeming to be the correct fit. On RAW he overcame Luke Harper in a physical encounter, the victory somewhat sullied by a knockout blow by the Big Show in the immediate aftermath. This was countered though by a victory over the Giant on SmackDown in a six-man tag, as Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Daniel Bryan topple Show, Kane and Seth Rollins.
Only Daniel Bryan would be made to perform double-duty on his first night back in the ring after a career-threatening injury and still be chanting ‘YES!’ at the end. Bryan looked in fine form against Kane on SmackDown, showing little signs of ring rust as he threw himself around the ring. He won the match by disqualification due to interference by the Authority, leading into a six-man tag later in the evening. Alongside Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, they beat Seth Rollins, Big Show and Kane, with Bryan’s Running Knee landing the killer blow. Not a bad way to signal your return to the ring.
Do you think anyone should be listed differently?