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?
Due to the weather conditions that canceled RAW, there will only be a Top 20 this week due to fewer superstars and divas competing than usual.
It has been a long time since the son of Mr. Perfect was able to clamber onto this list, but due to the minimal amount of matches this week, Curtis Axel registers by default. However, in his Main Event match he could not overcome the man that cost him his place in the Royal Rumble match, Erick Rowan. Despite a strong showing, Axel continues to languish in the lower card, struggling for any positive results.
The popularity of stunt double Damien Mizdow among fans is soaring to new heights, but thanks to the jealousy of the Miz it has not resulted in an improvement in results. In a match on Main Event against the New Day, Mizdow’s short stint as the legal man looked to have pushed his team towards victory. But, the Miz interjected himself to prove he is the star, and was royally booted off set by the opponents.
The week started well for Paige, the Anti-Diva selected as the number one contender for the Divas Championship at Fast Lane. However, whilst being interviewed about her prospects of capturing her third butterfly belt, she was interrupted by both Bella Twins. After some mocking by the bratty sisters, Paige got the first shot off on Brie, before being overwhelmed by the double team and knocked to the ground.
It was more than just another defeat for the Golden brothers on SmackDown, but some signs of dissension appear to be written in the stars. In their match with the Ascension, Stardust made a blind tag on Goldust when the veteran was in control. This miscommunication eventually led to the younger half being caught out, and hit with the Fall of Man.
Luke Harper has shown since his debut to be the most consistently excellent in-ring performer in the former Wyatt Family, and continued that trend in an excellent match with on/off rival Dolph Ziggler. Unfortunately for the bearded brawler, he could not keep the Show-Off down for long enough in the match, eventually losing the Main Event showdown.
Big Show was certainly not in the greatest mood after missing out on a shot at the WWE Championship in the Royal Rumble. He was looking to take his frustrations out on rival Roman Reigns on SmackDown, exploiting his size and power on the Rumble winner. But following a pair of Superman punches and a Spear, Reigns stood over the fallen giant in victory.
The Tag Team Champions might have washed the Miz and Mizdow out of their hairs for now, but they have a new threat building in the form of a Canadian-Swiss connection. On SmackDown, Jey Uso represented the team in singles action opposite Tyson Kidd. With his brother Jimmy, Naomi, Cesaro and Natalya all around ringside, these variables caused Jey to be briefly distracted, opening him up to being beaten by Kidd.
The Corporate Demon is not living up to his tasks on the behest of the Authority, falling short in his efforts to eliminate their biggest rivals. Already the likes of John Cena and Roman Reigns have failed to be contained by Kane, and for the latest week it is once more Daniel Bryan to hand him another defeat. This was even more embarrassing as it took place in a Casket Match, made famous by Kane’s brother the Undertaker, as he was locked in by his former tag team partner.
Mr. Money in the Bank wasted little time in harping on about how he should now be the WWE Champion, and this displeasure led to him issuing an open challenge to a fight for any other superstar. This was answered by Ryback, the Big Guy charging the ring only to be victim of a three-on-one assault by Rollins and his security. Eventually aid from Dolph Ziggler and Erick Rowan put Rollins on the retreat, likely regretting his decision to call an opponent out.
The United States Champion is heading into Fast Lane in one of the most prevalent matches, as he will battle fifteen-time World Champion John Cena for the Bulgarian’s title. On SmackDown, Rusev and Lana conducted a promo of confidence and dominance, and how he came within a whisker of winning the Royal Rumble. Cena eventually interrupted, challenging Rusev to a fight prior to their bout, but Lana led her ally away.
So it was left for John Cena to occupy the ring when upcoming opponent Rusev backed down from a challenge. Cena is undoubtedly Rusev’s biggest challenge since his debut on the roster, and will be desperate to claim the United States Championship for the first time since 2004. He would also be the first man to defeat Rusev by either pinfall or submission in the process, so standing tall on SmackDown against a retreating Rusev will hand him a psychological edge leading into Fast Lane.
The Big Guy might have had a less than memorable stint in the Royal Rumble, but decided to make up for it by going after one of the biggest heels on the roster. When Seth Rollins called out the entire roster to find a challenger on SmackDown, Ryback was quick to answer the call. However, he found himself victim of a three-man assault, as J&J Security supported their ward. Ryback though has allies of his own, and two in the form of Dolph Ziggler and Erick Rowan helped him dispatch of the miserable Money in the Bank holder.
The Divas Champion may not have been best pleased to learn that she would be defending her title against Paige at Fast Lane. However, Nikki Bella and sister Brie wasted little time in playing their own version of mind games with the latest challenger, mocking her pale skin and gothic attire. Paige responded with flying fists, but Nikki exploited her sister’s added presence to knock out the Brit backstage.
The optimistic trio continue to act as a twosome whilst Xavier Woods recovers from a leg injury, leaving Kofi Kingston and Big E to take on The Miz and Damien Mizdow on Main Event. Of course, that meant both were essentially facing the Miz in a handicap match due to Mizdow hardly getting tagged in. And the New Day capitalized on the Miz’s jealousy and anger to hit the Midnight Hour and win again.
Big Red made his presence in the Royal Rumble felt, albeit from an illegal position. However, Erick Rowan certainly angered the man he took the spot in the match from in Curtis Axel, as the pair were set to battle on Main Event. The power of Rowan proved too much for the son of Mr. Perfect, a Full Nelson Slam enough to decimate his opponent.
Overcoming their first real test as part of the main roster at Royal Rumble, the Ascension took on another team of note in the form of Gold/Stardust. The former tag team champions were not on the same page, which was a signing their own death sentence against the dominant new tandem. A Fall of Man on Stardust and their unbeaten start continues.
Dolph Ziggler is back doing what he does better than anyone else, after the ignominy of being fired and his less than stellar time in the Royal Rumble. On Main Event, Ziggler renewed his rivalry with Luke Harper, a contest that has provided some excellent matches in the past and again did not disappoint. And despite the size and strength advantage being ceded to his opponent, Ziggler’s heart and determination carried him to victory.
The tag team championship picture may have been blown wide open with a result on SmackDown, as the self-professed undervalued pairing of Cesaro and Tyson Kidd have been steadily climbing the rankings. This took a large positive step on SmackDown, as Kidd defeated Jey Uso in singles action. Could it now be a fact that they are soon to become the next contenders for the belts?
The Royal Rumble winner might not be the most popular man in the roster on the moment among fans or other superstars. However, Roman Reigns likely clawed back some support with two well worked promos recorded for RAW in the build up to his WWE Championship match with Brock Lesnar. And even if he continues to be booed, Reigns maintains a strong winning mentality, battling the Big Show on SmackDown, and defeating the giant after a massive Spear knocked him hard to the canvas.
Now with the incredibly shocking and disappointing early exit at the Royal Rumble in the past, Daniel Bryan could vent some frustrations and move on against Kane on SmackDown. His former tag team partner has proven a sizable thorn in the champ’s side since his return from injury, but Bryan was able to once again knock the big man down to size, on this occasion locking him in a casket in the process.
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