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?
It has been nothing but Bad News for the current Intercontinental Champion, as he can’t buy a victory or even keep hold of his belt. Bad News Barrett’s poor week began with a loss to the man he defeated for the title in the first place, Dolph Ziggler, followed by a beating by Dean Ambrose. Then on SmackDown, Barrett was unable to overcome Daniel Bryan, and despite recapturing his championship belt earlier in the evening, it was stolen by R-Truth later on.
In a bad week for the prospects of the Divas division in general, Paige suffered more than most in a pair of tag team matches. These saw her team with Emma to battle the Bella Twins, and drew a great deal of reaction on Twitter, none of it positive. Their first match on RAW lasted little over 30 seconds, as Paige was knocked off the apron and Emma was pinned. The rematch on Main Event was far more balanced, but once again Paige’s team was second best.
At Fast Lane, John Cena passed out to Rusev’s Accolade in their match, which would usually be enough to put off any competitor for the foreseeable future. But, in his typical fashion, Cena came out on RAW not making excuses, and ready for a rematch. Rusev was only able to win courtesy of a low blow, and Cena remains desperate to capture the US title and teach the Bulgarian some humility at WrestleMania. But for now, Rusev is refusing his challenge.
The Future of the WWE had a week to forget. However, it could have proven a great deal worse if it wasn’t for the Authority smoothing over the differences between Seth Rollins and Randy Orton. Even if this proves temporary, Rollins likely would rather have Orton as a reluctant friend than an enemy. However, their tag team outing on RAW ended in a defeat to Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan. Then on SmackDown, a six-man tag team match saw Rollins and the Authority fall to Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan.
As the Miz’s jealousy of Damien Mizdow’s popularity and success grows, the closer their partnership seems destined for dissolution. Yet, it is the self-professed A-List star that is currently getting the short end of the stick, as he battled Dean Ambrose on SmackDown. Miz could not best the Lunatic Fringe, as Mizdow likely wore a wry smile at his employer’s embarrassment.
The Authority’s Favorite Demon certainly erred on the side of caution regarding Randy Orton’s return to the faction, especially after being on the receiving end of an RKO at Fast Lane. But, in terms of his own performances, Kane was unable to help his team towards victory on SmackDown. As part of a six-man tag team match, he lost to Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan.
A staunch supporter of recruiting Randy Orton, the Big Show has previous experience on selling out to the Authority in recent times. But, he could only watch on during RAW as Orton and Seth Rollins lost a tag team match. And, when Show himself was drafted into action on SmackDown in a six-man tag team battle things did not improve, as his team of Authority comrades lost to Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan.
Similarly to fellow NXT graduate Bo Dallas, the Ascension’s undefeated record fell in unspectacular fashion during RAW, as they lost to the newly reunited Prime Time Players. Not that they took the defeat magnanimously, as they proceeded to lay a beating on their conquerors in sheer frustration of their first setback on the main roster.
One week into his return to active competition, and Randy Orton already seems to have disappointed the WWE Universe with his decision to rejoin the Authority. The Face of the WWE he may now be, but Orton could not get off to a victorious start in his return to the faction. He teamed with reluctant ally Seth Rollins to a defeat against Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan, before hitting an RKO on Jamie Noble in post-match frustration.
The youngest member of the Rhodes clan has not been entirely successful since setting his own course in the universe. On RAW, Stardust was placed in a match with Jack Swagger, but the deranged competitor lost due to a distraction from elder brother Goldust. He responded on Main Event with a victory over Kofi Kingston, and then paid back the Bizarre One with a sneak attack whilst disguised as a Rosebud.
The Tag Team Champions held onto their belts on a technicality and some help from Tyson Kidd’s wife Natalya. The Usos chose to exercise their rematch clause on RAW, and this led to a very solid match, in no small part down to the chemistry of Cesaro and Kidd. But, it was only when Natalya chose to throw an Uso off the turnbuckle that they retained the belts on DQ rules. But, they did get a victory on Main Event, as they bettered the latest combination of the Lucha Dragons.
Following an extended period of being treated as an afterthought on the roster, Jack Swagger received a rare appearance on RAW. Even more exceptional was his victory on Monday, as thanks to Goldust’s distraction he defeated Goldust. But, things did not stay rosy for long, as on SmackDown his attempts to confront the Anti-American Rusev only resulted in him being trapped in the Accolade.
Fandango has been seemingly stuck in a weird sort of limbo where he has been facing some lower card heels, but isn’t receiving nearly enough reaction to be considered a babyface. However, for now at least victories keep on coming, as on SmackDown he became the latest person to curtail the rise of Axelmania.
The former Tag Team Champions looked to regain their beloved championships on RAW, as they exercised their rematch clause against Cesaro & Tyson Kidd. In a very good match between these two technically astute teams, it appeared as though the twin brothers were heading towards a third reign atop the division. But, Natalya dropped Jey Uso onto the top turnbuckle, handing their team the win but ensuring the titles remained with her husband and Cesaro.
With his primary motive the rescuing of his brother Cody Rhodes from the depths of his Stardust persona, Goldust handed his former partner a loss on RAW against Jack Swagger. Then he would seemingly take a detour from his objective to battle Adam Rose on SmackDown, triumphing over the Exotic Express leader. But, his celebrations were short-lived, as Goldust was assaulted by a Rosebud, who turned out to be Stardust in disguise.
Back together after a lengthy absence, the Prime Time Players add to a desperately thin tag team division and have seemingly bettered their prospects of victory. Darren Young and Titus O’Neil had a difficult challenge on their hands when they battled the unbeaten Ascension on RAW. But, they did not bow to this threat, as they became the first tandem to inflict a loss onto them on the main roster, with the cost of suffering a beating post-match.
Natalya appears to be taking a turn towards the dark side, just when it appeared her relationship with Tyson Kidd was looking on the rocks. Her actions on RAW pointed towards this determination to protect Kidd’s and Cesaro’s championship, as she interfered in their title match with the Usos, causing a DQ but keeping the belts. Then on SmackDown Natalya would compete against the Usos’ manager Naomi, with the two athletically gifted competitors trading grapples. This was until Natalya feigned a knee injury, and then caught Naomi with a clothesline to win.
The United States Champion accomplished an emphatic win at Fast Lane when he forced John Cena to pass out, but seems to be in no hurry to attempt to repeat the feat. When challenged by Cena for a rematch at WrestleMania on RAW, Rusev’s answer was a definitive no. Then on SmackDown, after Jack Swagger targeted the Super Athlete for his cowardice, Rusev was able to make his longtime rival tap out to the Accolade.
Erick Rowan has certainly not given up challenging the Authority for costing him his job a few months ago. In a rematch from Fast Lane on SmackDown, Big Red teamed with Ryback and Dolph Ziggler to battle the faction’s combination of Seth Rollins, Kane and Big Show. And unlike the PPV, where his side came up short, Rowan played a vital role in earning his team the victory over the Authority.
The Lunatic Fringe remains in possession of the Intercontinental Championship belt, if by less than legal means. After liberating the championship from Bad News Barrett at Fast Lane, Dean Ambrose proceeded to taunt the genuine champion with the title following Barrett’s loss to Dolph Ziggler on RAW. Then on SmackDown, Ambrose himself picked up a victory over the Miz, and although Barrett took back his belt during the match, he ended the night back in possession of it thanks to R-Truth.
The number one contender for the WWE Championship has his focus keenly set on dethroning Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Even when Paul Heyman produced one of his carefully worded promos both praising and undermining his chances, Roman Reigns has shown no intimidation for the challenge at hand. Later on during RAW, Reigns teamed with Daniel Bryan to battle Seth Rollins and Randy Orton in the main event, with his side earning the victory.
Although not quite on a par with Ronda Rousey’s victory at UFC 184, the Bella Twins scored a rapid victory on RAW that sent the Internet ablaze for a few days. In a tag team match, Nikki and Brie quickly dispatched of Paige and Emma, leading to a rematch that took place on Main Event. Although a much longer contest, the result didn’t change at all, as Brie Bella connected with her finisher to pin Emma and earn the sisters a win.
Dolph Ziggler continues to show-off his way towards WrestleMania, even though his plans for the event are far from clear. On RAW, he pushed himself into an already crowded Intercontinental Championship picture by defeating Bad News Barrett. Then on SmackDown, he helped his team to a successful rematch in a six-man tag, as he, Ryback and Erick Rowan bested the Authority’s Seth Rollins, Kane and Big Show.
The Big Guy has already pushed himself into a big match at WrestleMania, as he stated his intentions to win the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at the event. Ryback did this prior to a dominant victory over his former tag team partner Curtis Axel on RAW. Then on SmackDown, he scored the decisive pinfall in a six-man tag team match, as his Shell-Shock took down Seth Rollins in a match also featuring Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Kane and Big Show.
Daniel Bryan climbs to the top of the rankings this week due to a pair of significant victories on RAW and SmackDown. First on Monday, after showing respect to the man that defeated him at Fast Lane, Roman Reigns, Bryan teamed with him to defeat the Authority’s Seth Rollins and Randy Orton in the main event. Then on SmackDown, Bryan was still considering what he would actually be doing at WrestleMania, he faced a battle with Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett, connecting with the Running Knee to gain the win.
Do you think anyone should be listed differently?