Luke Harper did not enjoy an excellent week, as he was suffered a pair of defeats on RAW and SmackDown. First, his participation in the King of the Ring tournament was a brief one, as he was eliminated by Neville in the first round. And things did not improve on Thursday night, as a match against Ryback saw Harper fall hard to the Big Guy despite a solid performance.
Bo Dallas might require all his motivational tools to work his way out of the slump that persisted on RAW. Attempting to restore some of his pride in an Extreme Rules rematch against Ryback, Dallas was not able to buck his current trend of defeat and humiliation, being squashed by the Big Guy with relative ease.
The dancer might have embraced the fans in recent weeks, but Fandango learnt this week nothing can overcome a woman scorned. Former partner Rosa Mendes returned donning a Rosebud’s costume, and her distraction was enough to cost him in his bout with Adam Rose. And losing to that guy, even just the once, ensures a low ranking here.
Cameron endured a tough lesson in keeping her mouth shut on SmackDown. Whilst reveling in the misfortune of Brie Bella on RAW, she was overheard by Divas Champion Nikki. And the sisterly defense she provided led to a match between the pair, and Cameron was found out of her league with the champ, suffering a defeat.
The Lunatic Fringe was a victim of misfortune and shenanigans this week, but it does not help protect his rankings. Dean Ambrose was paired up with Sheamus in the first round of the King of the Ring tournament, but thanks to the anger of Dolph Ziggler, a Mad King would not be crowned as the Irishman won by disqualification. Then on SmackDown he fought old friend and rival Seth Rollins, with some more outside interference cost him another victory.
The frustration continues to show on the Corporate Demon, with the strain of his duty to the Authority and WWE Champion Seth Rollins is wearing thin. On RAW, Kane teamed with the bratty champ against Randy Orton and Roman Reigns, throwing him to the wolves at the conclusion leading to their defeat. Then on SmackDown, he battled Reigns alone, but didn’t stay long before walking out, handing his opponent a count out win.
The United States Champion held onto his title at Extreme Rules against Rusev, but was not looking to take a night off when he walked out on RAW. John Cena was ready to hand out another opportunity to a superstar in an Open Challenge, one that Heath Slater was ready to accept. But, the One Man Band was taken out by the Bulgarian, and the rivals exchanged words leading into their I Quit match at Payback.
Stardust wanted to bring the King of the Ring crown into his celestial abode on RAW, but would be another to fall at the first hurdle. The curious competitor was left to battle R-Truth, and this proved too much when his springboard fell into the Lie Detector. But things were better at Main Event, as his Disaster Kick connected and floored Jack Swagger for a three count.
Still hugely embittered by his defeat at Extreme Rules, Rusev was in no mood to entertain John Cena’s Open Challenge invitation on RAW. As Heath Slater walked down to accept a United States Championship opportunity, the Super Athlete kicked his head off, and after sending Lana away, would discuss how he will force Cena and America to surrender and quit at Payback.
Now the former tag team champions, Cesaro & Tyson Kidd were certainly not ready to give up on the gold so soon. Yet, their hopes were dashed this week in matches with the New Day. First, with the help of Xavier Woods, Big E beat Tyson Kidd in singles action on RAW. And, although they won the title rematch on SmackDown, this was only after Woods interfered, causing the new champs to retain through disqualification.
The Show Off was still reeling from the embarrassment of becoming closely acquainted to Sheamus’ backside at Extreme Rules, and that cost him on RAW. In the first round of the King of the Ring tournament, the Irishman distracted Dolph Ziggler, leading to his loss to Bad News Barrett. But, he was able to eventually get his revenge, as after unintentionally getting Sheamus into the semi-finals, he cost him the later match against Neville.
The new Tag Team Champions were in very celebratory mood this week, and not even their numerous critics would keep the New Day down. Big E defeated Tyson Kidd on RAW, thanks in no small part due to some unseen assistance by Xavier Woods. And, in a very good title rematch on SmackDown, they appeared close to surrendering the belts at the first attempt, but Woods diving into the fray kept their titles by disqualification.
A former King of the Ring himself, Sheamus was desperate to repeat the feat on RAW. Yet, the Celtic Warrior’s first order of business was to stop Dolph Ziggler from progressing through some distraction, before he moved into the semi-finals by besting Dean Ambrose through DQ. But, that was as far as his journey in the tournament lasted, as Ziggler returned the favor with a diversion in Sheamus’ match with Neville, leading to his elimination.
A very rare victory for Adam Rose was one of the shocking moments of RAW, as he tangled with the flamboyant Fandango. And not only did he secure the win, but he also got the girl, as Rose added Rosa Mendes as the latest addition of the Exotic Express, sealing this unison with a kiss.
The Bella Twins experienced a mixed with, as they separately tussled with both former members of the Funkydactyls. Brie Bella did not experience the best of these bouts on RAW, as she would suffer a hard-fought defeat against Naomi after being toyed about backstage. But, Divas Champion Nikki Bella was able to triumph in her match with Cameron on SmackDown, not taking kindly to her loudmouth opponent’s catty remarks about her sister.
R-Truth often comes out of nowhere to surprise people. Despite often being in and out of active competition, the kooky hip-hop performer made his way into the semi-finals of the King of the Ring with a win over Stardust. However, it would prove to be a short-lived revival in relevance, as Truth would come unstuck in his attempts to become King by Bad News Barrett.
The WWE Champion, after exploiting some bending of the rules of his title defense at Extreme Rules, was pushed into another difficult scenario on RAW by fellow Authority member Kane. The tense teammates lost a tag team match against Randy Orton and Roman Reigns due to a frustrated Demon, and then it was announced that Seth Rollins would defend his belt against both Orton and Reigns at Payback. Fortunately for him, things improved on SmackDown with a victory over long-term rival Dean Ambrose.
Now finally out of the shadow of the Miz, Damien Sandow stepped out as his own man on RAW, ready to make a fresh start as his own man. Sandow talked openly about his desire to become entertaining after being told he wasn’t by the office, but was interrupted by Curtis Axel. This led to a match on SmackDown, where a mix of his own and Axel’s offense handed Sandow a first win of his new beginnings.
Following a month of vague taunting and promos, Bray Wyatt made the target for his latest feud on RAW. It was in fact the Big Guy, Ryback, who the Eater of Worlds laid out with Sister Abigail after a match against Bo Dallas. And this would be repeated come SmackDown, only this time it was Luke Harper that Ryback bested before being floored by Wyatt once more.
Her loss at Extreme Rules might have been difficult to take, but Naomi clearly has no intentions of giving up at the first attempt. On RAW, she maintained her new look and entrance theme, and took on Brie Bella in singles action. Through her belittling stance domineering her opponent, Naomi capitalized with a small package to secure a victory over Brie, as her eyes remained firmly on Nikki Bella’s Divas Championship.
The Big Guy left lasting impressions of being left flattened on RAW and SmackDown, but it is what happened before that which earns Ryback a high ranking position. He defeated Bo Dallas in an Extreme Rules rematch with ease, before handing another loss to Luke Harper on SmackDown. Yet, a tough prospect has emerged from the shadows, as Ryback has become the focus of the monstrous Bray Wyatt, and was twice taken out due to this new obsession.
Neville continues to have everybody talking, and maintained a very positive impression as a participant in this week’s King of the Ring tournament. Firstly, on RAW he overcame the sizeable task of Luke Harper in the first round. And proving once again size isn’t an issue, he bested Sheamus in the semi-finals with some aid by Dolph Ziggler. But, it wasn’t to be in the closing contest, as Bad News Barrett proved too much for the Man That Gravity Forgot.
He might not be the WWE Champion yet, but Randy Orton has both the RKO back in availability and will be challenging Seth Rollins once again. On RAW, he and Roman Reigns paired up to defeat Rollins and Kane in the main event when Orton delivered his strike on the champ. Then, Kane announced that per the desire of the WWE Universe, Orton and Reigns would both challenge Rollins in a Triple Threat match over the belt at Payback.
Still yet to experience his full revenge for the events of WrestleMania, Roman Reigns will seemingly get a chance at the aptly named Payback. Reigns teamed with Randy Orton to win against Seth Rollins and Kane on RAW, with the announcement later that both men would battle Rollins for the WWE Championship at the upcoming PPV. And Reigns was not finished there, overcoming Kane on SmackDown when the Demon of the Authority got intentionally counted out.
It has been a hard few months for Bad News Barrett in these rankings, as he has not experienced a lot of significant wins since he lost his Intercontinental title to Daniel Bryan. But, whilst he missed the opportunity to become champ again due to Bryan’s injuries, Barrett was reigning supreme in another way on Tuesday. In the King of the Ring tournament, he inflicted Bad News on every opponent in his way, besting Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, and then fellow countrymen Neville in the final to become King of the Ring for the first time.
Do you think anyone should be listed differently?