These days, it is likely a positive for Zack Ryder that he even makes this list, even if it is languishing at the foot of it. The Long Island broski came up short against the positivity of Bo Dallas on Main Event, and we’ll likely see him back on the Power Rankings in another six months.
Fandango has really waned in the past year, with the supposed positive effect of his face turn failing spectacularly to garner any crowd support. So, the dancer was left to job out to Neville on this most recent edition of RAW.
I’m very glad that King Barrett’s speech on a recent episode of SmackDown has not been in vain. And now I realize it can be difficult to translate sarcasm in writing. Barrett only made it onto the Main Event card this week, where he lost to fellow countrymen Neville.
This past month has been woeful for Kevin Owens, the boost of his initial run slowing down with each passing week. On RAW, he battled Randy Orton for the first time ever, and ended up losing via disqualification. Whilst Owens ended that exchange smiling over the fallen bodies of Orton and Cesaro, his search for a victory will continue beyond SmackDown, after his tag team loss alongside Seth Rollins to Cesaro and Dean Ambrose.
The WWE Champion is yet to find his challenger for the upcoming SummerSlam, and saw no reason to entertain one for the latest edition of RAW. Seth Rollins did find himself in a title match in the main event, fighting John Cena for the United States Championship. However, after being caught in an STF, he was forced to tap out to his rival. Then on SmackDown, he lost in two bouts, first by DQ against Cesaro, and then in a tag match against the Swiss Superman and Dean Ambrose.
R-Truth has experienced a renaissance of popularity and exposure in 2015, but suffered a low ebb this week in a performance on SmackDown. Challenged by the maniacal Stardust, he was toppled, and only saved from further embarrassment by Neville confronting his enemy.
This week left the Bella Twins with all three of their members tasting defeat, and one tasting hospital food after suffering a concussion. On RAW, Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox lost against Charlotte and Becky Lynch, with Fox crashing hard on the back of her head. Then on Main Event, it was Brie that was tapping out to the fiery Irishwoman.
With the Tag Team division opening up for a new challenge to the champion Prime Time Players, every tandem on the roster will be looking for a chance to get a title match. However, it isn’t likely to be the Ascension, as they once again lost in an eight-man tag on SmackDown.
The New Day are making a habit of interrupting their competition in the middle of their matches. Last week they cost Prime Time Players their contest, and on RAW distracted their opponents from that night Los Matadores in their defeat. But this didn’t give them any edge on SmackDown, as they lost in the eight-man tag against the Matadors and Lucha Dragons.
After being stapled to Main Event and Superstars for the majority of 2015, a return to his home state of Oklahoma was the perfect chance for Jack Swagger to gain some attention on SmackDown. He did end up suffering defeat to old enemy Rusev, but left him hobbling up the stage after a post-match ankle lock to leave his local fans happy.
The Wyatt Family officially confirmed the reasons behind the reunion this week on RAW, as Bray Wyatt acknowledged the support of his burly bodyguard Luke Harper. Wyatt confirming Harper as his “Prodigal Son”, he swore allegiance to the Eater of Worlds, and confirmed their intentions lie in dominating Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose.
Mr. Money in the Bank enjoyed a week off of active competition, but that didn’t stop Sheamus from getting physically involved on RAW. During the match between Randy Orton and Kevin Owens, he jumped up from commentary to deliver a Brogue Kick to the Viper, displaying that their rivalry is far from over.
Bo Dallas finally had something to feel positive about on Main Event this week, after months of defeats making it hard for him to keep that goofy smile on his face. But Dallas was fortunate to come up against someone just as goofy and in equally low form, besting Zack Ryder.
After gaining what could prove an important victory over the Tag Team Champions Prime Time Players, Los Matadores were looking to build on that scalp in a match with the Lucha Dragons. The presence of the New Day contributed to their RAW defeat, but when both high-flying teams joined forces to battle the New Day and the Ascension on SmackDown, they pulled off the victory.
Rusev’s love life continues to be played out on a national audience, as his dealings with Lana are long from being done, and they certainly aren’t civil. On RAW, the Bulgarian Brute attempted to offer new beau Summer Rae gifts, he ended up being embarrassed by the Ravishing Russian. Rusev was able to respond nicely with a win over Jack Swagger on SmackDown, although he will be feeling his ankle again following a post-match Ankle Lock.
A giant with a bad attitude can be a major obstacle to overcome, and Big Show was definitely in a bad mood on RAW. Against Dean Ambrose, and still awaiting the return of Intercontinental Champion Ryback, the World’s Largest Athlete didn’t only want to win, but dominate his rival. Show beat his opponent so badly Ambrose was counted out, but the giant’s attempt at extra damage ended up with him charging through the barricade.
The comic book strip of WWE is still being crafted as the weeks go on, with the evil villain Stardust ready to topple all the heroes inside and outside of the roster. He defeated another opponent toward that goal, defeating R-Truth on SmackDown, but it is clear his sights are set on the resident superman Neville.
Randy Orton likely felt he was staring at a mirror into the past on RAW, as he was the veteran against the aggressive Kevin Owens. Like Owens, he wasn’t given chances, he took them for himself, working his way through the biggest names in history. The Viper produced a decent performance, but his eventual victory would not be in the most favorable circumstances, as Owens was disqualified following a Brogue Kick from Sheamus.
The Lunatic Fringe has had his focus on supporting Roman Reigns in his rivalry with the Wyatt Family. But he had a giant threat standing opposite him on RAW in the sizeable form of the Big Show. On this occasion, the big man had too much for Dean Ambrose, causing a count out loss. But he bounced back on SmackDown, as his partnership with Cesaro was successful in tag team action against Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens.
In the midst of the Divas Revolution, Sasha Banks stood out for Team BAD and showed the world that she will make waves in the division. The NXT Women’s Champion battled Paige, and despite her opponent’s edge on experience, Banks made a huge statement of intent by overcoming the former Diva’s Champion by submission.
Despite his focus being locked by the nefarious Stardust, Neville produced a perfect record for the week. The Man Gravity Forgot began his exploits on RAW by crashing down onto Fandango, leaving the maniacal Stardust watching on with intent. On Main Event, he followed this victory up with another, besting his fellow Brit King Barrett.
The Lucha Dragons have found themselves in and out of the tag team picture ever since they were promoted from NXT. Former champions in the developmental territory, they have been suffering to recapture their magic, but had a strong run this week. They first defeated Los Matadores on RAW, and then teamed with them on SmackDown to overcome The New Day and The Ascension.
The standout star in the Divas division this week was undoubtedly Becky Lynch, as the Lass Kicker brought her trio success after a difficult start. Their experienced ‘leader’ Paige was on the losing end of a singles bout with Sasha Banks on RAW. But they bounced back later in the evening, as Lynch and Charlotte bested their tag team outing against Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox. Then, the Irishwoman was forcing another Team Bella member to tap out, besting Brie on Main Event.
The Swiss Superman has become embroiled in a bitter rivalry with Kevin Owens, and his feud with his former ROH alumni was present this past week in a big way. First, after Owens and Sheamus beat down Randy Orton on RAW, Cesaro flew out to help, only to receive a powerbomb for his troubles. But everything came together for the reinvigorated superstar on SmackDown, as he was able to earn a pair of victories in matches with WWE Champion Seth Rollins. The first was by DQ thanks to Owens’ interference, and then Cesaro teamed with Dean Ambrose to beat both Rollins and Owens.
If there was any need to demonstrate why John Cena has been one of the MVPs in WWE in 2015, his main event clash with Seth Rollins showed it in shovels. The United States Champion might have ended the night in the hospital with his broken nose on the other side of his face, he could take comfort in a win and his reign still intact. Instead of getting the WWE Championship match he requested, Cena was forced to put his own belt on the line in its place. Locking his rival in the STF after a demanding encounter, the Champ is still here.
Do you think anyone should be listed differently?