- It will be based exclusively for the listed month.
- And on how much I enjoyed their promos, segments, and/or matches of that particular month.
- It could also be purely speculative.
Here’s a fair warning: this month was crap in WWE. Some was due in part to injury, and no one is to blame for that. But things like Jinder Mahal making racist jokes, of all things, towards Nakamura was just baffling. Thus my top three rankings (and five of the top 10) from last month completely dropped off this month. I doubt that will ever happen again. So I had to get a tad creative this month. Surely things will be back to normal next month… fingers crossed!
1. Kevin Owens
Last month: 9
Mr. Owens has the dubious distinction of being the only guy who I enjoyed for the entire month. His attack on Vince was unexpected, and the blood was the icing on the cake (figuratively). Vince getting beat up used to be as common as a headlock, but it’s been years since someone got their hands on him. Let’s hope Shane doesn’t kill himself in the cell.
2. Corey Graves
Last month: N/R
Yes I used an announcer for number two. But what an awesome announcer at that! Graves is now on Raw and Smackdown and I couldn’t be happier. I seriously debated putting him at number one. Corey has been on so many different teams just this year, but has always been the steadying force regardless of who his teammates may have been.
3. Aleister Black
Last month: 4
I loved the feud with Itami, but to follow it up with Velveteen Dream? I’ll admit the NXT crowd reacted pretty well for their initial confrontation. It’s still just very odd to me. He also spoke for the first time, which I was apprehensive about it killing his mystique, but I think things are going in the right direction from that aspect.
4. 205 Live
Last month: N/R
Where to begin? Enzo going to 205 I thought may be a nice jolt for them. Regardless of your opinion of him, he brings the audience fully in to whatever he’s doing. I never dreamed they would put the strap on him. Definitely not off the immortal Neville. But that’s exactly where we are.
I was furious, much like anyone else was that has a brain. He did cheat though, and came off like a total asshole (or just acted like himself) on Raw Talk following the show. A heel turn? That’s an interesting twist at least. He was begging Angle for a celebration on Raw, and I was dumbfounded to see it was in the main event spot. That may be the most unexpected thing to happen this year. Then it happened, the entire cruiserweight division declared war on Enzo, with your hero and mine Neville, leading the charge.
I’ve said it numerous times at this point, but when Neville speaks, I can feel the venom spewing out of his mouth. I feel his anger. I feel whatever the hell he wants me to feel. Neville lost a chance at a rematch by attacking Zo, who by this point had a “no-contact” clause. (Which was a nice heel touch I may add.) I’m intrigued to see what, if anything, they do with Neville now. The guy is so good. But even more important, I wonder what the rest of the 205 guys are going to do now. Will they truly be allowed to step and be presented as “superstars” and not the purple rope misfits? This is a critical juncture for 205 Live. It’s either going down the toilet permanently or they can veer into a new territory with this newfound momentum. #Give205LiveAChance
5. Undisputed Era
Last month: 8
Although they could have been given a better name, O’Reilly, Fish, and Cole are a very nice addition to NXT. It looks like they may be poised to have all the NXT gold soon, and I don’t think too many would argue with that.
6. AJ Styles
Last month: 5
Styles’ US open challenge hasn’t had quite the same zing to it that Cena’s had. It has given a bit of an opportunity to cult-favorite Tye Dillinger, which is nice, but he’s now moved on to Baron Corbin. The “broken” Baron Corbin if you will. Styles has pretty good chemistry with Corbin, so we’ll see if he can rehab him. (Yes AJ has good chemistry with almost everyone so that was an obvious statement.)
Last month: 10
Asuka didn’t even wrestle in September and she jumped up three spots. It’s mainly the lack of anything good this month, but I’m so stoked for her to be on Raw and (hopefully) beat the shit out of all the girls. She’s never faced Alexa Bliss one on one on TV before so that is a fresh new potential matchup. The same can be said for Sasha Banks, which makes for another tasty matchup. TLC can’t get here soon enough!
Last month: N/R
Cesaro and Sheamus has been tolerable as a team lately. It just bothers me that an athlete unique and talented as him is saddled in a silly kilt-wearing tag team. What is he, a Highlander? The sole reason he ended up making the list is his teeth being pushed up into his gums and gutting it out the rest of the match. Allegedly he got a standing ovation when he entered backstage, much deserved is all I can say. (Also kudos for his Isaac Yankem tweet afterwards) Now let’s see him removed from the bore-train known as Sheamus and strike out on his own.
9. The Miz
Last month: N/R
Miz peaked last year at this time during his feud with Dolph. That being said, he’s still a really good personality and a nice steadying force on Raw. He’s got to go toe-to-toe with Roman, Cena, Heyman and all the other big guns, and to his credit he always hangs. The inevitable Roman title reign is coming, and Miz would be a perfect challenger for him.
10. Matt Hardy
Last month: N/R
This is very much a speculative pick at this point. Brother Nero’s injury leaves Matt all alone. (And further delays the Hardy vs. Revival feud that I was excited for.) Lately he’s been palling up with Jason Jordan, which is going to do him no favors if he wants to remain a fan favorite.
Let’s face it, the “broken” thing probably won’t work out due to legal reasons. That being said, I would really like to see Matt Hardy V2.0. I loved V1.0 and all the Mattitude silliness. Something to think about.
Falling out of the top 10:
I’ve already mentioned the ridiculous level his feud with Mahal has taken. It may be worth it all if he were to win the championship in the end, but let’s face it, we know that’s not going to happen.
After shooting him with a bazooka, running him over with a tank, and shoving a grenade down his throat, Cena still couldn’t beat Reigns. It was a dream match for me, and honestly it was just okay. The angle now is treating John like he may never wrestle again. Which naturally we know he will be back for WrestleMania, so they aren’t fooling anyone. He would be a good Royal Rumble surprise if we don’t see him before then, but now we just have to suffer more of the unstoppable “big dog.” Man I’m depressed.
Injured. Please get well and come back soon! Raw misses his star-power for sure.
I was a bit concerned that he lost to Aleister Black. I understand why obviously, but for a guy trying to establish himself as a new found heel, I don’t know how well thought-out it was. He then lost to Kassius Ohno and hasn’t done anything since. Please come back Itami!
Victor Parenza (@ParenzaBooks)