Last week, we kicked off our first ranking and focused on evaluating how Raw's draft picks have performed since the WWE Draft, which took place nearly six months ago. This week, we will finish up going from #15 to #1.
#15) Cass and Enzo – Since being picked by Raw, these two really haven't won a big match, and their feuds have been somewhat lackluster throughout. I don't believe they even challenged for the tag titles, so looking at their history going back to July, I'm a bit surprised they made it to #15. I guess that shows just how little the lower ranked Superstars have given over the past six months.
#14) Brock Lesnar – After getting popped by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for a banned substance (clomiphene) from his UFC 200 fight, Brock went from being Raw's number one pick to number five, thanks to that news. So, not the best start, Brock eventually beat Orton and SummerSlam (busting him open badly at the end of the match), and F-5'ing Shane on the same show. Brock basically disappeared until the feud with Goldberg and ended up losing against him in one minute and twenty-six seconds, which made big news, but Brock was on the losing end of it. Look, we only get to see Lesnar a handful of times, and his shtick (along with being part-time) is wearing thin on fans these days. Not that we don't mind seeing him destroy people, but we just need something different.
#13) Finn Balor – Much like Lesnar, Balor hasn't had much face time on Raw, thanks to his shoulder injury that he received during his Universal title match (which he won) against Seth Rollins at SummerSlam. He had to relinquish the title shortly after, but the impact Balor made in that short period of time can't be ignored. WWE has done a good job of keeping him in front of cameras and crowds continue to go nuts for him, despite not wrestling since August. I'm guessing some might think this is too low, but he drops a few spots due to not being actively on the show.
#12) Sami Zayn - Just after being drafted to Raw, Zayn had a fantastic match against Kevin Owens at Battleground, where he came out the victor. Since then his major feuds were against Chris Jericho and Braun Strowman, and if you can believe it, he's been battling against Braun since mid-October! Zayn continues to be a solid hand in the ring, doing whatever is asked of him and doing it well, despite not winning a ton or being at the top of the card.
#11) Sheamus - Sheamus' last six months are basically tied to Cesaro, so it's tough to really pick one guy over the other. The two were engaged in a series-of-7 matches, it ended in a tie, which was kind of a dumb payoff. At the beginning of the series, fans weren't exactly excited to see these two go at it, but they slowly were able to turn opinion with some brutally awesome matches. Now, Sheamus is a Tag champion alongside Cesaro, and the two done their best to help save a dismal Raw Tag Division.
#10) Cesaro - The main reason Cesaro gets the higher spot here is because he really made the best-of-7 fun with his back injury, coming back from down 3-0, and even cheating to win one match by gaining leverage from the ropes during the pin. Also, winning the Tag titles was his first reign after coming back from his torn rotator cuff injury that kept him out for 5 months.
#9) The New Day - Have to give them props for breaking a bunch of tag team records, beating Demolition is a big deal and should be treated as such. With that said, the past six months have been pretty brutal. Part of it isn't their fault, Raw's Tag Division is pretty weak and they can only beat Gallows and Anderson so many times. Their gimmick did go stale though as they changed to more of a kid-friendly jokey vibe, losing the troll heel attitudes that actually got fans on their side in the first place. What they are doing with Titus O'Neil at the moment, no, just...no.
#8) Seth Rollins - Picked first for Raw, Rollins almost instantly lost the Universal title. He has since been given an incredible amount of title opportunities, and hasn't been able to win any to date. WWE also attempted to make him a face, but they've done a poor job in making him a truly likeable character. In a round-and-round carousel of matches with Reigns, Jericho, and Owens, he's just fallen a bit flat since the draft.
#7) Roman Reigns - Reigns kicked off his run with a 30-day suspension and losing in a triple threat WWE Championship match against Ambrose and Rollins. He then had a solid feud against Rusev, where he eventually won the U.S. title. After a bunch of matches against Jericho and Owens, Reigns finally dropped the title to Jericho. He will be taking on Owens at the Royal Rumble for the Universal title, where it's very likely he will win. He's at this spot because he won a title, and will most likely win another one soon, he continues to hang in the main even scene, while also getting a huge split reaction from fans; some love him, and some hate him.
#6) Rusev (w/ Lana) - The most underutilized and underused talent on Raw, and maybe on the entire roster (Miz is up there too). With Lana adding those intangibles to his gimmick, Rusev has continued to show he can be an awesome champion, put on physical matches, and talk the talk. He obliterated Shawn Michaels a few weeks back during their in-ring promo, showing his versatility with adding humor to his gimmick. The main event scene is crowded now, but he's due for a run up there.
#5) Kevin Owens - While it's good to be the champ, Raw has also seen some dismal ratings during his reign. Again, can't put it all on Owens, but if he's a main draw for viewers, it's been a bomb. While his time with Jericho has been fun, it also changed his character from being an awful (and awesome) person, to a bit of a jester and some might say, a chicken. Thankfully, we saw some of that mean aggression last Raw when he put Reigns through a table, more of that, please. From being picked #11 to holding the Universal title for most of the past six months, that's a still solid achievement for Owens.
#4) Braun Strowman - He's gone from being picked 28th (on the WWE Network draft) and a Wyatt Family lackey to a main-eventer and someone who could potentially wrestle The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33! If that's not impressive, I don't know what is. WWE did an great of not only building his aura through squash matches, but also giving him a personality that fans can grab hold of. Is he the best talker or wrestler, of course not, but you do feel bad for Rollins or Zayn when Braun decides to wreck house. He is the epitome of a "Monster." In terms of a resume thus far, this spot could be a bit high, but considering where he was drafted, he's like the Alexa Bliss of Raw.
#3) Sasha Banks - For the majority of her time on Monday nights, Sasha has feuded with Charlotte, sure, that's a long time, but these two strung together so many great matches, it's hard to complain. During that time, she won the Women's title an incredible (or maybe dumb, based on your perspective) three times, but only managed to hold it for a combined 75 days. Alongside Cena/Styles and Miz/Ziggler, this was easily one of the best feuds of the year.
#2) Chris Jericho - I mean, what is there to say about Jericho, the guy just knows how to get himself, and pretty much anything he wants, over with wrestling fans. A scarf, a list, "Drink it in, man," and even..."It" all came together to help Jericho go on an amazing run that landed him the U.S. title. Over the past few months, Raw has struggled mightily as a whole, but almost any segment with Jericho was a hit with fans.
#1) Charlotte - In the last six months: won the Raw Women's Championship title three times (216+ combined days), main event of Raw, first-ever woman to main event a WWE PPV at Hell in a Cell, and had one of the best feuds of the year against Sasha Banks. In terms of achievements, that's pretty darn good, living up to her #2 pick in the draft with ease. Her current feud with Bayley is off to a rocky start, but it's tough to deny Charlotte the number one spot with such an impressive run. Jericho may have been more consistently entertaining, but Charlotte had the title reigns and big moments to give her the very slight edge.
Okay, that's it, discuss/debate in the comments below, and next week we'll begin ranking how SmackDown's draft picks have done over the past six months.
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