26th Sep2019

WWE Roster: 2019 Mid-Year Report – WWE Raw

by Chris Cummings

So, as a WWE fan, and seeing as Nerdly has great wrestling coverage, I thought it would be cool to take a seat in the bleachers and give you a longtime fan perspective report on WWE’s roster as we’ve reached – as of writing – August 2019.

This isn’t gospel or fact, obviously. It’s just opinion, and my opinion at that. You might disagree, and that’s fine. Just know that this is purely for fun and to give my thoughts and views on the great roster of talent that WWE has right now. I’ll rate people like a report card would rate people… From A* to F grade… you know what those grades mean. Also, I’ll do a ungraded grade for the men and women that are injured or that we haven’t seen on the product this year. I’ll be taking most things into consideration, from work-rate to promo skills to booking (I didnt want to take this into account but I have to, if we don’t see these men and women then how do I grade them?), charisma, psychology and overall presentation. Maybe even fan response… basically, it’s an all-encompassing report from a fan’s viewpoint of WWE’s incredible collection of stars.

I’ll be focusing on A LOT here, so grab a coffee, put your feet up, and check out my report of WWE RAW, Smackdown, NXT, 205 Live and NXT UK. Starting first with Raw… Phew, here goes!

2018-raw-logo

AJ STYLES

“The Phenomenal One” hasn’t had the best 2019 so far. His babyface work has paled in comparison to his heel run, and his switch over to RAW from the house he built over on Smackdown has been an underwhelming situation to behold. Enjoyable and exciting when he works with the right guys, I’ve just not been digging him recently. His VERY recent heel-turn could spell a real turnaround in his luck, and his current feud with the talented Richochet could end up being one of the best feuds AJ has been involved in for quite some time. I’m definitely up for heel AJ as a big star on RAW.

GRADE: A-

AUTHORS OF PAIN

These two behemoths were big players back during their NXT run, but have failed off the radar this year on the main roster. Green, but still with enough big-man talent to have good matches with the right opponents, it’s a shame to see another NXT team fall so far from grace. Off TV mostly due to injury, maybe we’ll see them return and make strides in the second half of 2019.

GRADE: UNGRADED

BARON CORBIN

The most electrifying man in… oh, wait… it’s Baron. No, I’m being a touch unfair, because I actually think Corbin has a lot to offer as a mid-card heel, and his promo work has been really good since his NXT days. I think the over-saturation of his character on television and the feuds he’s been involved in have resulted in a lot of hate being aimed at him. He’s a heel who plays a heel, though, and it’s a lost art. I think he gets a bad wrap. Not someone I always enjoy watching in the ring right now, I still would like to see him given better material to sink his lone wolf teeth into. I enjoyed some of his matches with Rollins this year. Underrated big man, in my view, who just needs more protection from the booking squad.

GRADE: B-

BOBBY LASHLEY

I’m one of those people who is of the belief that Lashley has nothing to offer pro-wrestling. I didn’t see his much-lauded IMPACT run, so I can’t speak about that, but his WWE run back in the late-00s and his current run since returning a year or so ago have both been asinine. He’s a one trick pony, that trick being his muscles. LOOK AT ALL THAT BEEF!! Yep, Bob has a lot of ripples and bulges in places that the management of WWE find appealing, but on the microphone he appears absolutely clueless and in the ring, considering he’s a veteran of the sport, he’s dire. Not someone I have ever enjoyed as a performer, I would like to see him look for work elsewhere so his spot can be free’d up for a more talented all-rounder who is actually able to go in the right direction during a ringside segment.

GRADE: F

BRAUN STROWMAN

“The Monster Among Men” has been stuck in a terribly tedious selection of feuds with the likes of Bobby Lashley, Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre over the past few months. He’s not a bad big-man, but his current standing in WWE isn’t what it was a year or so back. The fan response has waned, and his character has become a little bit boring, to be quite honest. I’m not the biggest fan of big-man matches in wrestling and Braun represents that. I don’t hate the guy, and I think he has a terrific look, but he’s missing the psychology and work-rate that I look for, personally, in my pro-wrestlers. If they did something unique with him he could be an interesting character, but his matches should be kept short and sweet.

GRADE: C-

BRAY WYATT

This is a tough one, because we haven’t actually seen Bray wrestle this year (as of this writing) yet his promo work in the excellent and thoroughly entertaining “Firefly Funhouse” vignettes have put him right back in to the consciousness of WWE fans. I’m 100% behind this new version of Bray Wyatt and hope it see’s him find success as a main event player in the company, finally. It’s all up in the air right now, but based on those awesome segments, I’ll still rate him a little bit.

GRADE: C (A for promo work… but yeah, not fair to grade that high considering).

BROCK LESNAR

“The Beast Incarnate” has been my least favourite performer since his return to WWE back in 2012. The seven years since his return have seen him decimate so many talented workers, but that’s not really my complaint. The laziness and much-publicised lack of interest in the product has made him a pain to watch. He’s dangerous in the ring, barely appears even when he’s the World Champion and his move-set and ring-work is a rinse-and-repeat job that see’s him do the same thing every single time. Some will disagree with this because Lensar certainly has his fans, and that’s all cool and dandy, but my personal feelings on him aren’t warm. A negative presence on WWE television, I’m immediately put-off when he’s booked or announced to appear on a show. Based on all fo that, and the fact that he relies on the heavily talented Paul Heyman to do his promo work for him, I’ll rate him accordingly.

GRADE: F

CEDRIC ALEXANDER

The former 205-Live roster member and one-time Cruiserweight Champion, Alexander is an absolutely fantastic in-ring talent. His run in 205 featured some awesome matches with the likes of Oney Lorcan and Tony Nese this year, before he was drafted to RAW. He hasn’t done a great deal yet on RAW, though he did make a surprise appearance as Roman Reigns’ masked tag-team partner in the main event of RAW recently. He’s talented enough to be a solid mid-card flyer, but his character could use some work. With more material at his disposal and something different for him to do, it could really add a spark to his whole career.

GRADE: C+

CESARO

Had some cool matches as part of The Bar with the likes of The Hardy Boyz, The Uso’s and The New Day in the early stages of 2019. The Bar split this year due to Sheamus needing time off due to nagging injuries. Cesaro transferred over to RAW and has had a number of excellent one-on-one matches with guys like Cedric Alexander and Ricochet. He’s an incredible wrestler who has shown abilities as a character since his fantastic team with Sheamus began. I think he could easily step into the main event picture and be a genuine threat. He hasn’t done that much yet this year, so that harms the grade here. Technical, strong-as-hell and, hey… proficient in five languages, Cesaro has pretty much everything, and it’s kind of a travesty that he isn’t a top-level act. With management finally behind him he could light WWE on fire. We’ll see what happens, but I’m personally a big fan.

GRADE: B+

HAWKINS & RYDER

The former Major Brothers and Edgeheads made their return as a tag-team this year in WWE. With Hawkins on a losing-streak a mile long, the two embarked on a journey to end it, and they did just that by defeating The Revival for the RAW Tag Titles at WrestleMania. It was a cool moment, though I’ve not been that impressed by either guy in the ring for a while. Their characters are bland, and I find it hard to root for them. I think, personally, that the time has passed for Hawkins and Ryder to have a strong run as a team, or as singles performers, in modern-day WWE. The sheer amount of talent around really shows up the flaws in each guys’ game. This is a harsh grading, and yeah, I’m just some schmuck writing about guys doing some awesome things, but based on my feelings of them as a team right now, it is what it is.

GRADE: D

THE REVIVAL

Easily one of the best tag teams in the world today, and certainly up there with the best in WWE, Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson have had an up-and-down time on the main roster. From shaving backs and being booked to look like fools, to having terrific matches with The Uso’s, there has been both good and bad things happening in the career’s of these two talented old-school wrestlers. They won the RAW Tag Belts from Hawkins and Ryder after they lost them at Mania, and are currently being booked in a steadier and better way on TV. Let’s hope we get to see some of what these guys are capable of soon, because in NXT they shone.

GRADE: B-

DREW MCINTYRE

“The Scottish Psychopath” (thanks Cole) has had a strong year so far in WWE. Obviously a firm favourite among the powers-that-be, Drew is a big hulk of a dude with a great look. He’s one of the big guys who is actually capable of having good matches with certain opponents. Sadly, I think he’s been booked similarly to Corbin and it’s caused people to be kind of bored when he steps through the curtain. I could see a babyface turn really helping his career. He was much better in that role when he was in NXT. A decent promo and a strong look, given good booking and some feuds to be excited about, Drew could be a major player, and I think he will be. Still, I’ve not particularly been enamoured by his matches in 2019. Let’s see what happens.

GRADE: B-

EC3

This is a guy who, when he debuted in NXT a year ago, I thought would be a guy who would succeed easily on RAW or Smackdown, but for some reason he has hardly been used at all, and when he has it’s been about as memorable as a Al Snow match. Relegated to running around backstage during the 24/7 Title skits, Ethan Carter III needs management to suddenly change their views on him and do something with him, because if things continue like this I think it’s likely he’ll be back on IMPACT or on the indies before 2020. It’s a surprise too, because he’s got the look that WWE generally likes and he plays a great smug heel. Weird decisions, WWE… weird.

GRADE: D-

ERIC YOUNG

Sanity split this year (which I disliked immediately ’cause I was a fan) and each person went their own way. Sadly, it seems Eric Young might have pulled the short straw as he seems to be in the worst position of any Sanity member. All I can actually remember of Eric this year is him being attacked backstage on a couple of occasions, most recently by Seth Rollins for no solid reason. He’s a veteran who has the ability to have some smashing matches, and his promo skills have always been enjoyable. Sanity was a really cool stable, and it’s a shame that it’s leader is now in a nothing-role on RAW. I have no clue what WWE will do with Young, but right now it doesn’t look good.

GRADE: D-

THE VIKING RAIDERS

The War Viking Experience that Raid Things made their WWE Main Roster debut this year and it’s been a strange, strange time for Rowe and Hansen… I mean… Erik and Ivar. Oh dear. Repackaged even though they were appearing at War Raiders on NXT, The Viking Raiders have been demolishing enhancement talent for a while now, but haven’t really done a lot to write home about otherwise. I love these guys, they’re incredibly talented, they can fly which is insane considering their immense size and stature, and they can f’n wrestle. It’s so weird that WWE rebranded what they had branded themselves in the first place. Amazing in NXT, they had awesome matches with Undisputed Era, Lorcan & Birch and Ricochet and Black among other teams. I hope they find a place on RAW or Smackers and raid like we know they can. Just stop with those pissing names, WWE… you crazy guys.

GRADE: B-

FANDANGO

Only returning recently in a quick segment on NXT to help save his Fashion Police comrade Tyler Breeze, Fandango has been on the bench for most of 2019 thus far. He’s a talented dude with tons of charisma and it will be interesting to see what he does, and if he does it on RAW on in NXT. Can’t say much more due to injury.

GRADE: UNGRADED

LUCHA HOUSE PARTY

Gran Metalik, Lince Dorado and Kalisto are all talented luchadores yet they’ve kind of just been an annoyance on RAW in 2019. The dumb Lucha House Rules that have been implemented during some of their matches with the likes of The Revival made the three top workers into heels as far as the crowds were concerned. Bizarrely booked and having done nothing particularly entertaining in 2019, most recently they entered and lost a feud with the lovely, not-at-all-inappropriate, Lars Sullivan. Maybe if they split up and went their separate ways across 205 Live and NXT we could see a rejuvenation of each man’s career, but until then I think they’ll be booked as a step above enhancement talent on WWE shows.

GRADE: D-

HEATH SLATER

Another guy who has only really seen in jobber-style segments and sequences involving the weird 24/7 Title, Slater is another WWE veteran who is hardly ever used and when he is it means very little. He was over as hell back when he was the un-drafted pick back when RAW and Smackdown split, and his team with Rhyno was very popular for a while, but that was sadly the last time Heath was a relevant and well-booked presence on television. He does make a hell of a referee though.

GRADE: D-

THE USOS

One of the most established and consistently booked tag teams in WWE’s recent history, Jimmy and Jay have had a decent 2019 so far, entering some fun matches with The Revival once getting to RAW. Had good matches with The Bar on Smackdown before going over to RAW. We’re kind of at a point now, though, where there’s little left for these two talented brothers to do. They’ve won countless Tag Titles, they’ve been a strong and important part of WWE programming for a good while, and now they’re just kind of there to have good matches with newer teams. I’d love to see them go full-heel and join up with Reigns in a Samoan stable, but that’s pure fantasy booking on my part and I have no clue what the future holds for the brothers Uso.

GRADE: A-

ANDERSON & GALLOWS

Definitely one of the most underused teams in WWE. Recently joining back up with their Club Good Brother AJ Styles, there’s perhaps hope on the horizon that these two can finally reach their potential in WWE. They haven’t done a great deal yet in 2019, but I hope they do. I’m a fan and I’d love to see then see success in WWE before all is said and done.

GRADE: D

THE ASCENSION

Another NXT Tag Team that did great things on that brand and have gone on to do very little in WWE. They were a very over tag team back in the old NXT days, and remain the longest running NXT Tag Champs to this day, but the main roster has not been kind to Viktor and Konnor. They have an old-school look and a powerful ring style, and I could easily see them having a big feud with AOP if each team was built well enough. Right now they’re doing nothing, so I can’t really talk about that, but they are definitely capable of more. Not the best in-ring talent, but better than what they’ve been given in WWE. Oof.

GRADE: D-

LIO RUSH

Bobby Lashley’s hype-man added plenty of oomph to the Lashley package yet still somehow, in my view, failed to make the big-man entertaining. Rush is obviously a charismatic guy who has skills in the ring, but 2019 hasn’t been his year. He suddenly disappeared from television and rumours of his backstage attitude began to surface online. Who knows if any of that is true, but it’s still safe to say that Leo isn’t going through a good chapter of his career right now. No idea what will come of Rush in WWE. Another “we’ll see” situation.

GRADE: D-

THE MIZ

2019 started off strong for The Miz. Enterting into a team with Shane McMahon and winning the Tag Team Titles, The Miz became a babyface for the first time in a very long time and it worked. The two had matched with The Bar before splitting after Shane turned heel on Miz. Shane and Miz had a solid match at Mania and a rematch afterwards but Shane-O-Mac won both, and The Miz has done very little since. It seemed like the perfect time to push Miz back into the main event picture yet he has gone back to RAW and not really been used much. He’s a talented all-rounder and always seems to manage to come out of these weird situations unscathed, making the best of everything he’s presented with. It won’t be long before The Miz is a big piece of WWE TV again.

GRADE: B+

MOJO RAWLEY

Mojo is Mojo. He cut a few promos with blue ink on his face into a mirror… they were weird. He’s done pretty much nothing else. So many guys on this roster are in same position, and really… they should be cut for the sake of their own careers, and for the sake of streamlining a jam-packed WWE roster.

GRADE: F

NO WAY JOSE

Another guy who tends to act as one step higher than an enhancement opponent to guys undergoing a push, Jose has a new hair style, but is still doing the dated and not-over dancing routine he did in NXT. It’s never been over, really… and his in-ring work leaves much to be desired. He seems like a nice bloke, but he just hasn’t done anything. ANOTHER guy in this position. Jesus, WWE… what’s going on.

GRADE: E+

REY MYSTERIO

A veteran and one of the most famous masked wrestlers of all time, every wrestling fan knows who Rey is. He returned to WWE in 2018 and has had some lovely matches. 2019 saw Rey pick up a US Title win over Samoa Joe but he was taken down by injury. He recently returned to TV and should be back to entertaining the masses weekly again. I hope we see him mix it up with some of the talented guys like Ali, Cedric and Andrade (again) because that’s what I like to see with Rey. Still a great talent, he’s a beloved name in wrestling and someone who can still mix it up with the best of ‘em.

GRADE: B-

RHYNO

Another veteran who has done a great deal in pro-wrestling, from being the last ever (actual) ECW Champ to runs with tag and singles belts in the WWE. His run with Heath Slater was fun for a while, but since that faded out Rhyno hasn’t done much beyond putting a few folks over in a smattering of matches. I imagine we’ll see him retire soon, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him, aside from his political aspirations, work in WWE’s Performance Centre and help train and coach. Not much else to say here, we hardly saw “The Man-beast” this year. And now he’s moved on to Impact…

GRADE: D-

RICOCHET

One of the most talented flyers in pro-wrestling today, Ricochet has had a hell of a 2019 thus far. Working some splendid matches in NXT with the likes of Johnny Gargano before teaming with Aleister Black and putting on a modern tag masterpiece against The War Raiders in April. He was promoted to the main roster around WrestleMania-time and immediately entered some good showings in tag bouts with Black as his partner. Going singles, Ricochet has spent the past month or two working with guys like Cesaro, Samoa Joe and AJ Styles. Won the US Title from Joe before losing it very recently to AJ Styles in a lovely match at Extreme Rules. The sky is the limit for this hugely skilful superstar. His current feud with Styles should result in some more fantastic matches, too.

GRADE: A

ROBERT ROODE

Robert, formerly Bobby, Roode, has had a very unusual run on the main roster since being brought up in 2017. Spent the early stages of 2019 teaming with the talented Chad Gable where the two held the RAW Tag Titles. Lost the belts to The Revival and split from Gable, turning heel. Roode works much better in the heel role but WWE has done little with him. He’s a solid worker with charisma to spare and it’s a shame he hasn’t done more. With the way WWE are attempting to re-establish underused names as of late, maybe we’ll see Roode get a shot. I’d be cool with that.

GRADE: C-

SAMI ZAYN

Began 2019 on the injured list before returning the night after WrestleMania to face Finn Balor in an impromptu Intercontinental Title match. Reignited his heel persona by putting the crowd down and talking about their shortcomings. Is a riot as a heel, but I miss his underdog babyface role that he did so well during his excellent NXT run, personally. Entered into a mediocre feud with Braun Strowman that saw Sami thrown around like you’d expect. Teamed with his real-life and on-again-off-again on-screen bestie Kevin Owens in June to face The New Day, which resulted in a couple of fun matches, including a PPV match at Stomping Grounds which Sami and Kevin won. An incredible wrestler who can do it all. I’d love to see him as a babyface again but whatever happens, he should be used better, and with more regularity.

GRADE: C+

SAMOA JOE

2019 is Joe’s 20th year in pro-wrestling, and the veteran has done some cool things so far this year. Wrestled at Royal Rumble and in the Elimination Chamber match at the beginning of the year before winning his first main-roster title, the US Title, in March. Defended the belt against Rey Mysterio, Andrade and others before losing the belt to Rey at Money in the Bank. Due to injury, Rey handed the belt back to Joe again before he lost it in a top notch match with Ricochet. Entered into another main-event feud with WWE Champion Kofi Kingston and has spent the last month trading barbs with Kofi. A guy that could easily be THE guy on any WWE brand, I’d love to see him finally reach the top of the mountain soon. The crowds chants of “Joe, Joe, Joe” when he makes his entrance shows just how popular this tough-as-nails vet is.

GRADE: A-

SETH ROLLINS

2019 has been a strong year for Seth, but it’s also been a year which has seen, in my view, Rollins become a touch stale. Still, his achievements have been great. Won his first Royal Rumble match in January and faced off with Brock Lesnar in the opening match of WrestleMania, picking up the win and capturing the Universal Championship. Since then he’s been involved in a good feud with AJ Styles and a pretty lengthy feud with Baron Corbin which, despite general opinion, resulted in some okay matches. His real-life coupling with Becky Lynch became part of WWE television, resulting in some corny and cringeworthy moments for both Becky and Seth. I’m all for romance in wrestling. Randy Savage and Elizabeth is classic, but Seth and Becky hasn’t worked as well for me. Lost his Universal Title to Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules when Lesnar cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. I’d love to see Seth turn heel again, a role that suits him much better, and enter into some exciting matches with guys he hasn’t worked with much. We’ll see what happens. Still… good year for “The Architect”.

GRADE: A

TITUS O’NEIL

Titus hasn’t done much of anything this year, like many we’ve mentioned so far. Entered a couple of PPV Battle Royale matches, but didn’t win. Ran around backstage in the 24/7 skits. What more is there to say? I feel like Titus is a very good ambassador for WWE and from all accounts a very strong role model and good person, but his wrestling ability isn’t good, and his career is surely reaching it’s end. Perhaps a further on-screen managerial work will come his way, or working backstage. Who knows?

GRADE: F

ALEXA BLISS

One of the most charismatic women in WWE today, and for the last few years too, Bliss made her return to action in January, competing in the Women’s Royal Rumble match. She hosted WrestleMania in April. Due to health issues she was forced to take some time off again, but returned in June to feud with Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley. Her on-screen friendship with Nikki Cross has been fun, and will likely result in a feud between the two soon enough. Bliss is solid in-ring and excellent on the microphone and has buckets of charisma and star-power. So long as she’s healthy, Alexa will be champion again, bo doubt.

GRADE: B

ALICIA FOX

One of the longest serving female roster members in WWE, Fox has been quiet in 2019 thus far. Worked in her first Royal Rumble match in January, lasting around 6 minutes. Showed up to a live event intoxicated in February which resulted in Fox taking time away from WWE. Returned in April and worked a match with Becky Lynch on RAW, but has done next-to-nothing since. Not someone I enjoy, Fox isn’t on par with many of the talented women in WWE today, and perhaps it’s time for her to call it a day.

GRADE: F

BECKY LYNCH

“The Man” has had the most successful year of her long career in 2019. Lost to Asuka in a Title Match at Royal Rumble before entering the Rumble match itself and winning. Beat RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey and Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair in the first ever Women’s Main Event at WrestleMania in April. “Becky Two Belts” went on to feud with Charlotte over the Smackdown Women’s Belt and Lacey Evans over the RAW Women’s Title. Lost the Smackdown Title to Charlotte, but kept hold of the RAW Title, beating Lacey on a few occasions. Her heat and popularity has waned in the last few months, sadly, and hopefully WWE can book her in a better way, allowing her to be the lone gun-woman that stole the hearts of fans in 2018. Her real-life partnership with Seth Rollins has become a major part of WWE storylines in the past month or two, with very mixed results. I’m not sure what more they can do with this angle. Becky is talented and still popular enough to pull back interest, if only they went back to the basics of “The Man” character again.

GRADE: A-

DANA BROOKE

Dana has vastly improved in the ring since her NXT debut back in 2014. Has wrestled a lot on WWE Main Event, which has helped Dana get some experience in the ring. Her promo work has improved too, it must be said. I like Dana and think, with the right opponents, she can really shine. Limited but with potential to keep getting better, Brooke has wrestled many talented women in 2019. Wrestled Ronda Rousey on RAW in a Women’s Title match. Worked with Ruby Riott, Tamina, Sarah Logan, Sonya Deville and others.

GRADE: C

LACEY EVANS

Lacey’s career really took off this year. Her NXT run was sub-par, doing very little there, so it was something of a surprise to see just how fast she became a main player on RAW. Debuted by interrupting matches on both RAW and Smackdown but refusing to get in the ring. She eventually attacked Becky Lynch after WrestleMania, challenging her to a title match. This feud has lasted a while, with Lacey on the losing end each time. Her in-ring work is flawed but she is showing improvement. Her character work and promo skills are good, though, and definitely help her. By all accounts she’s popular with WWE management, so don’t be surprised to see Evans pick up her first Women’s Title this year.

GRADE: C

NAOMI

I’m sadly not a Naomi fan. She’s popular, I won’t dispute that, but I’ve just never enjoyed her style in the ring, or on the mic. A long-serving roster member, I feel like the time has come and gone for her, and it’s time for others to be given a shot. Often clumsy and not particularly likeable as an on-screen babyface, she’s always been missing something for me. Athletic and with a terrific look, she isn’t “bad”, but I’ve just never been able to get on board with her work. It’s a personal opinion though, so if you’re a fan, then that’s awesome.

GRADE: D

NATALYA

This veteran put on a strong showing at the Royal Rumble in January, lasting 56 minutes, becoming the longest lasting woman in the Women’s Rumbles short history. Reunited with her former partner and real-life friend Beth Phoenix and was part of a Four-Way match for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles at WrestleMania. Wrestled in the Women’s Money in the Bank match. Her career hit another high-point in July when she won a number-one-contender’s match, giving her a match against Becky Lynch for the RAW Women’s Title at this year’s SummerSlam. A great technician who has become a beloved wrestler to both fans and wrestlers, Nattie shows no signs of slowing down and I couldn’t be happier.

GRADE: B+

NIA JAX

Nia Jax entered the Women’s Rumble in January but didn’t win. She then entered the Men’s Rumble match later in the night, becoming only the fourth woman in history to do so, and the first women to ever compete in both Rumble Matches. Nia didn’t win that one either, but she did suffer an RKO for her troubles. Competed with Tamina in matches for the Women’s Tag Titles but came out on the losing end in those. Suffered an ACL injury and has been on the bench since April. Nia has a fantastic look and can work as both babyface and heel, but she can be a touch on the dangerous side too. Still, I think she will continue to be successful when she eventually returns to TV. If I’m fantasy booking for a moment, a heel stable with Nia, The Uso’s and Roman Reigns could be awesome.

GRADE: C-

NIKKI CROSS

The former Sanity member finally went up to the main roster, and spent the early part of the year doing very little. Appeared in the Royal Rumble but was a background act for a while. Entered into a storyline as Alexa Bliss’s friend which has seen Nikki get much more time on TV and more matches with the likes of Bayley and others. The angle with Bliss is likely to bust and turn into a feud sooner or later, and should result in a nice few matches for Cross. A great wrestler with a marketable gimmick who can play both heel and face very well, I hope her recent momentum continues and she see’s plenty of success in WWE.

GRADE: C+

RONDA ROUSEY

Even though we haven’t seen “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” since she lost her RAW Women’s Title at WrestleMania, we can’t not mention her here. She had a very successful few months prior to ‘Mania. Came out on the winning end of one of her best matches at the Royal Rumble against Sasha Banks. Entered into a hot feud with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair on the lead-up to WrestleMania. The Twitter heat between Rousey and Lynch became a big deal and helped push the storyline even higher. Became one of three women to headline WrestleMania for the first time ever. Her promo and ring work is limited due to her lack of experience, but she took to pro-wrestling better than many in the time she was in WWE. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ronda back in WWE eventually for some sort of run, but I am enjoying a Ronda-free women’s scene right now, it must be said.

GRADE: B-

RUBY RIOTT

Faced RAW Women’s Champ Ronda Rousey in February in a title match at Elimination Chamber but came out on the losing end of the battle. Split with her Riott Squad teammates when WWE had their annual Shake-up, and has since been on the injured list due to requiring shoulder surgery. A talented worker with a good punk look, Ruby should be back into the swing of things when she returns, but as good as she is, I’d still be shocked if she won a Women’s Title in WWE, considering how she’s been booked since she debuted. We’ll see though, could happen.

GRADE: C

SARAH LOGAN

Logan is a talented young lass with a good look and an in-your-face ring style. Worked with her Riott Squad sisters until they eventually split during the Superstar Shake-Up. Has since worked random matches with the likes of Dana Brooke on Main Event. Had a good showing in the Women’s Battle Royale at WrestleMania. A lower-card woman who should be higher up, and hopefully she’ll see more success going forward. I’d like to see her join up with her real-life husband, Rowe, and Hansen, The Viking Raiders, and become a little viking faction, in the future.

GRADE: C+

SASHA BANKS

“The Boss” has had a controversial 2019. Started the year with a solid Women’s Title match against Ronda Rousey at the Rumble before going on to become one-half of the first WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions with Bayley at Elimination Chamber. Lost the belts to The IIconics at WrestleMania and hasn’t been on television since. The rumours swirled about Sasha’s response to losing the belts at Mania but who is to know what’s true or not. She’s an incredibly talented wrestler and her NXT heel-run was exceptional, but the future seems to be shaky and up in the air for Banks following whatever happened in April.

GRADE: B-

TAMINA

Tamina has been in WWE for a good long while, and has never really seemed to grasp things. Her in-ring has always been sluggish, clumsy and awkward and her promo skills appear non-existent. Due to her lineage it appears she is kept around, but she’s never been a wrestler that I’ve enjoyed, and I’ve tried. Teamed with Nia Jax until Jax suffered an injury and hasn’t done anything since. I think it’s time for Tamina to hang up the leather.

GRADE: F

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