Rank ‘Em Up
It’s just been over a month since I last did my view of WWE rankings, let’s see if there’s been any change in that time frame.
Tag Team Championships
1. Kofi Kingston + R-Truth [champions]
2. Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil + Darren Young)
3. Epico + Primo
5. Hawkins + Reks
I was about to say “Nope, NEXT!” but then I realized that the Money in the Bank pre-show match was a decent showcase for the team of Hunico and Camacho. Because of that, even in a losing effort, they needed to be included in some fashion. Usos on the other hand have been slipping further down the ladder, despite being one of the most established teams in WWE. They’ve been on NXT, which isn’t even aired in the US. I don’t want to do this, but, it has to be done. As for Hawkins and Reks, they’ve been TV in singles, and tag matches in losses against Ryback. Shame too, because I like both men.
1. Kofi Kingston + R-Truth [champions]
2. Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil + Darren Young)
3. Epico + Primo
4. Hunico + Camacho
5. Hawkins + Reks
Not much of a change in the top 3, but a lot has actually happened. The Colons seemed to have turned face by default of having A.W. turn his back on them to join the Prime Time Playas. This helped propel Titus and D-Young up, even without any major wins since the PPV contendership match and the eventual loss to the champions. So, they cemented being the top contenders, and the Colons look like chumps, even with victories against the Playas. Since the Colon face turn, the wins come off as a fluke, more than in an even contest. Then again, the PTP lost their title shot on Raw. I won’t complain about that, because a loss doesn’t mean the best thing in the tag division is going to be dropped. They can still expand their characters and roles in WWE and win the titles at an even more appropriate time. Either way, win, lose or draw, they are the most entertaining tag team in a long, long time, even without their manager.
With R-Truth only recently returned from injury, the tag champions haven’t had a lot of opportunity to maintain their credibility. The tag division is heating up, but it’s not looking too special at the moment.
Here’s hoping the Usos get some more TV time, while the Ascension move to a major brand, and perhaps we see some teams come from the failed World Championship Money in the Bank contenders. Ryder/Santino perhaps? Who knows? Too many talents showing glimpses of talent but aren’t getting to show it. I’d like to see more of Kidd/Gabriel also. Bah, so many options, but it feels futile to bring them up without WWE backing the division up properly. Maybe the 3rd hour on Raw will help, or The Main Event when it launches in the fall.
I just doubt it.
United States Championship
1. Santino Marella [US Champion]
2. The Miz
3. Jack Swagger
4. Zack Ryder
5. David Otunga
1. Christian [Intercontinental Champion]
2. Cody Rhodes
3. Brodus Clay
4. Sin Cara
With a new Intercontinental Champion being from Raw, another separation between the brands has been eradicated. So, it’s time to have the IC/US title division combine much like the main event titles. Plus, Santino has been wrestling on Smackdown more often than on Raw, it seems. I’m not really for a title combination, but I do think there should be some sort of separation between the US title and the Intercontinental titles if they are going to be on both brands. I suggested in the LOP forums that the 3 hour Raws should introduce the US title to be a weekly defended championship. Maybe not rename it the TV title, but the United States Television Championship. It’ll keep some of the legacy from the history of the Unites States Championship. I would be fine if they did this with Santino as champion. It could turn his career around. Put the IC title on PPVs, or rare TV defenses, and keep the US gold as a weekly defended title. If they need to cheat, put it on Superstars once in a while, or NXT. But just have it defended somewhere weekly. Meh. The title has been badly used in 2012. Santino is much better suited in a lovable tag team with Ryder as I just mentioned. As singles champion, it’s not working without some sort of character change, which isn’t needed right now.
On the other hand, I can’t be too hard on the Intercontinental title at this point. It’s in a great position when around the waist of The Miz. He’s the type of star, like Jericho and Mysterio, who can move from the main event to a midcard position flawlessly, and help everyone involved. These types of stars are invaluable to the WWE roster. The Miz can challenge Sheamus next week for the World title, while defending the IC against Brodus Clay a week later, and have equally competitive matches against both men. It may not be the perfect position for a star, as they’d rather be the John Cena of WWE, but the Intercontinental Title has always been a great title for not only a step up to the main event for someone like Cody Rhodes, but a great title to reinvent a star as a threat like it did for Big Show this year.
So while it may not be the most important to the fans, it’s possibly the most important to a talent’s career. That can translate to the fans at home, and has many times in the past. The Miz may be the single most perfect person to hold this title at this time. I hope he can transition a successful title reign into another run in the main event, while also putting over someone to take the IC title. Looking at last month’s ranking, I think it’s obvious how that will happen. Let’s see if anything has changed since last month, other than combining the midcard rosters.
1. The Miz [Intercontinental Champion]
5. Brodus Clay
6. Santino Marella [US Champion]
7. Cody Rhodes
8. Damien Sandow
9. Antonio Cesaro
10. Sin Cara
I think The Miz has a great chance to reinvent himself. The changes are occurring already, though they are subtle. He seems to be a lot less annoying and douchy so far. The issue with him as a champion is the amount of competition for him to work with. WWE is overflowing in heels looking to reinvent themselves, or break out with a title like the Intercontinental Championship. But a quick look at the top contenders shows you that the same isn’t true for fan favorites. Especially if Miz has already moved past Christian so quickly. So, we’ll see what happens. I expect don’t see him holding the belt for long. While I do see a great opportunity for an opponent to take it off of him after a lengthy reign, I don’t see how Miz will retain his newly regained momentum for that long.
Speaking of re-invention, Tensai seems to already be in the need of it after such a disastrous run at being a threat to the top stars on Raw. I am not sure what the future holds for the former Albert. He’s been WWE for a few months, and hasn’t really had an angle. He seems to have a semi-feud with Tyson Kidd, but it’s not doing anything for anyone involved (though that’s because WWE has no follow through with Tyson’s victories). He’s been great for brutal TV matches (Sheamus vs Tensai was tremendous on Smackdown a couple of weeks back) but I think WWE is seeing that there’s very little they can do with him as a silent monster who thinks he’s Japanese now. It’s too bad they’ve ruined the camaraderie with Sakamoto already, because that could have been a way to delve into tag action. Currently, he’s just someone for other guys to beat. Ah well.
Christian... fuck I don’t even know what to say. He isn’t being wasted, as it’s way too early to worry about that. But his return to become Intercontinental Champion seemed like a perfect way to get him back in the game. And then, it ended for The Miz to do the exact same thing. So he turned face, with no direction. My sense is he’s being groomed to be a Gatekeeper of sorts for the rising stars. With the return of Wade Barrett, the descent of Daniel Bryan, and the rise of Dolph Ziggler, there’s potential for Christian to have great matches and angles with lots of guys on their way to a higher spot on the card. And there’s no denying that he’ll bring these opponents to a higher level in every aspect. Christian is never going to be a star, but he’s so multi-faceted that he’s essential in developing whoever can become one. If they let him do that with an even win/loss record, I don’t see a negative thing about this face turn.
WWF 1987-1988. Honky Tonk Man wins the Intercontinental Title, and irritates every wrestling fan with his cheap heel tactics, and weak skills in every department. Enter Ultimate Warrior. While Miz is insanely more talented than Honky, he’s the perfect foil for Ryback to repeat a similar path to the Intercontinental Title as did the Ultimate One. This guy is fucking over. Ther’es logic in slow building him, yet there’s logic in launching him now before it could die out. Solution: go half way. Launch him to a midcard title. The time is approaching for Ryback to be fed gold.
With the longest entrance in WWE (with Undertaker on sabbatical), Brodus Clay has been on a decent roll. It maybe due to the lengthy intro, but I think fans are growing tired of the Funkasaurus. I think it has more to do with his random development. He was on fire as an original character with a gimmick that can be cheered. That’s a rare occurrence in the modern WWE where innovative personas are harder to come by. But he’s hasn’t been pushed in the ring, except by Big Show. That angle seemed to showcase a side of Clay that I’d be much more interested in seeing on a regular basis. Instead, he’s back to bringing the kids into the ring to dance. He seems to be entering a decent scenario with Damien Sandow, but I don’t sense it going well for Brodus. This angle is to elevate the obnoxious pin tights wearing martyr.
The current US Champion is in a very uninteresting position. It seems pretty obvious that Santino Marella was given the red white and blue belt to placate his position. There was no long term plan, which is obvious by how he’s been booked on Smackdown recently. He’s been facing and losing to a guy who has yet to catch on with the WWE Universe. The United States Champion shouldn’t be used in such a manner. But Santino’s character allows it to occur from time to time, as he’s over by persona and not skills and records. It also means he’s doing shit all for the United States Championship.
Cody Rhodes seems to have been completely unseated from Intercontinental contention at this point, but someone WWE should be keeping in the picture. Maybe a slateral move to the United States Title is in store. He’d be a terrific choice to defend weekly (if they were to implement that suggested change). I might even suggest he bring Drew McIntyre back into the picture as a tag partner.
With Damian Sandow vying for the World Title Money in the Bank contract last month, he included himself into respectable company without any important wins. I see WWE rushing Sandow into a midcard title position sooner rather than later. I expect him to win a couple of matches over Brodus clay, and maybe unseat Santino. That is, unless someone else does it first.
Someone like Antonio Cesaro. I’m not sure where this is going, but it would seem senseless to have Cesaro defeat the US champion several times on TV, only to have him lose in a title shot. I know that’s been done before, but it’s different when the champion has worn out his welcome as champion, and WWE are looking for new names at the top of the talent pool. Then again, Cesaro isn’t really doing anything special as the former rugby player. I enjoy the former Claudio Castagnoli, but he’s not shown the potential I’ve seen from him in ROH.
Sin Cara was involved with then #1 contender to the World Title Alberto Del Rio before Money in the Bank. So even in a losing effort, he’s made a splash for a potential midcard title reign. If this guy is still a pet project of HHH’s, it’ll only make sense to see him hold the Intercontinental championship. Needs a program though. Then again, I think I could name 15 midcarders who need the same fucking thing. The recent victory over Cody Rhodes could lead into something between the two, but I doubt WWE give these 2 anything worth while to work with without a title involved.
And on that note, peace out.
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