6. Wrestling has been getting me kinda down lately. It seems like I don’t have time to watch the stuff I really want to watch, and instead get stuck watching WWE just because it’s the most convenient. In an effort to bring some positivity to my viewing habits, I’m going to list a Top Ten performers on Raw and Smackdown right now. Even if the rest of the show sucks, these guys will at least make me pay attention.
10. Braun Strowman: I can’t help it. Deep down, don’t all of us love watching big dudes beat the crap out of little dudes? His performance this week on Raw really got him a spot on this list. His little backstage vignette with Jericho made me chuckle, and his utter dismal of Sami Zayn was perfect. There’s issues going forward, but if he can have a good match with Zayn, he might move higher up the list.
9. Heath Slater: He’s got kids! Easily the most entertaining Slater has been in years. Slater has always been an under the radar guy, who can kill 10 minutes and be inoffensively entertaining. The brand split has been kind of him, and being in a featured role on Smackdown has been a treat to watch.
8. The Uso’s: The Uso’s were growing stale as a tag team at around the time the Shield broke up. Think about that for a minute. It’s been what, two years, and the Uso’s have been the same the entire time. A heel turn was the best thing to freshen them up, and American Alpha’s are a great team to oppose them. I hope the Uso’s keep their new attitudes for a while.
7. Sheamus: Sheamus gets a bad rap, but it’s been years since he was actually a bad wrestler. He has improved so much that it just doesn’t get noticed, which is weird to me. He’s a great brawler, and works so much better as a heel bruiser then as a babyface. His series of matches with Cesaro were all very good, and he finally has someone who really compliments him in the ring.
6. Cesaro: Cesaro ranks higher then Sheamus because, well, because Cesaro is a better wrestler. He’s been rejuvenated this year since returning after WrestleMania, and seems to have found a character that works for Raw. He remains the fantastic wrestler he was before his injury. I think the rest of this year has big things in store for Cesaro.
5. The New Day: These guys remain the brightest spot on Raw. In what is usually a three slog, the New Day provide some fun in every segment, no matter the situation. It’s like a fresh breeze when these guys come on. Some day, perhaps soon, this group will lose the tag titles, and Big E is going to be a big star.
4. Becky Lynch: I have no scientific measurements to back this up, but Becky might be getting louder cheers then anyone else right now. While the women on Raw are “making history,” as we are reminded over and over again, Becky is taking the Smackdown brand on her shoulders. She cuts a fiery promo, and her in ring skills are obviously exceptional. As the only Horsewoman on Smackdown, she’s got heavy expectations, and she is living up to them.
3. Chris Jericho: I don’t even have enough words to compliment Jericho. He had a rough start this year, with a feud against AJ Styles that felt like he was struggling to stay relevant. His heel turn helped so much in that. And now he has The List, and is probably the most popular person on Raw. While that’s sad in it’s own way, there’s no denying Jericho is entertaining.
2. The Miz: There is no better heel right now then The Miz. He gets more heat then anyone else on the roster. I’m disappointed he didn’t keep the Intercontinental Title, but whatever he’s doing or whoever he’s fighting, you know he’s going to be the douchebaggiest person around. Having his hot wife around only makes everyone want to hit him more. He’s been brilliant this year.
1. AJ Styles: But no one has had a better year then AJ Styles. Starting with his awesome match against Nakamura at WrestleKingdom, debuting at the Royal Rumble, fighting Jericho at WrestleMania, giving Roman Reigns two of the best matches of his career, beating John Cena at Summerslam, then finally winning the WWE Championship. AJ Styles is WWE Champion. That still feels incredible to say outloud. No one is having better matches at a more consistent pace than AJ Styles. The one knock against AJ has always been that he’s not a great character, but he’s taken to the WWE’s more character driven product like a natural, and is a way better heel then I figured he would be. AJ is easily the best thing going in WWE right now.