Every WWE Woman On The Smackdown And Raw Rosters, Ranked Before Evolution
WWE Evolution will air on the WWE Network on Sunday, October 28. It is the first all-women's pay-per-view in the company's history--an event that took years of incremental steps to finally happen. Hopefully, it's a rousing success viewerwise, so WWE will know there's an existing audience for these sorts of events.
In recognition of this latest benchmark in the Women's Evolution, here are the 27 women on the main roster who are pushing the envelope further, one match at a time. We ranked them in order from worst to best, based upon their skills, their accolades, and their potential moving forward.
Check out the match card for the WWE Evolution PPV. And check in on Sunday, October 28, when we'll be covering the event in full with live updates.
27. Dana Brooke
Because she was Emma's backup muscle, Dana Brooke was brought up from NXT much too soon--an unfortunate mismanagement of a promising talent. Brooke needs to go back down to the Performance Center and get a hard reboot because her career isn't working out the way it should.
Lana was an incredibly gifted manager who traded that in to become a below average wrestler.
Physically imposing and dominant, Tamina has never been able to transition out of her "enforcer" role into something more substantive. She's the silent type--a woman of few words--but in a business filled of trash talkers, that can hold a person back.
24. Brie Bella
Brie has struggled with her ring work since returning to the squared circle. She's better off in her current role--cheering on sister Nikki from ringside--until she can shake off the ring rust.
23. Billie Kay
There are two IIconics, but Billie Kay is certainly the supporting role in her duo. She works well in that regard, but she needs to define herself better if she ever wants to be a breakout solo performer.
22. Liv Morgan
Morgan is currently booked as the weakest member of the Riott Squad; Ruby is the leader, and Morgan often piggybacks on Sarah Logan to get to ringside. Yes, it's a cute gimmick. But no, it doesn't do her long-term prospects any favors.
21. Alicia Fox
One of the longest tenured performers in the company, Foxy knows her role--to enhance everyone else on the roster. She loses, but she looks really good doing it, and she always does it in a way that makes her opponent look dominant.
20. Zelina Vega
The manager of Andrade "Cien" Almas, Vega is a great talker, but she's fought in the ring sparingly--always with Almas and not on her own. There's not enough of a body of work to judge her quite yet, but her charisma gives her promising start.
19. Sarah Logan
When all is said and done, Logan might be the breakout star of the Riott Squad. She's built like a tank, and she had a standout performance at the first women's Royal Rumble. Her whole aura--as a country backwoods girl who loves to whup ass--is unique to the roster and sets her apart.
18. Mickie James
The veteran is still going strong, and is debatably a better worker now than she was during her first run. Her match against Asuka at NXT Takeover: Toronto, remains her best showing since her return. Hopefully, she'll have the chance at a featured storyline in the next six months.
One of the last graduates of the famous Hart family Dungeon, Natalya is impeccably consistent. She's a solid hand in the ring, and though she may never get the multiple title reigns of her counterparts, she is a vital mentor and wealth of knowledge to the other women. You can thank Natalya that Rousey is as good as she is; she trained the former UFC women's champion in secret for months before her in-ring debut at Wrestlemania 34.
Carmella wasn't quite ready to be Smackdown women's champion when she cashed in her Money in the Bank briefcase. But she did manage to piss off everyone in the audience during her reign; she's a great heel character, even if she isn't as great of a wrestler. Carmella is currently involved in an entertaining mixed tag run with R-Truth. A little more in-ring polish, and she'll be good to go.
15. Ruby Riott
Ruby Riott's greatest ability is to make everything look like it hurts--she sells like no one's business, and she seems to have power behind every one of her shots. She has an alternative tattooed look that may have hurt her in the prior Divas era, but hopefully, the writers can see past that and give her a chance.
14. Mandy Rose
WWE has tried to give the "throwback diva gimmick" to multiple wrestlers, but it's never worked out the way they wanted it to. They tried it with Eva Marie. They tried it with Lana. They tried it with "Emmalina" (remember that?). But with Mandy Rose, the company may have finally struck gold. She's has a great presence and solid skills; she's just biding her time, since the roster is so crowded.
13. Peyton Royce
The breakout star of the IIconics, Peyton Royce has fundamental chain wrestling skills that run contradictory to the way she's booked. If WWE ever lets her progress beyond the petty, mean girl schtick she's currently running, Royce could be a massive star. Again, though, it's crowded at the top. She may need to wait awhile longer for her shot. But it's coming, eventually.
Sometimes, the biggest stars have odd beginnings. Trish Stratus started out as a valet for Test and Albert. And Naomi started as a backup dancer "Funkadactyl" for Brodus Clay. Fast forward almost seven years later, and Naomi is a two-time Smackdown women's champion (the first African-American woman to hold the title). She's has an array of athletic, high-impact moves and one of the best entrances in all of WWE, man or woman. Feel the Glow.
11. Nia Jax
Like many other promising NXT prospects, Nia Jax was given too much, too soon when she moved up to the main roster. But unlike many others, she rose to the occasion, and captured the Raw women's title at Wrestlemania 34. Jax continues to improve, and she works really well with smaller competitors who apply ring psychology, and target her limbs to cut her down to size.
10. Nikki Bella
The longest reigning Divas champion in history has adjusted to the increasing demands of the Women's Evolution, training herself from a passable talent to a legitimately good one; see her match against Charlotte Flair at Night of Champions (2015) for proof.
A serious neck injury nearly ended her career, but she's back on track now. Expect Nikki to put up a decent fight against Ronda Rousey at WWE Evolution.
The lovable, huggable Bayley has been spinning wheels for the better part of a year. She was an NXT women's champion who was one half of the greatest WWE women's match of all time (Sasha Banks vs. Bayley at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn). She was a Raw women's champion who successfully defended her title at Wrestlemania 33. But now, she's stuck in an aimless "are they friends or aren't they?" feud with Sasha Banks.
WWE fans know exactly how much Bayley is capable of, if she were given the chance. Whenever she finally taps into the bad girl underneath the good girl persona, watch out.
8. Sonya Deville
Yes, this is an abnormally high placement on a roster with so many former world champions. But Sonya Deville has "it," whatever "it" is that makes a future world champion. She has an MMA background, and it shows; when she bounces on her toes, she has the look and presence of a panther, ready to pounce and kill.
Deville is losing more than she's winning these days; no one said that paying dues was easy or fun. But the potential to go much further is there, should WWE take a risk and decide to pull the trigger.
7. Ember Moon
A great look (those red eyes!), a great attitude (a love for Game of Thrones and nerdy culture), and sharp skills (the Eclipse finisher is sick). What's not to like? Ember Moon is a former NXT Women's Champion, and before Charlotte beat Asuka at Wrestlemania, Moon had come the closest to defeating the Empress of Tomorrow. She put on an instant classic with Asuka at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III.
And although Moon has never clinched a main roster title, she's been well-protected since moving up; she's only lost two singles matches since her Raw debut. It won't be long before she gets a shot at the big time.
6. Alexa Bliss
Little Miss Bliss is smaller than every other competitor, but she's more clever and cruel. She plays mind games to throw her opponents off her scent, and she uses her opponents' strengths against them; when someone charges at her, she'd much rather get out of the way and have the opponent crash into the ring post, rather than counter it head-on.
Still, there's a limit to what cleverness can get you in WWE. And Rousey might be the personification of that limit.
5. Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks is currently working as a babyface. And although she's decent at it, she is uncommonly good at playing a villain. It's not so much her mic skills; it's her body language, and the way she struts, smirks, and takes pleasure in her opponent's pain.
Banks recently returned to in-ring action, after a brief hiatus due to a back injury. Maybe once Rousey is done dismantling the Bellas, Banks can can turn heel and have her shot at the Baddest Woman on the Planet.
It hurts to say, but Asuka hasn't been the same since her loss to Charlotte at Wrestlemania 34. Since then, she's failed to recapture the Smackdown women's title from Carmella, and she's currently involved in a buddy/buddy storyline with Naomi, in which they bond over not being able to understand each other.
Asuka will always be a dangerous threat, because she's Asuka after all. And it's great that they're giving the rest of the women's roster a chance to shine. But even so, it's been awhile since Asuka has been legitimately scary. We're looking forward to when that'll happen again.
3. Ronda Rousey
Has there ever been a wrestler with a debut as incredible as Ronda Rousey? She managed, along with Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and Kurt Angle, to put on the best match of Wrestlemania 34. It's moments like this that you remember: Rousey is an Olympic medalist, and she belongs to the 1% of the 1% of athletes on this planet. It would take someone that talented to pick the business up so quickly.
The only reason she's not at the top of this list is because she's still relatively unproven; she's fought less than 30 matches since her April debut. But the future looks bright.
2. Charlotte Flair
The Queen is recently deposed, but it's only temporary; WWE has invested too much time and effort into Charlotte Flair to turn back now.
She is the most decorated woman on the current roster, with seven world title reigns to her name. She's defeated everyone on the roster aside from Ronda Rousey, and even handed Asuka her first WWE loss. But she's not the current MVP of the women's division. That honor goes to someone a little more unexpected.
1. Becky Lynch
For years, Becky Lynch was one of the purest babyfaces in the women's division. And as a result, she got stepped on by everyone, especially Charlotte, who used her to get what she wanted but wouldn't hesitate to backstab her if it meant winning the title. And after awhile, it became a typical story: Becky tries hard. Becky falls short. And repeat. It's a testament to the woman's charisma that the fans kept cheering her, regardless.
When Becky finally turned heel and attacked Charlotte this past September, the Brooklyn crowd roared its approval. FINALLY. After years of being a treated like a doormat and a lackey, Becky was getting some of her own back. And WWE, rather than fighting it, decided to roll with it and turned Becky into a tweener--a take-no-crap asskicker in the mold of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. They also had Becky beat Charlotte clean at Hell in a Cell to capture the Smackdown women's championship. Becky, for her part, seems to be relishing her newfound dark side.
We know the pendulum will eventually swing the other way, and Charlotte will be the de facto champion for years to come. But until then, this is exciting, uncharted territory. Currently, Becky Lynch is the top woman in WWE, and we cannot wait to see what she does next with her brand new spotlight.