Wrestling fans love to debate: “Who’s the best in the WWE?” Lucky for you this article will go over the top 30 best wrestlers in the company! This list will focus only on wrestlers, so managers and commentators will not be included. The criteria is pretty simple: strengths, weaknesses, 2015 achievements, and potential. Only wrestlers that have appeared on TV in 2015 will be considered. Finally, official tag teams were not split up as WWE’s roster was already big enough nearing 70 people.
Getting down from 70 starts out fairly easily by weeding out people like Curtis Axel, Adam Rose, Jack Swagger, Cameron, and Los Matadores; it does, however, get increasingly difficult. Just missing the cut are wrestlers like Natalya; while she is a veteran presence, fans tend to find it difficult to connect with her. Her matches are solid, but uninspiring most of the time. The Dudley Boys also just missed the cut as they recently returned and more time is needed to see how this run goes for those destroyers of tables.
30. Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan would obviously be much higher on this list if a pile of injuries didn’t keep him off the job. Between concussions and neck problems, WWE has let Bryan sit on the sidelines until he is absolutely 100%. Initially, he was going to run with the Intercontinental title and do what Cena did for the U.S. title, but that didn’t come to fruition. Still one of the best in the ring, hopefully fans will get a chance to see him again in 2016.
29. Tyson Kidd
Although it was kind of swept under the rug, Tyson Kidd had a life threatening injury this year during a match with Samoa Joe. Forget not being able to walk, according to Kidd himself, he had a 5% to live! It was unfortunate timing as he and Cesaro were putting on some incredible matches in the tag team division. A highly underrated talent that found his personality in NXT, he would be ranked much higher if not for being in a holding pattern on the sidelines.
28. Damien Sandow
Remember when Sandow was The Miz’s stunt double and was one of the most over acts in the entire company? Yeah, now he’s not even on TV anymore after being put in some terrible Mega Powers remake, with Sandow playing the part of the “Macho Man”. While his in-ring skills are somewhat average, he’s a top notch entertainer and fantastic on the mic. WWE really dropped the ball with him post-Miz feud; hopefully he’s back on TV in the near future.
As one of the recent call-ups from NXT, Charlotte has become a focal point for the “Divas Revolution” storyline. She has plenty of potential, the look, and pedigree being Ric Flair’s daughter. It’s fair to say she’s a bit overrated with her robotic in-ring skills while coming off as incredibly awkward during her promos and generic mannerisms. WWE is giving her the ball over Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, which is a questionable call.
26. The Usos
Once stale champions, not much for storytelling, and promos that always make you scratch your head – so why are they even on the list? They are studs in the ring and always bring the crowds to their feet. Jey has been out for months dealing with a shoulder injury, but their feud with the Wyatt Family – mainly in the ring – was extremely well done. These high-flyers should be back to the ring in about a month or so.
25. Bo Dallas
One of WWE’s better comedic acts, Bo initially had a winning streak of 17 to his name, but once he lost to R-Truth – of all people – things went downhill. For the most part he comes out now at random times to help motivate others and usually gets his butt handed to him for his efforts. Now, he may be getting repackaged so we’re not sure what his future holds; if worse comes to worst, he can just join up with his real-life brother, Bray Wyatt.
24. Lucha Dragons
These guys are similar to The Usos in that they don’t really do promos, but are all about the high spots. The reason they are ranked higher is mostly because of Kalisto. His flipping abilities are out of this world and will probably land them the tag titles at some point down the road. He’s able to do a no-handed front flip into the ropes that looks almost impossible.
23. Alicia Fox
Amazingly, she signed with the WWE way back in 2006 and is still going strong. Currently teaming with Brie and Nikki Bella, Alicia has always been one of the more underrated performers in the company. Her promos abilities have never been good – they’ve actually been downright horrible – but in the ring, it’s a different story. Her Northern Lights Suplex is one of the prettiest moves around and she’s always been a terrific seller, making her opponents look top notch.
The former NXT Champion finally made his way to the main roster in 2015 and has been pushed as basically a superhero thanks to his muscular physique and high-flying abilities. Not one to be shy about taking risks, Neville has been able to build a fan base with basically just his matches. Aside from his good vs. evil storyline against Stardust, he hasn’t been showcased too much yet. It will be interesting to see if WWE ever plans to put a secondary title on him.
A once stale face, Sheamus finally returned earlier in 2015 as a heel, new hair cut and all. As the Money in the Bank winner, his feuds have been pretty boring, but his matches tend to deliver thanks to his hoss style (see matches against Cesaro). Incredibly comfortable on the mic, Sheamus is looking to get in the main event scene in the very near future.
20. The Undertaker
An argument can be made that The Undertaker shouldn’t even be on his list as he only shows up once or twice a year, but his presence can’t be denied. When “The Deadman” arrives, it usually makes a big impact on the entire show. He took getting into shape seriously for his previous two matches against Brock Lesnar and Bray Wyatt. At 50 years old, The Undertaker can still deal and take the punishment that’s dealt inside the squared circle.
19. Nikki Bella
Putting Nikki Bella ahead of The Undertaker just feels wrong, but she’s had an incredibly successful run as Divas champion. She’s improved immensely, in particular in the ring with more of a lady hoss style of fighting and a devastating forearm that lays out opponents. Her promos have always been shaky, but she plays a heel “mean girl” extremely well. We’re looking forward to how she performs in the role of a challenger.
18. Dolph Ziggler
An unfortunate victim of up and down booking by WWE, there are days where he could become WWE champion and others where he looks like a complete jobber. His offensive moveset has always been pretty weak, but he’s one of the best sellers in the company. Our generation’s Mr. Perfect is probably the most succinct way to describe “The Showoff”. Currently tied to Lana, Dolph should find his way back into a secondary title picture down the road.
17. Randy Orton
Although he is very bland as a good guy, Randy Orton is still one of –if not the – smoothest wrestlers in the company. “The Viper” has done so much over the years it’s tough to get excited about his feuds even though the bigger matches are worth watching. Word is he’s looking to take on a part-time schedule which might benefit him to come back into fresh feuds as new people are called up to the main roster.
16. The Miz
In 2015, he went from “The heel that everyone truly hates” to “the heel that everyone loves to hate” thanks mostly to his storyline with stunt-double Mizdow. After returning from making another terrible movie, he’s been the lone bright spot in the Ryback/Big Show feud. A solid hand in the ring, Miz excels with excellent skills on the mic, in particular when he hosts his own show “Miz TV”. Miz probably won’t ever find himself in the main event scene again, but he’s a perfect player in the mid-card.
Paige exploded on the scene thanks to her feud with AJ Lee and hasn’t really let up since. A fantastic worker that’s not afraid to brawl with anyone, Paige has put together some fine matches with AJ and Nikki Bella. Although her catchphrase “this is my house” is becoming as bad as “Brie mode”, Paige has no troubles cutting a promo on any woman in the division. With Sasha, Becky, and Charlotte on the main roster, she can get back to putting on quality matches every single show.
Before throwing fish at women, Rusev was dominating the WWE as the U.S. champion, never losing on TV until he ran up against John Cena. He’s become much more consistent in the ring these days and has had solid matches against Cesaro, Kevin Owens, John Cena, and Big E. Rusev could have been a huge star, but since losing Lana, his arrow is trending downward. If you need a comparison to another wrestler’s career, just think Umaga.
13. Luke Harper
Tough to say Harper is the most underrated wrestler in the WWE, but he’s for sure in the top 3. At 6’5”, 275 lbs. Harper has insane agility and looks like a cruiserweight in the ring with his array of kicks and suicide dives. Sitting behind Bray Wyatt, his talking is kept to a minimum, but when he is allowed to say more than a few words, he’s quite impressive. Unfortunately, WWE doesn’t see him as much more than a tag/stable level wrestler.
Another equally underrated wrestler is Stardust, formerly known as Cody Rhodes. Not only did he completely transform his look, but he also changed his voice and even many of his moves in the ring: now that’s talent. He is criminally underrated on the microphone and put out one of the finest promos that nobody saw earlier this year. Currently stuck in the mid-card, if “Cody” ever returns, his skills should get him a chance at the top.
11. Roman Reigns
Reigns has that “it” potential that WWE is just waiting to push to the next level. Fans still have trouble accepting him, but the guy is a big time player. Earlier in 2015, he had top PPV matches against Bryan, Lesnar, and even Big Show! It’s true, he could become Cena 2.0, but if they ever decided to turn him heel, that will be just as entertaining.
10. Bray Wyatt
One of the few wrestlers that is able to write his own promos, Bray has always been masterful on the mic. His main problem is not getting a solid push towards the WWE title. There’s no doubt he would make for a great champion, but has yet to receive that chance. His in-ring work tends to depend on his opponent; sometimes his matches come off weird, while other times they are can’t miss. He also has one of the best entrances in the WWE, fireflies and all.
9. Becky Lynch
Becky Lynch absolutely pops off the screen when she comes on TV; between her mannerisms and orange-red hair, it’s tough not to pay attention. She’s a well traveled wrestler that has no trouble working with anyone on the roster. Her “steampunk” gimmick is a bit strange, but she’s a very likeable face and with her flawless wrestling skills she will no doubt be champion in the future. She also has the best looking arms and shoulders among all the women.
8. Dean Ambrose
In terms of poor booking, he’s basically Bray Wyatt, but a good guy. Earlier in the year, he was the most popular wrestler getting massive pops from the crowd. Thanks to a string of PPV loses it was tough to build credibility towards the main event scene for Ambrose. His “crazy” gimmick has become a bit cliché, but maybe a heel turn would help with that. Ambrose is an elite talent when it comes to cutting promos and facial expressions.
7. Seth Rollins
One of the few legit heels in the company, Seth Rollins has held the WWE title for almost half the year. At this point he’s one of the few wrestlers who have “can’t miss” status attached to their matches. Unfortunately, he’s been booked as a cowardly champion which causes his matches to have some unsatisfying endings. He tends to talk for way too long during promos, although he’s much improved since his days in The Shield.
If you haven’t noticed by now, underrated wrestlers tend to get boosted up in this list. Cesaro will most likely never win the WWE title, and that’s a shame considering how awesome he is in the ring. Fans love the guy, but WWE’s higher-ups just don’t seem him getting past the upper mid-card. He may not light the world on fire with his words, but less is more with Cesaro and he looks damn good in a suit. If only the Four Horseman were remade in the WWE; Cesaro would defintely be one of them.
5. New Day
Had this list been written at the beginning of the year, The New Day wouldn’t have made the cut. That shows just how much they’ve improved in such a short period of time. Aside from becoming 2-time tag champions, they have become one of the most entertaining acts with clapping, “power of positivity”, and even playing the trombone on their way to the ring. Their trolling antics know no limits and Xavier Woods has become the best ringside attraction with his nonstop chatter.
4. Kevin Owens
Thanks to Sami Zayn going down due to injury, Owens was given his spot and didn’t waste the chance. His matches with Cena are for sure “Match of the Year” contenders that had all the emotion, high spots, and intrigue a quality match should include. As a legit heel, his attention to detail is ridiculous; the man just simply gets pro wrestling. All of this goes without even mentioning how cerebral he is with interviews or jawing at the live crowd.
3. Sasha Banks
When was the last time a wrestler in WWE’s woman division put on not one, but two “Match of the Year” contenders? Forget just in 2015, Sasha’s match against Bayley is quite possibly the best women’s match ever in WWE, and up there as one of the greatest, period! Sasha has a well thought-out gimmick, is a solid worker in the ring, good on the mic, and even has plenty of merchandise that WWE loves to sell! Honestly, she could be #1 on this list, but at only 23, she has plenty of time to get there.
2. Brock Lesnar
Being part-time is definitely a big knock against “The Beast”, but whenever he shows up, people pay attention. Not just wrestling fans, but casual and even non-fans like Brock Lesnar. He’s one of the few wrestlers that have cross-over mainstream appeal to the point where he can get interviews on ESPN. Never one to phone in his matches, they are always intense and worth watching. His biggest weakness is talking on a live mic, but having Paul Heyman completely nullifies that problem.
1. John Cena
Put down your torches, Cena is worthy of this #1 spot; if you think otherwise you haven’t been watching close enough. The biggest thing that puts him over Lesnar and Sasha is how consistently great his matches have been over the entire year. Thanks to the “U.S. Open Challenge” Cena went out on Raw every week putting on the best match of the night. The list of quality matches in 2015 is long: Rollins/Lesnar, Stardust, Sami Zayn, Neville, Cesaro, Kevin Owens, and Rusev. Don’t be surprised at the end of the year when Cena wins multiple “Wrestler of the Year” awards. At 38, Cena shows no signs of slowing down.