The 2019 WWE Top 25: August
We are a bit late to the party here, but the WWE Top 25 does not stop. It only… goes on a slight hiatus while I try to figure a lot of things out. Anyways, we’re eight months through the year. A lot has played out differently from what I expected this year, although some superstars who are near the top come as no surprise to anyone. Before we get started, let’s take a look at what went down in the month of August only.
THE AUGUST TOP 25
1. Buddy Murphy (27.5)
2. Oney Lorcan (20.0)
3. Seth Rollins (18.875)
4. Big E (17.5)
5. Nikki Cross (16.5)
6. Andrade (16.25)
T7. James Drake, Mark Andrews (15.375)
T9. Ariya Daivari, Ricochet (15.25)
T11. Flash Morgan Webster, Mark Coffey (15.125)
T13. Tyler Bate, WALTER (15.0)
T15. AJ Styles, Humberto Carrillo (14.75)
17. Kalisto (14.5)
18. Xavier Woods (14.0)
19. Alexa Bliss (13.5)
T20. Daniel Bryan, Dash Wilder, Scott Dawson (13.0)
23. Roman Reigns (12.75)
24. Rey Mysterio (12.5)
T25. Brock Lesnar, Wolfgang, Zack Gibson (11.875)
After a torrid month of August, Buddy Murphy stands out amongst the pack. Not only get an opportunity, but he made the absolute most of them. He earned ****1/2 three consecutive weeks, which gave him 27 points in just three weeks of action. The lone 0.5 came from his abbreviated SummerSlam match with Apollo Crews, but even that wasn’t “bad.” It was just shortened. The hope from here on out is that he keeps getting chances, because with turnouts like this, he could make a very strong and late run towards the cumulative WWE Top 25.
Nikki Cross’ breakout year continued in August, as she was able to net enough points to earn sole possession of fifth place. In the last three months, she finished as the second-highest ranked woman in the company in June and has been the top-ranked woman in July and August. Amongst a slew of things to feel good about in terms of 2019 WWE, Nikki Cross basking in the glow of her opportunities is near the top.
Speaking of the women… let’s check in on them, shall we?
THE WOMEN’S TOP 25
1. Bayley (93.25)
2. Nikki Cross (72.25)
3. Becky Lynch (69.5)
4. Alexa Bliss (52)
5. Charlotte Flair (45.25)
6. Io Shirai (42.25)
7. Mandy Rose (38.25)
8. Sasha Banks (37.5)
9. Bianca Belair (37.0)
T10. Asuka, Natalya (35.5)
12. Peyton Royce (34.5)
T13. Lacey Evans, Shayna Baszler (32.25)
15. Kairi Sane (31.0)
16. Carmella (30.0)
17. Nia Jax (29.25)
18. Sonya Deville (29.0)
19. Ember Moon (27.75)
T20. Billie Kay, Naomi, Ronda Rousey (25.5)
23. Toni Storm (25.25)
24. Mia Yim (22.0)
25. Candice LeRae (21.75)
There’s no real surprise at the top here, as Bayley has maintained her workhorse status and has accumulated more points than anybody. I didn’t expect a match between her and Lacey Evans to shine over the match between her and Ember Moon at SummerSlam. But that happened! In fact, it was significantly better than it. Who knew such a thing could happen? I certainly didn’t. Bayley will remain at the top as long as she has a high number of matches over everyone else. From the looks of it… that’s not changing.
Someone finally caught Becky Lynch, however. That someone was Nikki Cross. I’d just talked about it before, and it honestly felt inevitable. Especially considering that Nikki’s worked more on TV than Becky has, and I think her TV matches have all been stronger than Lynch’s as well. It’s only a slight difference and I’d expect the two to be trading blows from here on out. But this could be a fun race for second place for a little while.
Alexa Bliss has a pretty firm hold on 4th place right now. With a seven-point difference between her and Charlotte Flair, it would likely take a couple absences from TV for Charlotte to pass her. That is of course unless Charlotte goes into high gear for bigger matches. Which… isn’t exactly unheard of. The two are separated by just one match right now going into September — Bliss with 20, Flair with 19 — so this will actually be pretty interesting. I think Alexa has been on a good pace this year but is without any “elite” matches. And it’s no real slight to her or Nikki, but unless they get to work with the newly reunited Boss and Hug Connection or Becky and Charlotte, that will probably remain the case as long as they’re in the tag division. Still, Alexa’s having a very solid year. Whether people want to admit it or not.
After Io Shirai at 6th and Bianca Belair at 9th, the rest of this… is filled with some disappointment on my end. I can’t really lie. Sasha Banks worked one match in the month of August… and she shot back into the Top 10. That should probably tell you everything about the competition when you remove yourself from the Top 6 in these rankings.
I expected a lot more from Ember Moon at SummerSlam with her match with Bayley. Turns out… that didn’t happen. I expected MUCH more in the match between Mia Yim and Shayna Baszler… and could not have been more disappointed. It is not like some of these ladies don’t have high match numbers either. Certainly, some could get the ball rolling a bit more. But the field has been pretty weak this year.
I’m not sure whether it’s an ability thing, or whether it’s the fact that WWE TV women’s matches were one of the biggest victims of the Wild Card Era or… you know what, let’s go with that one. Sounds good.
Anyways, let’s dive into the WWE Top 25.
THE WWE TOP 25 (THRU AUGUST)
25. Xavier Woods
Woods’ strong 2019 continued after a very solid month of August. He was able to just edge Ali and his tag team partner Big E for this 25th spot, and it is certainly richly deserved. I think that for a long time, Woods was an underrated worker. He still might be in many fans’ eyes, but in my opinion he’s doing things extremely well right now.
24. Nikki Cross
As it’s already been discussed, Nikki Cross’ development in 2019 is one of the best stories going. She’s now the second-highest ranked woman on the roster in the WWE Top 25, and has inserted herself back into the Top 25 as a result of her great month of August. I expect this trend to continue, as she could see herself ascend even higher if she’s lucky.
23. Matt Riddle
Being left off of TakeOver probably hurt Matt Riddle in terms of ascension here. But he still has the fewest matches (13) of anyone in the Top 25. His Points/Match (5.57) is still the highest of anyone in the company, so it’s definitely arguable to say that he’s been one of if not the best workers in the company this year, positioning be damned.
22. Jimmy Uso
21. Jey Uso
The Usos haven’t seen the light of TV in a minute or three, but they still were able to stay in the mix despite some strong competition on their heels. Their absence from TV in September so far might see them go out of the Top 25, but time will tell to see if that goes down.
T19. Johnny Gargano, Rey Mysterio
Johnny Gargano might be a little higher here if I rated his TakeOver match as high as some. But… ****1/2 was good enough for me, and I am pretty sure I don’t need to see him and Adam Cole face off with each other ever again. Rey Mysterio, meanwhile, fell a bit more after being somewhat quiet in August. But his September could be a bit more active. We’ll see.
18. Baron Corbin
Corbin didn’t work too much in the month of August. In fact, the former constable worked just one match against The Miz as part of the King of the Ring tournament. That match was pretty good, in all fairness, so he was able to boost his cause and stay in the mix. Now when it comes to the remaining matches in September… well, those have been pretty good too. So expect a rise from Corbin here going forward.
17. Drew Gulak
The Cruiserweight Champ gained nearly 12 points in the month of August, keeping him right here at 17th this month. Gulak just missed out on the August Top 25, but his previous workload allowed for him to maintain his overall Top 25 status. Given his tremendous skill set, I don’t foresee a change there at all.
16. Bobby Lashley
Due to injury, Bobby Lashley wasn’t able to compete in August. But with that said, his work in the previous months allowed for him to sit here at 16th. He’ll be out of action for a little while longer, so expect him to keep sliding on down.
15. AJ Styles
AJ might not be able to hit that next level, but he’s still a very talented worker and showed off why this past month. He was not only 15th in the month of August, but also now sits 15th in the overall rankings. While he isn’t in King of the Ring, as the United States Champion he’ll be able to get some time each week to improve his status. And if he’s working younger, athletic guys like he is now, then he might very well see a jump in the near future.
14. Dash Wilder
13. Scott Dawson
The Revival remain the highest-ranked tag team in the company right now. They competed enough this past month to keep them in the mix here, five times in the month in fact. So they were certainly able to make noise. There might be some that think they’re getting the short end of the stick to some degree, but they still make the most of what they’re given.
12. Oney Lorcan
Oney’s awesome 2019 continued on after a strong, strong month of August. His 20 points gained in August were second behind only Buddy Murphy for the month, and it continues a very successful summer for him. He’s gained 57 points since June, which has nearly put him in the Top 10. After September is through, he could very well be in the Top 10, which is really a terrific thing for the Boston native.
11. Finn Bálor
Finn worked only one match in the month of August… and he lost to The Fiend in a match I couldn’t really even rate. His upcoming absence will put a slight damper on things as far as his standing here, but hey, he’s worked a lot lately and he deserves time off. See you when we see you, Finn.
The workhorse of the women’s division in 2019, Bayley is still in the Top 10 after eight months have gone by. No one in the division has worked as many matches as she has and barring something catastrophic, she likely will not be caught in that department either. She continues to excel and show off why she’s one of the best in-ring talents in the game today.
While we still might be waiting for the one day that Andrade really shows us what he’s capable of, the truth is he’s still one of the best int he game and August was yet another good month for him. His 16.25 points shot him up to 95.875 on the year, so he’s getting very close to the 100-point threshold that a few others have already gotten to. It will likely get increasingly hard to deny him of his spot, and when that day comes we’ll all be better for it.
Cesaro has been strutting his stuff all year and after another strong point, he’s just two points off the 100-point threshold. I would actually really enjoy it if he went to NXT UK for a couple months, and if he happens to be someone who goes down to NXT when it moves to USA, I wouldn’t mind that either. Cesaro is in a spot where he can have a good match with anybody and can really be a nice set piece for someone who’s trying to establish themselves in the business. He doesn’t have to be World Champion in my opinion. He’s just that damn good in his own right.
7. Samoa Joe
I have no idea how Samoa Joe is still able to do it, but Samoa Joe is still able to do it. Joe is 0.5 points off the 100-point threshold with eight months in the book. He’s just having a fantastic year despite his obvious limitations. That has continued in the KOTR tournament, and you should expect him to jump up in terms of the point department. It’s actually pretty crazy all things considered, but Joe just rules.
6. Aleister Black
DID YOU KNOW: Aleister Black has 27 matches through August, which ranks 13th amongst all WWE superstars, tying him with Andrade and Humberto Carrillo? He’s very close to the 30-match threshold despite not working a lot on TV. Keep that in mind before you get too funky with critiquing how they’ve handled him.
5. Drew McIntyre
Drew Mac had an AWESOME month of August. Especially in the back half, and it was enough for him to cross the 100-point threshold and get up to 5th in the rankings. Whatever you think of his character, he looked fantastic in the ring on TV. So much so that he just kept putting on banger after banger. I was actually a little disappointed to eventually see him go from the KOTR tournament in fact!
4. Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins might get panned a bit by the Internet, but he really impressed in August. His standout match with Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam was arguably the second-best main roster match of the year (because nothing, in my opinion, is going to top Bryan-Kofi for many reasons) and was a fantastic display for him. I’m not sure what’s to come for him in this program with Braun Strowman. But Rollins has done little wrong this year, in my opinion. That might not be so common… but he’s good, y’all.
3. Daniel Bryan
Speaking of good… Daniel Bryan? Yeah, he’s good. Bryan didn’t work much at all in August, but he was able to grab Top 3 status for this month. His match with Buddy Murphy on SmackDown was one of the best TV matches of the year (although I think the match with Roman was better) and he just continues to show why he’s so highly regarded in every which way. What else is there to say about him really?
2. Kofi Kingston
Kofi’s torrid 2019 continued on, and he’s still got a hearty lead over the rest of the bunch. As a result, Kingston once again sits 2nd in the WWE Top 25. Talk about things you’d never expect to see right? It’s so great that he’s getting this much shine and is making the absolute most of this WWE Championship run. Whenever it ends, it’s going to be one for the books. I will tell you that much.
I mean… what can you REALLY say? Ricochet’s worked more matches than anybody, and his next level has been better than practically everyone else’s next level this year. I’m wondering when some are gonna hit 100 points… and Ricochet’s getting closer to hitting 200 points. This year has been absurd for him and he’s just so good.