The 2019 WWE Top 25: July
Seven months through the year 2019, there have been 729 televised matches on WWE TV. So needless to say, we’ve got ourselves a pretty big sample of how things have gone this year. Over the course of the year, as you all know, I’ve been tracking matches and developing a grading system to rank the WWE superstars based on their in-ring work. It’s provided some surprising results, and some not so surprising ones. And having crossed the halfway point last month, and beginning to trickle towards the fourth quarter of the year 2019, things are likely fixing to get even more fun for the WWE Top 25.
You know how the protocol goes by now, and I am not going to waste any time. The only difference here is that there will be no more match rankings in these posts. You can find the match rankings in separate posts from now on here on The Barber’s Chair Network.
The July WWE Top 25
1. Kofi Kingston (20.75)
2. Samoa Joe (20.5)
3. Drew Gulak (20.25)
4. Shinsuke Nakamura (17.75)
T5. The Revival, The Usos (17.25)
9. Big E (17)
10. Bobby Lashley (15.75)
11. Braun Strowman (15.5)
T12. AJ Styles, Ricochet (15.25)
14. Cesaro (14.75)
15. Xavier Woods (14.5)
T16. Elias, Matt Riddle (12.75)
18. Jack Gallagher (12.5)
19. Nikki Cross (12)
20. Dolph Ziggler (11.75)
21. Oney Lorcan (11.5)
T22. Daniel Bryan, Otis Dozovic, Seth Rollins (11.25)
T25. Apollo Crews, Becky Lynch, Kevin Owens (11)
To no one’s surprise, Kofi Kingston was the top performer of the month of July. Kingston wrestled in six matches this past month, just one behind the lead held by Dolph Ziggler, Nikki Cross, Samoa Joe and Seth Rollins who all had seven. Kofi’s 20.75 points just edged Joe and Drew Gulak, who had 20.5 and 20.25 points respectively. The name of the game for Kingston was consistency last month, and he got the top spot for that reason.
Shinsuke Nakamura really returned to form in July. His late push from the middle of the month onward got him the 4th spot on the rankings for July. Nakamura, the Intercontinental Champion, has been putting in serious work on TV and it’s helped his cause tremendously. If this run continues, he could very well make a strong push for Cumulative Top 25 candidacy very quickly.
The WWE Women’s Top 25
1. Bayley (82.5)
2. Becky Lynch (62.5)
3. Nikki Cross (55.75)
4. Alexa Bliss (38.5)
5. Bianca Belair (37)
6. Sasha Banks (34.5)
7. Charlotte Flair (34.25)
8. Io Shirai (32.75)
9. Shayna Baszler (31.75)
10. Mandy Rose (31.5)
11. Carmella (30)
12. Nia Jax (29.25)
13. Asuka (28.25)
T14. Lacey Evans, Peyton Royce (28)
T16. Naomi, Ronda Rousey (25.5)
18. Natalya (25)
19. Kairi Sane (23.75)
20. Sonya Deville (22.25)
T21. Billie Kay, Toni Storm (22)
23. Mia Yim (21)
24. Sarah Logan (20)
25. Ember Moon (19)
The Top 3 in the Women’s Top 25 suffered no real setbacks. The three leaders in match numbers are also the three leaders on the chart, as Bayley, Becky Lynch and Nikki Cross have set the standard for the women’s division this year on WWE main roster programming. Bayley’s absurd point total is one that likely will not get caught, unless somebody goes on a monster run. With time working against most of the women’s division now, that likely won’t happen. It’s a wonder if anyone will even catch Nikki Cross’ 55.75 points at this point, let alone Bayley or Becky Lynch’s totals. Though Cross of course has a chance to pass Becky, if anything.
4th place might come as a surprise to you. Alexa Bliss now sits in 4th in the rankings after the month of July. Bliss accumulated 10.75 points last month, and after picking up 11.75 points in June, Bliss’ 22.5 points after the last two months have allowed for her to pick up serious ground. She’s doing so while not even setting the world on fire, really. That’s not even me trying to discredit her or anything. She’s worked 11 matches on TV and PPVs the last two months. None were given anything higher than 3.75 points. Anybody could probably be doing this right now. It just so happens that it’s Bliss, and again, it’s not like she’s doing anything tremendous, or that she’s even as bad as her critics suggest that she is. She’s doing more than fine right now, and more than fine is enough for her to climb the ladder at the moment.
As far as everyone else, August will be intriguing. Io Shirai and Shayna Baszler are easy candidates to see take leaps after TakeOver: Toronto, and Charlotte Flair will likely (and finally) pass Sasha Banks after her match with Trish Stratus at SummerSlam. Mia Yim could also rise up into the Top 20 at least, and Ember Moon could make some moves too. Will anybody else step up? We shall see.
The WWE Top 25
25. Becky Lynch
Becky Lynch has had a good year. Not a great year, but a good year. Maybe even very good if you’re into that kind of designation. I think she’s been handed some poor opponents and it’s probably hurt how her in-ring work could be. But I can only work with what I have in front of me. Her TV work has been disappointing this year and maybe that will change in the latter part of the year. Still, this is a victory lap title reign and no one should really feel too slighted.
24. Kevin Owens
KO has been hitting home runs all year, really. His TV match with Drew Mac on SmackDown last week was awesome and was one of the best TV matches all year. We’ll see how things shake out for Owens at SummerSlam against Shane McMahon. But Owens hasn’t really missed at all this year. His 2019 has definitely been fun to watch.
23. Rey Mysterio
Rey really needs to get into a groove again. I don’t know where to really peg him right now on Raw, but we saw how he can perform on SmackDown earlier this year, even at his age. Mysterio’s been bit by the injury bug a bit and that’s definitely held him back a bit. But I expect him to rise up as the rest of 2019 goes on.
22. AJ Styles
AJ Styles proved what he could do at Money in the Bank back in May. But I think that, even with this recent character change, he’s still missing that third gear that we’ve seen him tap into in the past. Maybe age is catching up o him a bit. That said, SummerSlam offers up the perfect opportunity for him to make a serious move and have another standout match this year.
21. Oney Lorcan
Oney Lorcan is having a tremendous 2019. Between his work on the NXT brands and 205 Live, Lorcan is easily one of the best things about WWE Network broadcasts this year. I can’t think of one bad match that he’s had this year. He’s appointment television every time that he gets into the ring, pretty much. He’s been super fun to watch.
20. Drew Gulak
Drew Gulak is another guy who is having an awesome year. I wish he was actually off the 205 Live island at this point honestly. He could probably do really great things on Raw or SmackDown Live. He has the in-ring skills and the personality to really become a star. Maybe it happens in 2020. But for now, I’m really liking his Cruiserweight Championship reign. He, too, is appointment television right now.
19. Johnny Gargano
You know the drill. Gargano has a great match, he falls a bit after not working, then he rises up again. Set your watch to it. It’ll happen after TakeOver this weekend.
18. Matt Riddle
Matt Riddle is in the Top 25 despite working only 12 matches this year. That’s the lowest match # of anyone in the Top 25. Imagine if he was working more?
17. Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin has worked 29 matches this year. He’s only accumulated 70 points. By comparison, everyone who has worked more matches than him (Bayley, Drew, Kofi, Ricochet) is in the Top 10 or, in the latter three’s cases, the Top 5). That should probably tell you all you need to know.
16. Dash Wilder
15. Scott Dawson
You know the drill here too. The Revival have been one of the best tag teams on TV. The only reason that Dash is behind Dawson is because he worked one less tag match this year. None of this is surprising, and they should remain mainstays here as long as they get TV work.
Dawson worked the one match at the Rumble, as you all know.
14. Jimmy Uso
13. Jey Uso
The Usos have certainly been one of the best tag acts on WWE TV this year. We shall see what happens to them after their recent run in with the law. For now, they stand as the best tag unit in WWE at the moment. Like The Revival, this has not been a surprise at all.
I would like to see Andrade wrestle more. You would likely want to see him wrestle more too. His program with Apollo Crews has been fun to watch. Yet, I want more. Hopefully the fall brings more prosperity to him. But his standing here, despite not working any major programs, should tell you all you need to know about him.
11. Bobby Lashley
I, for one, am tired of the disrespect for Bobby Lashley. Lashley has been seriously very good this year and should probably get a more prominent spot in the pecking order on Raw. He’d certainly be better than Baron Corbin was. Maybe he’ll be a foil for Seth Rollins after SummerSlam. I’d like to see that.
What else can you really say? Bayley’s having an awesome 2019 and has a showcase match at SummerSlam against Ember Moon that she’s likely going to win. Bayley fans, myself included, have been living their best lives this year. Side note, preemptive “eat it” to you, Toronto. You know why.
Cesaro has very seamlessly transitioned from being a great tag worker to being a great singles worker on Raw. That isn’t surprising, but it’s been fun as hell to watch nonetheless. He should remain a very consistent mainstay in Top 10 territory as the year progresses. Perhaps you should take note of what he’s doing this year if you’re not really paying attention.
8. Finn Bálor
The workhorse lately of WWE is likely to take a break after SummerSlam. That will likely hurt his standing. But hey, rest up Finn. You’ve put in a lot of work these past few years, and your services are very much not taken for granted.
7. Seth Rollins
Seth might not be having the year that he had in 2018. But he’s still been rather good. I think he’s missing another real standout match beyond the one that he had with AJ Styles at Money in the Bank. If all goes well, that match could happen on Sunday at SummerSlam against Brock Lesnar. We shall see, but he’s certainly got the ability to pull it off. Despite what you might hear otherwise.
6. Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe has had a very good 2019. His forte might not be singles matches anymore, but his work in multi-man matches has been terrific. He’s getting by and staying here by staying in that 3-3.75 range. And that’s just okay for him right now. Appreciate him while he’s here.
5. Drew McIntyre
Drew Mac might not have ‘it’ but what he does not lack is in-ring prowess. He’s having a very good in-ring year that was highlighted in the aforementioned match against Kevin Owens this past week on SmackDown. That match ruled and helped him gain 4.25 points. He’s now just 3.25 points away from the 100-point club, and he could very well join that on the final stops to SummerSlam.
4. Aleister Black
Aleister Black is finally back in action. He worked two matches in July and is now just a couple of points shy away from 100 points. He’ll be working at SummerSlam also against Sami Zayn, which has the potential to obviously be a very good match. I actually like the fact that he’ll be an ‘attraction’ going forward, as it allows him to rest up after working a ridiculous amount in the early portion of the year.
3. Daniel Bryan
If rumors are correct, Daniel Bryan will likely stay in the Top 5 after SummerSlam and perhaps all the way through August as well. All the superlatives still apply for Bryan. He’s one of the best of all time and he’s proving exactly why again this year.
2. Kofi Kingston
Kofi’s just having a fantastic 2019. We already talked about it before in this post, but it just really needs to be said again. I’m looking forward to his match against Randy Orton at SummerSlam. There’s a lot of emotion to tap into there, and we could very well see another high quality banger with the WWE Championship on the line.
What can you say? The man who’s worked the most matches this year has the most amount of points this year. Ricochet has had a terrific year and is likely not to be caught unless he’s somehow slowed down. We’ll see if that happens, but I’m not counting on it to be honest.