Rating the EAW Roster

The Katz Files
Rating the RAW Roster

The Kingfish Arnie Katz begins a new, month series that rates RAW wrestlers’ recent performances, analyzes strengths and weaknesses, and even charts future courses for major RAW stars.

Part 1

The ratings for WWE’s Monday night flagship continue to trend downward. TNA’s move to Monday will expand the total wrestling audience, long-term, but the immediate effect on RAW’s rating is likely to be negative.

If Vince McMahon runs true to past form, the Monday War will call forth a new, vigorous spirit – and a hard look at the RAW talent pool. What better time to inaugurate the monthly roster view?

Alicia Fox
Mic: C
Ring: C+
Comment: WWE reportedly loves her look, but other aspects of her game aren’t nearly as finely tuned. Mostly, she seems like just another Div: good-looking and not very exciting as a wrestler.

Big Dick Johnson
Mic: N/A
Ring: N/A
Comment: He would be a great comedic character if only he were funny. Someone at WWE must love his act, because they keep letting him do it, but I don’t think fans buy into it quite as much.

Big Show
Mic: B+
Ring: B-
Comment: They have never found exactly the right role for Big Show. His personality works best as a babyface, but his physique is better-suited to heel. Andre never really had that problem, because his voice was so deep most fans couldn’t tell what he was saying in interviews and his back problems stole a lot of the ring skill he flashed as a young performer. Tag team wrestling with a mouthy, smaller partner seems to be working fairly well for Show, first with Chris Jericho and now with The Miz. The partner gives Big Show some vulnerability and gives the fans someone they can enjoy hating.

Bella Twins
Mic: N/A
Ring: C-
Comment: They have a slutty aura that makes them very exciting to many fans. WWE hasn’t done much to capitalize on their allure.

Mic: B-
Ring: B
Comment: Carlito’s star has dimmed in WWE since his run as Primo’s tag team partner. He has always seemed talented, butt here may be hidden factors that undermine WWE’s confidence in him. Carlito lacks intensity, which keeps me in the lower half of the cards.

Chavo Guerrero
Mic: B
Ring: B
Comment: The association with Vickie Guerrero both helped and hurt Chavo. It kept him on-camera and supplied a steady paycheck, but the situation didn’t call forth his best efforts in the ring or on the microphone. He can be a great asset to the show in a comedic role, perhaps even on a par with Santino.

Cody Rhodes
Mic: C+
Ring: B
Comment: The Plumber’s Grandson is going to try to make the leap from tag teams to singles matches in 2010. He lacks Dusty’s flamboyance, but he’s in good shape and gives a strong effort in the ring. He needs more seasoning, perhaps a run at the Intercontinental Championship.

Evan Bourne
Mic: C
Ring: B+
Comment: He’s so small, by WWE standards and his high-flying style may have consequences in the form of more frequent injuries, but Air Bourne is a talent. His best use maybe in tag teams, paired with a heavier, less mobile partner.

Mic: N/A
Ring: N?A
Comment: She looks a little like a young Lita, but she doesn’t have nearly as much ring savvy as Amy Dunas.

Gail Kim
Mic: C+
Ring: B
Comment: WWE expended a lot of energy getting her back after her sojourn in TNA, but they haven’t done too much with the Korean Kutie. Her ratings reflect sparing use rather than absence of ability. Kim showed she could be a main eventer in TNA; it’s time to let her prove in onRAW</I?

Mic: N/A
Ring: C
Comment: He’s funnier than Big Dick Johnson, but probably, you are, too.

Jack Swagger
Mic: C+
Ring: B
Comment: The All-American American looked like he was on the fast track to superstardom, but WWE’s interest in him has cooled in recent months. I think they’re making a big mistake and Swagger is the kind of talent who may have to go to TNA to prove that he has what it takes. A somewhat different character may be on the menu, though.

Jerry Lawler
Mic: B-
Ring: C+
Comment: It’s time for The King to have a Final Retirement Match and then stay out of the ring. It’s unpleasant to watch him take lumps as he lurches around the ring, when he had so much grappling skill in his prime.

Jillian Hall
Mic: C+
Ring: B
Comment: The singing gimmick must go. She seems fairly intelligent, so she can probably handle a gimmick that’s a bit less formulaic.

I’ll be back on the Monday with another part of my RAW roster ratings. I hope you’ll join me then and, please, bring your friends.

— Arnie Katz
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