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WWE RAW & SmackDown! Rankings - 7/15/04
By THE TRUTH, MOP Squad Sports Staff Writer
Jul 15, 2004 - 10:29:00 AM

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Raw Brand Individual Rankings
Chris Benoit - Current World Heavyweight Champion

1) HHH - #1 contender for World Heavyweight Title
Although Triple H lost his championship match at Vengeance no match has taken place yet to determine a new Number 1 Contender so, until such a match is held, he will still be recognized as Number 1 Contender.
2) Edge - Current Intercontinental Champion
As the Intercontinental Champion Edge has already earned his spot in the title contention. He scored an impressive victory over Batista on RAW which helps push him towards World Title contention and the amazing match he put on (with Orton) at Vengeance can only help him in his title bid too.
3) Eugene
One-on-One, Eugene is still undefeated and he was recently given a title shot against Benoit. He may be slow to the draw but until he loses the title match or a Contender match he will still be in the rankings.
4) Randy Orton - #1 contender for Intercontinental Title
As the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion of the last 7 years, Randy Orton has to be looked at as another top contender. There has yet to be a Number 1 Contender for the Intercontinental Championship named so, based on his history with the title alone, Randy has to be looked at as the top contender there too and will be until an official announcement is made.
5) Matt Hardy
Matt's impressive victory over Kane at Vengeance catapaults him into contention for either the World or Intercontinental Championships, both divisions that he could very well be threats in. If Matt can get his personal life sorted out he can easily climb the ranking ladder but that seems to be easier said than done.
6) Batista
Being the only member of Evolution to come out with a "W" at Vengeance could be looked at as proof enough that Batista is in league for a title shot. Add to that his sheer size and talent and Batista defiantely comes off as a challenger to either title and a threat to whichever champion he faces. The only problem is that Batista seems more focused on taking care of Eugene and keeping Evolution afloat than his own title dreams.
7) Chris Jericho
As the first Undisputed Champion and one of the greatest Intercontinental Champions of all time (including being the record holder for having the Intercontinental Championship in his grasp the most), Jericho can forever be looked at as a threat to either division. Since he now seems to be done with both Batista and Christian's entourage, perhaps Jericho can concentrate on moving himself up the ranking ladder.
8) Kane
Although he didn't win at Vengeance, Kane should be looked at as a serious threat to anyone he chooses to go after, World and Intercontinental Champions included. The only problem is that Kane is obsessed with Lita right now so he can't concentrate on anything else.

Raw Brand Team Rankings
La Resistance - Current World Tag Team Champions

1) Tajiri and Rhyno
With their impressive victory at Vengeance this young duo seems to be ready for a shot at the titles. Their win could be looked at as them being crowned as Number 1 Contenders to the World Tag Team titles but until an announcement is made, nothing is official.

2) Edge and Chris Jericho
These two have formed a formiable duo on numerous occasions and could be looked at as being in title contention. The problem is Edge is already the Intercontinental Champion, a belt I'm sure he'll want to keep a grasp on, and Jericho should be looking at moving up the singles ladder.

3) Hurricane and Rosey
Nobody has seen hide nor hair of these two as a team in weeks but they're a formidable group, if they could only come together again. When the team is back in full force I'd look for them to be given a title shot but only when they're back and have proven they're ready for it.

Smackdown Brand Individual Rankings
John Bradshaw Layfield - Current WWE Heavyweight Champion

1) Eddie Guerrero - #1 contender for WWE Heavyweight Title
Eddie has proven his worth to the SmackDown! brand and should always be looked at as a top contender when he doesn't possess the belt. He lost his rematch on SmackDown! but until the official word is given he'll be recognized as the Number 1 Contender.

2) Rob Van Dam
One of the last top dogs "never to have been crowned Heavyweight Champion", RVD has seemingly moved beyond the US Title and onto the WWE Title. His attempts at the US Crown proved to be bad each time, however he had strong outings in all of his title matches and his first few weeks on SmackDown! were nothing short of impressive. Look for RVD in the title hunt, possibly as early as SummerSlam.

3) Kenzo Suzuki
Kenzo had an impressive SmackDown! debut against Billy Gunn and an even more impressive PPV match against the same man, moving himself into contention for a title. He seems to have his sights set on the currently vacant US Title and with his current record it seems like it could be a lock for him to be recognized as a competitor in whatever match is decided to name a new US champion.

4) John Cena
Cena was just stripped of his US Title and is now in a bloodfued with both Kurt Angle and Booker T. Although Cena would be a major asset to the WWE Title division look for him to continue his hunt to regain the US Title and be an ever growing pain in GM Kurt Angle's ass.

5) Rey Mysterio - Current Cruiserweight Champion
As the current Cruiserweight Champion, Rey Mysterio already has a title but should also be looked at as being in contention for the US Title. Rey has had great outtings with fellow cruiserweight Chavo Guerrero Jr. and, although he'd be a strong candidate in the US division, he doesn't seem ready for the WWE Title division.

6) Luther Reigns
Kurt Angle's goon seems like he could be heading into the US Division. With a DQ victory over Eddie Guerrero and a PPV win over Charlie Haas, Reigns looks to have a good, strong set of shoulders to carry the United States Division on, either as Champion or challenger. He is still a little green for the WWE Title but he could still be handed a shot at it by GM Angle, especially if Eddie regains the belt.

7) Booker T
Although he's had numerous failed attempts, Booker still seems obsessed with the US Title and with John Cena. Booker could move to the WWE Title division and remake a huge name for himself, possibly finally becoming a one time, one time, one time, one time, one time WWE Champion but for him to do that he must first drop from the US Title hunt and move himself up.

8) Rene Dupree
Rene has been hunting the US Title, to no avail, longer than any of the other challengers and doesn't seem like he's ready to give it up just yet. Look for him to continue his search for that belt and not jump to the WWE Title scene for another couple of months, check back around Survivor Series.

Smackdown Brand Team Rankings
Paul London and Billy Kidman - Current WWE Tag Team Champions

1) The Dudley Boys
Although nothing official has been announced look for the Dudley Boys to begin the hunt to regain the straps they lost. I'm predicting a Dudley Boys -vs- Shooting Stars rematch come SummerSlam, if not earlier.

2) Billy Gunn and Bob Holly
Two men who have been playing the role of Velocity filler but, just 3 weeks ago so were Kidman/London. They had a shot at the WWE Tag Titles in May but with their recent stack of wins in Tag Team matches, they could be looked at as the Number 2 Contenders. If they don't get a shot before SummerSlam, look for it right after, probably at the next SmackDown! PPV.

3) The Basham Brothers
Former Champions who've also been making the Velocity rounds. They know what it's like to hold the WWE Tag Titles and are likely looking to get back in the title picture. By Survivor Series it'd be a safe bet that the Bashams will have at least had a match for the titles.

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