Combining the WWE and the world of Power Rangers might seem like an odd premise, but in fact, the two go together much better than you would think.
Any given WWE match features loyal and endearing heroes, vile and cutthroat villains, rampaging giants, near falls, and feats of athleticism that make fans stare in awe. If that sounds familiar, it should, as it also describes any given Power Rangers episode, with the added benefit of amazing robotic Zords that can combine to form even bigger Zords.
ComicBook.com previously assembled a WWE Power Rangers team, but since then the landscape of WWE has changed exponentially. A WWE Draft, main roster callups, and a superstar shakeup have resulted in two brands and new lineups that called for an update to the original squad.
Since there are two brands these days, this list will focus on the Monday Night RAW roster, with a Smackdown version to come down the line. With the exposition out of the way, it's time to get started on the villain side of things.
Samoa Joe as Goldar.
Every villain needs an enforcer, and for Rita Repulsa that responsibility tends to fall on Goldar. The winged gargoyle-like ape is encased in golden armor, though in the recent film he took on a different form altogether closer to his namesake.
In both instances though, he served Rita Repulsa faithfully for many years, though often came up short against the Rangers. Despite his failures, he often looked impressive in combat against the Rangers one and one and provided one of the more formidable foes Rita ever managed to dispatch.
Samoa Joe has a much better record against the babyfaces of the WWE then Goldar ever did against the Rangers, and brings a raw strength to his matches that
With a Samoa Joe Goldar at her side, Rita might actually stand a chance against the Power Rangers for a change, though you probably shouldn't hold your breath on that.
Evidently, at some point Dana Brooke found an "evil villainy" makeup kit laying around because she perfectly captures what a Rita Repulsa should be.
Repulsa broke out of her prison in the pilot episode of Power Rangers and has assaulted Angel Grove with a gluttony of monsters and despicable creatures to claim the city as her own. While Repulsa is the head honcho during the first season of Power Rangers, she is thrown from her throne by Lord Zedd, something Brooke has some experience in thanks to Charlotte's unkind treatment of the superstar.
Brooke is an expert in manipulation and trickery, but while she did most of Charlotte's dirty work during her run as Champion, Brooke has shown she can be downright devious on her own given the circumstances. Giver her a brown robe and a staff and you've got a modern-day Rita for the ages.
While the Rangers have a steadfast leader in Jason, they still need a mentor to show them the ropes. Enter Zordon, who acts as the Ranger's tether to history while also shaping them into heroes of the future.
The Zordon in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is a rather stoic figure, issuing advice in a continual monotone. Granted, he's a disembodied head in a tube, so you can't give him too much grief.
Still, how entertaining and bizarre would it be to give the Power Rangers a different kind of mentor, one brimming with personality edging ever so close to insanity? You're right, it would be amazing, and that's why for this crew of Rangers Matt Hardy will be putting the team together.
Now, these days the "Broken" Hardy gimmick resides in a cesspool of bad blood and legal-eze, but he still fits a few references in during his time on television. Commanding the Rangers to "Delete" Rita and referring to his previous days of "Broken Brilliance" would add an element of spontaneity to any Rangers team, and we can't wait to see what that looks like.
The Black Ranger has always had a penchant for injecting creative elements into his combat. From Walter Johnson's hip-hop flavored martial arts or the more acrobatic stunt driven fighting techniques of Ludi Lin's recent time in the role, neither subscribes to bare bones martial arts.
Creativity and risk have defined much of Jeff Hardy's career in wrestling, a man known for doing whatever is necessary to put on a good show and shock audiences. Hardy has made a career of diving off of high ladders and performing aerial feats off the ropes, and he would be an excellent addition to this Power Rangers squad.
While he can be unpredictable, most of the time that works to his benefit, and having such a wild card on the team will come in handy more often than not. You know it won't be too long before you see Hardy leaping onto a crew of Putties from atop his Zord, but here is hoping that someone has the wherewithal to catch it all on camera.
The Yellow Ranger is known for a variety of wonderful traits, but a rather defining one has always been her ability to overcome fear, never giving up on the goal at hand.
Both the television and film versions of Trini faced their own unique adversities but refused to give up without a fight. If there is a better definition for WWE RAW superstar Bayley, then it has yet to reach these ears.
Bayley has been scratching and clawing her way up the WWE ladder since her days in NXT, where she was constantly told by other superstars that she would never reach the mountaintop, and to be content in her place on the card. That just wasn't going to cut it for the beloved superstar though, and she strung together a streak of hard-fought victories to eventually take the RAW Women's Championship.
If someone was ever going to be the perfect embodiment of the "Never Give Up" attitude, it's the Yellow Ranger, and Bayley would do represent the role perfectly.
Sometimes certain people just have a natural ability to lead others. Often it isn't the ones seeking it out who have the genuine ability, but rather those who keep unto themselves and to their own path.
That could very well be said for Jason Scott, the original Red Ranger. He didn't seek out the leadership role but adapted quickly to it after he found himself in an unfamiliar situation. Since then he's become arguably the most popular Ranger (outside of Tommy) thanks in part to his charm, loyalty, and eagerness to get better.
The same can be said for Roman Reigns, who catered to others during his time in the Shield but has embraced a solo career with drive and passion. He doesn't always make the right decisions or say the right thing, but he always uses those as an opportunity for growth and adjustment, something the best leaders excel at.
His physical abilities in the ring guarantee he'll always have a chance in a fight, no matter what opposition he faces, and you can be sure he isn't going to ever throw in the towel. Any Power Rangers squad would be happy to have him, and he deserves to lead this team t the finish line.
There are those who can't assemble an ordinary desk with directions (in this writer's defense, it was "soundly attached", just facing the wrong way). Others though have the natural talent to turn a less than stellar sum of parts into something grand.
Billy has always had the latter, solving problems that extend far beyond "why is this picture crooked" with relative ease. Those problems tend to be "how do you reverse a mind control signal from a pineapple tentacle monster" or "how do I install a teleportation ability on my Apple Watch-sized communicator?"
You could say Rich Swann has a comparable ability to make something out of nothing, though his talents are more often than not displayed in the ring. If the opponent wants to focus on submissions, Swann can take that and give it an inspired twist. Want to take things outside the ring? Swann will perform an awe-worthy jump from the turnbuckle. Even standard moves become something inspired when they exist in Swann's repertoire.
Ever resilient, Swann can make a victory happen when defeat has you surrounded.
Okay, so thus far the list has been keeping with the current wrestler roles of Heel and Babyface, situating Heels in Villain parts and Faces in Hero roles.
Unfortunately for this one the pattern just had to be broken, and you might agree the team will be much more interesting because of it.
Kimberly has always been one of the most popular Rangers, in part due to her sweet demeanor, beauty, and her gymnast-minded approach to combat. Plus, if being honest, who doesn't love the color pink?
That said, all three of those traits aren't visible in this pick, but two out of three isn't a bad ratio.
That's why the Pink Ranger will be none other than the lovely Alexa Bliss. Bliss is one of the top Heels in the company these days, thanks to her amazing abilities on the mic and supreme physical talent in the ring. She's a joy to watch perform, and while she excels at playing a villain, she would bring the perfect amount of unpredictability and attitude to the Rangers.
Granted, you would always have to worry she might turn on you, but the Green Ranger's done that a few times and he's still around, so why not her?
Tommy Oliver has been several Rangers during the years, including the Red and White Rangers. Still, he's most known for his time as the Green Ranger, both as an ally and a villain.
Tommy was originally given the green Power Coin by Rita Repulsa, and almost single-handedly defeated the Power Rangers. As a villain he made quite the impression, disabling Zordon, Alpha 5, and the Rangers HQ while also giving the Megazord more than it could handle with the Dragonzord.
While he was popular as a villain, he's become even more so as a hero, and you'll need someone who can pull off both to play the part. That's why the WWE RAW nomination for the Green Ranger goes to none other than the Finn Balor.
Balor has been a babyface for much of his run with WWE, and a fantastic one at that. He endears himself to the crowd every night with charisma to spare and plenty of creative offense in the ring. It also helps that he has a built-in secondary character in the Demon, changing his outward appearance drastically and his attack methods along with it.
It's like having two characters in one, constantly threading the balance between good and evil, and it makes Balor the perfect choice to play the Green Ranger.