WWE Power Rankings: AJ Styles takes top spot as The Shield wait in the wings
Taking a closer look at WWE after one of its best weeks of television in months
With so much going on in WWE, we are back to break down where the company stands at the end of its latest week. After every set of WWE shows, we will determine the top 10 talents in the company based on a variety of factors including in-ring ability, mic work, overall brand prestige, championships, recent pushes and importance to current storylines. These rankings are voted on by a small panel helmed by Brian Campbell.
We will also get into the best of the week in WWE, singling out the top superstar, match, move and promo over the last seven days. And last but not least, WWE will get a grade for the product they produced. So let's get to it.
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WWE Power Rankings
|Wrestler||Title / Brand||Last Week||Trend|
|1. AJ Styles||SmackDown (WWE champion)||1||--|
|The best in-ring worker in WWE finally has the company's top title back around his waist. Following a one-night only classic against Finn Balor at TLC, Styles now finds himself poised for a similar opportunity opposite Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series. It may have been a windy road booking wise to get back here, but Styles deserves it.|
|2. Roman Reigns||Raw||3|
|Despite a viral illness that has knocked him out for the past three weeks, Reigns continues to shine as he enters his prime. Just about everything he touches turns to gold and with a strong program against John Cena behind him, Reigns has helped draw big pops during his reunion with The Shield.|
|3. Kevin Owens||SmackDown||NR|
|KO has been nothing short of red-hot since his assault on WWE chairman Vince McMahon during the Sept. 5 episode of SmackDown. His feud with Shane McMahon brought Owens back to the main event picture and the WWE's best pure heel has excelled in his new pairing with frenemy Sami Zayn.|
|4. The Miz||Raw (IC champion)||8|
|The Miz has hit a home run with everything pitched his way for nearly two full years. This is the best stretch of his career, and he recently played a key role as chief agitator to The Shield's reunion. Up next is a "champion vs. champion" match with United States champ Baron Corbin at Survivor Series that has already produced epic promos on social media.|
|5. The New Day||SmackDown||NR|
|From leading the charge for SmackDown's surprise "under siege" assault on Raw to appearing a second time to cost Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose their tag team titles, The New Day have been up to big things. In between, their promos have been just as entertaining. Fresh off maybe the feud of the year against The Usos, the tease of an upcoming program with The Shield has the WWE universe rightfully excited.|
|6. Braun Strowman||Raw||NR|
|Here's to hoping Strowman's clean loss to Brock Lesnar at No Mercy doesn't go down in the history books as a negative turning point in the rise of "The Monster Among Men." But things have been a bit downhill for Strowman after what had been such a unique and incredible build. Watching him get decapitated inside a garbage truck at TLC (only to emerge from said truck two weeks later) was far from a comforting consolation and his follow-up feud with Kane feels forced and unnecessary.|
|7. Finn Balor||Raw||NR|
|Would it be alright if we acted as if his jobbing to 50-year-old Kane in back-to-back weeks had never happened? It appears as if WWE has decided to do the same. His ranking is compromised by the puzzling booking decisions he has faced. Yet Balor continues to perform at an extremely high level, including his one-night-only match with AJ Styles at TLC that was pure gold. An upcoming feud with Samoa Joe promises big things.|
|8. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins||Raw||6|
|The return of The Shield has been WWE's biggest news in recent weeks and both Ambrose and Rollins have stepped up their games to carry out the storyline. The duo carried the lion's share of the workload during a chaotic TLC victory in which an ill Reigns was replaced by Raw general manager Kurt Angle.|
|9. Samoa Joe||Raw||NR|
|Talk about a refreshing return from injury just as Raw needed it. No one outside of Brock Lesnar quite brings the same sense of brutality and shoot intensity as Joe. Sidelined just as it appeared he was on the verge of a lengthy main event run, Joe came back with a bang and now enters Survivor Series with an escalating beef against Raw teammate Finn Balor.|
|10. Shane McMahon||SmackDown (GM)||NR|
|The commissioner of the blue brand has reinserted himself into the storylines, first with a memorable Hell in a Cell program against Kevin Owens, and now as SmackDown team captain at Survivor Series. McMahon is proving he can still bring it at a high level and has teased a darker side of late, including his spearheading of a surprise attack on Raw.|
Best of the week
Wrestler -- AJ Styles: Order was restored on Tuesday when Styles shocked the WWE universe with a tape-delayed victory over Jinder Mahal in England to regain the WWE championship on SmackDown. The match delivered in terms of quality, but more importantly, it set the stage for a showdown with Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series that has "dream match" written all over it.
Match -- Cesaro & Sheamus def. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins to win the tag team championship (Raw): Say what you will for the delayed finish, which saw all four members stand in the ring and watch The New Day's lengthy invasion attempt until Sheamus used the distraction to surprise Rollins. But The New Day's arrival fixed the holes in the "under siege" storyline, opening the door for a possible Shield match at Survivor Series. Even better, this tag team championship match was nothing short of hot fire with enough near falls, big spots and escalating drama to make it feel like a pay-per-view.
Move -- Shooting Star Press from Mark Andrews on Joseph Conners (205 Live): WWE's British invasion this week saw an influx of United Kingdom talent competing in the cruiserweight division. The result was a fresh series of matches, and in some cases, moves. Andrews, who went by the name "Mandrews" in TNA before joining WWE in January for the UK Tournament, performed the most stunning of all with his Shooting Star Press. The move lifted Andrews to victory, alongside Cedric Alexander, in a tag team win over Conners and James Drake. Honorable mention goes out to Andrews and Alexander teaming up for a tandem standing moonsault/leg drop.
Promo -- Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (SmackDown): The New Day's humorous cracks on "Sam Zayn" were golden enough, but the back-and-forth between the heels and SmackDown's commissioner (in which Zayn even mocked Vince McMahon) properly escalated the growing tension between them.
Show -- SmackDown: In a strong week across the board for WWE, the blue brand offered a more compact and quick-hitting show, complete with the exciting reveal of Styles winning the title following a top-shelf match. From the opening Zayn and Owens promo to Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin further teasing a heel turn against The Usos, this was a strong night.
Overall weekly grade: B+
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