WWE Power Rankings: Samoa Joe finally takes over No. 1 amid massive push
Great Balls of Fire and a hot edition of Raw brought Samoa Joe all the way to the top this week
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. Samoa Joe||Raw||2|
|Though he fell to Brock Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire, Joe looked strong throughout the match. He was also a dominant presence the following night on Raw. For everyone who thought this was a one-off feud, don't judge so fast. Joe and Roman Reigns will square off for the No. 1 contendership on Monday.|
|2. Roman Reigns||Raw||1|
|By no fault of his own, Reigns moves down a spot this week. Yes, he lost to Braun Strowman in the Ambulance Match, but he won the evening with the tremendous ambulance stunt. He also showed off an improving smug persona on Raw, though he was overshadowed by Joe and Brock Lesnar.|
|3. AJ Styles||SmackDown (U.S. champion)||3||--|
|"The Phenomenal One" won the United States championship from Kevin Owens last Friday at a house show in Madison Square Garden. He then got a massive pop on SmackDown and teased the return of a feud with John Cena. Despite all that, Joe and Reigns were so strong that Styles went nowhere this week.|
|4. Braun Strowman||Raw||4||--|
|Strowman made a massive jump in the rankings last week and remains in place here at No. 4. He shined in the ambulance match, picking up a victory over Reigns, and displayed some acting chops after the fact as he crawled to his feet and left the arena. The top of these rankings were tough this week.|
|5. The Miz||Raw (intercontinental champion)||6|
|The Miztourage has breathed some new life into Miz and Maryse, who had a nice dynamic going for them but needed something a bit extra. Miz has done a fine job holding the intercontinental title, but you have to believe that reign is coming to an end soon considering how much upper-card talent has nothing to do.|
|6. Brock Lesnar||Raw (universal champion)||8|
|It took Lesnar a while to climb the rankings after basically missing three full months of action while holding the title hostage. But some solid promos (especially on Raw when eh was given a live mic) along with a great match with Joe at Great Balls of Fire moves him up.|
|7. Bray Wyatt||Raw||NR|
|The #InThisCorner crew likes Wyatt, especially when he gets a push and clean victories as a heel. And that's exactly what he got over Seth Rollins twice in as many days as they held a Great Balls of Fire rematch on Raw. Let's hope the Wyatt continues on this roll and moves into a title picture of some kind.|
|8. John Cena||SmackDown (free agent)||NR|
|Let's go, Cena! You cannot account for booking, and while the flag match with Rusev and restarting of that feud is ridiculous, it is also just a hold over to get through Battleground. The fans popped massively for Cena when he came out to challenge Styles for the U.S. title, and business always picks up when he's around.|
|9. Seth Rollins||Raw||9||--|
|Rollins gets credit here for being a solid in-ring performer, but he nearly fell off the Power Rankings this week after consecutive losses to Wyatt. A potential feud with Dean Ambrose or The Miz does nothing for this viewer.|
|10. Sheamus & Cesaro||Raw (tag team champions)||NR|
|Consecutive epic wins over The Hardy Boyz and a tremendous second reign with the Raw tag team titles has Sheamus & Cesaro in this deserving spot. There are a lot of tag teams doing good work in WWE these days (namely The Usos), but we felt these two deserved some respect and a spot in these rankings.|
Dropped out: Jinder Mahal (WWE champion), Baron Corbin (MITB briefcase holder) | Also receiving votes: Shinsuke Nakamura, Sasha Banks
Best of the week in WWE
Wrestler -- Samoa Joe: Yes, this remains a trend. Joe is doing some of the best work in his career, and if you want to focus on in-ring work, he absolutely dominated Lesnar for most of their short match at Great Balls of Fire. Joe has gone from upper-midcarder to legitimate title holder in just a few weeks. Now all he needs is a belt.
Match -- Sheamus & Cesaro def. The Hardy Boyz 4-3 in an iron man match: The "I Quit" match on 205 Live was also considered, but this tag team match at Great Balls of Fire was fantastic. The match was booked well from start to finish with the champions earning a fall less than 30 seconds into the match and less than 30 seconds before it finished. Cesaro was especially good in the match, and it also led to what looks like the start of the Hardy Boyz becoming "broken."
Move -- Sasha Banks' double-knee splash onto Alexa Bliss: The match was good. The post-match fight was brilliant. Banks and Bliss took their feud outside the ring and off the stage after Bliss basically quit the match via countout. The challenger made her pay by jumping off the announce table with this awesome high-flying maneuver.
Promo -- Samoa Joe on Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman: Joe and Lesnar were both great on the mic Monday, but Joe won it with this line. "You need to listen to your advocate. He's protecting you from me. In the bottom of his heart, deep down in the bottom of his soul, he knows I'm the one -- I'm the man -- hey, you look at me when I'm talking to you or we can straighten this out now. He's the man that knows I got your number."
Show -- Raw: As I wrote on Twitter, only about 25 percent of Raw was good. But here's the thing. That's 25 percent was awesome. Even though I liked SmackDown more than most this week, the Reigns-Joe-Lesnar angle, along with the Kurt Angle cliffhanger to end the show, made me want to tune in next week.
Week ending July 15: A-
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