WWE Power Rankings: Samoa Joe, The Miz make big jumps; best of the week awards
Breaking down the week that was in WWE from new power rankings to a weekly grade
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 your's truly, 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||1|
|Back at babyface, Styles continues to perform at the highest level of any superstar inside the ring, and his current program with Dolph Ziggler ahead of Money in the Bank has been a nice surprise.|
|2. Roman Reigns||Raw||3|
|Haters gonna hate, but Reigns just rolls on with one strong match after another. He has also improved on the microphone, speaking less overall but in more powerful ways. An eventual program with Finn Balor could be spectacular.|
|3. Samoa Joe||Raw (No. 1 contender)||NR|
|This is how you make an impact. Joe went from hired muscle to leading man in a span that was both brief and impeccably believable. He's currently doing the best heel work in the company and raising expectations for his Brock Lesnar feud entering Great Balls of Fire.|
|4. The Miz||Raw (intercontinental champion)||9|
|Back where he belongs with a title around his waist, The Miz continues to put forth the best work of his career, particularly on the microphone where one-liners are aplenty.|
|5. Shinsuke Nakamura||SmackDown||8|
|Say what you will about his new moniker, "The Artist Known As," Nakamura's main roster presentation has come together well in recent weeks after a bit of a slow start. His unbeaten start against top competition also shows the confidence that the company has in pushing him.|
|6. Kevin Owens||SmackDown (U.S. champion)||2|
|While a broken thumb hasn't forced him to miss any time, WWE has largely used his platform as United States champion in recent weeks to put over Nakamura, featuring one clean pin after another. Expect an angry, violent response any day now.|
|7. Seth Rollins||Raw||7||--|
|Despite being unable to capture the same magic he did as a heel in 2015, the babyface version of Rollins continues to outwork anyone not named Styles in the ring. While a program with Bray Wyatt appears to be in his future, an eventual run at Raw's top title this calendar year wouldn't be out of the question.|
|8. Finn Balor||Raw||4|
|Tough break for Balor in terms of just barely losing a Universal championship title shot at Extreme Rules only to disappear from Raw the following night. While it hasn't yet been announced, a stay-busy feud with Reigns could instantly lift him back up the rankings.|
|9. Alexa Bliss||Raw (women's champion)||5|
|Bliss took a deserved slide in the rankings following a painful "This is Your Life" segment on Raw and a title defense against Bayley at Extreme Rules that was panned by critics. How she responds to adversity will go a long way in determining whether she has staying power at the top end.|
|10. Jinder Mahal||SmackDown (WWE champion)||6|
|While the "Modern Day Maharaja" may have slipped a few spots in the rankings after the initial boom of his surprise WWE championship victory, Mahal's quality of presentation has quietly improved from week to week. He's still a work in progress but he's getting there.|
No longer ranked: Bray Wyatt (10)
Best of the week in WWE
Wrestler -- Samoa Joe: No one had a better 48 hours this week (let alone this year) than Joe. His surprise win at Sunday's Extreme Rules main event was executed to perfection, setting up a universal championship bout against Brock Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire in July. But his performance on the microphone opposite Paul Heyman on Raw took the angle to a whole new level, producing quite arguably the best segment of 2017.
Match -- Samoa Joe def. Finn Balor (via submission), Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Bray Wyatt in Fatal 5-Way Extreme Rules match: You can add this to the short list of candidates for best match 2017. No, really, it was that good. Expertly booked to allow all five performers an opportunity to get off their best moves and tease a shot at victory, the swerve ending is what ultimately raised it to another level. While it's never easy to make a multiple person match feel smooth, this one succeeded and featured no shortage of star power.
Move -- Jeff Hardy's Whisper in the Wind onto Sheamus & Cesaro: The biggest spot of Sunday's Extreme Rules card provided a nostalgic moment of reflection as Hardy turned back the clock by leaping off the top of the cage.
Promo -- The Usos: Already rejuvenated by their recent heel turn, which including a ditching of their bright colors in favor of a dark and hardened look, The Usos continue to make equally huge leaps on the microphone. This week's SmackDown Live appearance may have been their best overall, including a continuation of their "Uso Penitentiary" shtick and a hilarious takedown of all three members of The New Day.
Show -- Raw: Anchored by the red-hot segment involving Samoa Joe and Heyman, the red brand put forth a memorable, high-energy show featuring a 90-minute stretch in the middle that rivaled anything seen in WWE programming this year. The Miz and Dean Ambrose were incredibly entertaining in their Kickoff Celebration segment and the extension of the Enzo Amore (and now Big Cass) whodunnit angle continues to intrigue. SmackDown Live was steady yet unspectacular.
Week ending June 9: A-
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