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WWE Rankings: Rollins Riding High as U.S. Champ

Seth "Freakin'" Rollins

Seth “Freakin’” Rollins

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

With NXT Halloween Havoc scheduled for this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on Peacock, we’re seeing more and more interaction with the main roster. Roxanne Perez and Cora Jade have been on Raw and SmackDown in recent days and we saw Shinsuke Nakamura, Rhea Ripley/The Judgment Day, Sonya Deville, The O.C., Kevin Owens, and Austin Theory on the show this week. Going back a couple of weeks, we saw both Imperium and The Brawling Brutes on the show. That’s a lot of firepower.

Triple H previously argued that he didn’t view NXT as simply developmental, but instead as another brand. That line of thinking disappeared a bit during his absence, but the recent sprinkling of talent is going a long way toward revitalizing the show as a must-watch.

The appearance of Theory was potentially the most interesting development this week, as he teased a possible cash-in during the triple threat NXT championship match on Saturday. Now that would be something. Whether it can be tied to the changing of the guard creatively or not, Theory’s credibility as a viable challenger has taken a hit since winning the Money in the Bank briefcase. A refresh on NXT — even without an actual cash-in — could be what he needs to get back on track.

Change Key:
NC = No Change from last week
NR = Not Ranked last week
Plus = Moved up from last week
Minus = Moved down from last week

Rank Superstar Brand Change
1 Seth “Freakin’” Rollins — United States Champion Raw +2
2 Bianca Belair – Raw Women’s Champion Raw -1
3 Roman Reigns – Undisputed WWE Universal Champion SmackDown -1
4 The Bloodline — Undisputed Tag Team Champions SmackDown NC
5 Imperium — Intercontinental Champion SmackDown NC
6 Damage CTRL — Women’s Tag Team Champions Raw +3
7 Bobby Lashley Raw NC
8 Ronda Rousey — SmackDown Women’s Champion SmackDown -2
9 The Judgment Day Raw -1
10 Braun Strowman SmackDown +3
11 Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett SmackDown NC
12 Kevin Owens Raw -2
13 Matt Riddle Raw -1
14 Bray Wyatt SmackDown +1
15 The Brawling Brutes SmackDown -1
16 Rey Mysterio SmackDown NR
17 Brock Lesnar Raw NC
18 Drew McIntyre SmackDown +1
19 The O.C. Raw +1
20 Baron Corbin Raw NR

1. Seth Rollins — United States Champion, (+2)

The Visionary has reached the top of the Power Rankings mountain for the first time. Despite a loss to Matt Riddle in the Fight Pit at Extreme Rules, Seth Rollins has followed that up with a victory over Bobby Lashley to become the United States Champion and another win over Riddle on this week’s Raw to retain the gold. It looked like Riddle was ready to take that next step up the ladder, but Rollins stomped those dreams out once again. A returning Elias was at ringside for the match and led to a distraction allowing Rollins to pick up the victory. Following the match Mustafa Ali came out and attacked the champ after challenging him to a title match earlier in the show. While Ali and Rollins should have some great matches, this is likely a short-term feud that will result in another Rollins victory.

2. Bianca Belair — Raw Women’s Champion, (-1)

It was a short-lived reign at the top for Bianca Belair, but although she wasn’t the one pinned, she suffered a tag team loss on Raw this week causing her to slip a spot. The champ teamed up with Candice LeRae, and the Poison Pixie was ultimately pinned by Dakota Kai after an impressive double team maneuver with IYO SKY. Belair will have to shake off the loss in short order as she’s slated to defend her championship against Bayley on next week’s Raw. With rumors circulating that she could be in line for a high-profile feud with a returning Charlotte, she could be headed for another win, perhaps propelling her back to the top spot of these rankings.

3. Roman Reigns — Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, (-1)

Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but it sure doesn’t keep you from slipping down the Power Rankings. In fact, this is the lowest that Reigns has been since they were created several months ago. But the Tribal Chief was nowhere to be found once again, and with so many other Superstars making an impact, Reigns drops to the No. 3 spot. There’s still some time to build some excitement towards his upcoming title defense against Logan Paul at Crown Jewel, but so far, there isn’t much momentum for the Head of the Table.

4. The Bloodline — Undisputed Tag Team Champions, (NC)

But while Reigns has been off the grid, the Bloodline continues to shine in a prominent role. Sami Zayn is arguably the best thing going on any WWE show. The Wrestling Observer’s Bryan Alvarez recently referred to him as the perfect troll, and that’s exactly what he is right now, especially with Jey Uso. Solo Sikoa continues to play the ultimate straight man. The look on Jey Uso’s face when Solo told him that he could learn a lot from watching Sami was priceless. The crowd is enthralled with Zayn’s performance right now, and it has to be just a matter of time before he splits away from the Bloodline for a babyface run, so for now, just sit back and enjoy this dynamic for as long as they keep giving it to us. As for the in-ring action, Zayn picked up a singles victory over Kofi Kingston thanks to some interference from Jey, which led to the aforementioned interaction in the back. And Solo Sikoa looked strong in a losing effort in a Fatal Fourway match to determine the No. 1 contender for the Intercontinental Championship.

5. Imperium - Intercontinental Champion, (NC)

Imperium was nowhere to be found this week, and no one behind them did enough to pass them, so they round out the top-5 once again. Fresh off a trade to the SmackDown brand, Rey Mysterio won a No. 1 Contender’s Fatal Fourway against Sheamus, Solo Sikoa and Ricochet setting up a future clash against Gunther. While it will most definitely be a much different type of match than Gunther has been having with Sheamus, I think he’ll be able to have some classic big man-little man matches with Mysterio. Sign me up!

6. Damage CTRL — Women’s Tag Team Champions, (+3)

As mentioned above, Dakota Kai & IYO SKY picked up an impressive victory over the Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair and Candice LeRae. While Bayley did have Belair preoccupied on the outside, Kai and SKY picked up a relatively clean pinfall victory. Next up for the team is a Women’s Tag Team Championship defense against Raquel Gonzalez and Shotzi on SmackDown. If they can successfully defend, Bayley will look to add some gold to the stable as she gets a rematch against Belair on Raw. It’s been an impressive run for Damage CTRL ever since they hit the scene at SummerSlam, but having all three members draped in gold would take things to another level.

7. Bobby Lashley — Raw, (NC)

Following the surprise appearance of Brock Lesnar last week and the devastating ambush which led to him losing his United States championship to Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley called out “The Beast” to start the show this week. “The All Mighty” was able to exact some revenge this time around, including a devastating spear through the barricade. The donnybrook brought out WWE officials and superstars in an attempt to restore order, but Lashley was able to escape and spear Lesnar on the announce table before eventually slamming him through it.

And so, while Lashley didn’t have a match this week and finds himself without a championship, he holds firm in our rankings leading into a presumed showdown with Lesnar at WWE Crown Jewel on November 5. It should be a lot of fun. You know, if two absolute hosses beating the tar out of each other is your thing. It is for us.

8. Ronda Rousey — SmackDown Women’s Champion, (-2)

Ronda Rousey is back on top in the women’s division on SmackDown following her victory over Liv Morgan at Extreme Rules, but she moves down a couple of spots here after being absent from the show last week. Morgan’s persona appears to be evolving in a dark way and the rivalry with Rousey might have reached its conclusion. It will be interesting to see where Rousey’s next challenge might come from. Taking a quick look at the SmackDown roster, a program with her friend Shayna Baszler might make the most sense. Natalya has been done, Raquel Rodriguez & Shotzi are busy with Damage CTRL, and Lacey Evans’ character appears stuck in neutral. It wouldn’t take much to make a rivalry with Baszler compelling. Stay tuned.

9. The Judgment Day — Raw, (-1)

We’ll admit it looks a bit strange to push The Judgment Day back a peg, because they actually had a pretty good week. Still, it’s crowded at the top. Dominik Mysterio scored a huge upset win over A.J. Styles on Raw, though we should specify that it was a roll-up caused by a distraction from Rhea Ripley. Ripley also got into the ring on TV for the first time since June on NXT this week (invited by Cora Jade as part of the “Pick Your Poison” stipulation) and looked dominant against Roxanne Perez. Ripley has been great in her role with The Judgment Day, but here’s hoping we see her competing more in future weeks.

With Rey Mysterio moving to SmackDown and Edge in the rear-view mirror (for now?), the burgeoning rivalry with The O.C. has been exactly what the doctor ordered for The Judgment Day . It was made official this week that Finn Balor, Damian Priest, & Dominik will take on Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson at WWE Crown Jewel.

10. Braun Strowman — Raw, (+3)

The showdown with Omos seemed inevitable from the day Braun Strowman reappeared on the WWE roster and we’re finally starting to see it come together. Strowman dominated in a 2-on-1 match against “enhancement talent” on SmackDown last Friday before being confronted by “The Nigerian Giant” and MVP. MVP did his usual strong mic work to build up Omos as a threat as the true “Monster of All Monsters.” MVP has announced his intention for another encounter on SmackDown this week. It will be interesting to see if they actually come to blows this time, but the planned face-off appears likely to set the stage for a challenge at WWE Crown Jewel next month.

11. Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett — SmackDown, (NC)

Karrion Kross was lined up to compete in a fatal four-way match for a future shot at the Intercontinental Championship on SmackDown last Friday, but he was brutally attacked by Drew McIntyre in the parking lot at the start of the show and unable to compete. Rey Mysterio stepped in Kross’ place and actually won the match. The attack by McIntyre adds another layer to this rivalry which is almost certainly headed to a big blow-off match at some point. We’ll see if Kross is able to respond this Friday.

12. Kevin Owens — Raw, (-2)

Kevin Owens hasn’t been on Raw the past two weeks, so he’s stumbled a bit in our rankings. However, he did make an appearance on NXT on Tuesday night, hosting a special edition of “The KO Show” to set up Saturday’s NXT Championship triple-threat match between current champ Bron Breakker and challengers Ilja Dragunov and JD McDonagh. It was a good use of Owens, a former NXT champion himself. Hopefully we’ll see “KO” back in prizefighter-mode on Raw in the very near future.

13. Matt Riddle — Raw, (-1)

It seems as though “The Original Bro” is in a bit of a reset period. After coming up short after challenging Seth “Freakin” Rollins for the WWE United States Championship, Matt Riddle is ready for a new feud. Now it feels as though we may be lining up for a program between Riddle and the returning Elias. While we didn’t get a keyboard and bongo duet between the two. It feels as though Elias coming back as the babyface leading to a heel turn after being constantly interrupted by Riddle just feels right and would be a good way to close out the year for both superstars only time will tell if that is the plan.

14. Bray Wyatt — SmackDown, (+1)

In our rankings last week, we hit on what a tremendous return Bray Wyatt had at Extreme Rules and what we could potentially expect on Friday’s episode of SmackDown. I don’t think any of us expected what we got and that made it all the more satisfying. We saw Windham Rotunda be his genuine self, share his thoughts, feelings, and fears over the last year. Some of the best stories told in professional wrestling evoke real emotion and make you feel for the superstars. Any time you can merge that with a creative mind the likes of Wyatt you’re in for a wild ride. If this becomes a story of overcoming your own personal demons and the biggest battle being the one within. No one can pull that off better than Bray Wyatt. No matter where this story goes one thing is certain he’ll have the whole world in his hands…or eating out of it I should say.

15. The Brawling Brutes — SmackDown, (-1)

The Brawling Brutes have hit their stride in their feud against Imperium. Sheamus took part in the Fatal-4 way to determine the new number 1 contender for the WWE Intercontinental Championship this past Friday. While he did come up short it was another banger of a match including 26 Beats of the Bodhan. With Gunther moving on with a new challenger for his title, it remains to be seen who will be next for our trio (looking at you Legado del Fantasma). No matter who they are facing anytime this trio of heavy hitters takes the ring it will certainly be FIGHT NIGHT!

16. Rey Mysterio — SmackDown, (NR)

Rey Mysterio started SmackDown coming to Triple H wanting to quit after not being able to get through to his son Dominik. After Karrion Kross was taken out by Drew McIntyre, Rey was able to fill in as his replacement. The “Ultimate Underdog” is now the number 1 contender for the WWE Intercontinental Championship going up against Gunther. This is a classic David vs Goliath match where Rey can put on a show with his athleticism and speed vs the technical prowess and brute strength of the champion.

17. Brock Lesnar — Raw, (NC)

“The Beast” answered Bobby Lashley’s challenge from last week and arrived on Raw in the opening segment…then all hell broke loose. These titans are officially set to meet at Crown Jewel one on one. Both have looked strong taking turns to demolish one another. The story hasn’t been officially told yet but simply put, Lashley screwed over Lesnar the last time they faced off and Lesnar hasn’t forgotten. Either way, we can expect a hard-hitting match and this could be a rivalry that could go all the way to WrestleMania season.

18. Drew McIntyre — SmackDown, (+1)

“The Scottish Warrior” has hit his breaking point. After two losses at Premium Live Events and the way he lost to Kross at Extreme Rules, McIntyre took out his frustrations on his current rival to start SmackDown. This rivalry is just getting started so they will clash more in the coming weeks. The question is if McIntyre can regain some ground that he had over the summer before being fed to Roman Reigns and Kross? We shall see but something tells me that McIntyre won’t be on the losing end of things too much longer.

19. The O.C. — Raw, (+1)

After Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson made their return to Raw last week to assist their “Uncle Allen”, they defeated the Alpha Academy this week. While “The Phenomenal One” AJ Styles took on Dominik Mysterio one on one. After a few distractions from other members of The Judgment Day, Mysterio was able to get the upset victory with a quick rollup. That was a bit of a setback but Gallows and Anderson went on a little bit of a side mission after Cameron Grimes hired them to be his tag team partners against Schism where they picked up the victory. They can now return their sights solely toward their opponents for Crown Jewel the trio of Finn Balor, Damian Priest, and Dominik Mysterio.

20. Baron Corbin – Raw, (NR)

Baron Corbin made his return to Raw this past Monday as he was traded over from SmackDown for Rey Mysterio. He did not come alone though as it appears that he has a new mouthpiece in the form of the “Wrestling God” JBL who proceeded to run down Oklahoma City, Rey Mysterio, as well as Corbin’s opponent Dolph Ziggler. JBL then anointed Corbin as the “Modern Day Wrestling God” who looked good in his match against Ziggler where he picked up the win. With the WWE Hall of Famer by his side, Corbin is being placed for a big return on the Raw roster.

On the cusp: Mustafa Ali, Johnny Gargano, Logan Paul, Candice LeRae, Legado del Fantasma w/ Zelina Vega, Liv Morgan, Alpha Academy, The Miz, Dexter Lumis, Omos, Elias, LA Knight

Who’s NXT: Bron Breakker, Toxic Attraction (including Mandy Rose), Ilja Dragunov, Alba Fyre, JD McDonaugh, Roxanne Perez, Cora Jade, Cameron Grimes, Creed Brothers, Kayden Carter & Katana Chance, Carmelo Hayes, Grayson Waller