The New Era is here, and you have to look no further than this week’s SmackDown Live Power Rankings to see the proof of that. Four of this week’s top ten, including two of the top three, weren’t even ranked last week. Some are veterans getting a fresh start and some are rookies finally getting a real opportunity, but either way the New Era has arrived. RealSport’s Weekly Power Rankings have been put together with opinions from several writers within RealSport based on the performance and storylines going on within WWE.
Panel: Patches Chance, Thomas Clapham, Gur Samuel, Toby Durant, Max Hickman, Liam Shone
1. Dean Ambrose (Last Week: 1)
PC = 1, TC = 1, GS = 1, TD = 1, MH = 1, LS = 1
There’s no arguing Dean Ambrose’s spot atop the Power Rankings this week. He didn’t have much going on during SmackDown as the WWE Champion got to sit back and watch six other men duke it out for the opportunity to face him for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam. The Lunatic Fringe earned that moment of rest though after successfully defending his championship three straight times in one week, including a triumphant victory over former Shield members Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins at Battleground.
2. Dolph Ziggler (Last Week: Unranked)
PC = 2, TC = 2, GS = 2, TD = 2, MH = 3, LS = 2
There’s no denying the skill of Dolph Ziggler, but the poor guy has been wallowing in the mid-card for what seems like an eternity. The last time Ziggler got a legitimate spot near the top was his odd involvement in the ridiculous John Cena and Authority angle, and before then during a stint as World Heavyweight Champion, but only after that title had lost most of its prestige. Ziggler is as sharp in the ring as ever, and now he’s earned a chance at carving out a new opportunity for himself. Can the Show-Off take advantage?
3. Randy Orton (Last Week: Unranked)
PC = 5, TC = 3, GS = 3, TD = 3, MH = 2, LS = 8
Randy Orton has always been a little cocky, but he’s also been a little too serious. With the terrifying premise of facing Brock Lesnar looming on the horizon, Orton looks as loose and laid back as ever. After returning at Battleground and laying out Chris Jericho with a predictable RKO that still came out of nowhere, Orton interrupted MizTV on SmackDown Live. Not only that, but he had his first match back and handily defeated the Intercontinental Champion.
4. Bray Wyatt (Last Week: 9)
PC = 3, TC = 5, GS = 6, TD = 7, MH = 4, LS = 6
The New Face of Fear could have a new set of challenges on the horizon, but either way he’s ready to lay waste to SmackDown. Wyatt was one of several men who got the opportunity to earn a chance to face Dean Ambrose. While Wyatt came up short, he is still rolling after a decisive win over The New Day at Battleground. With Braun Strowman off laying waste on Raw, what’s next for The Eater of Worlds?
5. Becky Lynch (Last Week: 17)
PC = 4, TC = 4, GS = 7, TD = 8, MH = 7, LS = 7
The Lass Kicker came up short at Battleground despite a hard fought match with recent rival Natalya. A successful gameplan by Natalya gave her a submission victory, but Becky showed her willingness to keep on fighting on SmackDown as she managed to avenge that loss and make Nattie tap out to the Dis-arm-her. Afterwards, it seemed every female competitor on SmackDown wanted to get a word in, but Becky comes out of the first proper episode of SmackDown Live firmly seated at the top of the pile.
6. John Cena (Last Week: 3)
PC = 8, TC = 8, GS = 9, TD = 4, MH = 6, LS = 3
At Battleground, John Cena avenged his most recent quarrels with The Club’s AJ Styles as he teamed with Enzo & Cass and successfully defeated the group. Not only that, but Cena picked up the win after an AA off the top rope and pinned AJ Styles. Cena was part of the Six Pack Challenge on SmackDown and came up short, but he still has proven he should be a mainstay on SmackDown in the future.
7. The Miz (Last Week: 14)
PC = 7, TC = 6, GS = 5, TD = 9, MH = 5, LS = 9
The Miz took on Darren Young at Battleground and narrowly escaped with his Intercontinental Championship thanks to a bonkers double disqualification finish. Regardless of how it all worked out, Miz is still the champion. He started off his time on SmackDown Live with an edition of MizTV and tried to interview himself, but Randy Orton spoiled all his fun and handily defeated The Miz. Can the champ regroup in coming weeks?
8. AJ Styles (Last Week: 4)
PC = 6, TC = 10, GS = 4, TD = 10, MH = 9, LS = 4
After the WWE Draft took place, AJ Styles made the argument that The Club wasn’t breaking up, it was simply expanding. Gallows & Anderson have already had some success since the expansion, but the same can’t be said for AJ. After being pinned by John Cena at Battleground, AJ went on to get pinned by Dolph Ziggler after a Superkick took him out in the Main Event of the inaugural SmackDown Live. Can AJ survive without his insurance policy?
9. Apollo Crews (Last Week: Unranked)
PC = 9, TC = 7, GS = 8, TD = 5, MH = 10, LS = 5
Despite falling a bit by the wayside in recent weeks, Apollo Crews burst back onto the scene on SmackDown by winning a battle royal at the beginning of the night to earn a spot in the Six Pack Challenge to decide the #1 Contender to the WWE Championship. A strong showing has put Crews back in the discussion, and he’ll look to continue impressing as the New Era continues.
10. Baron Corbin (Last Week: Unranked)
PC = 10, TC = 9, GS = 10, TD = N/A, MH = 8, LS = 10
The Lone Wolf has had an up and down time in WWE since arriving and winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania. While that win was monumental, he went on to have a lengthy feud with Dolph Ziggler who now claims his place as #1 Contender for the WWE Championship. While Corbin came up short on SmackDown, he’ll clearly have a role to play in the New Era, and look to make his mark on the fresh home of SmackDown Live.
Also receiving votes: Natalya