On the final week leading into TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs, the WWE power ranking scene has shifted drastically. Since it’s once again our first installment of the new system here at FRS SLAM!, there’s no “last week’s rankings” to judge by, so you’ll have to bear with us until next Friday.
For now, we present you the Top 25 superstars/teams on the WWE brand for the week beginning on Oct. 17. Let the debates begin.
25 – Breezango
Sure, why not. They haven’t actually won a match on television in the recent past, but the entertainment value alone of their backstage skits gets them a spot on the list. Long live the friendship of Breezango and The Ascension!
24 – Dolph Ziggler
It was a big week for Ziggler, who avenged his loss to Bobby Roode at Hell in a Cell with an under-handed roll-up victory of his own. His current storyline is still a bit murky as they attempt to figure out what exactly to do with him, but in the short term, he handed Roode a loss and pumped the feud full of new life.
23 – Enzo Amore
Things may have gotten out of control with the new tweener gimmick over the past few weeks, but Enzo isn’t wrong when he states that he made the cruiserweight scene relevant again. He gets his rematch with Kalisto on Sunday in an attempt to climb back the up the ladder and become a two-time Cruiserweight Champion.
22 – The New Day
Where they go from here is anyone’s best guess. Ultimately, The New Day remains one of SmackDown Live’s top draws, and even when they’re stuck playing the trumpet in backstage cameos with Aiden English, they remain absurdly entertaining and a major cog in the show overall.
— WWE (@WWE) October 18, 2017
21 – Kalisto
His arrival in the cruiserweight division continued the wave of uncertainty surrounding the division. Now both a cruiserweight champ as well as former United States champion, Kalisto has built an impressive resume within the company, although he hasn’t gotten over beyond the “Lucha” chant he employs.
20 – Sasha Banks
“The boss” finds herself stuck in the nitty-gritty of the Raw women’s division as Asuka debuts on Sunday and Alexa Bliss defends the belt. She has reeled off a succession of wins over Alicia Fox, with a chance at the trifecta during the TLC kick-off show on Sunday. Banks finds the common problem of needing a rivalry during the phases in which she isn’t chasing the strap.
19 – Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin
It was a light week for the newest tag team on the SmackDown Live block, pulling some backstage theatrics with The Usos. They find themselves in this spot by virtue of their No. 1 contender billing, which is setting up for a scintillating match sometime in the future against the current champs.
18 – Bobby Roode
The Glorious One was one-upped by Dolph Ziggler this week on SmackDown Live, but still remains higher on the totem pole by virtue of how the finish went down. The rivalry between the two seems far from finished, leaving Roode entrenched with the Show-Off before he can advance higher up the card.
17 – Braun Strowman
Technically, he defeated Roman Reigns this past week on Raw in a Steel Cage Match, which is plenty to earn a spot on the list. He also kept his spot in the main event at TLC by virtue of that win, but that can’t hide the fact that Strowman has become Generic Big Guy 1 for this feud against The Shield, a far cry from the Monster that nearly toppled the Beast just a month ago.
16 – Kane
He gets a few spot bump just for returning BY CLIMBING THROUGH THE RING! We get it, the Kane schtick is unbelievably overplayed, especially the 14th time he returns from hiatus promising hellfire and brimstone, while the audience wonders whether to boo or cheer The Big Red Machine. But for now, he’s back, and focusing his destruction on The Shield.
15 – Randy Orton
Sure he got pinned by Sami Zayn this week, but he’s still Randy Orton. He knocked off Rusev again at Hell in a Cell, meaning he remains at the center of the SmackDown Live universe, just adrift with no clear direction.
14 – Shinsuke Nakamura
You can repeat nearly the same message for Nakamura, who is painfully receiving the “wait your turn” treatment. There’s no chance Nakamura will continue to be a sideshow oddity on the blue brand, but having to take two pinfall losses to Jinder certainly hurts his stock.
13 – Finn Balor
His feud of demons and monsters with Bray Wyatt is set to end on Sunday, with orange-colored Demon expected on the premises. In a showdown that could have really set the WWE ablaze, it has had the feeling of spinning tires for Balor, who has arguably suffered the most from Lesnar’s Universal Title reign and it’s extended absences.
— WWE (@WWE) October 17, 2017
12 – Bray Wyatt
If to this point someone has “won” this feud, it’s Wyatt. The Sister Abigail scenario has been begging to come to light nearly since his arrival, so there are copious amounts of pressure to not mess it up. One way or the other, TLC is slated as her awakening and the immediate future of Wyatt hinges on it.
11 – Charlotte Flair
Likely where she should have been the entire time, Charlotte has taken back control of the SmackDown live women’s division. She may not be the champion (yet), but even the Queen needs to take a break from holding gold, as an inevitable second shot at Natalya is on the horizon.
10 – AJ Styles
By interrupting Jinder Mahal’s promo this past week, Styles all but assured himself of becoming the next man in line to challenge the Modern-Day Maharaja. It’s a near complete 180 for Styles, who dropped the United States Title at Hell in a Cell before losing to Baron Corbin clean in the span of a few weeks; now, he has rocketed himself back into the main event scene and no one seems to disagree with it.
9 – Cesaro & Sheamus
They have felt less like ancillary players in Sunday’s TLC Match than the glue holding the fight together. The pair has managed to do the extremely difficult in making their pairing seem permanent: can you imagine either man without the other at this point?
8 – Baron Corbin
What a difference a few weeks makes. Corbin is now the United States Champion, unleashing his uber middle-finger attitude on a whim. He lost by count out to Sin Cara this week, which was confounding not only for his spot in the rankings, but his overall character as well.
7 – Alexa Bliss
While The Goddess reins over her division, it’s hard to not feel like she’s sitting on a ticking time bomb. On the same night she defends her strap against Mickie James, Asuka makes her official WWE and Raw roster debuts, which puts Bliss’ days as champion on notice.
6 – The Miz
The Year (plus?) of the Miz continues. In a pinch of holding a single-brand PPV without Brock Lesnar or the Universal Championship, the Intercontinental Champion has become the leading man and maestro of Raw. He faces near certain failure Sunday at TLC, but a hat tip to The Miz for his continued excellence on the mic and insistence on defeating The Shield.
5 – The Usos
The only possible thing that could make The Usos better is turning them back face, which it appears WWE certainly isn’t ruling out. After a classic tag team encounter with The New Day at Hell in a Cell, The Usos are walking around like deities of tag team wrestling. They’ve got another classic encounter with Gable & Benjamin looming, but for now remain the gold standard of the division in the company.
4 – Jinder Mahal
Well, that escalated quickly. In a move that screams extend the title run for another month before we can travel to India, Mahal is making the brash move of challenging Brock Lesnar to a champion vs. champion match at Survivor Series, with neither belt presumably up for grabs. This either ends with Jinder getting fed to the slaughter or him pinning Lesnar and the entire WWE Universe revolting.
— WWE (@WWE) October 18, 2017
3 – Brock Lesnar
Barring utter confusion, Lesnar is unlikely to turn down a fight, let alone from Jinder Mahal. Lesnar is still the top of the food chain on Raw, hungry to feast on pray outside of his slaughterhouse.
2 – Kevin Owens + Sami Zayn
After years of adversarial encounters, the two men on the same side of the battle are proving to be a formidable duo. If booked properly, this reunion can be a long-running gimmick, with both men getting their share of the action. Zayn’s pinfall victory over Orton in tag team action this week is evidence of that fact, with KO and Sami teaming up to take on the Authority of Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon.
1 – The Shield
Let’s not mince words: when together, the WWE is The Shield’s yard. They head into battle on Sunday at TLC and despite not standing tall this week, they are the hunters of the entire company, immediately becoming the most popular stars, along with figuring out the impossible: getting Roman Reigns overwhelmingly cheered.