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Superstar Power Rankings

WWE Rankings: Brock Lesnar's Rise Threatens Roman Reigns' Dominance

by Mike Murphy
Updated On: July 28, 2022, 3:22 pm ET

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We're not sure how the Superstar Power Rankings are going to look when the dust settles from WWE SummerSlam 2022. The usual upheaval that comes from a Premium Live Event aside, it's pretty safe to assume that the post-Vince McMahon era of WWE creative with Triple H at the helm will surely start taking shape at The Biggest Party of the Summer and the Raw that follows next Monday.

But that's next week's problem. This week, we analyze how the road to SummerSlam is wrapping up ahead of SmackDown and the event itself to see where the top Superstars of the roster land.

Let's get to it. And for a further breakdown, be sure to read on beyond the table.

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

RankSuperstarBrandChange
1Roman Reigns - Undisputed WWE Universal ChampionSmackDownNC
2Bobby Lashley - United States ChampionRaw+1
3The Usos - Undisputed Tag Team ChampionsSmackDown+1
4Bianca Belair - Raw Women's ChampionRaw-2
5Liv Morgan - SmackDown Women's ChampionSmackDownNC
6Becky LynchRawNC
7Drew McIntyreSmackDown+3
8Gunther - Intercontinental ChampionSmackDown+1
9Brock LesnarN/A+6
10Seth "Freakin'" RollinsRaw+1
11Ronda RouseySmackDown+2
12RiddleRaw-5
13A.J. StylesRaw-1
14TheoryRaw-6
15Dolph ZigglerRaw+1
16The Street ProfitsRaw+1
17The Viking RaidersSmackDown+2
18The Judgment DayRawNC
19Logan PaulN/A+1
20Pat McAfeeSmackDownNR

 

1. Roman Reigns - Undisputed WWE Universal Champion (NC)

We were blessed with the presence of "The Tribal Chief" in a match on Raw this week, and Reigns justified our placement of him as "The Head of the Table" in our rankings since the column's inception with a definitive victory via Spear on Riddle in that Six-Man Tag Team Match. He also cut a fantastic promo on Mr. Money in the Bank Theory earlier in the night that elicited cheers from the MSG crowd and included a massive jab alluding to the company's behind-the-scenes changeover (all while teasing the potential gold that a no-nonsense face turn for he and The Bloodline could bring WWE in the future).

But Reigns' stranglehold on our No. 1 spot and the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship could be coming to an end this Saturday when he's once again put to the test against Brock Lesnar. Will Roman continue to reign supreme come next week? Or will he find himself in unfamiliar territory?

2. Bobby Lashley - United States Champion (+1)

Bobby Lashley had a solid night on Raw this past Monday. Making the save on Drew McIntyre to foil an attack by Theory and The Brawling Brutes' turned things into an impromptu tag match, where Lashley got his rival to quickly tap out to The Hurt Lock thanks to a Dolph Ziggler distraction. Things have been great for Bobby since Money in the Bank ... but that makes us nervous. With all the momentum going for him and things going so wrong for Theory of late, it has us thinking Bobby could be in store for a short run with United States Championship that ends this Saturday. WWE is famous for its propensity to have the Superstar with surging momentum going into a big match then losing said contest. But perhaps the new creative powers that be will decide to buck that trend.

3. The Usos - Undisputed Tag Team Champions (+1)

Jimmy and Jey got A TON of screen time this week. Prominently featured on both SmackDown and Raw, the WWE's top tag team saw a DQ loss on the former and clean win on the latter. The DQ can be practically tossed out, given they were more concerned by the end of the match with teaching their partner Theory a lesson about threatening a SummerSlam cash in on their cousin. They got to educate Theory again on Monday with some good work in a promo with he and Reigns, followed by a thunderous Superkick in stereo before winning alongside "The Head of the Table" in the show's main event. The sun may set on their reign as Undisputed Tag Team Champs this week, but given how prominent they've been alongside "The Tribal Chief" and the consistently strong quality of their work, it's hard to see them moving down much next week no matter what happens on Saturday.

4. Bianca Belair - Raw Women's Champion (-2)

Bianca didn't do much this week, with her time on Raw consisting of a promo that ended in a brawl with rival Becky Lynch with neither Superstar standing tall or looking weak. Nothing too great, but also nothing that demands a significant drop given how good Bianca's been. It's very much anyone's guess who will emerge Saturday as the Raw Women's Champion, and we could see Bianca land anywhere from No. 1 to outside the Top 10 next week.

5. Liv Morgan - SmackDown Women's Champion (NC)

Liv was relegated to a backstage promo segment this week, but she made the best of what she had. Trading words with challenger Ronda Rousey, Morgan has played the role of passionate, underdog babyface champion with an impressive and infectious level of believability. She makes it very easy to root for her even though she's about to face the greatest challenge of her career this weekend. As much as we'd love to see her retain her SmackDown Women's Championship on Saturday, watching her ferociously chase Ronda to win the championship back would arguable be even more entertaining.

6. Becky Lynch (NC)

Like her SummerSlam opponent, Becky Lynch's only airtime came in a promo segment between the two that led to a stalemate brawl. The intensity that Becky brought to the turning-point of the promo into the brawl helped add to the segment and, like Belair, it'd be unfair to knock Lynch in the rankings much if at all for what was a solid portion of the show that helped reinforce the two's pure hatred for one another. Plus, we'd be remiss if we didn't rave about and factor in Becky's incredible Raw fit.

7. Drew McIntyre (+3)

Everything's coming up McIntyre of late. Drew is heading into a SmackDown showdown with Sheamus this Friday in an Irish Donnybrook Match with plenty of momentum, having had the upper hand in nearly every encounter he's had with The Celtic Warrior and The Brawling Brutes for the last month. And he'll be happy to have it, since the winner of that match will determine who will challenge for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at Clash at the Castle. Given that McIntyre's pedigree includes being one on a very short list of Superstars to beat Brock Lesnar in the last five years (hint: there's just three others on it, they're all in our Top 10 and Sheamus isn't one of them), we honestly can't see him losing on Friday and expect him to climb even higher in these rankings next week.

8. Gunther - Intercontinental Champion (+1)

Though he isn't seeing much in-ring action of late and has found himself, as of the writing of this column, off the SummerSlam card, Gunther is still putting in some class heel work over on the blue brand. Not only did the Intercontinental Champion help Ludwig Kaiser defeat potential title threat Shinsuke Nakamura by nefarious means, he then punished Kaiser for needing said help with another of his vicious, trademark chops. With Riddle and Rollins now off the card at SummerSlam, we wouldn't be opposed to getting some Gunther in an IC Championship Match against "The King of Strong Style."

9. Brock Lesnar (+6)

Our biggest riser this week, The Beast could have fallen off our list completely when reports emerged that he had walked out on SmackDown. However, Lesnar decided to return to the arena and when he did, he put fear into the soul of Theory before crushing Mr. Money in the Bank with a thunderous F-5. Though it really does seem like Lesnar vs. Reigns is a program that's reached the point of being done to death, this Saturday's contest honestly appears to be the rivalry's final stop. Given that possibility combined with the fact that these two always put on one heck of an entertaining show when they do clash, we're sure to have some fun on Saturday. It's that excited anticipation combined with his obliteration of Theory on Friday that propels Lesnar up into our Top 10.

10. Seth "Freakin'" Rollins (+1)

This week saw a nice high for Rollins, ending the Raw before SummerSlam by standing tall over his would-be opponent in Riddle after delivering a massive curb stomp into the ring steps. However, that came with a massive low today when news broke that Riddle suffered a stinger during the show, an injury that will keep him from competing at SummerSlam and postponing the two men's match. It'll be interesting to see if Rollins still has a role to play on Saturday anyway or if he'll be off the show completely, but this angle can work in the two's favor in the long term and we can see Rollins leaning into it hard given his natural talents as a heel as early as this weekend.

11. Ronda Rousey (+2)

It was an effective SmackDown for Ronda Rousey on Friday night. She made quick work of Sonya Deville to maintain her status as the most dangerous woman on the WWE roster and remind viewers what a significant threat she poses to Liv Morgan's SmackDown Women's Championship. Rousey also had a solid backstage segment with Morgan, though it could be argued that Liv was the more charismatic of the two in that exchange. The bottom line, however, is that rumors of Ronda's demise after Money in the Bank were greatly exaggerated and there's a more than legitimate shot that she'll be back on top of the mountain when all is said and done on Saturday.

12.  Riddle (-5)

Poor, poor Riddle. We here at NBC Sports EDGE had him pegged for a huge win over Rollins at SummerSlam to keep his emerging star rising, but a stinger injury now has him off the card and puts his short-term future into question. It doesn't help matters that he was on the losing end of his match on Raw and then had his head slammed into the steel steps by Seth "Freakin'" Rollins. But despite all the bad news for him, the table is set for a killer comeback angle when Riddle recovers and is healthy once again. We'll hold off on dropping him any further in the ranks this week just in case WWE plans to continue to feature "The Original Bro" in backstage or promo segments in the coming days to keep him at the forefront of fans' minds.

13. A.J. Styles (-1)

Styles picked up yet another victory on Raw this week, teaming with Dolph Ziggler to defeat Alpha Academy. But we can't help but point out that despite the numbers stacking up in the win column, "The Phenomenal One" doesn't have an actual storyline going on and as such is not on the card for WWE's second-biggest event of the year. Wins without substance in this business can only get someone so high in our rankings, so until we start seeing more meaning behind his performances we feel that Styles has hit a ceiling just outside our Top 10.

14. Theory (-6) 

You know what they say: It's always darkest just before the dawn. Perhaps that's what we're about to see with Theory, who we're sure is repeating that saying over and over in his head after what can only be described as a train wreck of a week for the blue chipper. He's getting a massive amount of screen time with the biggest names in the company, but said names have all made him look like a total pretender and chump. Losing by DQ to Madcap Moss and The Street Profits, getting ditched by his partners The Usos in that match, being sent into orbit via F-5 from Brock Lesnar, becoming the subject of arguably the biggest diss of the year by Roman Reigns, losing by DQ again to Drew McIntyre, losing a third time right after that to McIntyre and Bobby Lashley and then, finally, getting his head kicked off by The Usos featuring more jaw-jacking by Reigns. Everything went so wrong that his name might as well have been Murphy (I should know). Perhaps this is the prelude to a historic SummerSlam where he closes it as both the United States and Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, but we have another theory in mind (pun intend) that we'll get to in the next entry.

15. Dolph Ziggler (+1)

Dolph Ziggler has been a delight to watch since his return a few weeks ago. He picked up a win on Raw with A.J. Styles and was a thorn in Theory's side once again, leading to another loss for Mr. Money in the Bank. But his appearance on The Bump this week has added an interesting wrinkle to he and Theory's story. Ziggler claimed on the show that he likes Theory and is actually trying to help and guide him via his distractions. To snap him out of his arrogance and get his ego in check so he can reach his ultimate potential. Could this mean we'll see a down-on-his-luck Theory following a winless SummerSlam (briefcase still in possession, though), pair up with a Ziggler who secretly never stopped being a heel to form an evil team whose end goal is Theory becoming Undisputed WWE Universal Champion? If so, then sign us up please.

16. The Street Profits (+1)

Going 1-1 in their matchups this week, The Street Profits pick up a spot here given their entertaining promo on Raw with rivals The Usos and SummerSlam special guest referee Jeff Jarrett in addition to the fact that neither man took the fall in Monday's loss. Saturday will be a defining night for the popular and talented duo. Will it end in victory and championships, or defeat and a potential split?

17. The Viking Raiders (+2)

Slow and steady is the climb here for The Viking Raiders. While not as dominant this week as they've been since their return, Erik and Ivar played some clever mind games on The New Day. The team defeated Jinder Mahal and Shanky in tag team action, but did so via count out by chucking Mahal into the duo as Kingston and Woods appeared on guest commentary. It's good to see an extra layer added to the team given that they've until now been portrayed as nothing but big-bodied brutes.

18. The Judgment Day (NC)

The Judgment Day were unsuccessful in crashing Rey Mysterio's 20th Anniversary Celebration in the ring, but they got the last laugh and succeeded in dishing out pain to the elder Mysterio thanks to a returning Rhea Ripley in a backstage segment later on in the night. While their storyline is far from the most exciting plot heading into SummerSlam, a win at the Premium Live Event and maybe a Dominik defection swerve could breath new life into the newly reunited trio.

19. Logan Paul (+1)

The social media megastar and newest WWE Superstar opened the show hot as he and The Miz kicked things off on Raw mid-brawl in the ring. Paul then showed off his natural talent as a talker later in the show by cutting a pretty decent promo with a nice zinger on Impulse TV, his own mock offshoot of MizTV. Ciampa and Miz ruined his momentum by the end of the segment via a sneaky beatdown and Skull-Crushing Finale, but this rivalry has done a good job at raising Paul's WWE profile following his impressive WrestleMania performance and should help springboard him to bigger things with the company.

20. Pat McAfee (NR)

The popular commentator got jumped by his SummerSlam opponent and former Colts teammate Happy Corbin on SmackDown, but showed heart and resiliency by chasing down his former friend into the back to keep the fight going before returning to the ring and cutting an impassioned promo. The crowd ate it up as McAfee's electric diatribe proved once again how valuable a talent and asset he's been to WWE since his first appearance on NXT in 2020. His Saturday matchup with Corbin is certainly a dark horse to turn heads and maybe even steal the show.

On the cusp: Asuka, Madcap Moss, The Brawling Brutes, Happy Corbin, Omos, Alexa Bliss, The Miz, Ciampa, The New Day, Lacey Evans, Shinsuke Nakamura, The Mysterios

Who's NXT: Bron Breakker, Mandy Rose, Roxanne Perez, Carmelo Hayes, The Creed Brothers, Cora Jade, Zoey Stark, Tony D'Angelo, Giovanni Vinci

Want more WWE content? Check out all of our WWE coverage, including our rankings history and Premium Live Event predictions.

Mike Murphy

Mike Murphy is the Manager of the Gaming News Desk for NBC Sports EDGE and is a former WWE.com writer and editor as well as a former host of WWE's UpUpDownDown YouTube Channel.