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Roman Reigns
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Superstar Power Rankings

WWE Rankings: Solo Sikoa Helps Roman Reigns Retake Our Top Spot

by D.J. Short
Updated On: September 8, 2022, 10:40 pm ET

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Since taking the reins of creative control, Triple H has done a wonderful job highlighting the lineage and importance of the Intercontinental and United States Championships, as well as crowning new Women's Tag Team Champions. Now that Clash at the Castle is behind us, the next item on the agenda should be reinvigorating the Men's Tag Team Division. That was an area of strength when Triple H called the shots at NXT, so there's reason to be optimistic as the build begins to Extreme Rules on October 8.

The Usos haven't defended their tag belts since a victory over The Mysterios on Raw the day after SummerSlam, so it's high time for that to change. It looked like maybe we would get closer to learning their next challengers via Monday's Fatal Four-Way Match between The Street Profits, The New Day, Alpha Academy and Los Lotharios, but that showdown ended up being interrupted by yet another returning superstar in the form of Braun Strowman.  

Where that leaves the Tag Team Title situation is unclear, but The Viking Raiders are on the rise in our rankings and we haven't quite reached the end game in Sami Zayn's storyline with The Usos. We know what we're hoping for as far as that is concerned, but there are multiple paths to a compelling rivalry which can lift up the tag division. 

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 ChampionSmackDown+1
2Bobby Lashley – United States ChampionRaw-1
3Gunther – Intercontinental ChampionSmackDown+2
4Seth "Freakin'" RollinsRaw+2
5Bianca Belair – Raw Women's ChampionRaw-2
6Kevin OwensRaw+2
7Liv Morgan – SmackDown Women's ChampionSmackDown+2
8The Usos – Undisputed Tag Team ChampionsSmackDown-1
9Damage CTRLRaw+1
10Drew McIntyreSmackDown-6
11The Judgment DayRaw+1
12EdgeRaw-1
13Karrion Kross w/ ScarlettSmackDown+1
14Raquel Rodriguez & Aliyah – Women's Tag Team ChampionsSmackDown+1
15The Viking RaidersSmackDown+4
16SheamusSmackdown-3
17Sami ZaynSmackDown-1
18Dexter LumisRawNR
19RiddleRaw-1
20Braun StrowmanSmackDownNR

 

1. Roman Reigns – Undisputed WWE Universal Champion (+1)

We had a feeling this might happen. Though it wasn't part of our final prediction for the Clash at the Castle main event, we did hint in the writeup for the match in our predictions column that Roman Reigns might be hiding an ace up his sleeve in the form of Solo Sikoa.

Cousin to "The Tribal Chief" and younger brother to The Usos, Sikoa provided the final distraction Reigns needed to defeat a near-victorious Drew McIntyre at the Premium Live Event on Sunday. "The Head of the Table" now takes his massive stadium show win and historic championship run back to the top of our Power Rankings as he officially expands The Bloodline on Friday. We must follow Tyson Fury's footsteps and once again acknowledge him.

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

Bobby Lashley won and successfully defended his United State Championship once again on Raw this week in a Cage Match. Thanks to a timely appearance from Dexter Lumis, The Miz climbed himself back inot the cage and walked right into a Spear to watch the lights as the referee counted one, two, three.

But if Lashley's winning ways are continuing, why did he drop to No. 2 in our Power Rankings? For a few reasons: 1) As a face, especially one made to look physically dominant, winning via outside interference does more harm than help unlike Solo Sikoa's interference to help heel Roman Reigns in his title match and 2) Roman Reigns had a better overall match in his title defense on a bigger show in front of a far larger crowd.

And it's not like we're super down on Lashley here for these results (he is still No. 2, after all). He's mostly a victim of circumstance, but remains very much alive to reclaim the top spot as early as next week.

3.  Gunther – Intercontinental Champion (+2)

Man, what a battle by Gunther to retain his Intercontinental Title against Sheamus. The consensus match of the night from Clash at the Castle, these two men blew the proverbial roof off in Cardiff and deserve all the accolades they're receiving.

And when all was said and done, Gunther left the UK still champ, can now boast a big victory over Sheamus in a marquee event and now has the full force of Imperium behind him with the main roster debut of Giovanni Vinci. A major, major win all around for one of the WWE's brightest rising stars.

4. Seth “Freakin'” Rollins (+2)

Should we just go ahead and crown Seth "Freakin'" Rollins "The King of Mind Games"?

While it certainly was a gamble, swinging low and bringing up Matt Riddle's divorce for the second time in less than a week paid off big time for "The Visionary." Instead of maintaining a level head, Riddle lost it, allowing Rollins time to avoid a dangerous chair shot and put his rival in perfect position for back-to-back stomps for a Clash at the Castle victory.

But while Rollins literally laughed his way out of the arena as the winner and of the mind that he's moving on to bigger things, that may not entirely be the case. "The Original Bro" wants a rematch that he may very well get and says he won't let the same trick work again. That means king or no, Rollins will need to pivot to non-cerebral tactics should said rematch in fact come to pass.

5) Bianca Belair — Raw Women's Champion (-2)

The Women's Champion was pinned by Bayley in the Six-Woman Tag Team matchup against Damage CTRL. Belair was able to get in some solid offense, but after Asuka & Alexa Bliss were taken out of commission outside the ring, she fell victim to the numbers game. Bayley hit the Rose Plant and IYO SKY followed it up with a moonsault, and then Bayley covered the Raw Women's Champ for the one, two, three. 

Belair was anxious to get the taste of defeat out of her month on Raw as she challenged Bayley to a match, but Bayley quipped that she was observing Labor Day, so she wasn't prepared to fight on that night. Are the two headed for a one-on-one match at Extreme Rules? 

6) Kevin Owens (+2)

Kevin Owens' renaissance continued this week on Raw as he came out to interrupt Austin Theory. Owens needled Theory about being “KO'd” by Tyson Fury at Clash at the Castle in just the latest example that shows he's fire on the mic when he gets his chance to shine.'

Owens followed up all the talking by challenging Theory to a fight, and Owens picked up the victory in a long back and forth match. KO came out on top after an impressive offensive barrage, hitting a superplex, a Pop-Up Powerbomb and then a Stunner to take down Austin Theory. 

7) Liv Morgan — Smackdown Women's Champion (+2)

Liv Morgan was able to pick up a much-needed clean victory over Shayna Baszler at Clash at the Castle, successfully defending her SmackDown Women's Championship. Unlike in her first defense against Ronda Rousey, there was no screwy finish and Morgan was able to get a scrappy victory against Baszler who looked dominant in points of the match. In fact, Morgan beat Shayna at her own game.

After training with Matt Riddle working on submissions heading into the matchup, Morgan worked on Baszler's arm, which proved to lead to the Queen of Spades' downfall. Will Morgan be able to stack some more victories and gain some more momentum as she looks to solidify herself as a credible champion?  

8) The Usos - Undisputed Tag Team Champions (-1)

The Usos are still in a strong spot as part of The Bloodline. They haven't had a match over the past week, they and Sami Zayn were taken out by Drew McIntyre on SmackDown and then they didn't have any involvement at Clash at the Castle. But their younger brother Solo Sikoa did.

It appeared pretty clear that Sikoa was the newest member of The Bloodline, but we're sure we'll find out more Friday on SmackDown. A Fatal Four-Way No. 1 Contenders Match took place on Raw to try and determine The Usos' next challengers, but as noted in the intro, it ended as a no-contest when a returning Braun Strowman left everyone laid out.

9) Damage CTRL (+1)

Bayley, IYO SKY & Dakota Kai are back on the rise! After picking up a hard fought victory over Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss & Asuka at Clash at the Castle, the trio then made their plans crystal clear on Raw by making it known that they want gold around their waists. Now with SKY & Kai getting a rematch for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships, business is about to pick up for the trio.

10) Drew McIntyre (-6)

After destroying The Bloodline on Friday, “The Scottish Warrior” was ready to win the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship on his home turf. He even brought back his “Broken Dreams” theme showing he was ready to not only go to war but to stand victorious. McIntyre gave every ounce of fight he had in him, but ultimately fell short of his goal with Roman Reigns walking out still champion. 

You have to assume that McIntyre will now have his eyes turned toward Karrion Kross, who has been calling him out since he returned. Time will tell if McIntyre gets back into the championship picture anytime soon, but he certainly will have his hands full in the meantime. 

11) The Judgment Day (+1)

While The Judgment Day may have lost the battle against Edge & Rey Mysterio, it seems they may have won the war as Dominik Mysterio turned his back on his father. It began Saturday, where in a moment that was meant to be victorious, Dominik took out both Rey and Edge. Then on Raw, after the group took out "The Rated-R Superstar," Damien Priest picked up the win against Rey thanks to key interference from Dom. 

Edge will get a chance at vengeance next week when he and Dominik go one on one. But with a lot of story left to be told, this group only continues to show that there is strength in numbers and their numbers are growing. 

12) Edge (-1)

As mentioned, Edge was a winner on Saturday but was on the receiving end of a low blow by Dominik Mysterio. On Monday, Edge was adamant about getting answers from Dom. He happened instead to run into a beatdown at the hands of The Judgment Day.

Now with the challenge from Dominik laid down for next week's Monday night Raw, can “The Rated-R Superstar” close the chapter on this feud? Or will he finally meet his Judgment Day?

13) Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett (+1)

We've seen plenty of talking from Kross since his return a month ago, but he finally got in the ring last Friday on SmackDown and quickly disposed of Drew Gulak with a submission victory. The result was expected, but it's remarkable how much more intimidating he looks in this second go-around compared to his first stint on the main roster. No helmet necessary, it turns out. His entrance with Scarlett is unique and impactful. We look forward to seeing a lot more of it in future weeks.

Kross was seated at ringside during the main event at Clash at the Castle and a program against Drew McIntyre appears imminent. He's a threat to climb higher on this list.

14) Raquel Rodriguez & Aliyah — Women's Tag Team Champions (+1)

This duo still has some work to do to build credibility as Women's Tag Team Champions, but they were at least able to pull off the victory against Doudrop & Nikki A.S.H. on Monday. Aliyah played a key role in the win by tackling Nikki A.S.H. off the apron, which provided enough of a distraction for Rodriguez to power bomb Doudrop from the second rope in an incredible feat of strength.

Still, it's clear that Rodriguez is the standout on this team, so this dynamic might not be sustainable. The new champs will face a huge test in a championship rematch against IYO SKY & Dakota Kai next week on Raw. They'll once again be the underdogs in that one. 

15) The Viking Raiders (+4)

We have a couple of new additions on this week's list, but The Viking Raiders make the biggest jump among the names who made last week's Power Rankings. And it's well-deserved too, as they put on a heck of a match against The New Day on SmackDown. It was dubbed a “Viking Rules” Match, but it was basically a No Disqualification/Falls Count Anywhere Match with plenty of shields to go around. The ring was also made into a Viking ship, which was a fun little touch for the occasion. 

The teams actually got 25-plus minutes in what was a back-and-forth brawl, but the Raiders ultimately got the win after they hit a combination powerbomb on Xavier Woods through a pair of tables outside the ring. This rivalry with The New Day did a lot to raise their profile, but hopefully it's finally over. With a tag team tournament lined up, it's time for them to chase gold. 

16) Sheamus (-3)

Much like McIntyre, Sheamus still did a lot for himself despite losing at Clash at the Castle on Saturday. As expected, his match against Gunther was an absolute war, but it was also arguably the match of the night. Sheamus' chest looked like hamburger meat as a result of Gunther's chops, but “The Celtic Warrior” dished out plenty of punishment of his own and actually had the crowd counting along with his “Beats of the Bodhran.”

While Sheamus fell short in his efforts to become the first Ultimate Grand Slam Champion, the Cardiff fans showered him with a rousing ovation for his performance. Now that Imperium has reformed (with Giovanni Vinci coming over from NXT), this rivalry probably isn't done just yet. And we're not going to complain about that. 

17. Sami Zayn (-1)

After a couple of weeks in the spotlight, things got a little quieter for "The Master Strategist." Last Friday, after already taking out Roman Reigns with a Claymore Kick, Drew McIntyre leveled Zayn with another one before leaving The Usos laying as well. But, while Sami may not have been there in person, "The Head of the Table" defeated McIntyre at Clash at the Castle to keep the gold with The Bloodline.

With Solo Sikoa now in the mix, what will that mean for Zayn's role in the group? 

18. Dexter Lumis (NR)

After weeks of mostly lurking in the shadows, things escalated to an actual kidnapping, a release from prison and then some more lurking in the shadows as Dexter Lumis continues to torment The Miz. "The A-Lister" thought a steel cage could keep Lumis at bay, and he was actually putting in a strong showing against Bobby Lashley in a United States Championship Match Monday night on Raw. But as The Miz was attempting to exit the cage by climbing out over the top, Lumis slid out from underneath the ring, staring at his prey.

Freaked out, The Miz retreated back into the ring and suffered a loss to Lashley. Lumis then entered himself and put Miz to sleep. Your guess is as good as mine as to where this ultimately leads to, but Lumis has finally done enough where we can't freeze him out of the rankings any longer. 

19. Matt Riddle (-1)

Riddle and Seth “Freakin'” Rollins had a tremendous match at Clash at the Castle, but it was "The Visionary" that ultimately came out on top as Riddle falls another spot in the rankings. It's no wonder Rollins' former mentor was Triple H, because he was most definitely a Cerebral Assassin in this one. It was an epic back-and-forth matchup the entire time until Rollins was able to bring up Riddle's family again to get under his skin. "The Original Bro" lost focus just long enough for Seth to hit him with a Stomp, which was then followed up with a second Stomp off the second rope.

Riddle has vowed that things are not yet over, but he'll need some positive momentum ASAP if he wants to stay on this list. 

20. Braun Strowman (NR)

In yet another “surprise” return, "The Monster Among Men" Braun Strowman made his return to Raw this week. The word “surprise” is in quotes because this return had been leaked well in advance, but Strowman did make an immediate impact as he interrupted a Fatal Four-Way No. 1 Contender's Match for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships. While we're not fans of demeaning the Men's Tag Team Division — especially when Alpha Academy, The New Day, The Street Profits and Los Lotharios were having an excellent match — there's no denying Strowman is an impressive force. 

While giants like Omos, Commander Azeez and Shanky have struggled to gain traction with the WWE Universe, Strowman is more skilled than all three of those guys combined. He's reportedly slated to be a full-time member of the SmackDown roster, so we'll find out very soon what he has in store for the blue brand. 

On the cusp: Dexter Lumis, Street Profits, Madcap Moss, Ronda Rousey, Theory, Johnny Gargano, Madcap Moss, The Miz & Ciampa, Alpha Academy

Who's NXT: Bron Breakker, Mandy Rose, Carmelo Hayes, Pretty Deadly, Katana Chance & Kayden Carter, The Creed Brothers, Cora Jade, Tony D'Angelo