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The moment they showed up, we knew.
When Bayley's music hit, followed by Dakota Kai's, then IO SKY's at SummerSlam to confront the Raw Women's Champion, Bianca Belair and everyone watching both in attendance at Nissan Stadium and on Peacock knew.
Before they had a name, spoke a word into a microphone, even competed together in a match, they made it obvious: Damage CTRL was going to put the Women's Divsion on notice and win championship gold.
That inevitability became a reality this week with IYO SKY & Dakota Kai's Women's Tag Team Championships victory; and what was a trio of women that had nothing to do with one another prior to The Biggest Part of the Summer, two of which weren't employed by the company ahead of the event, are now ridding high as one the hottest and most successful acts in all of wrestling.
It's been fantastic to be along for the ride and see the rise, both on television and here in these very Power Rankings. They're banging on the door of WWE's upper echelon, and we don't think those hinges will hold much longer.
Let's get to it and find out exactly how high they land with us this week. And for a further breakdown, be sure to read on beyond the table.
NC = No Change from last week
NR = Not Ranked last week
Plus = Moved up from last week
Minus = Moved down from last week
Roman Reigns – Undisputed WWE Universal Champion
Bobby Lashley – United States Champion
Gunther – Intercontinental Champion
Bianca Belair – Raw Women's Champion
Seth "Freakin'" Rollins
Liv Morgan – SmackDown Women's Champion
The Judgment Day
The Usos – Undisputed Tag Team Champions
Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett
The Brawling Brutes
The Viking Raiders
The Street Profits
1. Roman Reigns – Undisputed WWE Universal Champion (NC)
A week after successfully defending his Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against Drew McIntyre, it was a quiet one for "The Tribal Chief." The rest of The Bloodline was on SmackDown, as newest member Solo Sikoa made his main roster in-ring debut against McIntyre with The Usos and Sami Zayn in his corner, but Reigns didn't make the trip. Lucky for him, Bobby Lashley also had a quiet week, so he gets to hang on to the No. 1 spot in these Power Rankings.
2. Bobby Lashley – United States Champion (NC)
"The All Mighty" also was without a match this week, but after Seth “Freakin'” Rollins claimed to be the face of Monday Night Raw in a backstage interview, the U.S. Champion took exception. Now the two are on a collision course for next week. If Lashley can retain against the likes of Rollins, the smart money would be on him leapfrogging "The Head of the Table" to get back into the No. 1 spot.
3. Imperium – Intercontinental Champion (NC)
The Top 3 all remain intact, with one asterisk – moving forward we'll be including Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci (the former Fabian Aichner) with Gunther as Imperium. The group that dominated NXT UK and NXT is officially back and appear to have not missed a beat.
Gunther has been on a tear ever since joining SmackDown, but with Vinci now back in the fold, Kaiser also seems to have upped his game. "The Ring General's" group scored an impressive victory over The Brawling Brutes to open up SmackDown last week when Kaiser and Vinci hit Ridge Holland with the Imperial Bomb. The crowd was electric for this one, and anytime Gunther and Sheamus were in the ring together, the crowd was rabid for more physicality between the two. It seems inevitable that they'll meet again, but so far Imperium has been dominating the rivalry.
4. Bianca Belair – Raw Women's Champion (+1)
Dusting herself off after being pinned at Clash at the Castle in a Six-Woman Tag Team Match, the EST of WWE was eager to get back to her winning ways on Monday and issued an Open Challenge. Sonya Deville accepted, but in the end, Belair triumphed with a K.O.D.
Damage CTRL attacked the champ after the match, but Alexa Bliss & Asuka came to her rescue. Seemingly headed for a showdown at Extreme Rules, will Bayley and the rest of Damage CTRL continue to find ways to keep Belair off balance?
5. Seth “Freakin'” Rollins (-1)
Seth “Freakin” Rollins opened up Monday Night Raw by cutting a promo about what's next on his agenda after seemingly putting Matt Riddle behind him. He came out to a massive pop and the crowd was hot when it came to singing his theme song. While talking, he brought up his victory over Riddle at Clash at the Castle. "The Original Bro" then proceeded to interrupt Rollins, with the two getting into a scuffle before Rollins ran away. It was a solid promo, but since it didn't move the needle for Rollins much and he didn't compete in a match, he drops one spot in our rankings.
Rollins does, however, have a huge match vs. Bobby Lashley next week on Raw, and WWE has done an excellent job building up the United States Title over the past month. The loser of two major feuds this year, first vs. Roman Reigns and then against Cody Rhodes (even when Cody had a torn pec), we hope this further signals and end to Rollins' feud with Riddle while it currently sits in the win column for him. They had a good match at Clash at the Castle that would serve as a good closer, and we believe Riddle interference next week would put a damper on it.
6. Damage CTRL (+3)
We have new Women's Tag Team Champions in Damage CTRL! IYO SKY & Dakota Kai defeated Raquel Rodriguez & Aliyah in a match where they controlled (see what we did there?) most of the match, preventing Rodriguez from entering as much as possible. An assist also has to go to Bayley, who provided crucial involvement that ultimately lead to the pinfall. But with such a short reign given to Rodriguez & Aliyah, it makes us wonder why WWE didn't just put the titles on them a few weeks ago.
Outside of that interference, Bayley also came out following Bianca Belair's match against Sonya Deville, leading to an attack on the Women's Champion by the entire trio. Alexia Bliss & Asuka eventually made the save, but things are lining up just nice for a Bayley vs. Belair title bout at Extreme Rules. Bayley has been prominently featured in her return to WWE after her injury and it's nice to see another legitimate threat to Bianca's title reign.
7. Kevin Owens (-1)
Kevin Owens once again showed his elite talking skills on Monday when he cut an impassioned promo on how Superstars like him are the lifeblood of the WWE to an unconvinced Austin Theory. Owens remarked how, contrary to Adonises like Mr. Money in the Bank, wrestlers like him don't have the favored look and aren't as “polished." However, said Superstars like KO work their butts off week in and week out, proving time and again a value that allows them to become more successful than countles Superstars that come to WWE in that cookie-cutter mold.
The confrontation eventually led to a brawl between the two, with Theory leaving the conflict with a bit of blood on him and us wondering where it'll go from here. It's an interesting turn given Owens was previously tied up with Sami Zayn and The Bloodline, and it's that confusion combined with this being his only involvement on Raw and Damage CTRL's strong showing has Owens dropping one spot in our rankings.
That said, his promo was top notch and he appears to be in a position to really build Austin Theory as the future of WWE. Win or lose, he should come out of this in a strong position as it seems not just the fans, but WWE itself is very much behind KO.
8. Liv Morgan – Smackdown Women's Champion (-1)
Liv Morgan is set to face off against Ronda Rousey once again after Rousey emerged from SmackDown as No. 1 Contender to the SmackDown Women's Title. And while Liv didn't compete herself, she was spotted watching Ronda's match backstage.
This rematch puts Liv in a weird spot. She defeated Rousey at SummerSlam back in late July, but she did tap out before the three count thanks to bad positioning by the referee. With “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” now getting another opportunity knowing she had that contest won, this could very well be the end of Liv's reign. There's also the outside chance that this is setting up a Charlotte Flair return in some capacity, though we'll see whether it's Ronda or Liv that she'd face.
9. The Judgment Day (+2)
Who knew that turning Dom heel and aligning him with The Judgment Day was just the shot in the arm that both the group and younger Mysterio needed? Oh, yeah, we knew. We just called it a bit early in our SummerSlam predictions.
The group was booked strong on Monday, with Dom getting plenty of screen time via a solid promo alongside father Rey and master of puppets Rhea Ripley plus a main event bout with Edge. The group stood tall to close out the show as well, having toppled both "The Rated-R Superstar" and the elder Mysterio. The Dom/Rhea connection may be a bit odd, but it's the most interesting thing Dom's done since enterng WWE and it shows the group as a rising and legitimate threat.
10. The Usos – Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions (-2)
Welp, "The Ones" are out of the single digit ranks for the first time in nearly three months here on our Power Rankings.
We doubt they'll be down here for long, but it's mainly due to the fact that they haven't seen in-ring action recently and that the Men's Tag Team Division seems a bit directionless at the moment. Hopefully that'll clear up and we'll get a new challenger to The Usos' championships soon (thanks, Braun), so they can do more than act as brother Solo Sikoa's hype men. Which, we gotta say, they did knock out of the park as they do almost anything they're handed.
11. Drew McIntyre (-1)
It's another spot down for Drew this week, as he once again ended a show down on the mat. Last week, he was unable to leave Clash at the Castle as Undisputed WWE Universal Champion thanks to newest Bloodline member: Solo Sikoa. This time around, it was Karrion Kross being the party pooper right as McIntyre was about to enact vengeance upon Sikoa.
Drew fought valiently to try and get out of the Kross Jacket, but it was to no avail. And while we think this will be a good program for McIntyre that will keep him busy and provide some solid entertainment, we also can't ignore that the best was gotten of him two weeks straight.
12. Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett (+1)
Just as Drew McIntyre moves down for being bested by Karrion Kross, so does Kross move up for his stealthy SmakDown sneak attack that put McIntyre to sleep as Friday's show came to a close. "The Scottish Warrior" has been the apple of Kross' twisted eye for weeks and now he's making his presence felt in a way that McIntyre can no longer ignore after he failed to secure the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.
It'll be a big time rivalry for Karrion and true "get right" opportunity after he was so egregiously handled in his first go-around on the main roster. He's been done right and made things work so far.
13) Edge (-1)
Ranking Edge is a bit tricky coming out of Raw this week, as he actually notched the win over Dominik Mysterio via disqualification after Rey Mysterio stepped in the way and The Judgment Day interfered. The thing is, while Edge “won” the match, The Judgment Day won the war rather decisively.
The group ravaged “The R Rated Superstar,” including a series of chairshots to the knee from Dominik and a brutal Coup de Grace to his leg from Finn Balor. It will be interesting to see if this thrashing keeps Edge off the screen for a little while. If it does, he could tumble out of these Power Rankings quickly.
14) Ronda Rousey (NR)
Talk about domination.
Ronda Rousey secured herself a championship rematch against Liv Morgan at Extreme Rules after winning a Fatal 5-Way elimination match against Sonya Deville, Natalya, Xia Li and Lacey Evans on SmackDown last Friday. She got three out of the four competitors to tap out during the match, including an Ankle Lock on Deville to end it. It was just the sort of performance Rousey needed to restore her credibility as a commanding force in the Women's Division.
Liv Morgan watched the events unfold and has exuded confidence in beating Rousey twice, though both wins didn't exactly come under the most decisive of circumstances. “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” has a chance to turn the page, though the pressure will be on as she'll likely enter the match as the favorite.
15) Solo Sikoa (NR)
To say Sikoa is getting a push right now would be a massive understatement. After interfering to help Roman Reigns hold on to the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at Clash at the Castle, Sikoa made his main roster debut in a barnburner of a match against Drew McIntyre on SmackDown last Friday. And if that wasn't enough, Sikoa then appeared on NXT on Tuesday night and won the North American Championship from Carmelo Hayes.
While it was an unexpected turn of events, it makes sense to have The Bloodline dominating across the board. They call themselves “The Ones” for a reason. They are dripping in gold right now. As for Sikoa, he has the pedigree, the presence, and the skill set to be a major player for years to come. His introduction to the main roster couldn't have been handled any better.
16) Braun Strowman (+4)
Braun Strowman's impact can't be denied. After making his return to WWE in the middle of a Fatal Four Way No. 1 Contender's Match between The Street Profits, Alpha Academy, The New Day and Los Lotharios last Monday, “The Monster of All Monsters” was called out by Chad Gable on SmackDown. Not a good idea.
Strowman not only powerbombed Gable, but also the 330-pound Otis in a remarkable display of strength. It's not a stretch to say that Strowman appears to be in the best shape of his life. A match against Otis is probably in the cards, but it's easy to see a confrontation with Omos on the map with the way he was presented on Raw this past week.
17. Johnny Gargano (NR)
Johnny Gargano made his Monday Night Raw debut this week putting on an absolute banger against “The Technician” Chad Gable. It was apparent how much either man could wrestle a broom and still have a captivating match. “Johnny Wrestling” picked up the hard fought victory, outsmarting both Gable and his No. 1 student Otis.
The victory celebration was short lived, though, as Mr. Money in the Bank Austin Theory blindsided Gargano, leaving him lying on the ramp while of course taking a selfie. In a backstage segment, Gargano addressed Theory by letting him know that no matter what, when it's all said and done he will come out on top. Don't be surprised if Gargano gets involved in the Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory match next week in some form or fashion.
18) The Brawling Brutes (-2)
The Brawling Brutes have been locked into a hard hitting feud with Imperium. All of the confrontations have been entertaining, but so far Sheamus, Butch and Ridge Holland haven't been able to get over the hump against Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci.
The trios had a Six-Man Tag Team Match to kick off Friday Night SmackDown. It was another back-and-forth slugfest between these teams that ended with Imperium ultimately picking up the victory. While this battle between teams is far from over, the Brutes need to pick up a win and gain some momentum to hold off Imperium's dominance.
19) The Viking Raiders (-4)
The Viking Raiders are still able to hold onto a spot in our Power Rankings for this week despite not getting an appearance from them on last Friday's show thanks to their performance against The New Day from the SmackDown prior. Their rivalry seems to be done with the legendary team, but it was surprising that Erik & Ivar were left out of this Friday's Fatal Four-Way Tag Team Match to determine the next challengers for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions. Now with that said there is still a chance that The Raiders interject themselves into said match, but until then this non-booking seems like a big oversight.
20) The Street Profits (NR)
Coming off of a Eight-Man Tag Team Match win over Maximum Male Models and Los Lotharios, Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins now have their sights on getting back into the Tag Team Championship picture. They are one of the teams included in this Friday's Fatal Four-Way Match to determine the new challengers for the gold. The Profits have gained a little bit of steam in recent weeks so it will be interesting if they end up being the team to challenge The Usos once again.
On the cusp: Matt Riddle, Dexter Lumis, Sami Zayn, Theory, Alpha Academy, Madcap Moss, The Miz & Ciampa, Hit Row, Omos
Who's NXT: Bron Breakker, Mandy Rose, Carmelo Hayes, Tyler Bate, JD McDonagh, Pretty Deadly, Creed Brothers, Katana Chance & Kayden Carter, Cora Jade