- It will be based exclusively for the listed month.
- And on how much I enjoyed their promos, segments, and/or matches of that particular month.
- It could also be purely speculative. (Asuka is an example of this.)
- Shinsuke Nakamura
Last month: 7
Nakamura started off August with a kick ass match against John Cena with the number one contendership on the line. And while his program with Mahal hasn’t set the world on fire, it’s been a refreshing change of pace for the King of Strong Style.
- John Cena
Last month: N/R
As previously mentioned, Cena tore the house down with Nakamura on August 1st. His program with Corbin left little to be desired, but his subsequent switch to Raw has been interesting. His immediate jump to Roman has been surprising because it is yet again another possible WrestleMania match being burned up already. (For the record, other potential Mania matches that have happened recently were: Brock vs. Joe, the upcoming Brock vs. Braun, and Cena vs. Nakamura.) I’m sure his segment with Roman on the last Raw of the month was polarizing. Cena verbally tore Roman to shreds, something he hasn’t done since prior to WrestleMania against Miz and Maryse. Not only did he verbally rape him, but his use of numerous “insider terms” had certain peoples’ buttholes puckering. (Did I just use “rape” and “buttholes puckering” in the same sentence? Good grief!) In Reigns’ defense, he managed to regain his composure and make a decent comeback, but Cena is an all-timer on the microphone. Even in my most anti-Cena mindset, I could never deny the guy when it came to delivering the goods on the mic.
Many months ago I made a fantasy Wrestlemania card, and Reigns vs. Cena was on that list. I said it then, and I’ll say it now, I’m really interested to watch this match to see how the crowd reacts. Is Cena the ultimate babyface with the entire crowd now? Roman getting “served” was the ultimate reward some of us have been waiting for. What about the kids? I’m sure in their minds it’s the battle of their two favorites, but who to cheer? With all this being said, you may wonder why Cena wasn’t ranked one. Well it was close- very close.
- Samoa Joe
Last month: 1
In this third edition of my power rankings, we finally see Samoa Joe knocked off the top spot. Unfortunately due to injury he will be falling even more next month, but as for August Joe had a really good month again. Now that Cena is on Raw, could a potential match with Joe be on the horizon? Sounds like a Wrestlemania moment to me!
- Aleister Black
Last month: N/R
Black comes roaring back in August after a slow July. On August 2nd he had a match of the year contender against the debuting Kyle O’Reilly. He then feuded with Itami and had arguably the match of the night on a loaded NXT Takeover show. I have a hard time not seeing him as NXT champion or challenging for that title come WrestleMania weekend. I also love his entrance music. So bonus points for that.
- AJ Styles
Last month: 3
Styles’ feud with Owens underachieved, (for their standards) but it did pick up towards the end. His U.S. open invitational should be interesting now that it has been reinstated. Can it live up to Cena’s two years ago? I’m sure Styles is up to the challenge.
- Hideo Itami
Last month: 2
Although he dropped four spots since last month, Itami had a great August. It’s just tough to compete with guys like Cena or Nakamura. He has had lots of good matches when he hasn’t been injured, but he has yet to have that great match that he was known for in Pro Wrestling Noah. That all changed at Takeover: Brooklyn against Black. Those two gelled perfectly. I assumed that he would face Ohno at Takeover, but I wasn’t complaining about the substitution. He now is back on course to clash with Ohno, so we should see some more solid stuff from the man formally known as KENTA.
- Jeff Hardy
Last month: 4
Unfortunately Scott Dawson got injured so the match with the Hardyz didn’t happen yet. It was an otherwise dull month for the brothers until a battle royal for the opportunity to meet Miz for the IC strap happened. Somewhat surprisingly Jeff won. I immediately had flashbacks to 2009. Jeff Hardy was incredible in ’09. Whether or not Jeff wins the IC title, I don’t really care. I just love Jeff as a singles competitor. Maybe nothing comes out of this, but in the meantime I’m extremely excited.
Last month: N/R
I heard about a potential “ROH stable” in NXT. I didn’t pay much attention to it, or even who would be in it. I assumed Cole would be in it, who finally debuted at Takeover, but I was just as excited when ReDRagon came out earlier in the evening. Then when they all joined up at the end of the show, I was ecstatic.
- Kevin Owens
Last month: N/R
Owens lost a lot of luster for me when he moved to Smackdown. As previously documented, his feud with AJ wasn’t great, but for some reason I’m kind of into this potential feud with Shane. Now I normally can’t stand it when old grey-haired Shane comes out and goes toe-to-toe with an athlete in his prime, but some strange curiosity has crept over me. I also really enjoyed him trying to get Sami Zayn (another struggling guy unfortunately) to be his referee for his match. That was nice character development.
Last month: N/R
I thought Takeover may be the end of Asuka’s title reign. I thought just maybe this could be the right time. Well she retained, and I wasn’t sad about it. I’ve always enjoyed her. Then I read she has a broken collarbone. Well that throws a monkey wrench in things doesn’t it? I saw a picture of a spoiler of what she does next week on NXT, but I didn’t read any of the details. What is the future of Asuka? I want to know.
Falling out of the top 10:
Lost the MITB contract, and lost to Cena in convincing fashion at Summerslam. Things aren’t looking too bright for Corbin in the near future.
This is the first time Neville didn’t make the top 10, and it broke my heart. I was cool with it when he dropped the belt to Tozawa, on a Raw no less. He’d had a great reign. But no, only to regain it the following week? Why? It pissed me off. Maffew from botchomania said it best when he said, (I’m paraphrasing) “let’s pretend Neville didn’t lose the title for a week and his reign still continues. Just like we should pretend the Prime Time Players two month tag reign didn’t happen and New Day were the champions the whole time.” Which if you don’t remember, the PTP had a reign in between New Day’s first two reigns. Which had that not happened (which it shouldn’t have) New Day’s record reign would have been four months longer.
Another title loss, only to win in right back? Ugh I hate that. It also hurt Bliss’s momentum (for me) when Bayley got hurt and they had to start a new program.
I couldn’t believe Roddy didn’t have a Takeover match. But with Roode now on Smackdown, Strong should be firmly entrenched in the main events of NXT.
My biggest fear was realized when they pretty much did nothing with Gable for a whole month. I will say that Shelton Benjamin’s return was a shock, and his team with Gable does have me intrigued. Can the new “World’s Greatest Alphas” or whatever they’ll be called make splash? I hope so.
As detailed in Jeff’s blurb, the Hardyz were unfortunately on the backburner for August. And Jeff would also be on the outside looking in if it weren’t for the battle royal win. So what about poor Matt? Everyone wants him to be “broken,” but I can promise you that WWE doesn’t want any legal trouble. So we’ll see how that pans out. And if the past is any indication, I really don’t know if you did see a “broken universe” in WWE that it would be something that you would enjoy. Hurry back Revival the Hardyz need you!