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WWE top 10 standings of the week (August 24-31, 2018)

Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman Hell in a Cell
A rivalry renewed.
J.M. Carpenter

The dust has settled from SummerSlam and already, the Hell in a Cell card has matured. We now know what the pay per view will look like for the most part and NXT has begun its build to TakeOver: War Games II in November.

Each of WWE's divisions change in their standings from week to week. By looking at the shifting pecking order in each of WWE's divisions, it's possible to make longer-term predictions about where things might stand on future shows. For example, Becky Lynch was clearly vaulted up the SmackDown rankings this summer for the run she's having now.

How did the pecking order shift in WWE's various divisions this week and what does it tell us as we head into the fall? Where do the superstars currently stand?


Raw Men's Division

Braun Strowman heel turn.
Here we go again.

#1 Universal Champion Roman Reigns

#2 Braun Strowman (No.1 contender, Mr. Money in the Bank)

#3 Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins

#4 Dolph Ziggler

#5 Drew McIntyre

#6 Dean Ambrose

#7 Bobby Lashley

#8 Kevin Owens

#9 Acting GM Baron Corbin

#10 Finn Balor

Summary

Brock Lesnar's departure broke open the Raw men's division. While Roman Reigns won't be surrendering the top spot anytime soon, the Universal Championship is open to a lot of different challengers now. Braun Strowman jumped from third in the division to second, but his heel turn hasn't been well received.

In the meantime, Seth Rollins sits atop the mid card with the Intercontinental Championship. His open challenges present an opportunity for many stars in and out of the top 10 to make a jump even as he continues feuding with Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. Look for McIntyre to surpass Ziggler in the next few months, but as of now, he's still the second man in the story.

Dean Ambrose, meanwhile, doesn't look like he has much room to jump up in the standings, as both he and Seth Rollins are needed in the Shield to protect Roman Reigns from the crowd. Don't expect him to make his fabled heel turn any time soon.

Meanwhile, Bobby Lashley is being kept lukewarm, while Kevin Owens' standing has continued to decline. He is in the midst of a potential big return, however. Finn Balor's loss to Baron Corbin this week erased whatever momentum may have been left over from SummerSlam, and it looks like there are no plans at all for him at the moment.

Raw Women's Division

Ronda Rousey Raw Women's Champion
The Ronda era has just begun.

#1 Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey

#2 Alexa Bliss (No.1 contender)

#3 Natalya

#4 Sasha Banks

#5 Bayley

#6 Ember Moon

#7 Ruby Riott

#8 Dana Brooke

#9 Mickie James

#10 Alicia Fox

Summary

Does this pecking order look a bit random? If you think so, you aren't entirely wrong, because Raw's women's division lacks direction at the moment. Ronda Rousey looks untouchable atop Raw's throne, and after the way she was squashed at SummerSlam, Alexa Bliss' rematch is clearly just there to fill time.

Natalya, in the meantime, is getting some exposure, supposedly to eventually turn on Ronda Rousey. That remains to be seen. Further down the totem pole, Bayley, Becky Lynch, Ember Moon, and Ruby Riott are all essentially in the same spot of being components for filler matches.

Dana Brooke looks like she might have a story with the breakup of Titus Worldwide. Mickie James and Alicia Fox at this point are no more than Alexa Bliss' sidekicks. Oh, and expect a certain Bella twin to rocket up the rankings very soon.

The Raw women's division needs some help. It could certainly use Shayna Baszler's services right about now.

Raw Tag Team Division

B-Team vs. Revival
The B-Team survives.

#1 Raw Tag Team Champions the B-Team

#2 The Revival (No.1 contenders?)

#3 The Authors of Pain

#4 Titus Worldwide

#5 The Ascension

Summary

If Raw's women's division rests on a shaky foundation, the tag team division is a complete mess. In a way, it's easy to see why the B-Team's reign has gone on longer than it should have.

The Revival look like they're continuing their feud with the champions. The Authors of Pain haven't gotten past the point of trading wins with Titus Worldwide yet. The Ascension still exists on the roster for some reason.

SmackDown Men's Division

AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe
This deserves the cell.

#1 WWE Champion AJ Styles

#2 Samoa Joe (No.1 contender)

#3 The Miz

#4 Daniel Bryan

#5 Jeff Hardy

#6 Randy Orton

#7 United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura

#8 Andrade "Cien" Almas

#9 Rusev

#10 Aiden English

Summary

AJ Styles has been more relevant as champion than he has in a long time thanks to his feud with Samoa Joe, but the Samoan Submission Machine proves each and every time that the spotlight really should be his.

Beyond the main event, the mid card is in a curious spot, because the United States Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura, feels like the least important part of it. Both Daniel Bryan's feud with The Miz and Jeff Hardy's with Randy Orton are strong programs without any title involved in them. Nakamura is currently teasing that he won't defend his title, but it's clear that SmackDown's heel-heavy nature has left some holes in the programming. Aleister Black's services would help the situation.

Meanwhile, Andrade "Cien" Almas hovers around the lower portion of the top 10, seemingly biding his time until an opportunity presents itself.

Rusev and Aiden English are in a confusing position. Are they disbanding or not? In any case, SmackDown's men's division is incredibly strong, with the US title being the only flaw.

SmackDown Women's Division

Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch SmackDown
Misaligned, maybe, but a big improvement.

#1 SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair

#2 Becky Lynch (No.1 contender)

#3 Carmella

#4 Asuka

#5 Peyton Royce and Billie Kay - tie

#7 Zelina Vega

#8 Lana

#9 Naomi

#10 Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville - tie

SmackDown's women's division was one of the worst in the company prior to SummerSlam, but with Carmella now moving away from the title picture, things look brighter.

Lower down the card, Asuka remains missing from TV, which might not be the worst thing for her. It spares her the fate that Naomi's been suffering in taking random losses to Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, seemingly in response to the controversy with Dave Meltzer a few weeks ago.

Zelina Vega has been quietly ratcheting up some wins alongside Andrade Almas, while Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville are now firmly at the bottom of the division.

SmackDown Tag Team Division

New Day SmackDown Tag Team Titles
5-time champs.

#1 SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day

#2 The Bar

#3 The Usos, SAnitY, and Rusev Day - tie

#6 Gallows and Anderson

#7 The Colons

In contrast to its red counterpart, SmackDown's doubles division looks great. The Bar haven't secured their place as title contenders yet, but they came a step closer. They'll face the winners of next week's triple threat match between the Usos, SAnitY and Rusev Day, which is now apparently a tandem again.

Gallows and Anderson drop back down the pecking order, and we were reminded that the Colons existed this week.

NXT Men's Division

Tommaso Ciampa NXT Champion
The greatest sports entertainer of all time!

#1 NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa

#2 Aleister Black

#3 NXT North American Champion Ricochet

#4 Velveteen Dream

#5 Adam Cole

#6 Johnny Gargano

#7 United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne

#8 Keith Lee

#9 Lars Sullivan

#10 EC3

No one has stood up to Tommaso Ciampa following TakeOver: Brooklyn 4, but with Aleister Black waiting to return, one imagines he'll want his rematch, regardless of whoever attacked him.

Adam Cole has moved down the pecking order following a loss to Ricochet, while Velveteen Dream has moved up. Keith Lee is making his presence felt quickly, while Lars Sullivan was quick to assert his dominance over EC3 following the latter's loss to Dream. Johnny Gargano moved down the card and seemingly out of title contention.

The NXT men's division is stacked, but right now, it feels like the quiet before the storm as the build to War Games begins.

NXT Women's Division

Kairi Sane Bayley and Sasha Banks
The third, fourth, and eighth NXT Women's Champions.

#1 NXT Women's Champion Kairi Sane

#2 Shayna Baszler

#3 Bianca Belair

#4 Lacey Evans

#5 Nikki Cross

#6 Dakota Kai

#7 Candice LeRae

#8 Taynara Conti

#9 Aliyah

#10 Vanessa Bourne

Kairi Sane was all smiles in Japan with her new championship, but when she returns to NXT, she'll have trouble awaiting her. Shayna Baszler didn't make her presence felt on Raw, so it looks like she'll stick around a little while longer.

Bianca Belair, meanwhile, is angling for a title shot while Lacey Evans and Nikki Cross have remained mostly steady in their rankings.

Improving her position, Dakota Kai picked up a win over Aliyah this week, while Candice LeRae hasn't been seen in some time. Taynara Conti boosted herself into the Mae Young Classic a few weeks ago.

It's well to mention that tournament, because with its arrival next week, the NXT women's division is going to change rapidly over the next few months. By year's end, it will look completely different from the way it looks now, which is more or less how it's looked since last year.

NXT Tag Team Division

NXT results August 29
Look behind you!

#1 NXT Tag Team Champions The Undisputed Era

#2 War Raiders

#3 Moustache Mountain

#4 Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch

#5 The Street Profits

#6 Heavy Machinery

#7 The Forgotten Sons

The Forgotten sons arrived in NXT this week, but the big news is that the War Raiders are making good on their promise to come for the Undisputed Era's gold. Moustache Mountain drops down the pecking order, but with War Games approaching, it will be an opportunity for all of the top teams in NXT to display their dominance.

Lorcan and Burch are also set to return next week, and one imagines they have unfinished business with the Undisputed Era.

Cruiserweight Division

Cedric Alexander
Who will next challenge Cedric Alexander?

#1 Cruiserweight Champion Cedric Alexander

#2 Drew Gulak

#3 Hideo Itami

#4 Buddy Murphy

#5 Mustafa Ali

#6 Lio Rush

#7 Akira Tozawa

#8 Brian Kendrick

#9 Jack Gallagher

#10 Kalisto

There's still no clear contender for Cedric Alexander's championship yet, though it seems Drew Gulak isn't quite done. Hideo Itami has been quietly making his presence felt, while Buddy Murphy's win over Kalisto this week put him in a better spot.

Mustafa Ali returned to do battle with Itami and Lio Rush still waits in the wings.

At the bottom of the pecking order, the card is open, though Kendrick and Gallagher have found more relevance alongside Gulak, while Kalisto and the rest of the Lucha House Party feel like they're only there to fill out time.

Edited by Raunak J

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