Pro Wrestling Rankings August 27 - Seth Rollins gained gold and a ring
... Not only has he continued his reign as the top star on Monday Night War, but his battles against AJ Styles and the O.C. have raged on...
The WWE Universal Champion has had quite the eventful week. Not only has he continued his reign as the top star on Monday Night War, but his battles against AJ Styles and the O.C. have raged on. This week, however, Rollins gained gold and a ring. He and Braun Strowman united to become the Raw Tag Team Champions and he became engaged to WWE mega-star Becky Lynch in a moment that broke the internet. As WWE rages on through the night, building to its next cornerstone, perhaps no one is more at peace than Seth Rollins, content to sit atop the FITE rankings as he doles out great performances.
Out of nowhere, the former WWE Cruiserweight Champion flies out of the stratosphere to shock the world. With the news that Jon Moxley is out of All Elite Wrestling's ‘All Out" event, which will air internationally here on FITE, PAC emerged from the shadows to take on Kenny Omega in Chicago, bringing forth a dream match that had once seemed unthinkable. While PAC has not been seen by wrestling fans Stateside in some time, internationally he's been tearing through Japan and Europe. Now, the king has returned to conquer the rest of the world…and everyone has taken notice.
It is rare that an entire professional wrestling brand is ranked and it's only happened once before, for All Elite Wrestling when they secured their TNT TV deal. When that happened, they were the rage against the machine that is World Wrestling Entertainment, trying to instill a new culture into professional wrestling across the globe. Now, WWE NXT has sat down at the poker table, raising the stakes by graduating NXT from a beloved developmental brand into something grander, a fully-fledged, live two-hour weekly series that will air opposite AEW. As famously stated in Gareth Edwards' Godzilla, "Let them fight." The Wednesday night wars will be upon us all shortly, and it's the best thing that could happen to professional wrestling fans. NXT has accepted the gauntlet AEW has thrown down. What happens next remains to be seen.
After her return to WWE programming, Sasha Banks has immediately become one of the most discussed and debated talents in the world. This week, she once again viciously attacked Natalya following an incredibly engaging interview. Banks has been waiting for the entire world to pay attention to her again. It's happening and it's bringing a much needed injection of new energy and chaos to WWE's women's division. The boss is back.
With about a week away from CM Punk making his first professional wrestling-related appearance in years at Starrcast live on FITE, the speculation and interest in what Punk will discuss live on stage continues to astound all involved. Will he reveal some big return? Will he scorch the Earth with a pipe bomb? Will he wistfully look back on his time as one of the best performers in the world? What sort of emotion will one of the most driven, controversial, popular professional wrestlers of all time bring with him on stage? Punk has always been, foremost, a story teller, but what of his story will he share with the masses? The countdown is upon us all.
Zack Sabre Jr.
The brash yet infinitely talented Zack Sabre Jr. has one of the biggest opportunities of his fabled career when New Japan Pro Wrestling presents Royal Quest in his hometown of London live on FITE on August 31st. It's rare that Sabre can take to battle against a foe at the level of Hiroshi Tanahashi's expertise in a venue that Sabre can easily walk to. This will be one of his most unique challenges in front of his countrymen and certainly, the talk of Great Britain this week.
With the announcement that PAC will be stepping in against Kenny Omega at AEW's All Out PPV, the major question on everyone's mind is how Omega will deal with the late change in strategy. After all, the aerial assault of PAC is a completely different type of warfare compared to the one Jon Moxley brings to the ring with his gritty, unorthodox style. So, what does the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion do now? Omega will have to unveil the answers live on FITE next weekend, live from Chicago.
Is Erick Rowan innocent or guilty? That has been the question on the minds of WWE fans over the last several weeks as the Roman Reigns attacks have played out on episodes of Raw and Smackdown. With Daniel Bryan protesting the allegations and this week's episode of Smackdown Live closing out with a scene right out of Scooby Doo with the reveal of a Rowan lookalike, the twists and turns have certainly not yet come to a complete stop on this roller coaster ride…but it's all put the spotlight and interest on Rowan. That's what the name of this game is all about.
WWE's resident Monster Among Men found himself back in the main event picture this week, teaming with Seth Rollins to capture the Raw Tag Team Championships from Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. While gold is always newsworthy, perhaps more important that Braun's interactions with Rollins are meant to be exposition for an eventual challenge of Rollins' Raw superiority. It's always good when there's a long-term plan in place and this is the first time in a long, long time that Strowman has been presented with upward mobility.
After leaving 205 Live, Buddy Murphy found himself in the worst of all places – in the middle of nowhere. There was no creative focus on him and he wasn't being given the chance to change that. For a professional wrestler, that can be not only the kiss of death, but a fate worse than death. Over the last several weeks, however, Murphy has been weaved into the ongoing Roman Reigns whodunit storyline, having incredible in-ring encounters with The Big Dog and then Daniel Bryan. Murphy's win this week on Smackdown Live may have been the biggest in the history of the Australian star's career. Things are only looking up for here for the hard working, brash upstart.
Every week here at FITE, we feature the Top Ten ranked personalities in the world of professional wrestling. Unlike other combat sports, pro wrestling cannot be measured in just wins and losses, especially when the drama and excitement of the genre is specifically based around not just the physical performance, but the excitement level created by its combatants. Thus, our top ten measures the most newsworthy performers in the business, who's momentum drives not just their own career paths but the promotions they compete for.
Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.