WWE Superstar Power Rankings for 8/24/2015: WWE SummerSlam 2015 Edition
WWE SummerSlam 2015 is in the books, and in the wake of WWE's biggest summer event, there are significant changes in the WWE Superstar Power Rankings. Some might call SummerSlam disappointing, others might call it amazing. One thing is certain, though: It shook the WWE up.
SummerSlam featured 10 matches in all, and most lived up to their hype. But SummerSlam wasn't the only major WWE event of this past weekend. NXT Takeover: Brooklyn saw a solid two-plus hours of amazing matches. If you have the WWE Network and you haven't seen it yet, you're missing out.
Between NXT Takeover: Brooklyn and SummerSlam, it was one amazing WWE weekend that saw new champions, incredible action and even a title unification.
We'll get into all the SummerSlam results and this past week's events in greater detail throughout the following slides. But beforehand, please read how these rankings are determined.
These rankings are not a popularity contest and are not designed to determine who has the best matches or the most ability. These rankings are strictly in-storyline power rankings.
All active Superstars and Divas on the WWE roster are considered, excluding talents who primarily or exclusively perform in NXT. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, but any NXT Superstar deemed eligible for these rankings will remain on the Watch List until officially named a part of the WWE main roster.
Holding a championship, being a No. 1 contender or holding a Money in the Bank briefcase counts for much of a wrestler's ranking, and these honors are therefore the most heavily weighed components.
If a wrestler is deemed to be tied with another, holding a title will be the primary tiebreaker. However, holding a championship, being a No. 1 contender or holding the Money in the Bank briefcase in no way guarantees a spot in the top 10.
Wins and losses account for the bulk of the week-to-week movement and, after championships, are the most important components of the rankings. The quality and rank of a wrestler's opponents are considered in the week-to-week movement.
Getting the better of someone—such as beating someone down—also counts, though not nearly as much as wins and losses. Being over with the fans (i.e., getting a strong reaction) is not heavily weighted in the ranking decisions; it is effectively the last tiebreaker. Pay-per-view wins and losses take on added importance.
Only the top 10 wrestlers are ranked. Wrestlers on the Watch List were considered for top-10 status but were ultimately nixed. They are unranked, and their listing is in no particular order.
Generally speaking, these rankings do not break kayfabe. However, any major non-storyline information—serious injury, WWE Wellness Policy violations, suspensions, legitimate hirings, firings, contract information and "sabbaticals"—may be taken into consideration, but generally only if WWE confirms or addresses it publicly.
WWE's non-televised domestic and international live events are not included in these rankings unless WWE incorporates them into television storylines or acknowledges them on WWE television. Also, nothing that could be explicitly considered a spoiler is included unless WWE acknowledges it as well.
In short, all WWE main-roster shows—televised or digitally distributed—as well as anything from WWE.com, the WWE App, the WWE Network and any WWE or Superstar accounts on social media that don't break kayfabe may be taken into consideration.
These may include but are not limited to WWE Raw, WWE SmackDown, WWE Main Event, WWE Superstars, NXT, WWE pay-per-views and any storyline-driven content from the WWE Network.
Kevin Owens had a rough week, except for SummerSlam. He picked up Tag Team match losses on Raw and SmackDown, and after a tough match against Finn Balor at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, he lost in only the second-ever ladder match in NXT history. But at SummerSlam, he outmuscled Cesaro and picked up a huge win he desperately needed. Can he build momentum after this big win?
Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman
Undertaker laid out Brock Lesnar on Raw after a low blow, and at SummerSlam, Lesnar had the chance to put 'Taker down once and for all. Technically, Lesnar accomplished that. He forced Undertaker to tap out. But, unfortunately for Lesnar, the referee was busy making a one-count and missed the tapout. The timekeeper saw it and rang the bell, but the ref kept the match going. After another low blow from Undertaker, Lesnar passed out to an Undertaker submission hold. Lesnar has good reason to be upset, and this is almost certainly not the end of this rivalry.
Dean Ambrose had a good week. His partner Roman Reigns defeated Luke Harper on Raw while he was on commentary, and then on SmackDown he and Reigns teamed with Cesaro in a win over Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Kevin Owens. At SummerSlam, he and Reigns defeated Wyatt and Harper in their scheduled Tag Team match. The question now is, what's next for Ambrose?
The Prime Time Players
The Prime Time Players put up a good fight, but in the end the numbers were too much. Any team would be hard-pressed to survive a match that featured four teams and had 10 men in and around the ring.
Darren Young and Titus O'Neil had been fighting champions and picked up plenty of wins over the course of their reign. But, the New Day won the titles and The Prime Time Players will have to decide when to invoke their rematch clause.
No. 10: Undertaker
Previous Rank: Unranked
Movement: Into Top 10
Undertaker did everything he could to defeat Brock Lesnar. On Raw, he laid out Lesnar in Lesnar's hometown. And SummerSlam ended much the same as Raw did.
Undertaker and Lesnar battered each other and left it all in the ring. But late in the match, Undertaker tapped out to Lesnar. However, the referee did not see it, as he was counting a pinfall while Lesnar's shoulders were down. The timekeeper saw it, though, and rang the bell.
Lesnar thought he had won, but the referee never ended the match. Undertaker hit Lesnar with a low blow (as has become common for Undertaker) and locked in his own submission hold. Lesnar gave Undertaker the middle finger, but he passed out from the hold shortly thereafter, giving Undertaker the win.
Brock Lesnar has a legitimate gripe, but in the end the referee never called for the bell. Undertaker took advantage and defeated Lesnar, and it's hard to fault 'Taker for that. But there's no doubt Lesnar will want revenge. Is this the last we'll see of Undertaker for a while? Or will we see more of him?
No. 9: The New Day
Previous Rank: Unranked
Movement: Into Top 10
After a mixed week where the New Day picked up a loss on Raw in Eight-Man Tag Team action and a win in a Six-Man Tag Team match on SmackDown, they faced three other teams at SummerSlam in a match that would determine the WWE Tag Team Championships. Xavier Woods accompanied Big E and Kofi Kingston to the ring, and as is common with these kind of matches, chaos ensued.
But, out of that chaos emerged the New Day. Kofi Kingston tagged out Titus O'Neil, and after O'Neil annihilated a Matador, Kingston swooped in for the pinfall. The New Day inaugurated their second title reign with the victory. Can the stable reestablish itself as the dominant force in the WWE Tag Team division now that it has regained the titles?
No. 8: Neville
Previous Rank: 10
Movement: Up 2
Neville, WWE's resident comic-book hero, had a solid week. On SmackDown, he defeated Bo Dallas. And at SummerSlam, he teamed with Stephen Amell, who plays The Green Arrow on The CW network's Arrow television show.
Teaming with celebrities is always a dicey proposition, but Amell proved himself a worthy partner. The two faced Stardust and King Barrett, and after a Red Arrow, Neville pinned Barrett for the team win. Stardust did not look pleased. Is there more to come in this rivalry?
No. 7: Big Show
Previous Rank: 6
Movement: Down 1
Big Show had a tough week. On Raw, WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback called him out, but he balked at the chance to fight. On SmackDown, he and Ryback battled to a double count-out—not exactly a dominant week.
Then at SummerSlam, he faced The Miz and Ryback for the Intercontinental Championship. Big Show had a good showing and looked like he might pin The Miz to win the title. But Ryback sent him out of the ring and got the win. Big Show might say he was robbed, as his fans might say as well.
Will Big Show want more of Ryback after coming close to winning the title at SummerSlam?
No. 6: Roman Reigns
Previous Rank: 8
Movement: Up 2
Roman Reigns had a strong week. On Raw, he defeated Luke Harper via a Spear and a pinfall. On SmackDown, he teamed with Dean Ambrose and Cesaro in a win over Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Kevin Owens.
At SummerSlam, he teamed with Ambrose again in a match against Wyatt and Harper. He and Ambrose won, earning a win in the latest installmlent in the ongoing saga between the former Shield and Wyatt Family factions.
Is this rivalry over for now, or will it continue as Night of Champions approaches?
No. 5: Randy Orton
Previous Rank: 3
Movement: Down 2
Randy Orton didn't have a bad week, but it ended on a down note. On Raw, he teamed with Cesaro in a win over Kevin Owens and Sheamus. But at SummerSlam, he faced Sheamus one-on-one, with a much different outcome.
Orton and Sheamus took it to each other, but in the end Sheamus emerged victorious. Orton had his chances, but Sheamus proved too tough an opponent that night. What's next for Orton? With a win over WWE World heavyweight champion Seth Rollins not long ago, he could be in line for a title shot. Or, with the loss to Sheamus, he could find himself behind others with better claims to that opportunity.
No. 4: John Cena
Previous Rank: 2
Movement: Down 2
John Cena is no longer a champion. After making all kinds of promises on Raw, he was not able to make good on them at SummerSlam. But, that's not exactly his fault.
Jon Stewart, who hosted SummerSlam, appeared to be favorable to Cena early in the show. However, during Cena's match with WWE World Heavyweight champion Seth Rollins, Stewart would reappear. Rollins and Cena had worn each other out, and Stewart appeared to come to the aide of Cena.
But after teasing hitting both men with a steel chair, Stewart nailed Cena in the gut, allowing Rollins to hit a Pedigree on the chair with the referee down. Rollins covered Cena just as the referee crawled back into the ring. It was enough to secure the win, and Cena lost his United States Championship in addition to his opportunity at tying Ric Flair's 16-world-championships mark.
Cena is surely going to get a rematch, should he want one. If he fails to win back the U.S. title or to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, where does he go from there?
No. 3: Ryback
Previous Rank: 5
Movement: Up 2
With Rollins' win over Cena, WWE Intercontinental champion Ryback became the only other man in WWE to hold a single's title on the main roster. More on that in a minute. First, on Raw, he destroyed The Miz and called out Big Show. On SmackDown, he and Big Show battled to a double count-out.
At SummerSlam, though, Ryback finally got the chance to defend his title against The Miz and Big Show, a match that was supposed to happen over a month ago. He made the most of his title defense.
Big Show took out The Miz with a KO Punch, and then Ryback sent Big Show out of the ring forcefully, pinning The Miz instead and retaining his championship. Big Show is surely upset, so Ryback might find himself in a prolonged rivalry with WWE's biggest Superstar.
No. 2: Sheamus
Previous Rank: 4
Movement: Up 2
Mr. Money in the Bank Sheamus' week got off to a slow start, but it ended well. On Raw, Randy Orton RKOed and pinned him in a tag team match, resulting in a team loss. But, his fortunes would reverse at SummerSlam.
In the opening contest, he faced Orton. After a back-and-forth match, Sheamus hit Orton with a massive Brogue Kick and pinned him for the win.
With Cena out of the way and no clear challenger to WWE World Heavyweight champion and WWE United States champion Seth Rollins, Sheamus is as close as it gets to a No. 1 contender right now. Will he take advantage of the void at the top of the card, or will he continue to bide his time?
No. 1: Seth Rollins
Previous Rank: 1
Rollins made history Sunday night. In a match against Cena that had both the WWE United States Championship and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the line, Rollins battled Cena blow for blow. The two showed that they are indeed among the best in pro wrestling today.
But, even with a stellar performance against Cena, Rollins still couldn't get a clean victory. We may never know Jon Stewart's motivations, or we might find out Monday night on Raw. Whatever the reason, though, Stewart interfered in the match with the referee down. He attacked Cena with a steel chair, and Rollins then Pedigreed Cena onto that same chair.
With the referee crawling back into the ring, Rollins pinned Cena to become the first-ever to hold the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and WWE United States Champion simultaneously. And you can rest assured Rollins will not spend one second lamenting the manner in which he accomplished this feat.
However, Cena will get his rematch. The question is, will both titles be on the line for that match? Also, will Rollins officially unify the two titles he now carries, or will they remain separate championships?