Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Smackdown Top 10 for February

After the events of Elimination Chamber, the stars of Smackdown Live edge closer to the lineup for Wrestlemania. With no matches official yet for the biggest show of the year, everything seems up in the air with the men and women of the blue brand. But even with as many questions as answers left, The Wrestling Weekday takes a look at the top ten superstars or teams of the brand.

Just a reminder about the numbers at the end of each entry. The first number is the wrestler's rank from the last list. The second is the number of months they have been ranked on the list.

Image credit: WWE.com. 
  1. American Alpha: I've got to be honest; I wish I could rank the Smackdown Tag Team Champions a lot higher than the number ten spot. But while Chad Gable and Jason Jordan are infinitely talented, their booking has been one of the weakest part of Smackdown Live. A feud with The Usos looks to be in the cards, but already this team seems hungry for new challengers. (10/5)
  2. Dolph Ziggler: His heel turn came about a year too late, nor will a feud with Apollo Crews or Kalisto really help him move up the ladder. An entourage would actually be a great thing for him right now, but WWE seems unlikely to make that happen. For now it seems Dolph is destined to play the perennial midcard talent until the end of time. (7/3)
  3. Dean Ambrose: Dean's push has faltered post-WWE title reign quite a bit. As Intercontinental Champion, he feels like he's mostly treading water, even as he seems destined to be thrown into the annual seven way ladder match for that belt at Wrestlemania. It's a far cry from the solid and steady booking of Reigns and Rollins, which is a true shame for (IMHO) the most talented of the former Shield members. (8/12)
  4. Alexa Bliss: The former Women's Champion took a tough loss at Elimination Chamber. But even though she lost her belt, it is hard to argue that Alexa has had one of the fastest rises on the main roster of any star post-draft. Even without the title, she is still arguably the top dog of the women's division, with battles with Becky Lynch and Naomi to continue in the future. (4/3)
  5. Baron Corbin: The Lone Wolf has cemented himself as a dominant force on the WWE main roster post-Survivor Series. With a series of strong wins and a pair of near misses for the WWE title, he seems clearly poised to enter the main event scene post-Wrestlemania. I still suspect he lost his position for that show to Orton, but even if his push has been slowed, he clearly will be one of WWE's top stars in the years to come. (9/2)
  6. John Cena: The face that runs the place won his record tying sixteenth world title, only to drop it two weeks later. Going into Wrestlemania, his future seems unclear but with his time divided between Hollywood and WWE, he will likely pop on and off this list frequently. (U/1)
  7. AJ Styles: The former WWE champion has made a huge splash in his year with WWE. Though he's lost the title and seems clearly out of that picture for Wrestlemania, he clearly has a strong future on the blue brand in the coming months. (1/2)
  8. Randy Orton: His push from Survivor Series to Royal Rumble has been astronomical, but the fan reaction to his sudden rise to the top of the card has been less than stellar. Though he could be destined for a stellar match at Wrestlemania, the situation between him and the current WWE champion is far from clear as of this writing. (3/2)
  9. Naomi: Few wrestlers have deserved a major run with the women's title as Naomi. She is a natural talent and showed great promise back to her earliest days in FCW, but the Funkadactyls gimmick hampered her rise in WWE's women's division. After her last push was halted by the arrival of Paige, she floundered until recent weeks when the writers saw fit to move her to the top of the Smackdown women's division. Hopefully she can retain a presence there, but with a multi-woman match at Wrestlemania likely in her future, she could face more contenders than she could handle very soon. (U/1)
  10. Bray Wyatt: In the last few months, Bray Wyatt has won his first two titles in his four years as a WWE star. Now as WWE champion, he's finally arrived at the pinnacle of the blue brand. The position is well deserved, but whether or not he will hold on to it for more than a few weeks remains to be seen. But with Wyatt as champion, it seems clear he will have the fans eating from his hand for some time to come. (3/2)
Image credit: WWE.com.

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