WWE SmackDown Live Division Power Rankings: Kevin Owens Destroys Chris Jericho

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The SmackDown Live World Title Picture

Highlights of the Division

Randy Orton losing the House of Horrors match at Payback shouldn’t have happened from the start. I’m not a fan of champions losing in non-title matches, no matter the circumstances they are put in. WWE boxed themselves into a corner by having Jinder Mahal steal the WWE title and Wyatt pin the champion—it gives the fans an impression that the Viper might be booked to be a transitional champion. If that’s the case—I’m very worried about the long-term health for the world title picture on Smackdown Live.

Jinder Mahal crossed off Sami Zayn in a tune-up match on the road to Backlash. It’s crazy to see that Sami Zayn is being used to build up Mahal for a WWE Championship match. I’ll still give Jinder a shot to see how well he develops as a serious title challenger before his main event opportunity subsides in a couple of weeks. He’s been average at best and hasn’t really stood out from the rest of the roster. Having the Singh brothers manage Mahal is a plus but not a game changer.

Meanwhile, for the Rest of the Division

Shinsuke Nakamura is the featured advertised talent for Backlash and is the perfect choice to represent Smackdown Live. He’ll most likely face Dolph Ziggler at Backlash which should be his debut match on the main roster. This bout must showcase both men’s storytelling abilities and Nakamura’s will to endure and strive for victory. He should be groomed to be the next future WWE Champion by the time summer rolls along.

Don’t also forget about Rusev and his WWE Championship match demands for Money in the Bank this coming July. He might be considered a mid card talent for the time being but he might be possibly granted that title opportunity once he makes his debut in the near future.   

Let’s see the rankings for the division this week.

WWE World Champion: Randy Orton (9 Wins – 3 Losses)


  • No.1 Contender: Jinder Mahal (5 Wins – 10 Losses)
  • Contender No. 2: John Cena (6 Wins – 4 Losses)


  • Pretender No. 1: Shinsuke Nakamura (N/A)

Next: All 26 Champions in NXT History, Ranked

What do you think of this week’s Smackdown Live Rankings? Comment below!