WWE SmackDown Live: Division Power Rankings Before Backlash

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Smackdown Live. Photo by WWE.com

The Smackdown Live World Title Picture

Highlights of the Division

The improbable main-event run of Jinder Mahal has definitely turned some heads in his upset victory over AJ Styles on Smackdown Live. With AJ dishing out the majority on the offense in the match, Jinder still managed to walk away as the winner. Mahal has definitely transformed himself into something that is lacking in the WWE landscape today: an old-school heel performer.   

His presence and mic skills emulate the heels from nearly 20 years ago which has made him stand out from the rest of the roster. He’s extremely confident which was showcased on Talking Smack and he might have a legitimate shot of walking out as the WWE Champion this Sunday.

Randy Orton had an impressive victory over Baron Corbin but still was laid out by Mahal at the end of Smackdown Live. He hasn’t been booked as consistently as Jinder has but the one thing we haven’t seen in this feud is the Viper dropping an RKO on his Backlash opponent. It will clearly be a toss-up between both men on who will walk out as the WWE Champion. This feud might not be a one-and-done deal after Backlash ends especially with the recent strong push of Mahal.

Shinsuke Nakamura will have his opportunity to make his in-ring main roster debut at Backlash. His match against Dolph Ziggler could be a potential match of the year candidate and should establish Nakamura as a main event player moving forward.   

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

WWE World Champion: Randy Orton (10 Wins – 4 Losses)


  • No.1 Contender: Jinder Mahal (7 Wins – 10 Losses)
  • Contender No. 2: John Cena (6 Wins – 4 Losses)


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

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What are your thoughts on this week’s Smackdown Rankings? Comment below!