WWE SmackDown Division Rankings: John Cena Returns, AJ Styles Wins

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Smackdown Live. Photo by WWE.com

The SmackDown Live Mid Card Division

Highlights of the Division

AJ Styles was the star of the show with his stellar match against Chad Gable and his big win in the Battle Royal. Notching two wins in a row on the same night breaks the even win/loss record he’s been sitting at for weeks and adds some momentum to his title match at Battleground. Kevin Owens might be in danger of losing the title if AJ looks strong before their title match. The US Champ has been pigeonholed in a narrow patriotic concept since his feud with Chris Jericho ended back in May. It might be time for Kevin Owens to ditch the “Face of America” gimmick and turn back into the prize-fighter we’ve all known and remembered.

Baron Corbin is setting up a potential feud with Shinsuke Nakamura which should benefit both men in the short-term. The Lone Wolf will need a big win over a main-event caliber competitor to validate his Money in the Bank win weeks ago. His win/loss record is still horrible and he has a long way to go before reaching the top of the Smackdown brand. He can’t be booked by losing matches because it’ll devalue his worth as the MITB winner. Winning in convincing fashion must be the only option to get Corbin ready to be a future WWE Champion.   

Meanwhile, for the rest of the division. 

Rusev finally made his Smackdown debut by confronting John Cena at the opening segment. Both men had a decent rivalry years ago but I’m not confident that Rusev will win the flag match at Battleground. He might be used to prop up Cena as a tune-up match before Summerslam but the key is how he’ll be booked before Battleground. Rusev must establish his dominance the next few weeks by crushing his competition and showing the WWE what they have been missing for months.

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

WWE United States Champion: Kevin Owens (12 Wins – 12 Losses)


  • Top Contender: AJ Styles (12 Wins – 10 Losses)
  • Contender No. 2: Sami Zayn (10 Wins – 15 Losses)
  • Contender No. 3: Chris Jericho (5 Wins – 8 Losses)
  • Contender No. 4: Rusev (3 Wins – 7 Losses)
  • Contender No. 5: Baron Corbin (6 Wins – 14 Losses) (MITB Winner)


  • Pretender No. 1: Dolph Ziggler (5 Wins – 15 Losses)
  • Pretender No. 2: Tye Dillinger (4 Wins – 1 Loss)
  • Pretender No. 3: Sin Cara (2 Wins – 7 Losses)
  • Pretender No. 4: Luke Harper (2 Wins – 11 Losses)
  • Pretender No. 5: Erick Rowan (1 Win – 6 Losses)
  • Pretender No. 6: Aiden English (2 Wins – 6 Losses)