With Payback just five days away, WWE superstars are vying for their place atop the company.
There’s AJ Styles challenging Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight championship and matches such as Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens taking on Sami Zayn that should go a long way in deciding the top of the mountain for supremacy of the company. That being said, heading into the pay-per-view event, here’s our Top 5 power rankings.
5. John Cena
Yes, John Cena tweeted his return date yesterday, and the projected Memorial Day comeback is well past this Sunday night’s Payback. However, this is John Cena we’re talking about — a pillar of WWE for over a decade strong. The mere heads-up of his return puts everyone on notice. Also, it’s not as if he suffered a bad loss. He had shoulder surgery in January and should have been back closer to September, but instead, will make his return in late May. Whomever he feuds with upon his return will feel the full brunt of his wrath. Love him or hate him, even an idle John Cena is higher in the power rankings than some of his healthier peers.
4. Brock Lesnar
Like John Cena, we haven’t seen Brock Lesnar since WrestleMania 32 on April 3. Unlike Cena, though, the “Beast” had a match on the “Grandest Stage of Them All,” dispatching the “Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose in brutal fashion, F5’ing him onto a bed of steel chairs to win their no-holds-barred street fight. Just because Brock is on a limited-appearance contract doesn’t mean that we’re going to hold that against him. We mean … how can you? It’s the “Beast” we’re talking about, and just when you forget about him, he’ll been taking his next victim on a ruthless tour through Suplex City.
3. Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose’s brand of crazy is working. Despite losing to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 32, the “Lunatic Fringe” bounced right back to score a huge win over Kevin Owens just two weeks later on Monday Night Raw. Who agrees to a street fight with the “Beast” before taking on KO two weeks later? Dean Ambrose, that’s who. We think he’s onto something special, even though Chris Jericho had the upper hand on Raw last night, before the two face off at Payback on Sunday night. We like Ambrose’s lunacy to keep on ticking as one of WWE’s more important power players.
2. AJ Styles
There’s a certain mystery surrounding AJ Styles, and we like it. As the No. 1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight title, challenging champ Roman Reigns at Payback, we think the “Phenomenal One” is in an intriguing spot. Not only has he rapidly ascended WWE’s ranks since making his debut at the Royal Rumble, but he’s entering Sunday night’s pay-per-view with the increasing snowball that is the Bullet Club’s Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows by his side. Having used the Phenomenal Forearm to defeat Sheamus on Raw last night and give Roman Reigns a parting shot before their clash, Styles only inches up closer to the top spot.
1. Roman Reigns
Love him or hate him — and a lot of the WWE Universe is doing the latter these days — Roman Reigns is “the Guy,” just as advertised right now, and he’s proving it week after week. Take last night’s Raw, for instance. Not only did he lay out Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows for attacking the Usos, his cousins, but later in the show, he scored a victory over Alberto Del Rio and once again took care of the Bullet Club’s Anderson and Gallows. Although the show ended with Reigns laid out courtesy of the Phenomenal Forearm, the Roman Empire is standing tall … taller than any other superstar on the roster today.