Apron Work Podcast’s NXT Power Rankings – September 2018

The more things change, the more they stay the same!

by: Mike Respass

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The past month has been one of change in NXT with both the North American and Women’s Championships switching hands at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV, the former NXT Champion being written off television due to a legitimate injury suffered at a live event and all three members of British Strong Style making their presence felt in NXT with the impending debut of the NXT UK brand. Even with all of the change, the top two spots from last month’s power rankings remain the same with the NXT Champion and Tag Team Champions still holding down those positions.

ciampa-is-still-champion[ photo courtesy of WWE.com ]

 

Rankings are based on opinion of the members of the NXT roster’s value using the on-screen product of the weekly episodes of NXT and the NXT TakeOver events.

  1. Tommaso Ciampa { 1 }

The self-proclaimed “Tommy Entertainment” may have been snubbed from the top 10 of PWI’s 500, but he was not snubbed from being ranked number one on our list. Tommaso Ciampa is still the NXT Champion after defeating Johnny Gargano at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV in somewhat controversial fashion, which has been a common theme in his victories, but a win is still a win. He has earned the top spot and the right to be the NXT Champion by how incredible his work as a heel has been.

  1. The Undisputed ERA (Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong) { 2 }

The team of Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong have had their fair share of challenges and have been able to stand tall as champions to keep their second rank. After defeating Moustache Mountain at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV, Strong and Adam Cole (BayBay!) were able to defeat the team of Pete Dunne and Ricochet. With teamwork on their side, and Cole, The Undisputed ERA seems to be in great shape to hold onto the NXT Tag Team championships, even with the War Raiders waiting in the wings.

  1. Kairi Sane { ↑6 }

Ding-dong, the wicked witch is dead! Shayna Baszler’s reign as NXT Women’s Champion is over as Kairi Sane was able to repeat history by beating Baszler as she did in the 2017 Mae Young Classic Finals. Even though her Insane Elbow could not keep Baszler down this time around, Sane was able to counter Baszler’s Kirifuda Clutch attempt into a pin that gave her the victory. It was fitting that Sane would win the NXT title against Baszler which would launch her from the sixth spot last month to number three.

  1. Ricochet { ↑7 }

Ricochet made just as huge of a leap in the rankings as he does in the ring with his move from the seventh spot up to four. Setting out to prove that he is the one and only, Ricochet had his sights on the NXT North American Championship and earned it by defeating Cole at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV. He will have to adjust to being the hunted instead of the hunter since not only does his feud with Cole look to be continuing but Dunne seems to have thoughts on becoming a double champion at Ricochet’s expense.

  1. Shayna Baszler { ↓4 }

As the first person in our rankings to not move up or stay at the same place from last month’s ranking, Baszler only moved down one spot to five due to her losing the NXT Women’s Championship to Sane at TakeOver. The thought of her moving up to the main roster would make a whole bunch of sense, especially only losing to Sane by what could be classified as a roll-up, but that may not happen until Baszler at least gets another shot back at her title and that is another match that should be welcomed by all.

  1. Adam Cole (BayBay!) { ↓5 }

The other person who lost their title at TakeOver only dropped one spot from last month and so did Cole from the fifth spot to the sixth. After losing his NXT North American Championship to Ricochet, the direction where Cole could end up going went from NXT Championship, to being called up, to continuing on against Ricochet in a long-term feud. The fact of the matter is, whatever they decide to do with Cole, fans will enjoy it all and he will make the best of the situation as he is that damn entertaining.

  1. Pete Dunne { NR }

Dunne was inconspicuously left off of the top 10 list last month and the reason for this was to avoid adding members of the upcoming NXT UK roster. Since it seems that NXT will be using the three members of British Strong Style (Dunne and Moustache Mountain) to likely keep people’s excitement up for the eventual airing of NXT UK, Dunne falls in at the seventh spot by defending his United Kingdom Championship as well as setting his focus on Ricochet and his NXT North American Championship.

  1. Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate and Trent Seven) { NR }

In a similar response that was given for Dunne, Tyler Bate and Trent Seven were left off the top 10 last month because of the impending NXT UK show. Moustache Mountain is all the way down in the eighth position due to the fact that they were unsuccessful at winning the NXT Tag Team Championships against the Undisputed ERA at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV. Prior to TakeOver, Bate did get himself a victory over Strong but they may be pushed out by the War Raiders as the next contenders for the tag titles.

  1. Velveteen Dream { NR }

The only wrestler to be on the Just Missed The Cut list last month and move onto the top 10 is Velveteen Dream at number nine. The Dream had just barely missed out last month following his loss to Ricochet but with his interactions with EC3 over the past few weeks ending in a victory over the top one percenter, that momentum pushed Dream into the bottom of the list.

  1. Keith Lee { NR }

Finally making his NXT in-ring debut, Keith Lee has made the most of appearances by showing his limitless ability in his two matches that were essentially squash matches. Although he has not beaten anyone other than a few local wrestlers, he has shown exactly why there is excitement behind what he can do in the ring and has been more than enough to land him the very last spot in the top 10.

Just Missed The Cut

Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) { NR }

Since returning from their hiatus, Street Profits have been a thorn (no pun intended) in the side of Nick Miller and Shane Thorne, The Mighty. They have caused The Mighty to lose back to back matches, once to Heavy Machinery and another to themselves.

Johnny Gargano { ↓8 }

Gargano has not been able to turn things around since being the reason that Ciampa is now the NXT Champion. Fighting to a no contest with Aleister Black and then losing to Ciampa at TakeOver, Gargano has done nothing to save his spot in the top 10.

Aleister Black { ↓3 }

Black makes this list purely because he was the former NXT Champion and was ranked all the way at number three last month. An injury coming before getting a chance to compete in a triple threat rematch for the title dropped him from the top 10.

Dropped From Rankings

Black, Gargano, War Raiders { ↓9 }, Lacey Evans { ↓10 }

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