Apron Work Podcast’s NXT Power Rankings – October 2018

by: Michael Respass

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The Pirate Princess finds her treasure hidden in the top spot!

In what can only be described as a storyline building month in NXT, most of the members of the roster found themselves with only a match to make their case for a spot on our top ten and some did not even have that. Unfortunately, wrestlers found themselves dropping down the rankings, or off completely, due to inactivity but all that truly means is that there are some new faces in different places.
kairi-sane-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. Kairi Sane { ↑3 }
The “Pirate Princess” had defeated Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship to jump to the third slot last month and now has knocked off the current NXT Champion, Tommaso Ciampa, from the number one overall spot this month. This position is well deserved as Kairi Sane has been on quite the hot streak since winning her title by defeating both Trish Adora and Vanessa Borne convincingly and still standing her ground on a weekly basis against Baszler as she looks to bully her way into getting her championship back.
 
2. Tommaso Ciampa { ↓1 }
Ciampa drops from the number one spot in our rankings for the first time since its inception due to no real fault of his own. A mixture of the hot streak that Sane has been on, the lack of appearances and storyline for Ciampa and a single win that should have been more dominant than it was has attributed to this drop in a single spot. Being NXT Champion keeps him at the number two spot but he may need to do more than just barely defeat one half of Heavy Machinery, Otiz Dozovic, to avoid dropping even further next month.
 
3. Ricochet { ↑4 }
The “One and Only” finds himself in very good company as one of the two members of the NXT roster who have been on the NXT Power Rankings list each of the last three months while increasing his rank each month (Sane being the other). Ricochet’s only match of the month was in a unique situation as he competed against Pete Dunne in the first ever champion versus champion match on NXT programming. The match, which was unceremoniously cut short by The Undisputed ERA, was great enough to justify a move up of one spot.
 
4. Pete Dunne { ↑7 }
Expected to be a major part of the NXT UK brand, Dunne has kept himself busy on the NXT roster while displaying what to expect on the NXT UK programming. The United Kingdom Champion defended his title against Ricochet, and even though the match had no official winner (as stated above), Dunne ended up finding himself in a future triple threat NXT North American Championship match that does not involve his title being on the line this time. It is not inconceivable to think that Dunne could become a double champion in NXT.
 
5. Shayna Baszler { 5 }
Keeping the same spot that she held last week, Baszler has made sure that Sane will not forget about her by making herself present at the end of Sane’s victories and completely dominating Violet Payne during, and after, their match. Becoming former champion has not sit very well with “The Queen of Spades” and she seems dead set on becoming the current, two-time, NXT Women’s Champion. Baszler seems primed for a main roster call-up soon but another run as champion is not totally out of the realm of possibility.
 
6. Velveteen Dream { ↑9 }
Whether winning or losing, Velveteen Dream makes sure that he’s the center of attention and that was no different when he set his sights on Johnny Gargano. Dubbing Gargano as Johnny Failure, Velveteen played enough mind games to get himself a huge victory, even with it coming at the expense of Johnny Wrestling’s recent breakdown. Defeating EC3 and Gargano has launched the Dream back into the NXT North American Title contention but he may have his heart set on bigger and better things, like Ciampa’s NXT Championship.
 
7. The Undisputed ERA (Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong and Adam Cole BayBay!) { ↓2/↓6 }
In what can only be considered a cop out when creating the rankings, for the first time The Undisputed ERA will include Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong AND Adam Cole (BayBay!) together. Since none of them had a match the past month, it was difficult to justify keeping them at the positions they were in last month, even with the NXT Tag Team Championships. To make matters worse, War Raiders, Ricochet and Pete Dunne are all waiting to get their hands on the three of them, which will happen sooner rather than later.
 
8. Lars Sullivan { NR }
Lars Sullivan made his return in dominant fashion by beating down EC3 after being accused of being the person who attacked Aleister Black. He has two victories under his belt since he came back, although one of them had been by disqualification because of interference by EC3, but the match was not really in doubt up until that point. Being moments away from winning the NXT Championship from Black only a few short months ago, Sullivan is capable of getting back into the title picture, especially if he can take care of EC3.
 
9. The Forgotten Sons (Wesley Blake, Steve Cutler and Jaxson Ryker) { NR }
The Forgotten Sons, which consists of Wesley Blake, Steve Cutler and Jaxson Ryker, benefited from the use of the “Who Attacked Aleister Black?” angle being run involving NXT General Manager, William Regal interviewing the members of the NXT roster. Their screen time that they had together introduced them perfectly and between the team of Blake and Cutler picking up a victory over Street Profits as well as Ryker defeating Humberto Carrillo, they have earned their spot at number nine as they debut in the Power Rankings.
 
10. Lacey Evans { NR}
Lacey Evans solidified herself as the second best heel in the division months ago and there really hasn’t been much of a change to that as of late. In a tag team match, where she teamed up with Aliyah to take on Dakota Kai and Deonna Purrazzo, she picked up the victory and found herself in a confrontation with Candice LeRae, which should be a fun feud, to put her back in the last spot of the top 10. Other than that, she is still waiting for Baszler to jump to the main roster so she can take her rightful spot as the top heel on the brand.
 
Just Missed The Cut
The Mighty (Nick Miller & Shane Thorne) { NR }
The Mighty find themselves on the “Just Missed The Cut” list for the second time in three months following a much needed victory. After watching their wave of momentum crash a few months ago, they hope to ride a new wave into the NXT Tag Team Championship conversation off of a win over Street Profits.
 
Kassius Ohno { NR }
Kassius Ohno has been a more integral part of NXT over the past two months and he finally gained a victory over someone of relevance by beating Kona Reeves. Between his latest victory and essentially calling out NXT’s newest signee, Matt Riddle, there is a lot to look forward to with the more serious Ohno.
 
Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan { NR }
The return of Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan led to a victory over a no name tag team but also brought back that bit of excitement that surrounded them during their feud with The Undisputed ERA. Lorcan’s injury threw a wrench into their plans but they seem to be on a mission to get back into the title picture.
 
Dropped From Rankings
Moustache Mountain { ↓8 }, Keith Lee { ↓10 }
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