What a difference two weeks can make. After the shocking return of Triple H on Monday Night Raw and the aftermath that saw Kevin Owens crowned as the new WWE Universal champion, there has been a rather jarring shake-up at the top of the ESPN WWE Power Rankings. All five writers impaneled to rank their top 10 superstars saw fit to put Owens in the No. 1 spot this week -- and that's not the only shocking twist to the latest version of these rankings.
With an eye toward sorting things out after a hectic week, five ESPN WWE writers -- Brian Campbell, Peter Rosenberg, Arash Markazi, Tim Fiorvanti and Sean Coyle -- ranked the talents they deem to present the most value to WWE's on-screen product.
Here's this week's top 10.
While he didn't want to hear it from the fans on Raw this week, Owens does deserve the position he's been put in as the face of Raw and the WWE. He may not be the first WWE Universal champion, but he is the longest-reigning champion (10 days and counting), and he will do more to lift the prominence of the title than anyone else currently on the roster could. (Markazi)
I'm struggling to think of a time and situation in which Rollins might not be a top-five performer in the WWE at any point in the near future. This guy continues to be gold, even when he's not wearing the strap. He is the perfect foil for Stephanie McMahon and the perfect counterpart to an increasingly beloved champion in Owens. (Rosenberg)
At the very peak of his prime, it's time for Styles to wear one of the company's most prestigious titles as the top guy on SmackDown Live. He just might get that chance Sunday at Backlash if a victory over Dean Ambrose is in the cards. Fresh off of an incredibly productive program with John Cena, culminating in a show-stealing classic at SummerSlam, Styles has proved he is ready to carry the ball. (Campbell)
While Ambrose may be sliding a bit, he is still carrying the WWE World Championship around, and that's a big deal. His carefree, eccentric character is magnetic, and despite a disappointing match with Dolph Ziggler at SummerSlam, he has all the tools necessary to continue building a long, successful career as one of the pillars of the WWE. Being in the ring with Styles can only help in the long run. (Coyle)
I'm not quite sure why they're rushing the conflict and a potential feud with Dana Brooke, but honestly, everything that Charlotte's doing right now entertains me. The WWE women's championship rematch at Clash of Champions should provide her and Sasha Banks an opportunity to make up for what was, at times, a messy match at SummerSlam. (Rosenberg)
Not only is The Miz in the midst of a career renaissance in this calendar year, over the last two weeks he has produced some of his best work on the microphone. Ever. Point-blank. It's good to see the Intercontinental champion set up the most meaningful match he and Zigger have ever had (and there have been quite a few), and his "Never Ending Intercontinental Championship World Tour" shows no signs of slowing down, with more than 150 days already in the books. (Campbell)
The best tag team that the WWE has had in a long time has been the WWE world tag team champion for over a year. They're insanely over with the crowd and always entertaining. The only thing left for them to do to avoid becoming stagnant is dropping the tag team titles to Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to reinvigorate their feud and make the pursuit of regaining the top spot one of the major focuses of Raw. (Markazi)
Regardless of whether he gets a positive or negative crowd response, it's always loud -- and Reigns consistently delivers in the ring. Whether he's in the main event or not, he's always in the conversation and one night away from believably inserting himself into a story, as he did on Monday. He's taken over Cena's mantle as the most polarizing figure in the WWE. (Coyle)
There's little use in predicting what will catch on with the WWE Universe, and some of the most significantly popular superstars of the last decade got themselves to that point through sheer force of will (just look at Zack Ryder). Saddled with what could have been a demoralizing career-ending gimmick of being the only superstar to go undrafted, Slater turned it into one of the most popular gimmicks going. Between his continued attempts to wrestle for a contract on Raw and SmackDown and meeting his wife and seven kids, Slater has made his run toward the SmackDown tag team championships with Rhyno a huge deal. If The Usos predictably break his heart on Sunday, he should be able to carry on with the most popular self-made gimmick in the WWE right now for the foreseeable future. (Fiorvanti)
As her fellow "Four Horsewomen" were winning titles, stealing the show at Wrestlemania and leading the WWE's "women's revolution," Bayley was biding her time and continuing to hone her craft in NXT. As much as her showdowns with Charlotte, Banks and Becky Lynch helped sharpen her skills, her pair of matches with Asuka helped give Bayley more of an edge in the past few months. She's come into the WWE like a house of fire, and she's already showing signs of having nearly endless potential. Visions of her becoming the women's division's counterpart to Cena don't seem to be too far off the mark. (Fiorvanti)