WWE Power Rankings 3/3/2014
The week after WWE Elimination Chamber 2014 was certainly eventful. Undertaker and Brock Lesnar returned, Batista told the WWE Universe what he really thought, and Daniel Bryan finally challenged Triple H to a match.
We also saw the first NXT Arrival air live on the WWE Network. While some people had technical issues watching the show, it was an excellent way to introduce what I believe was WWE's best show of the week. But that's neither here nor there.
Before we get into this week's rankings, here's how they work.
Holding a championship, being No. 1 contender or having a Money in the Bank briefcase counts for much of a wrestler's ranking. If a wrestler is tied with another, any of the listed scenarios will break the tie.
Wins and losses account for much of the week-to-week movement. "Getting the better" of someone—like beating someone down—as well as "getting got" counts as well, though not as much as wins and losses. Being "over" with the fans is considered but not heavily weighted in the ranking decisions.
Only the top 10 wrestlers are ranked, and every other wrestler is unranked. Wrestlers on the "Watch List" were considered for top-10 status but ultimately were nixed. They too are unranked, and their listing is in no particular order.
Generally speaking, these rankings do not break kayfabe, though any major non-storyline information (serious injury, WWE Wellness Policy violations, legitimate hirings, firings, contract information, "sabbaticals", etc.) may be taken into consideration. No spoilers are included unless WWE acknowledges them.
All WWE shows, televised or digitally distributed, as well as anything from WWE.com, the WWE App, the WWE Network and any WWE or Superstar social media account that does not break kayfabe is taken into consideration.
The Beast Incarnate returned to WWE TV this past Monday and, via Paul Heyman, made it known he was not happy about not being in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture. He called the contract, allowing him to choose his own opponent for WrestleMania XXX, a "consolation prize."
But then, Undertaker showed up. Lesnar signed his contract, challenging The Deadman. In return, he was stabbed in the hand and chokeslammed through a table. How will Lesnar respond over the next month?
The Undertaker also returned to WWE television this past Monday in response to Brock Lesnar's complaints about his position in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture.
The Undertaker is 21-0 at WrestleMania and, despite his beatdown on Lesnar, may face his toughest challenge yet. How much of The Undertaker will we see over the next month?
The Rhodes brothers stay relevant this week after earning two victories, though it's doubtful many people saw them.
They teamed with Los Matadores and El Torito in a win over 3MB and RybAxel on Main Event and then again teamed with Los Matadores in a win over RybAxel and 3MB (Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre) on Superstars. Not exactly top-notch competition, but wins are wins.
Can they work their way back into the WWE Tag Team Championship conversation?
The Usos just barely missed the cut for top-10 status this week after picking up two wins over the New Age Outlaws. What holds them back is the inability to win when it really counts.
They defeated the New Age Outlaws on Raw in under one minute due to Road Dogg cutting his usual promo after the bell rang, causing him to lose focus and get pinned immediately. Then on SmackDown, they teamed with Daniel Bryan in a win over Kane and the New Age Outlaws, though Bryan got the pin on Billy Gunn.
Another performance like this and they'll be in the top 10. They could very well be ranked higher than the New Age Outlaws if their losing ways continue.
No. 10: New Age Outlaws
Previous Rank: 6
Movement: Down 4
The New Age Outlaws just had a terrible week. If it weren't for their holding the WWE Tag Team Championships, they wouldn't be in the top 10.
On Raw, they lost in embarrassing fashion to The Usos, who seem to be becoming the New Age Outlaws' archrivals. Then on SmackDown, they teamed with Kane in a losing effort against The Usos and Daniel Bryan. Billy Gunn and Road Dogg need a big bounce-back week, or they risk falling out of the top 10.
No. 9: The Shield
Previous Rank: 10
Movement: Up 1
The Shield is gearing up for its second round with The Wyatt Family, which will take place tonight on Raw in Chicago, IL. After a stellar match at Elimination Chamber that saw The Shield lose to The Wyatt Family, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins are looking for payback.
On Raw, they got their first crack at Bray Wyatt when Roman Reigns faced off with him. The match, which was supposed to exclude other members of each faction, quickly broke down, and Roman Reigns was disqualified. The Shield did run The Wyatts off, though, and it nearly skirmished with The Wyatts on SmackDown as well.
Can The Shield, who has shown signs of internal problems, stay on the same page once again and even the score with The Wyatts?
No. 8: Batista
Previous Rank: 9
Movement: Up 1
Between the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber, Batista wrestled zero matches. He got a much-needed win over Alberto Del Rio at Elimination Chamber. Then, this week, he picked up one win and one loss.
On Raw, it appeared he was closing in on a win over Del Rio when Randy Orton distracted him, allowing Del Rio to quickly roll up Batista for the win. Orton then antagonized Batista, pointing out fans' anger at him and dislike for him. Batista responded by saying he was just "being real."
Then on SmackDown, Batista told the crowd he didn't care what it thought of him and asked where all the real men were. Since Silas Young (that's a Ring of Honor joke) wasn't there, Batista couldn't get the best answer.
Dolph Ziggler confronted Batista and even punked him out. That would change in the ring later that night, when Batista took Ziggler's best but still put him down, giving Batista a win he needed coming off Monday. Can Batista keep building momentum heading into his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania XXX?
No. 7: The Real Americans
Previous Rank: 8
Movement: Up 1
The Real Americans don't look right at the moment. Jack Swagger looks like he's increasingly desperate and may be a little jealous of Cesaro. A rivalry is developing between the two, as evidenced by this past SmackDown. More on that in a second.
On Raw, Cesaro looked like he was out-dueling intercontinental champion Big E, but Swagger, already angry over being attacked by Big E earlier in the match, lost his cool and attacked Big E, costing Cesaro the match via DQ. Zeb Colter and Cesaro were visibly confused and angered.
Then, on NXT Arrival, Cesaro faced his longtime nemesis Sami Zayn. He got the win after an incredible match. To see some of the best wrestling you'll ever see, click here.
Then on SmackDown, Cesaro and Swagger faced off against Mark Henry and Big E. The Real Americans took turns tagging each other in unsolicited, and the match ended when Cesaro, impressive as ever, delivered a Neutralizer to Mark Henry and pinned him.
If Swagger and Cesaro can stay on the same page, they are a formidable tag team that can take on and defeat anyone in their path. But can Zeb Colter keep the peace?
No. 6: John Cena
Previous Rank: 4
Movement: Down 2
John Cena has never been accused of being the smartest guy in WWE. But he's usually able to back up his bravado. But this time, his mouth may have written a check his fists couldn't cash. On Raw, he called out the Wyatts, who are fast becoming WWE's most dominant faction.
It cost him. He was roughed up quite a bit and suffered a knee injury at their hands. While it's unclear how injured the knee actually is, as Cena gets older (he'll be 37 in April and has been on WWE TV since 2002), he'll have to be smarter and avoid more of the physical punishment he's taken over the years to stay healthy and atop the WWE.
Cena said that the future of WWE goes through him. If that's true, the Wyatts tore through him like he was tissue paper. Is this the end of the road for the dominant Cena we've seen for a decade?
No. 5: Big E
Previous Rank: 3
Movement: Down 2
Big E didn't have that great a week. He did get a win on Raw over Cesaro, which is a tougher task these days. Unfortunately, that win was by DQ, though a win is a win. Then on SmackDown, he and Mark Henry were dominated by The Real Americans, and his team lost.
Big E just doesn't seem to have any real direction. Anyone in position to challenge him is either already occupied with other things or just isn't in position for a title match. Big E needs competition and big wins. If he can't get them, he may stay mired in the middle to the lower half of the top 10.
No. 4: Sheamus
Previous Rank: 7
Movement: Up 3
Sheamus is on a roll at the right time of the year. This week, he picked up two wins over tough opponents. On Raw, he got a hard-fought win over Christian (who didn't make the top 10 or Watch List due to repeated losses), ending the match with a Brogue Kick as Christian came off the top rope.
Then on SmackDown, he faced off against Alberto Del Rio and was taking care of business when Christian interfered, giving Sheamus the win via DQ. Not the way he wanted to win, of course, but it was a win nevertheless.
Sheamus could be a force to reckon with going forward if he can keep this momentum going. Can he work himself into the WWE World Heavyweight picture after WrestleMania XXX?
No. 3: The Wyatts
Previous Rank: 5
Movement: Up 2
The Wyatts are quickly becoming the most powerful force in WWE. In the past few weeks, they've gone to war with The Shield and won, and now this week, they faced down John Cena and sent him out of the building on a stretcher.
On Raw, Bray Wyatt faced Roman Reigns in a match that was supposed to be interference-free. But Eric Rowan and Luke Harper could not stay away, prompting Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose to respond, which cost Roman Reigns the match, giving Bray Wyatt a DQ win. The Shield then drove off The Wyatts after the match.
Then on SmackDown, The Shield confronted The Wyatts as they were delivering a promo in the ring. A staredown ensued, which Triple H tried to stop. The Wyatts eventually backed down from The Shield. We'll get Round 2 of The Shield vs. The Wyatts tonight on Raw. Can The Wyatts put down The Shield once and for all?
No. 2: Randy Orton
Previous Rank: 1
Movement: Down 1
WWE World Heavyweight champion Randy Orton had a slow week. In fact, other than his interruption of Batista's match and promo on Batista, he didn't really do anything at all.
He dressed Batista down, pointing out how disillusioned the WWE Universe is with Batista. He pointed out a lot of things that WWE fans have been saying. And it was obvious Orton was getting under Batista's skin. Orton is a master manipulator, but he'll need to do more than manipulate to reclaim the top spot in the rankings.
No. 1: Daniel Bryan
Previous Rank: 2
Movement: Up 1
YES! YES! YES! Daniel Bryan has reclaimed the top spot in the power rankings after a very strong week.
On Raw, he accused Triple H of keeping him down and challenged him to a match. As a reward, Bryan was given a match against Kane. Injured shoulder and all, he survived everything Kane could throw at him and scored a huge win as the crowd went crazy.
Then on SmackDown, he teamed with The Usos against Kane and the New Age Outlaws. Again, a raucous crowd lost its mind when he scored the pin on Billy Gunn.
Bryan is, without a doubt, the most popular wrestler in all of pro wrestling, and he may be the most popular figure in all of sports right now. His chants are heard in England at TNA shows, in the Northeast at Ring of Honor shows and even in non-wrestling settings. Move over Rock, there's a new "People's Champion."
Remember to check out last week's rankings here.