WWE Power Rankings for 04/21/2014
This week was a busy one in WWE. It kicked off with a touching tribute to Ultimate Warrior, honoring his contributions to the company and to pro wrestling fans around the world.
We also saw the first round of a tournament to name a No. 1 contender for the Intercontinental Championship. And in another blast from the past, Evolution was re-formed to combat The Shield.
We'll get into all that and more in the following slides. Before we do, here's how these rankings work.
Holding a championship, being No. 1 contender or holding a Money in the Bank briefcase counts for much of a wrestler's ranking. If a wrestler is tied with another wrestler, any of the listed scenarios will break the tie.
Wins and losses account for much of the week-to-week movement and are the most important component of the rankings. The quality of a wrestlers' opponents and whether they are ranked or not is considered in 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. Pay-per-view performances take on added importance.
Only the top 10 wrestlers are ranked. Wrestlers on the "Watch List" were considered for top-10 status but were ultimately 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, especially if WWE confirms them publicly. 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 accounts that don't break kayfabe may be taken into consideration for these rankings.
Don't forget to check out last week's rankings here.
Sheamus had a mixed week this week. On Raw, he defeated Jack Swagger in the first round of the tournament to decide the No. 1 contender for the Intercontinental Championship. He followed up that performance with a hard-fought loss to Batista on SmackDown. Sheamus can improve his standing by advancing in the tournament. Can he get another win tonight on Raw?
RybAxel has quietly been on a roll lately, and this week that continued. On Raw, it defeated The Brotherhood, with Ryback hitting Cody Rhodes with a devastating Meathook clothesline and pinning him for the win. Then, later on Raw, Ryback and Curtis Axel were in the huge handicap match against The Shield, helping put a nasty beating on the Hounds of Justice before a newly re-formed Evolution came out to finish the beating.
With no clear-cut favorite to challenge the Usos for their tag titles, can RybAxel step up and get a shot?
No. 10: Evolution
Previous Rank: N/A (Orton: No. 10, Batista: Watch List, Triple H: N/A)
Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista are back together after a decade. On Raw, they re-formed Evolution, one of the most dominant stables of all time. And since neither Orton nor Batista will be getting a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the near future, the decision was made to combine them in the rankings as Evolution, along with Triple H, who makes these rankings for the first time.
On Raw, Evolution showed why it was and still is incredibly dangerous. Triple H used his authority to have The Shield beaten down in an 11-on-3 handicap match, which quickly broke down. Then, that old familiar theme hit, and Evolution went to work dismantling what was left of The Shield.
Then on SmackDown, Batista sent a message to the roster that he's back in a big way. He faced Sheamus, and the two slugged it out. Eventually, though, Batista would get perhaps his biggest win since winning the Royal Rumble in January.
Can anyone stop Evolution, and perhaps more importantly, will it be recruiting?
FYI: For those wondering why it's ranked No. 10, Triple H is more an authority figure than a wrestler, Batista was unranked, and Orton was No. 10. I gave Evolution the ranking of the highest member in its stable from last week (Orton). Assuming it continues to look dominant, it will rise quickly.
No. 9: The Usos
Previous Rank: 7
Movement: Down 2
The Usos were hot up until a couple of weeks ago, but they've been the whipping boys for Randy Orton and Batista lately. This past week was no different. They faced Orton and Batista in yet another tag match that, you guessed it, ended with them taking some damage before being saved by others.
The Usos need to get back on track with a couple of solid wins. Will they get them this week?
No. 8: Paige
Previous Rank: 9
Movement: Up 1
The reigning NXT Women's champion and WWE Divas champion picked up two impressive submission victories this week, showing why so many people were high on her during her tenure in NXT.
On Raw, she forced Alicia Fox, a former Divas champion, to submit to her Scorpion Cross Lock. Aksana met the same fate on SmackDown days later. With AJ Lee taking time off from the company, Tamina has emerged as the challenger to Paige.
Can Paige keep winning, and can she defend her title against a hardened veteran with a strong pedigree?
No. 7: Cesaro
Previous Rank: 8
Movement: Up 1
Man, is Cesaro strong or what? After tossing around Big Show like it was nothing last week, he earned another impressive win this week. On Raw, he hit 420-pound Mark Henry with a Neutralizer and pinned him to advance past the first round in the IC title No. 1 contender tournament.
Paul Heyman is beaming with pride that he was able to snap up Cesaro. Now, can Heyman guide Cesaro to win the Intercontinental title from Big E? Can he get past Rob Van Dam tonight?
No. 6: Brock Lesnar
Previous Rank: 3
Movement: Down 3
We didn't see Brock Lesnar at all this week on WWE TV, and he hasn't done anything since defeating Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX. Perhaps he's content to rest on his laurels.
But Paul Heyman isn't letting anyone forget that Lesnar conquered The Streak. On SmackDown, as the video above will show, Heyman couldn't stop talking about it.
But if Lesnar hopes to stay in the rankings, he'll need to do more than stand by while Heyman gloats on his behalf. With no clear challenger to Daniel Bryan, is this the time for Lesnar to strike and try to become a four-time world champion in WWE?
No. 5: The Wyatts
Previous Rank: 5
The Wyatt Family had a fairly uneventful week. The highlight (or more like lowlight) was when John Cena displayed supposedly funny Photoshopped images of the Wyatts on Raw and then Bray Wyatt's response to that silliness.
They stand pat this week, but they need to break this habit of seemingly only wrestling every other week if they want to move higher up the rankings again.
No. 4: Big E
Previous Rank: 6
Movement: Up 2
Big E broke out of his funk this week with two wins he desperately needed. On Superstars, he got a win over Titus O'Neil. Then on SmackDown, he faced Alberto Del Rio and won as Del Rio would not yield to the referee's five-count.
Now Big E needs to gear up for the winner of the tournament that will determine his opponent in an Intercontinental Championship match at Extreme Rules. He's got the physical attributes necessary to be dominant. If he can get on a roll, he may be unbeatable.
No. 3: John Cena
Previous Rank: 4
Movement: Up 1
John Cena and the Wyatts traded promos this week on Raw, and Cena tried to make a mockery of the Wyatts by showing doctored images of them and cracking wise. Perhaps it's Cena's way of trying to get under Bray Wyatt's skin.
Cena moves up because Lesnar dropped. Otherwise, Cena could use a win or two to bolster his ranking.
No. 2: The Shield
Previous Rank: 2
The Shield stays put at No. 2 this week after trading beatings with Evolution on Raw. Earlier in the night, it took it right to Orton and Batista and drove them from the ring. That earned it an 11-on-3 handicap match, which then turned into a massive beating.
The Shield fought valiantly but was overwhelmed. Then, Evolution put the finishing touches on its misery. During his sit-down interview with Michael Cole, Triple H issued an ultimatum to The Shield. Check out the video to see what he had to say. Can the Hounds of Justice regroup and counterattack in their war with Evolution?
No. 1: Daniel Bryan
Previous Rank: 1
WWE World Heavyweight champion Daniel Bryan again tops the power rankings, though we didn't see him at all this week. And for good reason.
Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella took time off this week for their wedding and honeymoon, which will air at the end of Season 2 of Total Divas. We also found out on SmackDown that he'd be back on Raw tonight. Will he wrestle a match? And will someone step up to challenge him for his title, seeing as Extreme Rules is only weeks away?