WWE Power Rankings for 4/28/2014, Pre-WWE Extreme Rules Edition
With less than one week until WWE Extreme Rules 2014, some WWE Superstars are climbing up the rankings and building momentum heading into the first pay-per-view after WrestleMania XXX while others are falling by the wayside.
There's a new No. 1 for the first time in a while, a title was vacated and we were reminded several times by Paul Heyman that Brock Lesnar conquered the Streak.
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 wrestler's 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.
Bad News Barrett
Apparently, Wade Barrett has changed his first name to Bad News recently. In any case, perhaps the name change is just what he needed to claw his way back to relevance in WWE. He's one win away from an Intercontinental Championship opportunity after winning a hard-fought and exciting match against Sheamus on Raw. While SmackDown was not as kind (he did get roughed up by The Shield a bit before heading for higher ground), all he needs to do is defeat Rob Van Dam for a shot at Big E's title at Extreme Rules.
Rob Van Dam
RVD is in the same boat as Bad News Barrett. He's quietly earned himself a spot in the finals of the tournament to determine the No. 1 contender for the Intercontinental Championship. If he can defeat Barrett, he'll go on to Extreme Rules to face Big E.
RybAxel is building momentum at the right time and look to be the leading candidates for a shot at the WWE Tag Team Championships around The Usos' waists. On Raw, they beat down The Usos after they defeated The Brotherhood. Then, Ryback defeated Jimmy Uso on Main Event and Curtis Axel defeated Jey Uso on SmackDown. They did get beat down pretty good by The Shield later on SmackDown in a 6-on-3 match, though. Can they seal the deal and earn a Tag title shot this week?
In case you hadn't heard, Brock Lesnar conquered the Streak. Oh, and did I mention Brock Lesnar conquered the Streak? And did you know Brock Lesnar was the "1" in "21-1"? And one last thing: Brock Lesnar conquered the Streak.
Previous Rank: Unranked
Movement; Outta Nowhere!
Kane has powered his way into the top 10 after laying a hellacious beating on Daniel Bryan, who had just returned from his honeymoon. He hit Bryan with three Tombstone piledrivers, including one on top of the announce table. The beating was so severe that WWE.com recently reported that Bryan suffered a serious spinal injury.
Kane was also announced as the new No. 1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Can Kane devastate Bryan like he did this past week at Extreme Rules and win his fourth world title in WWE?
Previous Rank: 10
Movement: Up 1
Evolution isn't really a mystery. They're about power. Real Power. And they showed this week why they don't need to dirty their hands to wield it.
When The Shield wanted to throw fists, Evolution appeared undaunted. It turns out they had backup. Lots of it. The Shield stared them down, but Evolution, with their own private army in tow, stared right back. Perhaps it's easy to do that with a sizable chunk of the roster there, too.
8. The Usos
Previous Rank: 9
Movement: Up 1
The Usos had a mixed week. On Raw, they defeated The Brotherhood. Right after the match, they were attacked by RybAxel. And then it got worse.
On Main Event, Ryback defeated Jimmy, and then on SmackDown, Jey lost to Curtis Axel. Between Main Event and SmackDown, though, The Usos got a nice win, teaming with Sami Zayn against Corey Graves and The Ascension in six-man tag action on NXT. They got the win.
In all, their week was a little better than worse. They won their tag matches but lost in singles action. Can they get revenge on RybAxel this week? And who will face them for their titles at Extreme Rules?
Previous Rank: 8
Movement: Up 1
Paige had an up-and-down week this past week. On Raw, she made Aksana submit again. But then came NXT.
At the beginning of the show, she was forced to relinquish the NXT Women's Championship by JBL since she's now on the main roster. She was the first to hold that championship and held it 305 days. That's the seventh-longest single title reign by a woman in WWE history, including the NXT Women's Championship, WWE Diva's Championship and WWE Women's Championship (WWE does not recognize WWE Women's Championship title changes before 1984 and recognizes The Fabulous Moolah for a single reign of 10,170 days).
Later on NXT, she teamed with Emma in a loss to the BFFs (Sasha Banks and Charlotte). Paige now has to look forward to Tamina this Sunday, who will challenge for the Diva's Championship. Can she keep her young title reign alive?
Previous Rank: 7
Movement: Up 1
Cesaro could not advance past Rob Van Dam on Raw this week, and that was all thanks to Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter. They cost him the match and his chance at the Intercontinental Championship. Cesaro would get his revenge, though.
After his loss to RVD, he brawled with Jack Swagger, and the King of Swing, well, swung Swagger. Then on SmackDown, Heyman debated with Zeb Colter. And "debated" is being used generously here. While Zeb wanted to talk, Heyman wanted to remind us all that Brock Lesnar conquered the Streak.
Later that night, Swagger and Cesaro faced off, and Cesaro got his revenge and hit the All-American American with a Neutralizer and pinned him for the win. Swagger was promptly destroyed by The Shield. Now where does Cesaro go from here?
5. The Wyatt Family
Previous Rank: 5
The Wyatts had John Cena where they wanted him on Monday and simply weren't able to get a win. They did put a beating on Cena, seeing as the WWE Universe had decided to make the Wyatts' match with Cena a 3-on-1 Handicap match. But the match broke down, and the Wyatts were disqualified.
On SmackDown, they cut a promo on John Cena inside a cage, claiming the WWE Universe had fed Cena to the buzzards. They then led their converts in a rendition of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands."
Eric Rowan and Luke Harper defeated The Brotherhood immediately after, ending their week on a high note. Now, as they head into Extreme Rules, can Bray Wyatt continue to get inside John Cena's head?
4. Big E
Previous Rank: 4
Big E got two much-needed wins this past week, defeating Alberto Del Rio via pin on Main Event and then defeating Titus O'Neil on Superstars. Now, his biggest issue is learning who he'll be facing at Extreme Rules.
Will he face the brawler Bad News Barrett, or will it be the fast-paced Rob Van Dam? Big E has looked impressive lately, but can he keep it up?
3. John Cena
Previous Rank: 3
It may not have been what he envisioned, but John Cena won his only match of the week. The WWE Universe voted to put him in a 3-on-1 Handicap match against The Wyatts, and Cena looked as though he was about to pin Bray Wyatt.
But Rowan and Harper attacked him, giving Cena the DQ win. The beatdown that followed was rough, and Cena was left unconscious in the ring with Bray Wyatt cradling his head like that of a child. John Cena will have to put all the distractions out of his mind if he hopes to defeat Bray Wyatt a second time at a pay-per-view. Can he?
2. Daniel Bryan
Previous Rank: 1
Movement: Down 1
Daniel Bryan loses the top spot this week after getting absolutely destroyed by Kane. Making his much-anticipated return to Raw, he didn't even get a word out before he was interrupted by Stephanie McMahon and then attacked by Kane. That only added to the sorrow of the day, as we found out that his father had passed away earlier that day.
We now have reports from WWE.com that he's suffered a serious spinal injury. What will his condition be tonight? More importantly, how will be come Sunday? Does he even stand a chance at Extreme Rules?
1. The Shield
Previous Rank: 2
Movement: Up 1
The Shield claim the top spot this week after the group destroyed pretty much everyone in its path. On Raw, the trio cut a promo on Evolution and then went in for the kill when Evolution brought backup from the locker room. The Shield wisely backed down.
SmackDown was a different story. The Hounds of Justice beat down Jack Swagger, 3MB and Fandango, putting him through a table off the stage. And what was originally scheduled to be an 11-on-3 match became a 6-on-3 match after they devastated those who sided with Evolution.
In that match, they cleaned house, forcing Bad News Barrett to flee and eventually clearing the ring and hitting Ryback with a Triple Powerbomb to close the show. The match had broken down, and Reigns got the pin on Sandow prior to the major beatdown they put on everyone else. It showed Evolution that The Shield will take them to the limit.
Check out last week's rankings here.