WWE Power Rankings for 05/05/2014: Post-WWE Extreme Rules 2014 Edition
WWE Extreme Rules 2014 is in the books. In three title matches, we saw two retentions and one new champion. We also saw some excellent wrestling in non-title matches, like The Shield vs. Evolution.
With WrestleMania now firmly in the rear-view mirror and WWE marching headlong into summer, what's next for many a Superstar?
We'll get into all that and more in the following slides. Before we do, please read 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 and is the most heavily weighted component in these rankings. If a wrestler is tied with another wrestler, holding a title will break a tie.
Wins and losses account for the bulk of the week-to-week movement and wins and losses are, after championships, 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. Nothing that could be explicitly considered a spoiler is included unless WWE acknowledges it as well.
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.
It's time to start paying attention to Alexander Rusev and his valet, "The Ravishing Russian" Lana. The Bulgarian Brute continues to dominate his competition. And Sunday night at Extreme Rules, at the direction of Lana, he destroyed Xavier Woods and R-Truth. It's time for him to take a step up in competition. Will that start tonight on Raw?
Rob Van Dam
Rob Van Dam had a mixed week and a mixed Extreme Rules. On Raw, he lost to Bad News Barrett after Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter distracted him. He got revenge on SmackDown when he defeated Jack Swagger. After the match, he was attacked by Cesaro, who was ringside. Finally, at Extreme Rules, he eliminated Jack Swagger but could not overcome Cesaro, who then pinned him to win the Triple Threat Elimination match. RVD looks like he may have a growing problem with Cesaro. Will we see the two of them face off again in the near future?
Kane had all the conditions set and was ready to defeat Daniel Bryan. And Kane threw everything he could at Bryan. But in the end, Kane went through the table he himself set on fire, got caught with a running knee, and lost the match. But he didn't stay down for long. Will Kane get another shot at Bryan?
Previous Rank: 9
Movement: Down 1
Evolution started the week off with an opportunity to show they can go toe-to-toe with The Shield. But they got a bit of a surprise when Ric Flair endorsed The Shield, seemingly double-crossing his old running buddies. But he did wink at Triple H. Is there more to this story?
Randy Orton faced Roman Reigns later on Raw, and much like other encounters, the match was called off after it broke down and turned into a brawl. That brawl saw The Shield drive off Evolution to end the show.
And last night at Extreme Rules, The Shield and Evolution finally went to war. The match was all we could have hoped, and both teams left it all in the ring. And in the stands. The match spilled into the crowd, leaving just Batista and Roman Reigns to duke it out. After a back-and-forth exchange, Roman Reigns hit Batista with a Superman Punch and got the pin for the win.
Somehow, there's a feeling that this was only the first battle in a longer war. Will Evolution demand round two at Payback next month?
9. The Usos
Previous Rank: 8
Movement: Down 1
The Usos started off their week looking strong, but it fizzled out, and they didn't even get a spot on the card at Extreme Rules. On Raw, they defeated RybAxel, who had been on a roll. But that was the best of the week.
On Main Event, they did save Sheamus from a beatdown, but that incurred the wrath of The Wyatts. And on SmackDown, they teamed with Sheamus in a match against The Wyatts, which they lost. And after the match, they were roughed up.
As mentioned, they didn't appear at Extreme Rules at all. Will they get a chance to shine Monday night on Raw?
8. Big E
Previous Rank: 4
Movement: Down 4
Big E went into Extreme Rules looking dominant. He'd been winning most of his matches and had annihilated Titus O'Neil after a DQ win on SmackDown.
But he walked into a buzz saw in Bad News Barrett, who has been on a roll over the last few weeks, including winning a tournament to determine the No. 1 contender for Big E's Intercontinental Championship.
Big E gave it all he had, but Barrett bested him last night, and Big E's IC title reign ended at 167 days. When will he get his rematch? And can he reclaim his lost title?
7. Bad News Barrett
Previous Rank: Watch List
Movement: Into Top 10
Bad News Barrett is your new Intercontinental Champion after defeating Big E at Extreme Rules. Prior to that, he earned the title shot on Raw by defeating Rob Van Dam, albeit with an assist from Jack Swagger.
He followed that up with a win over Kofi Kingston on Main Event. Barrett capped off his return to relevance at Extreme Rules. Now, he holds WWE's second-most important title, and there's a big target on his back. Can he keep his title when Big E gets his inevitable rematch?
Previous Rank: 7
Movement: Up 1
Paige just keeps on winning, and she's brought a bit of a shine back to the Diva's Championship. On Raw, she faced Brie Bella in an impromptu match that was called off after Kane attacked Brie from below the ring. But she got back to winning by making Alicia Fox submit the next night on Main Event.
Then Sunday night at Extreme Rules, in her first pay-per-view title defense, she took on Tamina Snuka. Tamina, like most of Paige's opponents, was forced to submit. Who will step up next and challenge? Will AJ Lee return to try and reclaim the title she lost last month?
Previous Rank: 6
Movement: Up 1
Cesaro keeps climbing the rankings, and this week saw him pick up two big wins. On Raw, he defeated Jack Swagger. But it was at Extreme Rules where he shined brightest.
The King of Swing was in a Triple Threat Elimination match against Rob Van Dam and Jack Swagger. Though RVD got the initial pin on Swagger, Cesaro picked up the win after pinning RVD.
Now, RVD is saying he's got unfinished business with Cesaro, and Swagger sounds like he might want more of him, too. Where does Cesaro go next?
4. John Cena
Previous Rank: 3
Movement: Down 1
John Cena did not have a good week. He started by asking the WWE Universe why they had started following Bray Wyatt and why they'd seemingly abandoned him. Then, a children's choir serenaded him with "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," followed by Bray Wyatt cutting a promo on him. He was speechless for much of the show, but found clarity and addressed the WWE Universe again, and there was a reference to a donkey named Gluteus.
At Extreme Rules, he looked to have every chance to win the Steel Cage match he was in with Bray Wyatt, but Cena looked freaked out as Luke Harper and Erick Rowan continually tried to block his exit routes. As Cena again closed in for a win, a child named Little Johnny (is this the same entity that exerted a supernatural hold on Heidenreich all those years ago?), who has a demonic voice, emerged and scared the daylights out of Cena, leading to Bray hitting Cena with a Sister Abigail. Bray Wyatt won the match.
Bray Wyatt, at this point, doesn't look like he's going to bring out Cena's dark side. But he is getting into Cena's head, affecting Cena in as-yet-unknown ways. Can Cena regroup and get back at Bray Wyatt? Or is he too disturbed by The Wyatts to even want to go near them again?
3. The Wyatts
Previous Rank: 5
Movement: Up 2
The Wyatt Family had a good week. They stared with the incredibly bizarre promo featuring the children's choir. It's no secret Cena's biggest fanbase has been kids. So Bray Wyatt seemingly is trying to show Cena that even his most ardent fans are turning their backs on him.
While that may be a bit of a stretch, it's clear Cena's fan support has eroded badly over the years. The Wyatts now can exploit that to their advantage. And they did.
The next night on Main Event, Bray Wyatt took out Sheamus in a tough match. And on SmackDown, The Wyatts took on The Usos and Sheamus and defeated them.
And then came Extreme Rules, where Wyatt, as mentioned in the previous slide, pulled out all the stops to get a win. Rowan and Harper prevented and deterred Cena from escaping on numerous occasions, eventually leading to the debut of Little Johnny.
This freaked John Cena out so much that it gave Bray the opportunity he needed to win. Bray did what he promised in defeating Cena. It seems Cena and Wyatt still have unfinished business.
2. Daniel Bryan
Previous Rank: 2
Daniel Bryan was a man on a mission this week. After Kane put his hands on Brie Bella on Raw (which also saw Bryan get chokeslammed), Bryan vowed to get revenge. And he certainly did.
At Extreme Rules, he and Kane beat each other mercilessly. Kane at one point nearly electrocuted Bryan once the match moved backstage. But after Kane was knocked out, Daniel Bryan used a forklift to literally dump Kane back into the ring. He stood atop the forklift and led thunderous "YES!" chants before a massive diving headbutt connected with Kane.
But even that wasn't enough. Kane recovered and set a table ablaze. But Bryan was too quick, and he sent Kane into the flames instead. Kane, shocked and panicked, was hit with a running knee and was pinned.
After the match at a press conference, Daniel Bryan suggested he's not done with Kane, and Kane likely isn't done with him. Will Kane get another shot at Bryan's title? And will Bryan be able to go on the offensive now that he's beaten Kane at his own game once?
1. The Shield
Previous Rank: 1
The Shield started at No. 1 this week and stay No. 1 with a big victory at Extreme Rules. Beginning the week on Raw, the trio were shockingly endorsed by Ric Flair, who was ostensibly there to reunite with Evolution. Then, after Roman Reigns' match with Randy Orton broke down, they drove off Evolution.
Then on SmackDown, Dean Ambrose competed in a Fatal 4-Way match against Alberto Del Rio and both members of RybAxel for his United States Championship. Though he rarely defends the title, he shined in the match, pinning Alberto Del Rio to retain.
Then, at Extreme Rules, The Hounds of Justice went to war with Evolution in a match that more than lived up to the hype. But as the match got more and more out of control, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose brawled with Triple H and Randy Orton, which spilled into the crowd. That left Roman Reigns and Batista alone, and Reigns made the most of it, hitting Batista with a Superman Punch and picking up the win.
After a hard-fought win, will The Shield move away from Evolution, or will we see a rematch in the near future?