Pro Wrestling Top 25: Even In Defeat, You're Still The Biggest Winner

Ron Johnson@TLCCaptainSenior Writer IJanuary 17, 2009

Words cannot describe what this week has meant for several superstars. On one night, we saw a Wrestlemania type match. On another, we saw the dawning of a new era. Then there's the return of retribution.

And of course...there's Friday Night SmackDown.

With that, here's the Top 25 for this week...and it's a Stunner!

#1) Victoria (SmackDown)

No one can debate this one. She is a multiple Women's Champion. She has been involved in some of the best rivalries in WWE history. And it's a shame to see her go. This past Friday night on SmackDown, Victoria lost her final WWE match to Michelle McCool...but it was after the match that brought a majority of us in tears.

McCool led a "Victoria" chant, and the fans followed suit as the teary-eyed Diva waved to the crowd and mouthed two words for them: "Thank you."

Victoria, on behalf of all of us Bleacher Report, I'd like to say, "No. Thank you."

#1) Stone Cold Steve Austin (2009 WWE Hall Of Fame Inductee)

He's still the Toughest Son of a Bitch in the WWE. He's still the Texas Rattlesnake. And on April 4th, he will take his place among the immortals. This past Monday on RAW, we found out that the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2009 will be none other than Stone Cold Steve Austin!

This leads to the belief that Austin 3:16 will start a trend that will be felt for years to come. But then again, he did that during the Attitude Era of the WWE. Now the question isn't when Austin will return to the ring. It's how he'll return to the ring.

#3) The Front Line, TNA

The Front Line had a rough night at Genesis as Rhyno couldn't get the job done against Sting following the Mafia ambush. But they did get even as Mick Foley led the Front Line to victory over the Mafia in the six man tag. But it was Thursday night that has th Front Line head and shoulders above the rest this week.

The Front Line came out at the beginning of the broadcast and got some much deserved revenge as Brother Ray returned and sent Kurt Angle through a table. At the end of the night, Petey Williams also returned and cost Scott Steiner the main event against AJ Styles.

Is this the start of something bigger for The Front Line...or will the Mafia bounce back next week on IMPACT?

#4) The Legacy (Orton, Rhodes & DiBiase), RAW

Randy Orton continues to find a way to shock everyone. This past Monday, he took it a step further.

In his quest for immortality, Orton took Cody Rhodes under his wing and began the next step of his faction known as The Legacy. On Monday night, he proved just how big the genius behind his plan truly is. Manu and Sim Snuka thought they pulled a fast one on the Legend Killer with the return of Ted DiBiase...only to find out that they were just pawns in a bigger plan.

DiBiase, Orton and Rhodes took out the two rejected Legacy members before heading to the back to discuss the Royal Rumble. With all three men in the Rumble, which Legacy member will win a shot at immortality at Wrestlemania 25?

#5) Shawn Michaels, RAW

He's been the biggest pawn on RAW to this point. Thanks to JBL, Shawn Michaels no longer has his own voice. But this past Monday, if this was HBK's Wrestlemania, he didn't disappoint.

Despite JBL's constant rant about how this is all about Shawn's paycheck, Shawn went out and defeated the World Heavyweight Champion John Cena in an epic rematch from their last Wrestlemania encounter. Everytime these two seem to get together, they always give us one of the best matches of the year.

And contrary to what anyone thinks, Cena can wrestle...and he proved it this past Monday night. But which road will Shawn take when his boss takes on The Champ for the gold at The Royal Rumble?

#6) Jack Swagger (ECW Champion), ECW

Allow me to be the first to say that this was the dumbest decision that WWE has ever done. Swagger may have had some impressive victories over the last few months...but to make him ECW Champion, especially with the momentous ride that Matt Hardy has been on?

That's just plain stupid.

Either way, Swagger may be ECW Champion, but his days could be numbered. After getting the loss on SmackDown to the former champion, Swagger now knows that he will have to face Hardy for the black gold at The Royal Rumble. Will Swagger prove why he is the All American American or will his reign as ECW Champion continue past Detroit?

#7) TNA Knockouts, TNA

The Knockouts have been busy over the past few weeks. After Christy Hemme was sidelined with neck surgery, ODB stepped up and earned herself another shot at Awesome Kong and the TNA Knockouts Championship. But that's just half of the story...

This past Thursday on IMPACT, Roxxi and Taylor Wilde dropped a bombshell on The Beautiful People. After informing the beauties that the woman who has been "changing" them over the past month was not The Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, they decided to let the chips fall...right now.

Wilde and Roxxi enjoyed watching the beauties get "mucked" up...but how long will it take Angelina Love and Velvet Sky to get some retribution on The Knockouts?

#8) Shane Sewell, TNA

Sewell finally got his wish and had a tough battle against Sheik Bashir at Genesis. When it was over, he got the victory and his payback over the outspoken Arab. Now he's back in the stripes for the time being, but rest assured that this will not be the last time we see Sewell in the ring.

This past Thursday, Sewell got involved with the assault of Hernandez during the TNA World Heavyweight Championship match. It's clear that Booker T has selected his next target. But when will these two lock up and battle in the six-sided ring? And can Sewell make it 2-0 in TNA as well?

#9) TNA FanNation

The FanNation was spoiling for a fight this past week on IMPACT! After a Genesis that had the same old story, IMPACT brought us one hell of an aftermath from the pay per view.

Now the Nation looks to keep that momentum going as Brother Ray and Brother Devon have made it clear who they're going after at Against All Odds. But will Angle and Sting accept the challenge of the 20x Tag Team Champions? And if so, who will gain the momentum heading into February's Against All Odds?

#10) B/R Wrestling Nation

While the boss is away, the boys (and girls) will play. Over the past week, all of them have done their part in continuing the growth of the Wrestling section. Now with the Royal Rumble on the horizon, and Christian Cage confirmed to be WWE-bound once again, what will the writers do to continue their fair share of anarchy?

And even better, what other shockers will the teacher unleash on his impressive pupils. They still are writing like it's Armageddon (no pun intended), but just how much gas do these young stallions have in the tank?

#11) WWE Universe

---The Universe drops a few spots for three reasons: JBL's interferences on RAW in the main event, Swagger's ECW Championship victory on Sci-Fi and Hardy's unfortunate accident part two. Sorry, Universe, but you can only blame yourself for the WWE going backwards and taking things too far...again!

#12) John Cena (World Heavyweight Champion), RAW

---John Cena has been riding a wave of momentum ever since winning the World Title at Surivor Series. But his wave was crashed when he received Sweet Chin Music this past Monday in his loss to Shawn Michaels.

With the Royal Rumble less than a week away, how will Cena respond to the constant transgressions of JBL? And who will be next to take a bribe from the Longhorn Loudmouth in his attempt to take the gold from the Chain Gang Commander at The Rumble?

#13) Rey Mysterio, RAW

---Mysterio got two shots of revenge this past Monday on RAW. He first got the victory over The Miz in singles competition. Then he got one over on Mike Knox when he tried to ambush him again. Now this Monday night, he gets what he's been wanting for so long: A one on one battle with the newest member of RAW. Can Mysterio defeat Knox and gain more momentum heading into The Royal Rumble? Or will Mysterio's Road to Redemption be cut short?

#14) Matt Hardy (#1 Contender for ECW Championship), ECW

---The former ECW Champion lost his gold to Jack Swagger this past Tuesday on ECW. But he got some vengeance this past Friday when he not only dropped the Twist of Fate on the new champion, he also pinned him in the middle of the ring. Now if he can do that next Sunday at the Royal Rumble, he will hand Swagger his second loss and regain the ECW Championship. But can he get past the anarchy that has surrounded his brother over the past few weeks?

#15) The Main Event Mafia, TNA

---The Mafia is here for two reasons: Kurt Angle decimated Jeff Jarrett and Sting survived Rhyno at Genesis. But when they got back to Orlando, they were the ones who got decimated. Now with the Front Line getting stronger each week, what will the Mafia do to slow down the momentum of a motivated group of Young Lions?

#16) Triple H, SmackDown

---The Game wasn't in action this week...but that didn't stop him from getting into the action. Triple H got a measure of revenge on Vickie Guerrero, but he has to pay an ultimate price for his actions: He has to face Vladimir Kozlov next week on SmackDown. Can the King of Kings hand the Moscow Mauler his first defeat? Or will he become just another victim?

#17) Michelle McCool, SmackDown

---Despite her attitude as of late, and her vain ego, no one can deny that Michelle McCool has not been impressive both in victory and defeat. With Maryse on the sideline, McCool will have to wait for her opportunity to get back the Divas Championship. But until then, she will continue to battle the divas on SmackDown. But she has some unfinished business with someone she ambushed a few weeks ago.

#18) Hernandez of LAX, TNA

---Hernandez cashed in his briefcase and got his shot at Sting's TNA World Heavyweight Championship. But thanks to the Mafia, he lost his chance at glory. But something tells me that this wasn't the last time that Supermex will get a shot at the World Title. Besides, it's good to see a fresh face in the war between The Front Line and The Mafia.

#19) CM Punk (#1 Contender for Intercontinental Championship), RAW

---Punk was close to winning the IC Title once again until an inadvertant shot to the midsection cost him his shot at the gold. But he gets another chance at William Regal. Thanks to Stephanie McMahon, Punk will face the Intercontinental Champion this Monday night in a No Disqualification Match for the title. Can Punk secure his destiny before The Rumble? 

#20) The Lethal Consequences (#1 Contenders for TNA Tag Team Titles), TNA

---They lost the gold just three days after winning them. But they got another chance to reclaim the titles at Against All Odds. The team of Jay Lethal and Consequences Creed are now heading to TNA's next pay per view with the thoughts of once again becoming TNA World Tag Team Champions. But will their dream be fulfilled...or are just another obstacle toward's Beer Money's immortality?

#21) Beer Money (TNA World Tag Team Championships), TNA

---They lost the gold for three days. But thanks to Abyss and his miscalculation with the strap at Genesis, they were able to get even and get back the TNA Tag Team Championships. But with The Lethal Consequences coming to reclaim the gold they never lost, will it be the Consequences shouting out a familiar phrase to BMI at Against All Odds? Or will Roode and Storm simply tell them: Sorry About Your Damn Luck!

#22) Beth Phoenix (WWE Women's Champion), RAW

---She got one over on Melina this past Monday night. She used an ambush from her #1 fan to take down her next challenger for the Women's Championship. But will that even be enough for The Glamazon to stay champion after The Royal Rumble? Or has the time come for a change in the ranks of the Women's Division?

#23) Rosa Mendez (Beth's #1 Stalker), RAW

---She wants to keep Beth as champion. But what happens when you keep one woman happy and piss off two more, one of them happening to be the GM of RAW at this time? You put yourself in a very bad situation that could end with you getting more than what you bargained for.

#24) Edge & Vickie Guerrero (SmackDown's Power Couple), SmackDown

---Are the Rated R Superstar and SmackDown GM on borrowed time in their quest to rule Wrestlemania one more time? Considering the lengths they're going to get back the WWE Championship, one could say that if they don't win it at The Rumble, they're in for a rude awakening.

#25) MVP, SmackDown

---His first win in months is against The Big a Last Man Standing Match...with Triple H's RR spot on the line? That deserves more than a spot in the Top 25...that deserves a Klondike Bar!

On The Horizon: WWE Royal Rumble (Sunday January 25th)


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