In the WWE, wrestlers are always moving up and down in momentum, but the October 15 edition of Monday Night Raw shook up the Top 25 drastically.
Even with a vast roster, injuries and the blatant ignoring of certain Superstars sees only about 25 to 30 members of WWE wrestle.
Of them, a handful rarely even wrestle on televised programming.
With Raw, SmackDown, Main Event, NXT and Saturday Morning Slam occurring each week, power ranking Superstars can be tricky because it's ever-changing. Yet, as of this writing, it seems pretty clear who's on top.
Here are the Top 25 members of WWE today.
Note: Tag teams have been lumped together as one slide.
The power ranking is based on a few criteria.
Momentum is huge. Who has it, who doesn't? Similarly, there is opportunity. Guys and ladies who are getting screen time are higher up. Those who are never featured can't be high on the list.
Success is obviously considered. Winning and losing matter in power rankings.
Basically, those who are on television weekly, doing something of worth and winning are towards the top. Guys who are never on and lose when they are rank low.
Merchandise sales do not factor in. So you won't see John Cena No. 1 simply because he sells more t-shirts than anyone else. Of course, popularity should factor in somehow. In this case, it's not on a long timeline. It's based on who both the WWE Universe and Internet Wrestling Community enjoy watching each week.
To borrow a word from CM Punk—that means respect.
Likewise, outside acts of kindness have no bearing either. It's all about what's being done in the ring.
Epico and Primo have slowly but surely fallen down the Tag Team Championship ladder.
Okay, so they had a match on Monday Night Raw against the Rhodes Scholars. But they lost and in the process didn't make the Rhodes Scholars look any better (because the Scholars did the job effectively themselves).
It's not great when one of the most exciting things about your team is the valet.
That would be Rosa Mendes.
The team has talent, they just never have solid opportunities to show it.
Justin Gabriel gets little to no time on WWE programming.
But the thing about the South African sensation is that when he does manage some air time, he capitalizes.
In a match against United States champion Antonio Cesaro, Gabriel showed talent.
Will he get additional time is the question. The answer is: doubtful.
Santino Marella was awful as a singles competitor. Zack Ryder wasn't too much better, but he has a quality following on Twitter, Tout and YouTube.
So why not put the two together?
Well, the move did nothing for Marella and made Ryder's popularity waver a bit.
Lately, they've been losing twice each night. First they lose their match and then they get a beatdown by 3MB. Still, they get a bit more time than anyone else on the list so far.
Tyson Kidd may not get quality time, but he makes the most of it and he's memorable.
Co-Bro, Epico and Primo and Justin Gabriel were on Raw—Kidd was not. Still, fans pine for Kidd more. Furthermore, his match on SmackDown—a loss—was yet another phenomenal showing by the last to be trained by the Hart family.
It's a shame he doesn't get more time.
The only reason Brodus Clay is on the list ahead of the previous six is because he consistently gets to wrestle on Monday Night Raw.
Though lately, they've been embarrassing losses.
He's lost to Damien Sandow, Antonio Cesaro and now Alberto Del Rio. Each were squash matches which solely showcased the talents of Clay's opponent.
Additionally, there's speculation he may lose the Funkasaurus gimmick soon.
Clay could certainly continue to slide down as the weeks go by.
Another guy with few opportunities, another wrestler likely to lose his gimmick soon.
At least Tensai can say he's entangled in the World Heavyweight Championship sect of SmackDown. Well, kind of.
Tensai's had minor involvement in the feud between Big Show and Sheamus. Although, the outcome isn't always so favorable, as Tensai has been on the receiving end of a few Brogue Kicks.
Layla is ahead of others because she's entrenched in a decent angle and she's the No. 1 contender for a title—even if it is just the Divas Championship.
She isn't higher for the sole reason that not many care too much about the division in which she wrestles.
The trio of Heath Slater, Jinder Mihal and Drew McIntyre seem very odd together, but hey, kudos to the WWE for trying.
At least now they match.
They may not be the most popular stable, and they may not be taken seriously whatsoever, but they receive sufficient time on the main program and they haven't lost or been beaten up.
It seems silly now, but they might just have something.
The Prime Time Players were in prime time position to be major players. Many thought PTP would be the next tag team champions.
It hasn't completely unraveled yet, but it's getting there.
Not only were they stripped of their No. 1 contender title, they've recently lost in the tag team tournament to regain that label.
However, their star hasn't died out.
They're getting matches and they look great in the ring, even if the matches don't mean too much.
Here's the good: Eve is one of the better talents in the Divas division and she's the current champion. So there's that.
As stated in the Kaitlyn slide, the mystery attacker angle isn't awful either.
But here's the bad: The division isn't great. Matches that don't last more than five minutes don't help anyone.
Honestly though, the match between Eve and Layla on Monday Night Raw was actually really good. It's more than the WWE Universe has seen in awhile and there was more to it than cattiness and rolling around pulling hair.
Not many appreciated Alberto Del Rio when he was a No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Now he doesn't even have that.
He'll take on Randy Orton at Hell in a Cell, a match he's likely not favored in.
But the buildup to this "feud" has been quite lackluster. These two have trash talked each other all of two times (maybe three?) and each have "surprised" the other once.
Why are these two fighting again? (Sarcasm)
His feuds aren't great and he has zero respect in the WWE—Del Rio is pretty low on the power ranking.
Antonio Cesaro, the current United States champion, has the physique and overall look of a nasty, top tier heel.
He's isn't half bad on the mic and his strength in the ring is undeniable. Case in point, did you see him pull off the Neutralizer on Brodus Clay? Astonishing.
But for some reason, the WWE Universe isn't quite taking to him as expected.
He just needs a real feud.
The team of Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara are helping revitalize the tag team division. They're also in the finals of the tag team tournament to crown a new No. 1 contender.
Even though the Rhodes Scholars are the probable winners of the tournament, Mysterio and Cara are an exciting team.
They have a flashy move set in addition to even flashier ring attire.
There's a certain mystique surrounding this team accompanied by high energy that put this duo in the No. 13 spot on the power rankings.
The Miz spent most of 2012 in irrelevancy, but lately has rebounded effectively.
For starters, he's the Intercontinental champion.
He's also about to participate in a quality feud that should help build momentum and status for both Miz and his opponent.
In addition, the Miz showed enough talent on the microphone (likely at the announcing booth) that the WWE gave him his own talk show segment.
A title and a segment. The only thing that has the Miz down is two recent whoopings at the hands of Kofi Kingston.
Kofi Kingston may not be the Intercontinental champion, but he's seriously vying for the belt. It wouldn't shock too many to see the title change hands soon.
But even if it doesn't, Kingston is in good position.
He recently lost the Tag Team Championships and his tag team partner, but immediately jumped into this feud with The Miz.
From decent doubles competition to legitimate singles bouts.
He's also had the upper hand on The Miz in their last two meetings, including the Oct. 15 Raw. He'll take on Miz for the belt at Main Event on Oct. 17.
Wade Barrett is this high on the power ranking for two reasons.
One, his return is a breath of fresh air in the World Heavyweight title scene. Second, his talent is worthy of praise.
He's not higher yet though because it's still very early.
Having just returned, he's had just two high-profile matches—albeit two brilliant matches—against Sheamus.
If he has major involvement at Hell in a Cell or directly after, Barrett is sure to move upward on the power ranking.
Like Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara, the Rhodes Scholars have aided the Tag Team division's reboot.
Like the masked duo, the intellectual pair are entertaining, unique and have a good mix of style that complement each other well.
If they win the tag team tournament, they become the No. 1 contenders for the titles. If that's the case, they take on Kane and Daniel Bryan at Hell in a Cell.
Right now, Rhodes Scholars are sitting pretty.
Randy Orton is not in contention for a major title. He is not currently in an inspiring feud either.
But Orton remains one of the most talented members of WWE. One can also hold out hope that the feud against Alberto Del Rio is simply a stopgap on his way upward to a title shot.
He has the namesake, he's gifted, he has the look of a major player and he can cut a promo well enough. Add movie star in there too if you'd like.
The Big Show is a beast. Not only that, he is scheduled to face Sheamus at Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Furthermore, he's bested Sheamus a few times in recent weeks.
Still, Show is not winning many fans over. They don't love him of course (he's a heel), but they aren't as into hating him as they should be.
Show is just—there.
Additionally, he's in a terrible position.
If he wins at Hell in a Cell, Dolph Ziggler is going to cash in. Show has never been respected as a champion, and that likely wouldn't change now. It's easy to foresee a Ziggler cash in and win.
If Show loses, this feud probably ends with Show helping Ziggler cash in.
Either way, Show losing and Ziggler winning would appear to be the most plausible outcome.
Dolph Ziggler hasn't done an awful lot lately, but no matter what happens to him, he's the owner of the Money in the Bank contract.
That means, he can strike any time he wants. That puts him in a fantastic position.
If you took the time to read the slide prior, you see Ziggler has a wonderful opportunity to cash in no matter who wins.
Sheamus is the World Heavyweight champion. You have to respect that fact alone whether you hate the guy or love him.
Best of all, Sheamus is developing more moves.
He's a tough, bruising type with a strong, championesque look. Even pitted against Big Show, he doesn't appear as some weak chump.
His feud is lame, so losing legitimately to Show is laughable. If he does lose because Show has help from Dolph Ziggler, it's not very detrimental to his legacy.
It'd take two guys to take Sheamus down.
The John Cena fans' jaws just dropped to the floor. Is this for real—Cena is not No. 1?
Not this week, not right now.
Remember, merchandise and overall, worldwide popularity over the course of long timeline do not factor. It's all about who has the momentum right now.
Cena doesn't have it.
He had a chance to gain the WWE Championship. He couldn't do it. Then he missed time due to injury. So he hasn't done anything. Now he's taking a backseat, at a PPV, to Ryback.
You can't be No. 1 on the power rankings under these three conditions.
Kane and Daniel Bryan—Team Hell No—are one of the brightest spots on WWE programming. They've completely re-invigorated the tag team division, and they've done it by arguing with each other.
Team Hell No is brilliant.
Kane is a legend. He's big, strong and a literal monster. Bryan is a technician in the ring—small, but quick. The duo is polar opposites, and it's the reason it's working.
Then there's the entertainment value.
Not only do they make the tag team division worth watching, they're arguably the best thing about Monday Night Raw right now.
Team Hell No is the No. 1 reason to watch.
You have to have the WWE champion very high on the list, if not in the No. 1 spot.
So why isn't he there?
Well, he's not doing too well lately. Vince McMahon didn't quite get the best of him, but did enough damage. Then he has John Cena and Ryback to worry about.
The Oct. 15 edition of Monday Night Raw ended with McMahon choosing Punk's Hell in a Cell opponent and Ryback hitting the Shell Shock on the champion.
Things aren't really looking up for Punk.
No one has had such an epic rise to the top since—dare I say it—Goldberg.
Ryback is the new No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship. He gets his first shot at a major title, well, his first shot at any title, and he'll also main event his first PPV.
If he wins, he's the new champion, and he ends Punk's 330-plus day reign. If he loses, he still main evented this early in his career for the WWE Championship.
It seems like a win-win.
Add in the fact that he has the support of John Cena, and more importantly, WWE owner Vince McMahon.
Ryback has himself a lot of power.