WWE Superstar Rankings for 7/15/13
With Money in the Bank in the history books, and Raw about to begin, it's time to take inventory. Sunday night was a very good pay-per-view, and the events of the evening will, without doubt, have major effects on WWE for months to come.
So in my first-ever rankings, I've decided to list only the top 10 wrestlers in WWE. After all, going up to 20, 30 or even higher can leave some pretty mediocre people on a list designed to showcase the best of the best.
I based these rankings on their current position in the company and, with Monday night being the night after a pay-per-view, I drew heavily on the events of Sunday night.
No. 10: Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes put on one hell of a match last night. And when Damien Sandow threw him off the ladder at the last second, it was heartbreak.
Rhodes has worked hard to earn this spot. After a solid effort in the Royal Rumble, he came within seconds of winning the Money in the Bank ladder match.
Now I know close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, but Rhodes will likely give Sandow all he can handle in the coming weeks. He may well be in line for a World title shot the moment Sandow cashes in.
No. 9: AJ Lee
AJ Lee's feud with Kaitlin has brought back some serious physicality to the Diva's division. Really, outside the two of them, there isn't much to the division at all.
AJ is not big, she's not imposing and I doubt she's really that strong. She's the total opposite of Kaitlin. And yet, she trash-talked with the best and backed it up convincingly Sunday night.
She made Kaitlin tap, and she earned the No. 9 spot on this list.
No. 8: CM Punk
Some may not like how low CM Punk is on this list. But without a guaranteed feud going forward and being busted open by his now-former friend Paul Heyman, he's got some work to do to get back into a championship picture.
Will he challenge Brock Lesnar or Curtis Axel and take revenge on Heyman? Only the future will tell. His battle with Heyman, though, should be intense, and we all wait with bated breath to hear him Monday night.
No. 7: Curtis Axel
Unlike CM Punk, Curtis Axel got a big win Sunday night, beating The Miz about as clean as a heel can get a win. That was important for Axel, as he needed to prove he could win without interference.
He's now proved he's a force to be reckoned with, and he should only get better. And the fact that he holds the prestigious Intercontinental Championship only cements his spot on the list.
No. 6: The Shield
There was a time a few months ago when you could make a case for The Shield as No. 1 on any ranking list. Not anymore.
Lately, The Shield has lost a bit of their swagger. Losing to The Usos and Christian a few weeks back on SmackDown was perhaps the lowest point of their WWE career.
However, The Shield has gotten back on track. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns got a solid win over a tough Usos team, and Ambrose is still the United States champion. They are still a force, if not quite as dominant as they were before.
No. 5: Damien Sandow
If any one wrestler could be considered a surprise winner from Sunday night, it would have to be Damien Sandow. Few predicted him to win, as Swagger, Cesaro and even Dean Ambrose were considered by many to be favorites.
But Sandow, smart as he is, pulled it out. Now, he's three seconds away from his first World title run. Will he cash in soon, or will he plot and scheme, waiting for the best possible moment? Only Sandow knows for sure, but one thing is certain: We'll be hearing a loud, boisterous "You're welcome!" before too long.
No. 4: Daniel Bryan
Is there anyone hotter than Daniel Bryan? Probably not. Even though he didn't win the Money in the Bank All-Stars match, he's poised for a big main event push.
After taking a shot from Curtis Axel, he may well feud with him in the short term, but Daniel Bryan is fast-becoming WWE's most popular wrestler. A World title run will happen for him, sooner rather than later.
No. 3: Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio has been a heel, then a face and then a heel again. In all of his incarnations, he's been a champion. And Sunday night, he successfully defended his World Heavyweight Championship.
He may have done so in a screwy way, but by God he did it. And in WWE, holding on to a title is hard. Del Rio showed, once again, that he's got the savvy to be a world champion.
No. 2: Randy Orton
Talk about "outta nowhere!" Randy Orton wasn't on too many people's list as the winner of the Money in the Bank All-Stars match, and if not for Paul Heyman, he may not have won at all.
But Heyman did what he did, and then Orton took the opportunity. And that is precisely what Money in the Bank is all about. Orton now holds a guaranteed contract for a shot at the most prestigious title in pro wrestling today. He's held it before, and if history is any indication, he'll hold it again, and soon.
No. 1: John Cena
Is this really any shock? I've made it clear in previous articles and anywhere I can post on the Internet that I'm not a John Cena fan. At all. But he is the WWE champion, and he did force Mark Henry to tap out.
He's a 13-time World champion and an 11-time WWE champion. Like him or not, he got the job done and defended his title. Now, he has to look over his shoulder and keep an eye on Orton, while getting to choose his opponent for SummerSlam later Monday night.
So what do you think? Who should be on the list, and who should be off? Comment below.