With another week of WWE programming in the books and another set to begin later today, it's time to look back at the previous week and readjust the rankings accordingly.
I base these rankings on each wrestler's current position in the company, especially on wins and losses (or who beats whom). Also, I only rank the top 10 members of the WWE roster. This list is designed to showcase the best of the best, and going beyond 10 gives some mediocre people recognition they don't deserve at the moment.
In other words, my rankings are tough, fair and exclusive.
Let me just address one last issue before I get to the rankings. Dolph Ziggler did not make my list last week, and he doesn't make it again this week. People were upset last week, and I'm sure that will make people upset this week as well. I like Dolph Ziggler and I know for a fact he will be in the top 10 soon enough. But not this week.
This week, I'm introducing the Watch List. More on that later. With that in mind, on to the rankings.
This week, I'm introducing the Watch List. This list consists of any WWE Superstars that were considered for the top 10 rankings, but were ultimately nixed.
These individuals or groups are unranked, just like anyone else not making the top 10. If they make the jump into the top 10 next week, their previous rank will say "Watch List." If a superstar is not on the Watch List but jumps into the top 10, their previous rank will say "Outta Nowhere!"
These superstars are listed in no particular order whatsoever.
-Rob Van Dam
Previous Rank: 10
Movement: No Change
Coming off his heartbreaking loss at Money in the Bank, Cody Rhodes has seemingly kicked himself into high gear. Fans of Rhodes have long awaited a high-profile feud, and now they are getting it.
On Raw, Rhodes thoroughly beat down his former partner and friend Damien Sandow. On SmackDown, Sandow tried to assuage Rhodes' anger by offering to make him "Guardian of the Case."
In other words, Rhodes can carry Sandow's luggage. Needless to say, Rhodes was not happy, and again assaulted Sandow, driving him from the ring.
While his performance was not enough to move up a slot, Rhodes holds his spot in the top 10.
Previous Rank: 8
Movement: Down 1
At Money in the Bank, CM Punk was betrayed and busted open by his long-time friend Paul Heyman. And on Monday, Heyman and Punk had an amazing and enthralling exchange. But at the end of their verbal battle, Brock Lesnar came out at the behest of Heyman.
In a nutshell, Lesnar destroyed Punk. Punk was thrown into or over just about anything you can imagine. And while he did get up, the damage has been done.
After the beatdown, CM Punk looks vulnerable, and drops a spot to No. 9.
Previous Rank: Unranked
Brock Lesnar is the only new WWE Superstar to muscle onto the list this week. He bumped AJ Lee (Diva's Champion), who had a nervous breakdown on SmackDown, off the list.
Lesnar isn't seen too often on WWE TV, which will likely hurt him in the rankings going forward. But when he's on, he destroys everything in his path.
This past Monday, that meant CM Punk. Lesnar manhandled Punk and didn't break a sweat doing it. OK, maybe he broke a sweat, but when is he not sweating?
Previous Rank: 6
Movement: Down 1
The Shield had an up and down week. On Monday, they absolutely destroyed Mark Henry. That was the good.
The bad came Friday, where they were run off by Mark Henry. The Shield was dismantling the Usos when Henry came to the ring, causing The Shield to flee through the crowd.
While that may not be a dumb decision for most, it's still painful to see the Hounds of Justice flee from anyone, especially after beating the team of Cena, Ryback and Sheamus, and other "super teams."
They seem to have lost some of that swagger they had early in the year and are playing down to their competition. They still all hold gold, but unfortunately for them, they drop one spot this week.
Previous Rank: 7
Movement: Up 1
Curtis Axel continues to impress. He successfully defended his Intercontinental Championship twice in less than a week, defeating former WWE Champions The Miz and Chris Jericho (as WWE Undisputed Champion).
While people may scoff at a win over The Miz, beating Jericho on Smackdown was a big deal. He's showing he can consistently go toe-to-toe with the best and get a win.
The victory over Jericho moves him up one slot this week.
Previous Rank: 5
Damien Sandow has not had a very good week. He got beat down on Monday and on Friday by his former friend and partner Cody Rhodes. He also lost to Christian on Raw.
That said, he's still just a few Hallelujahs and a well-timed beatdown of Alberto Del Rio away from being World Heavyweight Champion, and that was enough (this time) to hold him steady at No. 5.
Previous Rank: 3
Movement: Down 1
Alberto Del Rio's week was mixed. On Monday, he got a win (albeit with interference by AJ) over Dolph Ziggler yet again. But on Friday, he got beaten cleanly by Randy Orton via RKO.
With a cheap win and a clean loss, Del Rio moves down one slot. But he is still the World Heavyweight Champion, and being a World champion in the top five is not a bad spot at all.
Previous Rank: 2
Movement: Down 1
Randy Orton, in the last two weeks, has gone from upper mid-card status to one RKO away from becoming WWE Champion. And this week, he showed why he is so dangerous.
Monday, he got a win via RKO over Fandango. Friday, you guessed it, a win via RKO over the World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio.
Orton is doing his best impression of butter—he's on a roll. OK, lame joke aside, Orton has looked dominant. But with Daniel Bryan becoming number one contender, he drops one spot.
Previous Rank: 4
Movement: Up 2
YES! YES! YES! Daniel Bryan is hot as the sun right now, and was the Raw crowd's clear choice to face John Cena for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam. Now he just has to capitalize.
Ever since he was beaten by Sheamus in 18 seconds at WrestleMania XXVIII, fans have been behind Bryan. Perhaps it was sheer anger at what WWE did in that match, or perhaps it was the immediate character change. Regardless, Bryan is, by far, the most popular wrestler in WWE today.
And after being selected as the No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship, he jumps two spots this week to, well, the No. 2 spot. That was a weird sentence.
Previous Rank: 1
No surprise here. John Cena, coming off a big win over Mark Henry at Money in the Bank, selected Daniel Bryan to challenge him for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam.
Cena holds the WWE Championship, the most prestigious title in pro wrestling today. That, plus his very wise decision to select Daniel Bryan, keeps him at the top of the power rankings.