Ladies and gentlemen, it's time once again for your favorite part of the week. It's time for WWE Power Rankings.
Here's a quick refresher on how this works: Wins and losses account for most of the weekly movement up or down. Holding a title, being a No. 1 contender or holding a Money in the Bank briefcase gives an edge but does not necessarily guarantee a spot in the top 10.
The Watch List will be slightly expanded, too. This week, I'll start writing a short blurb about each wrestler on the Watch List explaining why they were considered for the top 10 but were ultimately nixed.
OK, so on to the Watch List...
This week there are three wrestlers on the Watch List. And starting this week, I'll be giving a short explanation about why a wrestler is on the Watch List and why they did not make the top 10. Here's the list:
Christian is only a few weeks removed from a World Heavyweight Championship match. But with high-profile losses to big names recently, including Randy Orton this past Raw, Christian just could no longer be considered top-10 material.
Big Show looks to be on the verge of going to war with WWE management. This past week, he was forced to watch as The Miz and Dolph Ziggler were beaten down in the ring. But he defied Triple H. Though he ultimately complied, his dispute with Triple H is something to watch going forward.
Right now, the only thing going for Damien Sandow is the Money in the Bank Briefcase. That alone is reason to at least consider him for top-10 status. But he lost to The Miz and Cody Rhodes in a tag match and then lost quickly to Rob Van Dam. He may hold a MitB briefcase, and he's in the upper tier of WWE, but he can't truly be considered top-10 right now. A few wins, though, and he could be back in a flash.
Previous Rank: Watch List
The Wyatts are still not quite the dominant group they could be, but they are getting there. They beat down and abducted Kane, and they continue to win match after match.
They defeated Tons of Funk on SmackDown, but more importantly, they gave us the first hints of Sister Abigail, who appears to be the inspiration for The Wyatt Family. We also may very well get to meet her in the near future.
For now, though, The Wyatts are starting to make their presence felt in WWE.
Previous Rank: 10
Movement: Up one
AJ Lee just cut the promo of her life. Work or not, it was the best promo she's ever cut, and she has endeared herself to wrestling fans everywhere.
Lee is still the WWE Divas Champion, and she is head and shoulders above anyone else in the division. Is she right about the other WWE Divas? Are they, for the most part, a bunch of talentless wannabe actresses who just couldn't cut it in Hollywood?
AJ Lee sure thinks so. And this week, she lands at No. 9 on the list.
Previous Rank: 9
Movement: Up one
The Shield is perhaps gaining back some of the power they had several months ago. While it's still uncertain if they're little more than hired guns for the McMahons or if they are loyal to them in some way, they are aligned with the power players in WWE.
They lost their gauntlet match to Daniel Bryan on Raw, but winning the match was not the objective. Putting a beatdown on Bryan was the goal, which they achieved. They also put a beatdown in a win over Dolph Ziggler on SmackDown, with Big Show being forced to watch.
They are all champions and may well be for a very long time.
Previous Rank: 6
Movement: Down one
Rhodes looked poised to make a run at the World Heavyweight Championship. But Rhodes just does not seem to be able to get over the hump.
Rob Van Dam now looks to have the inside track to a World Title run (RVD is the No. 1 contender), which boxes Rhodes out. He did defeat Fandango on Raw, but it took an assist from The Miz to do so. And he lost to Curtis Axel on Main Event.
In all, not a fantastic week for Rhodes. Because of that, he drops a spot.
Previous Rank: 5
Movement: Down one
Curtis Axel had a mixed week. He got a decent win over Cody Rhodes on Main Event but lost to CM Punk on Raw. After his loss to Punk, he helped Paul Heyman absolutely destroy Punk. But a loss is a loss.
Axel looks increasingly like he's a third wheel in the Heyman-Punk feud and showed he couldn't hang with Punk in the ring. He's still the Intercontinental Champion, but that won't keep him in a good position forever.
Axel needs a big win, or he'll keep dropping in the rankings.
Previous Rank: 7
Movement: Up two
CM Punk took a beating from Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman on Raw after he pinned Axel. The stipulation, which was rumored to be a title match but turned out to be a match that if Punk won he got Heyman in the ring, backfired on Punk afterwards.
Axel lost the match, and Punk very nearly got to put the beatdown on Heyman he so craves. Axel saved Heyman, and Punk got destroyed by the both of them. Punk took his beating like a man, and you can bet he'll be firing on all cylinders this week ready to take revenge.
His win over Axel moves him ahead on the list, but the beatdown he took kept him from rising much more. Regardless, Punk moves up one spot this week.
Previous Rank: 3
Movement: Down one
Just when Alberto Del Rio appears to be unstoppable, he gets on a losing streak. The last few weeks, he's been harassed by Rob Van Dam and his old announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez.
This past week, he lost to Rob Van Dam, who will challenge him for his World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions. He always seems to find ways to lose as a big event approaches but always seems to find a way to retain his title.
RVD beat him, and for that, he drops one spot.
Previous Rank: 4
Movement: Up one
Rob Van Dam just pinned the World Heavyweight Champion and looks poised to win the title at Night of Champions. RVD is on a roll, and it's moving him up the rankings.
In addition to his win over Del Rio, he quickly dispatched Damien Sandow on SmackDown. Sandow is the closest thing to a No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship outside RVD, and he beat him handily.
RVD has skyrocketed to the upper echelon of WWE. Can he stay there? Only time will tell.
Previous Rank: 2
Daniel Bryan ran the gauntlet against The Shield on Raw. He did it the hard way, getting a DQ win over Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns by disqualification after he pinned Seth Rollins. After the match, he was beat down badly.
On SmackDown, he came to the rescue of The Miz after Orton and The Shield began to beat him down. He takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Bryan is also getting perhaps the loudest reaction from live crowds in recent memory.
Bryan is on track to be the face of WWE for a very long time. He'll have to get past Randy Orton first.
Previous Rank: 1
Randy Orton was dominant this week. According to Triple H, he's the face and the future of the WWE. He got a big win over Christian on Raw, and a win over The Miz on SmackDown.
He did get run off by Daniel Bryan on SmackDown, but he's entitled to pick and choose his enemies and when he fights them. That's the benefit of being WWE Champion.
Still, a champion should not run away. Being run off is never good, but perhaps this week he can be excused. Bryan did, after all, have a chair and was swinging for the fences. In any case, Randy Orton took care of business and preserved his health by not engaging Bryan on SmackDown.
Orton, once again, tops the Power Rankings.