Another week, another round of changes in the WWE Power Rankings. This week, the firing of Cody Rhodes has upset the applecart and caused some changes in the top 10.
The top five saw little movement, but the other slots saw some changes.
And just in case you're new, here's how the Power Rankings work. Wins and losses account for much of the week-to-week movement up or down. "Getting the better" of someone counts almost as much as a win, and "getting got" (to quote R-Truth) counts almost as much as a loss.
Holding a title, being a No. 1 Contender, or holding a Money in the Bank Briefcase can help give a wrestler an edge over competition, but does not guarantee a spot in the top 10. And only the top 10 are ranked. The Watch List consists of wrestlers who were considered for top-10 status, but were ultimately nixed.
OK, so on to the Watch List...
This week, the Watch List consists of three wrestlers. They are as follows:
Damien Sandow is still on the Watch List only because of his Money in the Bank briefcase. Technically, he could become World Heavyweight Champion anytime Alberto Del Rio shows up. Aside from that, he lost to Rob Van Dam and R-Truth this past week. He's another bad week away from dropping from even the Watch List.
Christian, who recently returned from injury, is again out with a concussion. Word is he's recovering fine, and he's less than a month removed from being No. 1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. He'll need to come back and get some wins if he can, otherwise he's likely to fall back into the pack.
A couple of weeks ago, AJ Lee cut the promo of her life. This week, she got beat down by the "Total Divas" on Raw, and then took revenge on SmackDown. Dropping out of the top 10 was to be expected, as there really is no competition in the Divas division at all. She needs a good win (or another great promo) to get back there.
Previous Rank: 6
Movement: Down 4
Curtis Axel really has no excuse for his performance. He usually wins his matches, but the last few weeks he's lost. And this week, in his only match on WWE TV, he lost to Kofi Kingston on SMackDown.
Holding the IC title and being with Paul Heyman have buoyed him perhaps higher than he could have gone himself. But no more. He looks weak without heavy interference.
In Short, Axel needs a big win now, or he may well drop right out of the top 10.
Previous Rank: Outta Nowhere!
Ryback really should have been on the Watch List last week, but ultimately he wasn't. This week, after getting two big wins over Dolph Ziggler, he's good enough to make the top 10.
He looks like he may be aligning with Triple H and his new regime, which could revitalize his run in the upper-card. It's been a rough six months for Ryback, but for now it looks as though he may well be getting back on track.
Previous Rank: Watch List
Big Show was on the Watch List last week, and jumps into the top 10 after his performances on Raw and SmackDown. On Raw, he lost by DQ to Daniel Bryan, but really of no fault of his own. The Shield beat down Bryan as Triple H forced Show to watch, and eventually forced him to hit Bryan with the KO Punch.
On SmackDown, he annihilated 3MB. Enough said about that.
Big Show is now, for better or worse, firmly entrenched in the main event storylines, and for that, he jumps into the top 10.
Previous Rank: 10
Movement: Up 3
The Wyatts keep winning and keep giving us clues about their intentions. This week, their victims were the Prime Time Players. And if Rowan and Harper keep picking up wins against quality tag teams, they may well be in line for a shot at The Shield's Tag Team Championships.
Meanwhile, Bray Wyatt continues to cut bizarre (in a good way) promos, hinting at the location of Kane. The Wyatts are quietly becoming a force, and they rose up the rankings this week.
Previous Rank: 8
Movement: Up 2
This week was a mixed bag for The Shield. They rose in the rankings for several reasons. First, which benefited a lot of guys, was Cody Rhodes' firing. Second was the hellacious beatdown they put on Daniel Bryan on Raw.
What hurt them was Seth Rollins' loss to Bryan on SmackDown. But they are firmly entrenched in the Triple H regime and may stay on top of the tag division for a long time. And don't forget Dean Ambrose holding the United States Championship as well.
They all have gold, and they move up the rankings.
Previous Rank: 5
No changes here, and there's not much to speak of this week for CM Punk. He cut a promo on Raw, and that was pretty much it. It was a classic Punk promo, and Paul Heyman seemed to take the words to heart.
If Punk can get his hands on Heyman, we "may never see" him again. That causes some speculation about the possibility of another "Paul Heyman Guy" showing up, as Heyman may be losing confidence in Curtis Axel.
Punk didn't do much this week, but he made a impression on Heyman. He holds steady at No. 5.
Previous Rank: 3
Movement: Down 1
Rob Van Dam had a mixed week. He soundly defeated Damien Sandow on Raw, but lost to Randy Orton after a great match on SmackDown. Had he defeated Orton, he may well have leapfrogged Bryan in the rankings.
But he didn't, and he dropped. He's still got a great shot at Alberto Del Rio's World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions this coming Sunday. But based on the loss to Orton, he drops one spot.
Previous Rank: 4
Movement: Up 1
Alberto Del Rio was idle this week, and got the benefit of RVD's loss to Randy Orton. That loss helped Del Rio reclaim the No. 3 spot.
Aside from that, much like CM Punk, there isn't much to report on Del Rio this week. He will need to build some momentum this week heading into his World Heavyweight Championship match with Rob Van Dam this Sunday at Night of Champions.
When it was all said and done, Del Rio rose one spot.
Previous Rank: 2
Daniel Bryan refused to back out of his WWE CHampionship match at Night of Champions against Randy Orton and paid the price on Raw. He was in a match with Big Show that he actually won (by DQ), but took a vicious beating from The Shield afterwards. If that wasn't bad enough, Big Show was forced to hit him with the KO Punch.
Bryan did get a measure of revenge on SmackDown by defeating Seth Rollins and escaping The Shield. Orton, though, made sure Bryan didn't get out of the arena unscathed and attacked him on the ramp.
Bryan got two wins, which counts for a lot. He took some big beatings though, and had RVD beaten Orton on SmackDown, Bryan may have dropped to No. 3. Speculation aside, Bryan holds steady this week at No. 2.
Previous Rank: 1
In the least surprising ranking of the week, Randy Orton again comes in at No. 1 in the Power Rankings. He defeated Cody Rhodes, which cost Rhodes his job. Orton had more trouble than he should have with Rhodes, but he got the big win nonetheless.
Then, he picked up a win after another amazing match with Rob Van Dam on SmackDown. That's two big wins in one week for the WWE Champion. Fans may hate him, but Orton got the job done twice, and for that, the WWE Champion remains atop the WWE Power Rankings.