After a big week in WWE, there are some big changes in the Power Rankings. With Big Show fired and with Rob Van Dam taking time off, both have been removed from the rankings. And with John Cena's surprise return as the No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, he returned with a vengeance.
Before we get on to the rankings, here's how they work:
Holding a championship, being No. 1 contender or having a Money in the Bank briefcase counts for much of the rankings. Wins and losses account for much of the week-to-week movement.
Only the top 10 are ranked, and every other wrestler is unranked. Wrestlers on the Watch List were considered for top-10 status but ultimately were nixed. They, too, are unranked.
OK, now on to the Watch List...
Damien Sandow has jumped back into with a good showing against Alberto Del Rio. He still holds his Money in the Bank briefcase, and with his apparent new attitude, he may be cashing in sooner rather than later. Of course, that all depends on John Cena...
AJ Lee hasn't had a match since Battleground, where she successfully defended her title against Brie Bella. As of now, there isn't a readily apparent opponent for the Diva's champion, with Hell in a Cell only a couple of weeks away.
Is R-Truth the No. 1 contender for Curtis Axel's Intercontinental Championship? He lost to Axel this past week in an IC title match, but chances are we'll see a rematch at Hell in a Cell.
Los Matadores are perfect since arriving in WWE. While they've mostly beaten up on 3MB and a team called "Los Locales", they seem to have the backing of the fans. They may well be in line to face The Shield in the near future.
Previous Ranking: 9
Movement: Down 1
For the first time, the Wyatt Family suffered defeat. After invading Miz TV on Raw, Rowan and Harper lost to Cody Rhodes and Goldust on SmackDown.
After a brief feud with Kane, the Wyatts don't seem to have much direction and don't look to be going anywhere fast. And with this loss, they've lost any "mystique" they may have had as an unstoppable group.
The Wyatts need to reestablish themselves, and perhaps reveal a bit more about their reason for being in WWE.
Previous Ranking: 10
Movement: Up 1
Curtis Axel just won't stay down. Just when you think he's on a downward trajectory, he puts on a good match and defends his Intercontinental Championship against R-Truth.
Can Axel continue to hold onto the IC title? And if so, will his competition improve? The IC title in general has no clear "division", since pretty much anyone not competing for the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship competes for the United States and IC titles interchangeably.
Anyways, Axel had a decent week, in spite of his tag team loss on Raw, and moves up one spot.
Previous Ranking: Watch List
The Rhodes Family, after winning their jobs back at Battleground, were beaten by The Shield in a six-man tag match on Raw that they had already won via disqualification. When Triple H restarted the match, Randy Orton involved himself, costing the Rhodes' brothers and Daniel Bryan the win.
Where they go from here is uncertain, but if they keep racking up tag team wins, Cody Rhodes and Goldust may well get a shot at Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns' titles. In the meantime, they crack the top 10.
Previous Ranking: 8
Movement: Up 1
Ryback moves up a spot, but doesn't deserve it. His move up one spot has much more to do with Big Show and RVD dropping from the rankings than anything Ryback has done.
Ryback can't get wins, which is killing him. How can someone as vicious and powerful as Ryback continue to lose? Perhaps he's just no good, or perhaps he's just unlucky. Whatever the reason, Ryback continues to be hampered by his inability to win matches.
Ryback may be permanently damaged if he can't get a signature win. That could come at Hell in a Cell. But with Ryback's history, don't count on it.
Previous Ranking: Outta Nowhere!
John Cena rockets back into the top 10 after Vickie Guerrero announced he will face World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio for the title at Hell in a Cell. It was difficult to move Cena so high up, but it's clear WWE is moving him right back to the top of the card.
With Damien Sandow moving in on Del Rio, Cena may have competition for the title, and will have to keep an eye out for our Intellectual Savior. But going into this match, Cena may well have to be considered the favorite.
As hard a decision as this was, Cena claims the No. 6 spot.
Previous Ranking: 6
Movement: Up 1
Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins continue to get the job done. On Raw, they (technically) got a solid win over the Rhodes Family and Daniel Bryan.
Though they were beaten back by the Big Show when they were putting a beatdown on their opponents, they move up after Big Show's firing. And with no clear challengers to their titles, The Shield, win or lose, are still a force to be reckoned with.
Previous Ranking: 4
CM Punk is making life miserable for Paul Heyman and his "guys". In his only appearance of the week, CM Punk cut a promo on the Heyman stable and then, teaming with R-Truth, defeated Curtis Axel and Ryback in tag team action.
His next big match is against Ryback at Hell in a Cell. With a win, Punk could effectively end his feud with Ryback and finally get his hands on Heyman for the beating he so craves. Punk, this week, holds steady at No. 4.
Previous Ranking: 3
Randy Orton made his presence felt on Raw again this week. He defeated, and then destroyed, Kofi Kingston on Raw, and then attacked Daniel Bryan during the restarted six-man tag match at the end of the show.
But Orton is in precarious position. If he can't defeat Daniel Bryan at Hell in a Cell, he may well drop out of the WWE title picture. Orton could very well lose the confidence of The Authority, which would effectively send him back to the mid-card.
In the meantime, Orton has shown he's got the "ruthless aggression" he will need to win in the cell. He holds pat at No. 3 this week.
Previous Ranking: 2
Daniel Bryan is still as hot as ever, but this week he took a tough "loss" to The Shield. He has to be the favorite in his match against Randy Orton at the upcoming Hell in a Cell pay-per-view.
Bryan looks unstoppable if he's given a fair match. But when he's not, he loses. And that's not a shock. The Authority is determined, apparently, to keep the WWE Championship away from him, which only makes him look stronger.
With the fans firmly behind him, Daniel Bryan remains at No. 2.
Previous Ranking: 1
For the second week in a row, Alberto Del Rio tops the rankings. Del Rio had a mixed week, but overall he comes off looking strong.
He lost to Ricardo Rodriguez due to the announcement—during his match, no less—that he would be facing John Cena at Hell in a Cell. He got rolled up for the loss, which in and of itself is not good. But then on SmackDown, Del Rio dispatched Damien Sandow via submission.
Del Rio got a win over the Money in the Bank Briefcase holder in Sandow and is now going to face John Cena in a title match. Del Rio, right now, is starting a feud with the biggest name in pro wrestling today and is the only world champion in WWE. He was, again, the clear choice for No. 1.