In this week's Power Rankings, there's a lot of the same. Most of the top 10 remained stable, with only one change in the top eight. This week, though, the return of the Big Show, Kane and results from a variety of matches threw the ninth and 10th slots—as well as the Watch List—into chaos. More on that in a minute.
Beforehand, here's how the rankings work:
Holding a championship, being No. 1 contender or having a Money in the Bank briefcase counts for much of a wrestler's ranking. Wins and losses account for much of the week-to-week movement.
Only the top 10 wrestlers 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, and their listing is in no particular order.
Generally speaking, the rankings do not break kayfabe, though any major non-storyline information (like serious injury, WWE Wellness Policy violations, legitimate hirings, firings and contract information, etc.) may be included.
Check out last week's rankings here.
OK, now on to this week's rankings.
Los Matadores have racked up an impressive win-loss record but haven't really defeated any top, quality opponents. Los Locales and 3MB just aren't the opponents to brag about defeating. They need to step up the competition or they'll fall from the Watch List.
Apparently, Curtis Axel's injury was nothing serious, since he returned to action this past week. He proceeded to lose via pin to Dolph Ziggler on Raw and tapped out to CM Punk on SmackDown. As the Intercontinental champion, Axel remains on the Watch List. Another bad week, though, and he's gone.
It's no secret that Ziggler has not been wining lately. Many fans consider him one of the best wrestlers in WWE, but aside from that huge moment the night after WrestleMania, his career has been full of half-pushes that end due to injury of God knows what. With a good win over Curtis Axel, though, he may be in line for an IC title shot. Ziggler may finally have gold again in the near future.
Big E Langston
Big E Langston rocketed into the top 10 but had a rough stretch this past week. He put on a stellar match with Randy Orton but lost via RKO and pin. And that was it. The loss showed he can hang with the best, but he's not yet in position to get the big wins.
Kane is now the Director of Operations for WWE. What remains to be seen is if he'll be more an authority figure or if he'll be actively wrestling. Until we know that for sure, Kane remains on the Watch List.
Previous Rank: N/A
Movement: Outta Nowhere!
After an up-and-down run in WWE over the past few months, The Usos had a pretty good week. They competed in and won three tag team matches.
Granted, the Raw win was over 3MB, the win on Main Event was against Hunico and Camacho (who knew they were even still around?) and on SmackDown, they teamed with R-Truth to again defeat 3MB. But clearly, they're getting attention and getting wins.
With Los Matadores and the Real Americans more concerned with each other, The Usos may well be emerging from the pack as top contenders for the Tag Team titles.
Previous Rank: N/A
Movement: Outta Nowhere!
Apparently, it's official. Big Show has been rehired. And he's the No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship.
Big Show got a DQ win over Randy Orton and The Shield on Raw, but afterwards, he was viciously beaten by all four of his opponents. He was even put through the announce table.
But, again, he's the No. 1 contender for the WWE title, and that gets him into the top 10.
Previous Rank: 8
The Wyatts, after beating down CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, followed up that performance with...a win over the Prime Time Players on Main Event and Luke Harper's losses to CM Punk on Raw and to Daniel Bryan on SmackDown.
Not exactly impressive, but this week they hold steady at No. 8. Without some signature wins this week, though, they'll likely fall in next week's rankings.
Previous Rank: 7
The Shield made its only appearance on Raw this week, and aside from technically losing to Big Show, the group made the most of it. With the assistance of Kane, Triple H and Randy Orton, the trio annihilated Big Show in about as bad a beating as they've ever delivered.
The members of The Shield, who just last week were showing signs of internal problems, looked as dominant as ever. That said, they'll need to pick up a win if they want to hold on to the No. 7 spot.
Previous Rank: 5
Movement: Down 1
The Rhodes Brothers got another win this week while teaming with John Cena. They defeated the Real Americans and Damien Sandow in a that was essentially a repeat from SmackDown the previous week. While repeat matches frequently elicit groans from fans, this match stole the show.
Goldust looks as good as, or maybe even better than ever. And he got the pin on Cesaro. After a great match, the only reason they drop one spot is because of Alberto Del Rio.
Speaking of the Mexican Aristocrat...
Previous Rank: 6
Movement: Up 1
Alberto Del Rio got back on track this past week with two big submission victories. On Raw, he made Kofi Kingston tap. Then, on SmackDown, he made the Great Khali tap out as well.
Those were big wins, and they get the No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship back into the top five, leapfrogging the Rhodes Brothers.
Previous Rank: 4
Daniel Bryan saved CM Punk from the Wyatts on Raw and had the favor returned on SmackDown after he'd picked up a DQ win over Luke Harper. Is Bryan forming a tag team with Punk?
Word is Bryan is done with the WWE title for a while, so he'll need to be watched closely for the time being. Is the hiatus just until after Survivor Series, or is it more long term?
We'll find out soon enough.
Previous Rank: 3
CM Punk is in about the same position as Daniel Bryan. He's still right at the top of the card, but he's not in title contention. But again, he's not in danger of dropping out of the spotlight.
This past week, he defeated Luke Harper and Curtis Axel for a couple of nice wins. And with those, he holds on to the No. 3 spot.
Previous Rank: 2
Randy Orton had a busy Raw. He got a big win over Big E Langston and then lost to Big Show via DQ. The win over Big E was impressive, and the loss to Big Show was not very important.
No doubt, a loss is a loss. But the WWE champion participated in the systematic dismantling of the Big Show and showed why he's atop the WWE.
Orton holds steady at No. 2, but he was a serious threat to Cena at No. 1.
Speaking of Cena...
Previous Rank: 1
No shock here. John Cena, the reigning World Heavyweight champion, is still No. 1 in the power rankings. In a tag team match with the Rhodes Brothers on Raw, Cena got a win over the Real Americans and Damien Sandow.
But the biggest win came against Ryback on SmackDown. Cena pinned Ryback 1-2-3. Whatever Ryback had going for him after his feud with CM Punk was annihilated by Cena's win.
Cena is still winning every match he's in. And he's bringing credibility back to the World Heavyweight Championship. He's got to watch his back with Alberto Del Rio and Randy Orton lurking. With a good week, Orton could leapfrog Cena in the rankings.