The big news to come out of this past week is the possibility of unification. John Cena and Randy Orton are set to compete for both titles at WWE TLC 2013. While the match may not immediately lead to a unified champion, it will surely begin the unification process.
There's been some movement coming off Survivor Series, though the usual suspects occupy some of the top spots.
First, 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. "Getting the better" of someone, like beating someone down, as well as "getting got" counts as well, though not as much as wins and losses.
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 (serious injury, WWE Wellness Policy violations, legitimate hirings, firings and contract information, etc.) may be included.
Remember to check out last week's rankings here.
Now on to this week's rankings.
Mark Henry is powering his way closer to the top 10. With a win over Curtis Axel and Ryback in a tag team match on Raw, followed by a defeat of Axel on SmackDown, Henry keeps racking up wins, which will likely land him in the top 10 sooner rather than later.
Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio is lost right now. He tapped again to Cena in a tag match on Raw. While he did pick up a submission win against Dolph Ziggler on Main Event, it's not enough to keep him in the top 10. Without being in the World Heavyweight Championship picture, he's got nothing going on. He needs direction soon.
Mysterio lost in a six-man tag match on Raw to The Shield but picked up a win in the 12-man tag match on SmackDown. The fans love Mysterio, and he could be poised to make a run at the United States Championship, which has virtually been AWOL for the last few months.
Previous Rank: 10
The Wyatts very nearly slipped out of the top 10. With what appeared to be a DQ loss on Raw and a loss in the 12-man tag match on SmackDown, the Wyatts had a bad week.
But it was their kidnapping of Daniel Bryan and where that may lead the storyline that keeps them at No. 10. What will they do with Bryan, and how will that affect CM punk and Daniel Bryan?
Previous Rank: Watch List
Movement: Into Top 10
On a shockingly watchable episode of Superstars, the Usos picked up a win over the Real Americans and then got a win in what ultimately became a 12-man tag team match after a series of events that would have made Teddy Long weep with joy.
The Usos keep teasing greatness and are teasing it again. Can they finally get the momentum they need to get another tag team title shot?
Previous Rank: 8
The Rhodes Brothers hold steady at No. 8 this week after a loss in six-man tag action on Raw followed by a win in the 12-man tag match on SmackDown. A win and a loss.
They're often involved in the most exciting matches on the show, and they are excellent in the ring together. As Tag Team champions, they have had some great title defenses. But they'll need to start winning a bit more consistently to rise back up toward the upper half of the top 10.
Previous Rank: 7
Big Show got a win in a tag team match when John Cena forced Alberto Del Rio to tap out on Raw. Otherwise, there's nothing worth mentioning this week.
Big Show looks to have had a one-and-done title opportunity, and where he goes from here is uncertain. He'll need to get something going to remain relevant going forward.
Previous Rank: 6
Big E Langston picked up a win in a tag match with Mark Henry over Ryback and Curtis Axel on Raw, then he accompanied Henry to the ring on SmackDown.
Since forming teams seems to be all the rage these days, it's safe to wonder if he and Henry will be a team, or if they're working together temporarily. Or will Henry eventually challenge Big E for the Intercontinental Championship?
Previous Rank: 4
Movement: Down 1
After getting a DQ win over The Wyatts on Raw, he was beat down and kidnapped by The Wyatts. Where will this lead?
Will CM Punk be able to save Bryan, or will The Wyatts brainwash him to battle Punk for them? All speculation, of course. Only time will tell.
Previous Rank: 5
Movement: Up 1
The Shield is about as unstoppable as ever right now. The group defeated The Rhodes Brothers and Rey Mysterio in a tag match on Raw but then lost in the 12-man tag match on SmackDown.
Roman Reigns is still spearing people out of the building, and Dean Ambrose is still United States champion, though you'd be forgiven if you forgot he held that belt. The Shield is on the rise again.
Previous Rank: 3
CM Punk earned a DQ win over The Wyatts on Raw and then watched as his partner Daniel Bryan was carried off. On SmackDown, he got the pin on Eric Rowan in the 12-man tag match, leading his team to victory.
CM Punk continues his feud with The Wyatts. Where it will lead seems to hinge on what The Wyatts do with Daniel Bryan. With two big wins this week, CM Punk holds steady at No. 3.
Previous Rank: 2
Randy Orton just can't get past John Cena, even as WWE champion. It doesn't help his cause that he lost in a tag team match to Cena and Big Show.
Now that the titles are seemingly going to be unified at some point in the near future, one has to wonder what Orton's fate will be. The rules may not be set quite yet, but it seems possible that the titles could be swapped.
Orton will put his title on the line at WWE TLC 2013, and if he loses it, he'll be in trouble. Even if the belts swap, Orton will be seen as the loser in that scenario. Orton needs to assert himself as a dominant champion, and it just has not happened yet.
It's disappointing to say, but Orton may be the weakest WWE champion in a long time.
Previous Rank: 1
Once again, John Cena tops the WWE Power Rankings. As World Heavyweight champion, he is by far the stronger world champion in WWE right now.
It has been a long time since the World Heavyweight champion was more prominent than the WWE champion, but Orton's lack of dominance and Cena's continued winning have kept him atop the rankings.
Now, with title unification looming and both world titles up for grabs (literally) at WWE TLC 2013, Cena is poised to cement himself atop the WWE. Remember when Cena said 2013 would be his year? If he can win both titles, it may well be.