Merry Christmas, everyone. This week's rankings cover the aftermath of WWE TLC 2013. Some interesting things seem to be in the works in WWE, though with holiday programming scheduled in the next few weeks, we may not get anything of importance until after New Years.
Daniel Bryan looks like he's moving right back into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture, while it seems clear CM Punk wont be moving on from his feud with The Shield just yet. More on that, and more, in the following slides.
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.
RybAxel is in pretty good position to make a run at the WWE Tag Team Championships. They may have to get past MysteriShow first, though. Ryback and Curtis Axel are much better off together than they would have been apart, and they continue to improve.
Sin Cara looks like a new man. Maybe there's some mystical power in that tattoo he just got that looks suspiciously similar to the one Hunico has on his shoulder.
Whatever the reason for Sin Cara's transformation, he's gotten wins over Alberto Del Rio (who has all but fallen off the map) and others in the last few weeks, most recently defeating Drew McIntyre of 3MB. A few more wins and he may get an opportunity at the United States or Intercontinental Championships.
Previous Rank: 10
WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee continued her roll this week with a win in a six-Diva tag match on Raw in which she got the pin on Nikki Bella, and then she defeated Kaitlyn on Main Event. As mentioned last week, AJ is poised to become longest reigning WWE Divas Champion in history, so long as she can hold her title for another month or so.
With Natalya seemingly out of the picture, does anyone think either Bella twin has a chance to win the title? Tamina may be AJ's biggest threat, but Tamina is aligned with AJ. AJ may reign for a long time to come.
Previous Rank: 7
Movement: Down 2
The Shield did not have as bad a week as their movement would indicate. They defeated CM Punk and The Usos on Raw, but lost via disqualification to CM Punk and John Cena on SmackDown.
They dropped two spots because The Wyatts and MysteriShow look to be in better shape, though the DQ loss did not help things. Those cracks in The Shield have shown up again, too. Will they fracture, or will they be able to stick together?
Previous Rank: 9
Movement: Up 1
MysteriShow (which is what I'm calling them until WWE comes up with a name for their team) got a big win this week. They defeated The Rhodes Brothers on Raw, and may well be in line for a WWE Tag Team Championship shot.
Mysterio looks good coming back from multiple injuries, and teaming with Big Show makes a formidable side. Can they move into No. 1 contender status?
Previous Rank: 8
Movement: Up 1
The Wyatts move up a spot because of their brutal and devastating attack on Daniel Bryan on SmackDown. They assaulted Bryan backstage and threw him off what looked like a loading dock.
The Wyatts need to get a win in a match this week to maintain this ranking, but there's no reason to believe they won't. This week, they jump to No. 8.
Previous Rank: 5
Movement: Down 1
Are The Rhodes Brothers showing signs of discord? Two losses this past week may lead to mounting frustration.
The reigning WWE Tag Team Champions lost to MysteriShow on Raw and then The Wyatts on SmackDown.
Not a great week.
They have plenty of time to get things right leading up to the Royal Rumble. But will they?
Previous Rank: 4
Movement: Down 1
Big E Langston had a good week, and it was hard to drop him a spot. But Daniel Bryan jumped him, so he had to drop. Otherwise, Big E had a good week.
He teamed with Mark Henry to defeat The Real Americans, and then he defeated Jack Swagger on SmackDown. On top of that, he stared down Roman Reigns of The Shield and fearlessly stood his ground while saving CM Punk and John Cena from further beatings by The Shield.
Big E has the potential to be a big star. Can he keep up this momentum?
Previous Rank: 2
Movement: Down 2
CM Punk is apparently not going to be challenging for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship heading into the Royal Rumble. And his week really wasn't that great, either.
He teamed with The Usos in a losing effort against The Shield on Raw and got a DQ win over The Shield on SmackDown before getting a beating at their hands, only to be saved by Big E Langston.
With John Cena the official No. 1 contender with an upcoming rematch against Randy Orton, and with Daniel Bryan seemingly waiting in the wings, Punk looks like he may the odd man out in that scenario.
Punk looks like he's still going to be involved with The Shield for the time being, so we may have to wait until after the Royal Rumble to see if he will get a title shot.
Previous Rank: 6
Movement: Up 3
Daniel Bryan is back. While fans of Bryan might not yet be holding their breath, all appearances are that Bryan is going to be getting another shot (OK, since it's a new title, his first) at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Bryan may have had a bad SmackDown, but he was taking it to Randy Orton on Raw until Orton got himself disqualified with an intentional low blow. Therefore, Bryan defeated Randy Orton. And that win, even by DQ, is huge. It shows Bryan has Orton's number. Can he capitalize?
Previous Rank: 3
Movement: Up 1
John Cena is now officially the No. 1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He attacked Orton on Raw, which did not end well, and then was beat down by The Shield on SmackDown, though he did get a DQ win.
It's more the No. 1 contender status coupled with CM Punk's drop that moves him up one spot than anything he did this week. He'll have to fend off Daniel Bryan as he moves closer to a title opportunity.
Previous Rank: 1
The WWE World Heavyweight Champion did not have a great week. He went right back to acting like a scared champion, trying to avoid a match with Bryan and then getting himself disqualified in that match on Raw.
Orton, if he keeps trying to duck opponents or gets himself disqualified regularly, won't last long atop the rankings. And more importantly, he may not last long atop the WWE.
Orton will have to face John Cena in a rematch, likely at the Royal Rumble, and if he survives that match as champion, he will likely then have to move on to Daniel Bryan, someone he wants no part of.
Orton has work to do as champion. Can he handle the load?