Happy New Year, everyone. It's time for the final WWE Power Rankings of 2013. This year has seen new stars emerge and established stars shine brightly. WWE has unified its top two titles. In short, it's been an eventful year.
There's still one final WWE show to air before 2013 passes into history forever. But after a holiday Raw with ads featuring Big Show dressed as "Baby New Year" dancing to an electronic version of Auld Lang Syne, how much can we really expect from the show?
In all, the first year of these WWE Power Ranking articles has been a smashing success thanks entirely to you, the loyal reader. Thank you all for a successful 2013.
Now, 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.
On to this week's rankings.
Sin Cara is a couple of wins against quality opponents away from possibly cracking the top 10. He's done nothing but win lately and has looked very good in the ring. This is likely what WWE envisioned when it brought Sin Cara in a couple of years ago.
It's time to take Natalya seriously as a contender for AJ Lee's WWE Diva's title. It looked like she was going to get squeezed out after the last pay-per-view, but she's recently been reasserting herself. She forced Aksana to tap on Raw in a 12-Diva tag match, she was on the winning team in a six-Diva tag match on Main Event and then she defeated Aksana in singles action on Superstars. AJ better watch out.
Big Show and Rey Mysterio just could not stay in the top 10 after a week where they did nothing. The only time we saw either one of them was when Big Show was dancing while dressed in a diaper. Definitely not top-10 material after this past week, but a big win can reverse that.
Previous Rank: 10
AJ Lee did not have a great week but stays in the top 10 only because MysteriShow dropped out. As Divas champion, She's gotten some impressive wins as of late. But not this week.
Her only match was in a six-Diva tag team match on Main Event, where her team picked up the loss. She'll now have to start preparing for a title match at the Royal Rumble, likely coming against Natalya, but that's still unclear. She needs to get back into the win column to stay top 10.
Previous Rank: 9
Had Roman Reigns not pinned Mark Henry on SmackDown, The Shield may have dropped to No. 10, or even fallen onto the Watch List. The Shield really did not step up at all this week.
On Raw, a DQ loss to John Cena, Big E Langston and CM Punk led to a failed beatdown, and the trio were run off. On SmackDown, Dean Ambrose lost quickly to Big E. Then, Roman Reigns picked up a win over Mark Henry in the only bright spot of the week for the group. And finally, Seth Rollins put on an amazing match with John Cena, though it was a losing effort.
It feels like The Shield is not on the same page anymore and that it has lost its dominance. Can the three members get back on track?
Previous Rank: Unranked
Movement: Outta Nowhere!
Fandango has had an up-and-down year. He debuted, and after a nice initial run, defeated Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXIX. The next night, the amazing crowd stared "Fandangoing." Then he got hurt, and when he came back, he was relegated to low-card duty.
Now, he's finally back. In recent weeks, he picked up some nice wins. And this past Monday, he defeated Dolph Ziggler in a "Present on a Pole" match (Merry Christmas, Vince Russo!) and earned an Intercontinental Championship opportunity against Big E Langston.
With the IC title gaining prestige now that the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships have been unified, Fandango just became the No. 1 contender for WWE's second-most important title.
Previous Rank: 6
Movement: Down 1
The Rhodes Brothers are not looking as dominant lately. On Raw, they teamed with Daniel Bryan in a loss to the Wyatt Family. Goldust did defeat Jack Swagger on Main Event, but Cody Rhodes lost to Antonio Cesaro on SmackDown. In all, a tough week.
As WWE Tag Team champions, they have a target on their backs. And the tag team division has only gotten better recently. They'll need to recapture some of that magic they had a could of months ago if they hope to keep the belts around their waists.
Previous Rank: 7
Movement: Up 1
The Wyatts got some big wins this week and are quickly moving up the top-10 list. On Raw, they defeated Daniel Bryan and the WWE Tag Team champion Rhodes Brothers in a six-man tag match. Then on SmackDown, Rowan and Harper dispatched The Usos.
The Wyatts have streaks of greatness followed by periods of inactivity, which hurts their rankings. They need to keep up their momentum. If they can, they're almost unstoppable.
Previous Rank: 4
Movement: Down 1
After peaking at No. 2 a few weeks ago, CM Punk has slowly and steadily dropped each week. And not necessarily based on anything he's done wrong.
CM Punk, after Randy Orton defeated John Cena to unify the titles, looked poised to make a run at the newly inaugurated WWE World Heavyweight Championship. That run at the title never materialized, and Punk seems to still be involved with The Shield.
This week, Punk got a DQ win over The Shield, but that was it. He only fell one spot because Big E Langston, last week's No. 5, jumped him in the rankings.
Previous Rank: 5
Movement: Up 1
Big E Langston continues to dominate. This past week, he got a DQ win over The Shield in a six-man tag match, then quickly dispatched WWE United States champion Dean Ambrose. He looks unstoppable.
Big E will have to defend his title against Fandango, but if recent events are any indication, he won't have difficulty defeating him. But he can't sleep on WWE's resident ballroom dancer.
There's also been talk of unifying the Intercontinental and United States Championships. Could Big E be the one to do it if such a match were even made?
Previous Rank: 3
Daniel Bryan stays put at No. 3 this week after a loss to the Wyatts in a six-man tag match on Raw and a win over Damien Sandow on SmackDown. A mixed week for WWE's most popular wrestler.
After John Cena gets his rematch against Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan looks to be the next in line, especially if Cena wins. Cena has promised Bryan a title match, and he'd be the next option for a match with Orton, too. Bryan can't fall off the map, though, or he could miss a golden opportunity.
Previous Rank: 2
John Cena got two big wins this week to keep him rolling as he heads toward a rematch with Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. On Raw, he got a DQ win over The Shield, then helped run the trio off. On SmackDown, he wrestled Seth Rollins in what may have been one of Cena's best matches of the year. And he won.
Cena has had a solid year. If he can take the title from Orton, 2014 may be another year he dominates the WWE. If he can't beat Orton, Daniel Bryan could usurp him as WWEs top "good guy." Cena really needs that win.
Previous Rank: 1
No shocker here—Randy Orton remains No. 1 in the WWE Power Rankings. On Raw, he gave himself as a "gift" to The Authority and then gave himself the night off. On SmackDown, he got a good win over a game Dolph Ziggler.
Getting back on track with a win over Ziggler helped Orton remain at No. 1. He can't afford to remain idle for weeks at a time, lest he fall from atop the rankings. Ziggler showed he has what it takes to hang with the best, and Orton put him down. It was a win Orton needed, one that shows just why Orton is WWE World Heavyweight champion.