WWE Elimination Chamber 2014, the final pay-per-view before WWE WrestleMania XXX, is in the books. We now know that Randy Orton will face Batista in the main event at WrestleMania XXX after retaining his title in the Elimination Chamber match.
With WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans, La. now looming, we're starting to get a feel for what matches we might see. More on that in the following slides.
Before we get into 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 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. Being "over" with the fans is considered but not heavily weighted in the ranking decisions.
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, these 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 taken into consideration. No spoilers are included unless WWE acknowledges them.
All WWE shows, televised or digitally distributed, as well as anything from WWE.com, the WWE App, the WWE Network and any WWE or Superstar social media account that does not break kayfabe is taken into consideration.
Remember to check out last week's rankings here.
The Rhodes brothers, known officially by WWE as The Brotherhood, got back on track this week with a solid win over RybAxel at Elimination Chamber. Earlier in the week, Cody Rhodes defeated Curtis Axel on Superstars, and then he and his brother were defeated by The Wyatts in a six-man tag match on SmackDown while teaming with Rey Mysterio. Can they work themselves back into the tag title picture?
The Usos, like many times before, couldn't come through when it mattered most. They looked good to start the week, with Jey defeating Billy Gunn on Raw and Jimmy defeating Road Dogg on SmackDown. The New Age Outlaws, though, know how to win. And The Usos have still yet to taste gold in WWE. Their inexperience showed at Elimination Chamber, and Billy Gunn pinned Jimmy Uso to retain the titles. Can The Usos get another shot, or will they have to go to the back of the line?
Christian stays on the watch list by a thread this week, and only because of his good showing in the Elimination Chamber match. He had what most would agree was the best moment of the match itself, hitting a splash on Sheamus from on top of one of the pods. It was a huge leap and a great moment. Otherwise, losses to Daniel Bryan and Sheamus earlier in the week really hurt his standing. Christian will have to find a way to stay relevant now that Elimination Chamber has come and gone.
Previous Rank: 7
Movement: Down 3
The Shield went to war with the Wyatts, and like so many others, the Hounds of Justice were dispatched by Bray Wyatt and his cohorts. Their match with The Wyatts was perhaps the best of the evening, but that will be little consolation for Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.
After staring down The Wyatts on Raw and then making mincemeat out of Sin Cara and Los Matadores on Main Event, The Shield appeared ready, willing and able to take down The Wyatts.
But the trio could not withstand The Wyatts' onslaught. Seth Rollins was put through the Spanish announce table, Dean Ambrose disappeared into the crowd and Roman Reigns took the pin after Bray Wyatt hit him with Sister Abigail. A disappointing loss for The Shield, no doubt.
Previous Rank: 10
Movement: Up 1
Batista got a much-needed win Sunday over Alberto Del Rio, but he didn't look good in picking it up. But as the saying goes, better to win ugly than lose pretty.
Del Rio initially limped to the ring in a neck brace and with the aide of a crutch and proclaimed he was unable to compete. It was all a ruse, and he assaulted Batista before the match with the crutch, breaking it over Batista. After the bell rang, Del Rio took it to Batista almost the entire match.
In the end, though, Batista was able to regain his composure after the surprise attack before the match and took care of Del Rio via pinfall. Fans have not taken to Batista, and this only seems to fuel his anger. Now he heads into WrestleMania XXX to face Randy Orton, where he can take that anger out on a former Evolution teammate. Is Batista the next WWE World Heavyweight champion?
Previous Rank: 4
Movement: Down 4
The Real Americans failed to deliver at Elimination Chamber. Jack Swagger, competing for the Intercontinental Championship, gave a valiant effort in a loss to Big E. And Cesaro, who had some impressive moments in the Elimination Chamber match, failed to even notch an elimination.
The week leading up to Elimination Chamber wasn't much kinder to Zeb Colter's star athletes, either. Cesaro lost to John Cena on Raw after a great match, though Jack Swagger did defeat Kofi Kingston via submission on the show. On SmackDown, Swagger lost to Daniel Bryan, and then Cesaro lost to Bryan as well, though it was via DQ after Kane assaulted Bryan during the match.
Where will The Real Americans go from here? Will Cesaro stay in the WWE World Heavyweight title picture, or will he fade away? And can Swagger get another shot at Big E?
Previous Rank: 6
Movement: Down 1
On the WWE Elimination Chamber Kickoff show, Sheamus was picked by Mark Henry to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the Elimination Chamber match. Not only did that not occur, but Sheamus was the first wrestler eliminated and failed to garner any eliminations himself.
Earlier in the week, Sheamus defeated Randy Orton via disqualification, and then on SmackDown, he picked up a win over Christian. He had the momentum and has experience winning championships. But he took a heavy dose of punishment in the Elimination Chamber, eventually getting hit with a huge splash from Christian, who dove off the top of a pod to nail Sheamus and eliminate him via pinfall.
In the match that mattered, Sheamus couldn't come through. He drops one spot this week.
Previous Rank: 9
Movement: Up 3
The New Age Outlaws must have discovered the fountain of youth. Not only are they hanging tough as WWE Tag Team champions, but they're taking on and defeating some of the best tag teams in WWE today.
After a rough week, which saw Billy Gunn lose to Jey Uso on Raw and Road Dogg lose to Jimmy Uso on SmackDown in singles matches, they took care of business against The Usos at Elimination Chamber when Billy Gunn rolled up Jimmy Uso after Road Dogg distracted him.
Just like that, the match was over, and The New Age Outlaws will (probably) ride into WrestleMania XXX with titles over their shoulders. Who will step up to challenge them?
Previous Rank: 8
Movement: Up 3
The Wyatts, after spending months near the bottom of the top 10 or on the Watch List, have catapulted into the top five after an impressive victory over The Shield at Elimination Chamber. In addition to their victory, they somehow managed to appear inside the Elimination Chamber and take out John Cena, costing him a chance to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
The Wyatts, who defeated Los Matadores and Sin Cara on Raw and defeated The Brotherhood and Rey Mysterio on SmackDown, never showed any fear or doubt heading into their battle with The Shield. Some may even say Bray Wyatt was overjoyed at the opportunity.
After their victory, they now seem intent on taking down John Cena. Will they be able to cut down one of WWE's most iconic figures?
Previous Rank: 1
Movement: Down 3
We will never know if John Cena would have walked out of Elimination Chamber as WWE World Heavyweight champion, and you can thank (or blame, depending on your perspective) The Wyatts for that.
Cena picked up an impressive win over Cesaro on Raw this past Monday and looked ready for the Elimination Chamber match. He was the fifth entrant, a spot that has produced more winners than any other spot in the Chamber.
It wasn't enough, though, as The Wyatts spoiled whatever chance he had. Now, he'll have to watch as someone else (Randy Orton) goes on to headline WrestleMania XXX against Batista. Will he seek retribution against The Wyatts? And what do they want with Cena?
Previous Rank: 5
Movement: Up 2
Big E (who has dropped the "Langston," by the way) had a very good week. On Raw, despite Zeb Colter's constant verbal interruptions and insults, he defeated Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal in a handicap match. That, though, was just a warm-up for Elimination Chamber.
Defending his Intercontinental title against Jack Swagger, Big E took everything the Real American could dish out, including powering out of two Patriot Lock submission holds en route to an strong win. Big E has shown so far that no one can match his power. Who will step up to the plate and take a swing at Big E next?
Previous Rank: 3
Movement: Up 1
In all, Daniel Bryan has to be disappointed with his week. He just can't shake Kane, who interferes with his matches at every turn.
On Raw, Daniel Bryan was forced to face off against Christian, whom he defeated, and then Kane, whom he also defeated, though that win was due to Kane being disqualified. Then on SmackDown, Kane forced Bryan to face Jack Swagger, whom he defeated, and then Cesaro, whom he also defeated, though that win, too, was via DQ. Kane interfered with Bryan on both shows, harassing him every time he was in the ring.
Then, at Elimination Chamber, Bryan made the mistake of attacking Kane as he tried to clear The Wyatts from the ring area. As Daniel Bryan appeared to close in on a victory over Orton, an enraged Kane attacked Bryan, allowing Orton to hit the RKO and pin Bryan to retain his title.
While most people may want to blame Kane, it can also be argued that Bryan should have left Kane alone. Bryan got Kane angry and unfortunately for Bryan, he paid the price. Yet again, he came up short against Orton.
Bryan moves up a spot for picking up four wins out of five matches, but he had every opportunity to win the title and top the rankings. Now, who knows when his next title opportunity might come?
Previous Rank: 2
Movement: Up 1
Randy Orton keeps catching breaks in title matches. But inside the Elimination Chamber, nothing is against the rules. And Orton is a master at taking advantage of every weakness and opportunity he sees. He eliminated two men in the Chamber, John Cena and Daniel Bryan, though both eliminations came with lots of help.
First, The Wyatts put a beating on Cena, allowing Orton to swoop in and pin the leader of the Cenation, denying him his 15th world title reign. Then, a provoked Kane attacked Daniel Bryan, momentarily costing Bryan his concentration. Orton capitalized, hit the RKO and got the pin.
Orton, by hook or by crook, has managed to retain his title against all comers lately. Now, he heads into WrestleMania XXX, where he will face his onetime friend and fellow Evolution alumnus Batista. Can he overcome The Animal? And will Cena or Bryan get another crack at the title before WrestleMania? Orton may have won the match, but he's now rushing headlong into the buzz saw that is Batista.