WWE Power Rankings for 3/17/2014
WWE TV this week was very eventful, to put it plainly. And with WrestleMania XXX quickly approaching, we're getting a better and better idea of what the card will look like. This past week, Raw was occupied, we saw Undertaker and Paul Heyman trade verbal jabs and the members of The Shield showed why, when united, they're virtually unstoppable. More on all that in the following slides.
But 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. If a wrestler is tied with another wrestler, any of the listed scenarios will break the tie.
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. Pay-per-view performance takes on added importance.
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, contract information, "sabbaticals," 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 accounts that don't break kayfabe are taken into consideration.
You can check out last week's rankings here.
Big Show has been on a roll lately, and pairing up with Daniel Bryan has raised his profile in WWE, without a doubt. He's currently involved in some of the biggest feuds in WWE, even though he's not the main focus. On Raw, he teamed with Daniel Bryan to defeat Randy Orton and Batista. Then on SmackDown, he defeated Kane after a chokeslam. Another week like this and Big Show will be in prime position to break into the top 10 and make an impact at WrestleMania XXX.
Undertaker didn't have much of a chance to speak on Raw thanks to Paul Heyman. But 'Taker doesn't have to say much to get his point across. After Heyman interrupted, Undertaker told him to take a message to Brock Lesnar. That message was simple: The fear of death if far greater than death itself, but the fear of the unknown is the greatest fear of all. Will Undertaker be able to make Lesnar rest in peace come WrestleMania XXX?
New Age Outlaws
The No. 1 contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championships had a slow week, with their only appearance coming on commentary during Raw. Will they wait until WrestleMania XXX to invoke their rematch clause?
Previous Rank: 9
Movement: Down 1
Batista, or BOO-tista as many fans have taken to calling him, can't build any momentum at all. And this week was perhaps his worst since returning.
On Raw, his only appearance, he teamed with WWE World Heavyweight champion Randy Orton in a loss to Big Show and Daniel Bryan. Even though he didn't take the pin, he didn't look too impressive in the match. Batista needs to pick up the pace and get some wins or this may squander his best shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for some time.
9. Brock Lesnar
Previous Rank: 8
Movement: Down 1
In the arrangement between Lesnar and Heyman, Heyman does the talking—Lesnar does the ass-kicking. So when Undertaker came out to make his statement on WrestleMania XXX, Heyman made sure he knew his streak was in jeopardy.
Will we see Lesnar this week, though, or will it just be more Heyman? If Lesnar doesn't appear, he may well keep dropping in the rankings.
8. John Cena
Previous Rank: 6
Movement: Down 2
John Cena actually had a decent week, though he still drops two spots. He drops not because of anything he did or didn't do, but because The Shield and The Usos passed him.
As previously mentioned, Cena's week was actually fairly good. On Raw, he came out to the ring after Hulk Hogan announced the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, stating he wanted to be the first to announce he'd be in the match. Then, The Wyatts arrived, and Cena said he may have to pass up the chance to be in the Battle Royal match. And in typical John Cena fashion, he responded to what Bray Wyatt had to say.
Later on Raw, Cena defeated Eric Rowan via pinfall, which led to a confrontation between The Wyatts and Hogan and Cena. The Wyatts backed off. Can John Cena get healthy before his match with Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania XXX? And how will Hulk Hogan fit into all this?
7. The Shield
Previous Rank: 10
Movement: Up 3
The Shield is comprised of three guys with big personalities and big-time talent. When they can't get along, they lose. But when they stand united, like they did this week, they are virtually unstoppable.
On Raw, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns defeated The Brotherhood. Then on Main Event, Dean Ambrose successfully defended his United States Championship against Mark Henry. On SmackDown, Seth Rollins defeated Damien Sandow.
Later on SmackDown, Kane asked the trio to be present at ringside during his match with Big Show. They were there, only they didn't help Kane one bit, and when he attacked them after the match, The Hounds of Justice showed Kane why they're arguably the most dangerous trio in WWE. Can they stay united heading into WrestleMania XXX?
6. The Usos
Previous Rank: 7
Movement: Up 1
The Usos have been moving up the rankings recently, and this week is no different. They followed up their WWE Tag Team Championship win last week with a solid win this week over RybAxel on Raw.
Then on SmackDown, they came to the aide of The Brotherhood while The Real Americans were putting a beatdown on them. The Usos are exciting, athletic and talented. They could be in for a long title reign should they be able to defeat The New Age Outlaws in a rematch for the titles.
5. Big E
Previous Rank: 5
It was hard not moving Big E up in the rankings this week. He was basically tied with Randy Orton, who comes in at No. 4 this week, and Orton was given the fourth spot because he's WWE World Heavyweight champion.
But Big E has been making waves lately, and another week like this one will see him move up. On Raw, he defeated Jack Swagger, who was perhaps not entirely focused on the match. Big E took advantage and defeated the two-time world champion. Then on SmackDown, he made mincemeat of Fandango.
Big E looks like he might be the total package, and he's showing no signs of slowing down. He's held the WWE Intercontinental Championship for 119 days and counting (as of Monday, March 17). Can anyone step up and challenge him?
4. Randy Orton
Previous Rank: 3
Movement: Down 1
If it wasn't for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship slung over his shoulder, Randy Orton would be ranked much lower. But right now, the title is keeping him in the top five. Orton doesn't wrestle much these days, and when he does, he usually loses.
This week was no different. On Raw, he teamed with Batista against Daniel Bryan and Big Show. Not only did his team lose, but he took the pin from Daniel Bryan. Orton has a habit of getting out of tough spots, but come WrestleMania XXX, he better hope Daniel Bryan loses to Triple H. Can Orton pick up some steam in the coming weeks?
Previous Rank: 4
Movement: Up 1
Sheamus is probably the biggest name in WWE that no one's talking about right now. He has continued his winning ways and has looked dominant since his return to WWE.
On Raw, he faced Christian in a "Memphis Street Fight," which was basically a normal street fight with musical instruments strewn about the ringside area. After a hard-fought and brutal match, he put down Christian and got the win.
Can Sheamus parlay his recent success into a chance to compete for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship?
2. The Wyatt Family
Previous Rank: 2
The Wyatt Family had a mixed week this week and stayed put at No. 2. On Raw, Erik Rowan lost to John Cena. Then on SmackDown, Bray Wyatt dispatched Kofi Kingston.
But with The Wyatt Family, their promos are perhaps the most compelling aspect of their weekly appearances. On Raw, Bray Wyatt cut the promo of his life, simultaneously dressing down both John Cena and Hulk Hogan, two of the biggest names in the history of pro wrestling. It's a shame that John Cena can't take Bray Wyatt's promos seriously, because with Cena's mic skills, we could be getting a verbal war of Biblical proportions.
Instead, we get corny Cena jokes that no one finds funny. C'est la vie...
Regardless, The Wyatt Family is gearing up to take out the past decade's biggest name. Can they keep the pressure on an injured Cena heading into WrestleMania XXX?
1. Daniel Bryan
Previous Rank: 1
Daniel Bryan got everything he wanted this past week, so saying his week was good would be a gross understatement. He and the WWE Universe staged an "Occupy Raw" protest, and The Authority was livid about it.
Bryan has delivered some of the most visually striking moments in WWE in recent memory. From his massive "YES!" chant on top of the steel cage in January to the ring area filled with Daniel Bryan fans leading an entire arena in "YES!" and "NO!" chants, Bryan is making WWE TV compelling. Daniel Bryan's picture should be in the dictionary next to the word "over."
Daniel Bryan will now face Triple H at WrestleMania XXX, and if he wins, he'll be added to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match.
But he didn't just lead chants and make demands this week. He teamed with Big Show against Randy Orton and Batista. Bryan and Big Show defeated them after Bryan pinned Orton. Was that a taste of things to come?