WWE Power Rankings for 3/24/2014
We're less than two weeks away from the biggest event in all of pro wrestling: WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans, La. And we're finally seeing the card come into clear focus. Where we once had speculation, we now have matches booked.
This past week in WWE has certainly been eventful as well. The Undertaker made a rare appearance, Bray Wyatt once again showed why he may be the best talker in the business right now and Randy Orton continued his march down the rankings.
More on all that in the following slides. Before we get into the rankings, here's how they work.
Holding a championship, being No. 1 contender or holding 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.
The Undertaker made only one appearance this week, and it was on Main Event no less. He sent a message to Brock Lesnar through Paul Heyman, and Heyman seemed very receptive. At least, he did after Undertaker grabbed him by the throat. The Deadman told Heyman to tell Lesnar if any part of the message was not understood, Undertaker would be in Brooklyn and would tell Lesnar himself. Will we see a confrontation this week?
As mentioned above, Paul Heyman had some things to say to Undertaker, and on Main Event, Lesnar's advocate received a reply. Will we see Lesnar this week?
Batista, No. 1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, didn't do a whole lot this week, but the the one big thing he did cost Randy Orton dearly. On Raw, he confronted Triple H and Randy Orton, and Triple H dressed him down. But when Orton was facing Daniel Bryan in a no disqualification match, he speared the daylights out of Randy Orton, giving Daniel Bryan the win. It wasn't enough to keep him in the top 10, but it showed Batista still has some fight left in him.
After muddling through the fall, winter and spring, Ryback and Curtis Axel finally get a decent opportunity in the tag team division. Their week didn't start off well, though, losing in an eight-man tag match on Raw. But SmackDown saw them earn a WWE Tag Team Championship opportunity after beating down The Shield at the request of Kane. Will they be getting that match at WrestleMania XXX?
10. The Real Americans
Previous Rank: Watch List
Movement: Into Top 10
The Real Americans have fallen steadily since WWE Elimination Chamber 2014, looking at times like they might not be able to remain a cohesive unit. But Zeb Colter seems to have ironed out the issues between Cesaro and Jack Swagger just enough to keep them on the same page. And they earned themselves a WWE Tag Team Championship opportunity.
On Raw, they took on and defeated The Usos when Cesaro pinned Jimmy Uso for the win. They defeated the WWE Tag Team champions and looked poised to move ahead in pursuing a title shot. Things got derailed a bit on Main Event, when they lost to The Brotherhood as Cody Rhodes pinned Jack Swagger.
But things got back on track on SmackDown, when, at the request of Kane, they put a nasty beating on The Shield. They were rewarded with an opportunity to face The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Championships. Can they make the most of their opportunity?
9. Big Show
Previous Rank: Watch List
Movement: Into Top 10
This was a very good week for Big Show, and he's building up momentum at the right time of the year. On Raw, he teamed with Big E, Mark Henry and Dolph Ziggler for a victory in an eight-man tag match over RybAxel, Alberto Del Rio, and Damien Sandow. Big Show pinned Damien Sandow for the win.
Then on Main Event, he defeated Titus O'Neal. No shocker there. Finally, on SmackDown, he was to be the guest on MizTV. To make a long story short, an impromptu and unofficial Battle Royal broke out, with Sheamus and Big Show being the last two in the ring.
Big Show "eliminated" Sheamus to "win" the non-match. But was it a preview of the future? Can Big Show win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal?
8. The Usos
Previous Rank: 6
Movement: Down 2
The Usos didn't have a good week. In their only match, they lost to The Real Americans. Not the way to prepare for WrestleMania.
Now, they'll have to contend with both RybAxel and The Real Americans in defending their WWE Tag Team Championships. Will they still be champions after WrestleMania XXX?
7. John Cena
Previous Rank: 8
Movement: Up 1
John Cena may still be nursing an injury, but he's gotten the job done two weeks in a row now. Raw saw Cena and Bray Wyatt once again trade promos. But SmackDown was more eventful.
John Cena faced off against Luke Harper and looked to be struggling against him. But he managed to gut out another tough win and pinned Luke Harper after an AA out of nowhere.
Cena has now defeated Eric Rowan and Luke Harper in singles matches. Bray Wyatt, though, doesn't look worried. Can Cena overcome The Wyatt's numbers advantage at WrestleMania XXX and defend his legacy?
6. The Shield
Previous Rank: 7
Movement: Up 1
The Shield was impressive this week, though fans of the group may not have the same opinion after what took place this past Friday. On Raw, The Shield was supposed to punish Jerry Lawler after Kane levied all kinds of wild accusations against him. But the Hounds of Justice had other plans.
Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns punished Kane instead of Lawler, ending in a triple powerbomb on The Big Red Monster. Kane would get his vengeance, though.
In a Fatal 4-way tag team match, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins teamed up against, RybAxel, 3MB (Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre) and The Real Americans. The New Age Outlaws would interfere, though, attacking The Shield. The match ended in a disqualification, which (I believe) gave The Shield the win.
After the match, The New Age Outlaws and Kane put a monster beating on The Shield as retribution for Raw. Can The Shield rebound?
5. Randy Orton
Previous Rank: 4
Movement: Down 1
Randy Orton continued his losing ways this week with a tough defeat at the hands of Daniel Bryan. On Raw, he got insulted by Triple H and asked for a no-DQ match with Bryan. He got it.
Batista, who dislikes Orton as much as he dislikes anyone else right now, decided Orton needed to learn a lesson. Orton got speared hard by Batista, and Daniel Bryan picked up the pieces and got the pin over the WWE World Heavyweight champion.
Orton loses far too often these days and drops a spot here as a result. He'll need to make big improvements in the next two weeks had better pray he can survive the Triple Threat match at WrestleMania XXX.
4. Big E
Previous Rank: 5
Movement: Up 1
Big E moves up a spot by default since he had a mixed week. Randy Orton dropping one spot after yet another loss opened the door to the move up.
On Raw, the Intercontinental champion teamed with Big Show, Mark Henry and Dolph Ziggler in a win over RybAxel, Alberto Del Rio and Damien Sandow.
SmackDown was not so kind, though. He faced Alberto Del Rio and lost to the former world champion after a boot to the head. He also participated in the unofficial Battle Royal, though he was "eliminated."
Big E still has a lot to prove. He's won a lot of matches lately but hasn't broken out to become a major star. Can he build momentum heading into WrestleMania XXX?
3. The Wyatt Family
Previous Rank: 2
Movement: Down 1
The Wyatts had an up-and-down week. On Raw, Bray Wyatt yet again exhibited his unrivaled oratory skills, and then punished Kofi Kingston, earning a win.
The Wyatts would get their hands on John Cena again on SmackDown, when Luke Harper took on the 14-time champion. Harper gave Cena trouble but couldn't defeat him and lost.
Cena now has beaten Eric Rowan and Luke Harper, and Bray Wyatt, though he'll never say so, may be getting anxious that he bit off more than he could chew. Can The Wyatts stop the losses to Cena heading into WrestleMania XXX?
Previous Rank: 3
Movement: Up 1
Sheamus keeps rolling along, racking up wins. In making three appearances and having two matches, he picked up two wins and went blow for blow with Big Show.
On Raw, he faced Titus O'Neal, picking up a win after Hornswoggle gave him an assist. Then, he showed up at NXT and defeated Aiden English after a surprisingly tough contest. English could be a star in the making.
On SmackDown, Sheamus and Big Show were the final two men in the ring during the unofficial Battle Royal, but he was "eliminated" by Big Show. Sheamus, like I said last week, may be the best wrestler right now that no one's talking about. But if he keeps up his winning ways, he may be breaking into the main event scene beforer too long.
No. 1: Daniel Bryan
Previous Rank: 1
Wow, did Daniel Bryan take a beating or what? On Raw, his only appearance of the week, Daniel Bryan experienced a big win and a devastating attack.
He faced Randy Orton in a no-DQ match, and with the aid of Batista, who speared Orton into next week, got the win over the WWE World Heavyweight champion via pin.
Later that evening, Triple H decided to lay a trap for Bryan and lured him to the ring. Stephanie then came out and insisted "police officers" arrest Bryan, which resulted in both a fight between Triple H and Stephanie and Daniel Bryan laying in handcuffs.
As mentioned, it was a trap. Triple H then proceeded to beat Bryan without mercy. It was vicious just kept going. Bryan was beaten so badly that he made no further WWE appearances. Bryan needs to heal quickly, and he'd better hope he is ready to go for WrestleMania XXX.