WWE Power Rankings for 5/12/2014

Alex MussoFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2014

WWE Power Rankings for 5/12/2014

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    Credit: WWE.com

    In the week after Extreme Rules, a number of WWE Superstars got payback.  Yes, pun intended.  

    As WWE Payback swiftly approaches, there's a general atmosphere of revenge at WWE.  Evolution got revenge on The Shield after losing to them at Extreme Rules, Daniel Bryan wants revenge on Kane after he laid hands on Brie Bella, John Cena wants revenge on Bray Wyatt, the list goes on.  

    Others failed to get the payback (last one on this page, I promise!), like Big E and Dean Ambrose.  We'll get into all that and more in the following slides.  Before we do, please read how these rankings work.

    Holding a championship, being No. 1 Contender or holding a Money in the Bank briefcase counts for much of a wrestler's ranking and is the most heavily weighted component in these rankings.  If a wrestler is tied with another wrestler, holding a title will break a tie.  

    Wins and losses account for the bulk of the week-to-week movement; wins and losses are, after championships, the most important component of the rankings.  The quality of a wrestler's opponents and whether they are ranked or not is considered in 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 performances take on added importance.  

    Only the top 10 wrestlers are ranked.  Wrestlers on the "Watch List" were considered for top-10 status but were ultimately 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, especially if WWE confirms them publicly.  Nothing that could be explicitly considered a spoiler is included unless WWE acknowledges it as well.

    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 may be taken into consideration for these rankings.

Watch List

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    Rusev

    There's a silence spreading through the WWE ranks.  Something is killing off names.  And the latest victim is Alexander Rusev.  What's next?  Will Rob Van Dam just be known as Van Dam?  Will Booker T simply be known as T?  This is getting out of hand.  Anyways, Rusev continued his dominance this week by picking up two wins over Kofi Kingston, both by submission.  Lana is guiding Rusev to some impressive wins, but she needs to guide him to some different—and more difficult—competition.  

    Big E

    Just a few weeks ago, Big E was near the top of the rankings.  Now, after losing in his rematch to Bad News Barrett (who is also afflicted with Lost Name Syndrome), he's got some work to do if he wants to get back into the top 10.  Teaming with Rob Van Dam in a loss on SmackDown won't help him with that.  Big E needs wins now, or he'll get lost in the shuffle as WWE pushes into the summer months.

    Kane

    Rumors are swirling that Kane will get another title shot at Payback, per F4WOnline.com (h/t DailyWrestlingNews.com).  While nothing has been announced, it sure looks that way.  Daniel Bryan wants more of Kane, and no doubt Kane wants another shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.  

    Kane again harassed Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella, attacking them in a car on Raw.  Ultimately, Bryan and Bella got away.  Can Kane get his hands on Bryan again?  And will he be getting another title shot?

    Rob Van Dam

    Rob Van Dam stays on the Watch List after getting a DQ win over Cesaro on Raw.  A win is a win, and it looks like he may have more business to handle with The King of Swing.  He teamed with Big E on SmackDown against Bad News Barrett and Cesaro but lost as Big E was pinned by the latter.  Can RVD use his ongoing feud with Cesaro as a springboard to bigger and better things, like a title shot?

No. 10: The Usos

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    Previous Rank: 9

    Movement: Down 1

    The Usos are slowly moving in the wrong direction both in the ranking and on WWE TV.  Not that long ago, they were a hot tag team setting themselves apart from a burgeoning division.  

    Now, with no more Prime Time Players or Real Americans, the Brotherhood self-destructing and the complete vanishing of the New Age Outlaws (who are still owed a WWE Tag Team Championship rematch, by the way), they've been getting involved in other affairs and have come out the worse for it.

    This week, they defeated 3MB on Superstars, then teamed with John Cena in a loss to The Wyatts.  They're expected to beat 3MB, but when put up against tough competition, they faltered.  Can The Usos get back on a roll?

No. 9: Sheamus

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    Previous Rank: Unranked

    Movement: Outta Nowhere!

    Sheamus was on a roll leading up to WrestleMania, but his momentum faltered and he faded into the midcard.  But Sheamus, a three-time world champion, is always a threat to break out and get on a roll.  And that's what happened this past Monday on Raw.

    He won the 20-man United States Championship Battle Royal to win his second US title, ending Dean Ambrose's reign.  The rematch came on SmackDown, where he retained the title.  Now Sheamus has to look ahead.  Who will he face at Payback for the title?

No 8: Evolution

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    Previous Rank: 10

    Movement: Up 2

    Evolution was dealt a major blow at Extreme Rules when they lost to The Shield.  But that match came down to a handful of maneuvers.  Otherwise, Evolution went blow-for-blow with The Hounds of Justice.  And this past Monday, they showed that this war is far from over.  

    Triple H used his authority to get the US title off Dean Ambrose, then put The Shield in a match against the Wyatts.  Evolution interfered in that match and cost The Shield a win.  Then on SmackDown, Seth Rollins lost to Batista in one-on-one competition.  

    Evolution and The Shield are headed for a rematch.  When will that come, and in what form?

No. 7: Paige

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    Previous Rank: 6

    Movement: Down 1

    Paige just keeps on winning.  She drops a spot this week because of Bad News Barrett; otherwise, it was par for the course again.  On Superstars, she took on and defeated Alicia Fox, once again employing the Modified Scorpion Cross Lock to gain a submission win.

    With no sign of AJ Lee, there are few Divas who realistically could challenger her at this point.  Tamina may get another shot, and Natalya is as technically sound as anyone on the roster.  With only a few weeks until Payback, who will step up?

No. 6: John Cena

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    Previous Rank: 4

    Movement: Down 2

    In an appearance most WWE fans probably missed (because it happened on Main Event), John Cena cut a promo on Bray Wyatt that was both serious and pointed.  Cena is increasingly frustrated by the fans, whether he'll admit it or not.  

    He asked the fans why they are drawn to Bray Wyatt and his message, speculating that it might be the song or the mask.  No matter what, Cena said, he'd never betray what he believes in.  

    Then on SmackDown, he got the opportunity to get his hands on the Wyatts when he teamed with the Usos in six-man tag action.  While he didn't take the pin, his team lost.  Bray wants to break Cena, and so far Cena is trying his best not to give in.  Can Cena stay on message and get a win over the Wyatts?

No. 5: Cesaro

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    Previous Rank: 4

    Movement: Down 1

    Cesaro had a mixed week.  On Raw, he got a DQ loss against Rob Van Dam when he ignored a five count.  He put a beating on RVD after the match, which led to SmackDown.  He teamed with newly crowned Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett against RVD and Big E.  His team won when he hit Big with a Neutralizer and pinned him for the win.

    Cesaro has a lot of momentum built up and has won a lot of matches lately, but he hasn't been able to translate that into much so far.  And now he looks to he gearing up for a feud with RVD.  Can Cesaro get past RVD?  If so, can he translate his winning ways into more than just gleeful promos by Paul Heyman?

No. 4: Bad News Barrett

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    Previous Rank: 7

    Movement: Up 3

    Bad News Barrett jumps up to No. 4 this week after showing he wasn't just a one-hit wonder.  On Raw, he defeated Big E to retain the Intercontinental Championship.  

    Then, on SmackDown, he teamed with Cesaro in a victory over Big E and Rob Van Dam.  We now know Barrett isn't a fluke and that his resurgence is, it appears, real.  With WWE's second-most important title around his waist, he's got a bull's-eye on his back.  Who will challenge him in the coming weeks? 

No. 3: The Shield

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    Previous Rank: 1

    Movement: Down 2

    To say The Shield had a bad week would probably be an understatement.  Terrible, awful and horrible come to mind as more appropriate terms.  

    On Raw, things got underway with Dean Ambrose having to defend the United States Championship in a 20-man Battle Royal.  He lost to Sheamus, though he nearly ran the gamut and was the final elimination.

    Though his reign was mostly forgettable, since he rarely defended the title and it was often forgotten around his waist, the reign lasted 351 days, which is the longest in WWE history and third-longest in the history of the title.  His reign only trails Lex Luger's (523 days) and Rick Rude's (419 days).  

    Later that night, The Shield faced the Wyatts.  With the match in full swing, Evolution attacked.  While The Shield seemed to have gotten the upper hand, Bray Wyatt laid out Roman Reigns and pinned him.  The week got off to a terrible start, which would mostly continue.

    On SmackDown, each member of The Hounds of Justice competed in singles matches.  First up was Dean Ambrose facing Sheamus.  Ambrose lost, unable to reclaim the US title.  The lone bright spot for The Shield was when Roman Reigns won a tough match against Mark Henry.  

    Finally, we saw Seth Rollins' match against Batista.  In the match, Rollins took a wicked hit to the head after trying to go off the top rope to the ring area.  Batista countered, slamming his head and chest into the announcers' table, leaving Rollins motionless and giving Batista a count-out win.  Rollins was then beaten down.

    The Shield may have thought they finished off Evolution at Extreme Rules.  But it's now clear they're in for a protracted and brutal conflict that could last well into the summer, if not longer.  Evolution has the experience and the pedigree, but The Shield has youth and ambition.  Which one will win out?

No. 2: The Wyatt Family

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    Previous Rank: 3

    Movement: Up 1

    The Wyatts look more and more unstoppable each week.  Bray Wyatt is easily the best talker in WWE today, and they just keep on winning.  And with their sights set on breaking John Cena, they're looking to destroy the legacy of an entire era in WWE.

    On Raw, Bray Wyatt cut another amazing promo on Cena, claiming he does what he does for the fans.  Then, with an assist from Evolution, they defeated The Shield in six-man tag team action.  

    On SmackDown, Bray responded to Cena's Main Event promo, then backed those words by defeating Cena and the Usos in another six-man tag team match.  

    Is there anyone who can stop the Wyatts at this point?  The Shield, John Cena and others have all tried.  Some have even won matches against them.  But in the end, they all succumb to the Wyatts.  Will they finally break Cena once and for all, or will they falter in their quest to end him?

No. 1: Daniel Bryan

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    Previous Rank: 2

    Movement: Up 1

    Daniel Bryan reclaims the top spot this week after getting a win over a tough opponent in Albert Del Rio, a four-time world champion in WWE.  Both men are submission specialists, and they both exhibited their skills.  But in the end, Bryan showed just why he's WWE World Heavyweight Champion when he forced the Mexican Aristocrat to tap out.

    But as the match ended, Kane's music hit, forcing Bryan and Brie Bella to try and flee the arena for the second time that evening.  To make a long story short, Kane had sabotaged their car and attacked Bryan.  Kane was eventually beaten back and even thrown from the top of the car as Bryan and Brie drove away.  But then Bryan stopped to look at Kane, who then chased them out of the arena for good. 

    Bryan now likely will face Kane again for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, though nothing is official.  Can Bryan keep the Big Red Monster away from Brie, and will he be able to punish Kane for harassing them?