WWE Power Rankings for 5/19/2014
What a week in WWE. Daniel Bryan unexpectedly announced he'll miss time, the WWE stock collapsed after the new TV deal failed to impress anyone and there were plenty of other notable events as well.
With less than two weeks until Payback, two matches are set. John Cena will face Bray Wyatt in a Last Man Standing match, and The Shield will take on Evolution in a Six-Man Tag Team match. It's likely we'll see more matches booked this week.
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.
Rusev continues to look impressive. And this past week, he seemed to finally find a competitor who would challenge him. No, not WWE Hall of Famer Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Big E, who saved Duggan from being Rusev's latest victim, could match Rusev's strength.
But by all appearances, Rusev may have the advantage due to his quickness. Not too many big guys move quite like Rusev. Can he translate that synthesis of speed and power into success against Big E?
Speaking of Big E, after losing the Intercontinental Championship to Bad News Barrett, he's been adrift. But this past week on Raw, he came to the aide of Hacksaw Jim Duggan and, in the process, took a kick to the face courtesy Rusev.
Big E has put himself in position to carry the flag and put a stop to the Bulgarian Brute's reign of terror. Big E is powerful and athletic. But Rusev may be too much for him. Can Big E get back at Rusev for that nasty kick?
With Daniel Bryan possibly out for a while, Kane is in a bit of a predicament. He was the one who destroyed Bryan but, as a result, may have cost himself another chance at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Payback. If Bryan can go, Kane is almost certainly going to get a shot. If Bryan is stripped, Kane may miss out on a title shot. Or he could be named champion. We'll find out more tonight on Raw.
Previous Rank: 8
Movement: Down 2
Evolution did not have a good week at all. On Raw, The Shield attacked them mercilessly and relentlessly, sending the trio of veterans packing more than once. Batista faced off later against Roman Reigns, but the match was called off as Evolution put a beating on Reigns. But Evolution was driven off by Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, who wielded weapons and punished Evolution.
On SmackDown, Batista had a match with Dolph Ziggler, who called out Batista earlier in the week. The Animal struggled with Ziggler and eventually got himself intentionally disqualified, losing to Ziggler. He put a nasty beating on The Show-Off, but Evolution continues to lose. Can they get any momentum heading into Payback?
Previous Rank: 7
Movement: Down 2
Paige drops two spots this week because other Superstars are moving ahead and progressing while Paige continues to defeat the same Divas over and over. In some ways, she's a victim of both circumstance and her own success. On Raw, she defeated Alicia Fox for the umpteenth time, which caused Fox to go ballistic and cause a scene.
Paige really can't be faulted for the shallow pool of competition she faces each week. With Natalya busy trying to win the NXT Women's Championship and AJ Lee gone, there aren't too many Divas for her to face. She keeps winning, which is why she's still worthy of the top 10. But without serious competition, there's not much of an opportunity for her to advance. She's done everything asked of her. Now she needs to face someone who can truly bring out her best.
8. The Usos
Previous Rank: 10
Movement: Up 2
The Usos got back on track in a big way this week with impressive showings on both Raw and SmackDown. On Raw, they teamed with John Cena in a rematch against The Wyatt Family. Cena got the pin on Erick Rowan for the win, giving The Usos a measure of retribution for the beatings they've taken at the hands of The Wyatts.
On SmackDown, they faced off against The Brotherhood and looked good in a solid effort that resulted in a win. Then later that evening, they backed up Cena when it looked like The Wyatts were going to triple-team him. With less than two weeks until Payback, who will challenge them for their Tag Team Championships?
Previous Rank: 5
Movement: Down 2
Cesaro's week was not as bad as a two-spot drop might suggest. On Main Event, he faced off against United States champion Sheamus. The match broke down and ended in a double count-out. Then, Sheamus got the best of Cesaro, beating him down.
On SmackDown, Cesaro got a win over R-Truth, which shocked precisely no one. Cesaro drops behind Sheamus, as the U.S. title basically broke a tie between them. He drops another spot because of John Cena. More on that later.
Will Cesaro challenge Sheamus for the United States Championship? If so, this could be the first time in over a year (at least) when a meaningful feud revoled around the historic championship.
Previous Rank: 9
Movement: Up 3
Sheamus is on a real roll. His only blemish this past week was a double count-out against Cesaro on Main Event. More on that in a second. On Raw, he defeated both Curtis Axel and Ryback in singles matches. Then, as mentioned, he faced Cesaro on Main Event. That match ended in a double count-out, but he put a beating on Cesaro afterwards.
Finally, on SmackDown, The Celtic Warrior was set to face Titus O'Neil. O'Neil dressed down Sheamus, but his jaw-jacking lasted longer than the match. Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick and pinned O'Neil within about 10 seconds of the match starting.
Sheamus is bringing a nice shine to a title that has been invisible for the past year. Can he keep this up?
5. Bad News Barrett
Previous Rank: 4
Movement: Down 1
Bad News Barrett didn't do much of anything this past week. His only notable appearance was on the JBL and Cole Show. So there's not much to say.
He drops a spot, but he wasn't punished much for being idle. If he does not appear again this week, though, he'll drop another spot or two. As the Intercontinental champion, he's got to hold himself to a high standard. The IC title can't become invisible around his waist.
4. The Wyatt Family
Previous Rank: 2
Movement: Down 2
The Wyatt Family had a rough week, though you'd never know it by talking to Bray Wyatt. After losing to John Cena and The Usos on Raw, Bray actually thanked Cena for showing him what he needed to do.
On SmackDown, he picked Erick Rowan to face Cena after the leader of Cenation issued an open challenge to The Wyatts. After Cena got backup from The Usos, Cena pinned Rowan for another win over The Wyatts.
As Payback creeps ever closer, can The Wyatts get inside Cena's head like they were a few weeks ago?
3. John Cena
Previous Rank: 6
Movement: Up 3
Payback came early for John Cena this past week, when he picked up two wins over The Wyatts. The first was in a Six-Man Tag Team match where he teamed with The Usos. Cena got the pin over Erick Rowan.
Then, Cena issued an open challenge to The Wyatts on SmackDown, and Rowan was the selected opponent. The Wyatts appeared more interested in dishing out a beatdown than competing, but that changed when Cena was backed up by The Usos. Cena pinned Rowan for the win.
John Cena wavered for a while, looking like he doubted himself. Now with two wins over The Wyatts, he seems to have his confidence back. Can he keep that up heading into Payback?
2. Daniel Bryan
Previous Rank: 1
Movement: Down 1
Daniel Bryan shocked the WWE Universe by announcing he would be undergoing neck surgery this past Thursday. After being called out on Raw by Stephanie McMahon, he was hauled out to the ramp by Kane, who proceeded to utterly destroy him.
Now, speculation abounds as to whether or not he'll be stripped of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tonight on Raw. It appeared Stephanie McMahon was poised to do so last week before the attack by Kane. We still don't know how long Bryan will be out of action. We'll just have to find out more tonight on Raw.
1. The Shield
Previous Rank: 3
Movement: Up 2
The members of The Shield went back on the offensive in their ongoing war with Evolution this week. On Raw, they were meticulous, merciless and vicious in their all-out assault on Evolution. From the moment Evolution arrived at the arena, The Hounds of Justice were in attack mode.
They pummeled Evolution in the parking lot and in the ring. When Roman Reigns faced off against Batista, it looked as though Evolution had the upper hand. Ordering a large chunk of the locker room into the ring, the beatdown was on. But Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, weapons in hand, cleaned house. They cleared the ring, saved Reigns and drove Evolution off.
The Shield stood tall at the end of Raw and reclaims the top spot in the rankings. Can the trio put away Evolution for good at Payback, or will Evolution get the upper hand before then?