With Payback less than a week away, there are still a lot of questions that need answering. So far, there are only four announced matches: Rob Van Dam vs. Bad News Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship, John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt in a Last Man Standing match, Evolution vs. The Shield in a No Holds Barred Six-Man Elimination Tag Team match and, most recently, Cesaro vs. Sheamus for the United States Championship.
That's only about half the matches we can expect to see, so this week surely promises to be eventful as more bouts are added to the card. Will Daniel Bryan be stripped of the title or will he be able to compete at Payback? If he's cleared to wrestle, who will he face? Will Sheamus defend the U.S. title?
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 a No. 1 Contender or holding a Money in the Bank briefcase counts for much of a wrestler's ranking and are the most heavily weighted components 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 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.