Each week, we will break down the current roster and examine who has gone up the WWE hierarchy and who has unfortunately taken a step down the ladder. Factoring in things such as wins and losses, suspensions, injuries, making a name for one's self, being humiliated, and more, who is at the top of the food chain and who needs to make up some ground next week?
Currently adorning the moniker of the World’s Strongest Jobber, Mark Henry followed up his immediate knockout at Survivor Series with another thrashing. This time it was at the hands of Ryback, another looking to avenge a poor showing in the elimination match. In the space of a few minutes, Henry was laid out on the outside, and then clobbered with a meat hook clothesline to suffer another embarrassingly quick defeat.
If anybody had said this time last year that Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury would have been in the main event of RAW, you would have told them to lay off the blue cheese at night. But, credit where it is due, Noble in particular gave a good account of himself, both showing they still have gas in the tank when called upon. Yet, they still couldn’t help Seth Rollins defeat John Cena and Dolph Ziggler in a 3-on-2 handicap match.
In what is now becoming a dreadfully tired routine, the Bunny continues to be an unwanted distraction for Adam Rose. The Party Animal could not help his long-suffering friend get a victory over Tyson Kidd and Natalya in an interspecies tag on RAW. This was followed up with a failed attempt to help Rose outlast the renewed Fandango on Main Event, as the Bunny’s feet continue to prove anything but lucky.
The former Tag Team Champions had the opportunity to reclaim the belts on RAW when they battled The Miz & Damien Mizdow. After losing the gold at Survivor Series, the pair looked to take advantage of their opponents’ sometime lack of teamwork and coordination. But, they couldn’t retrieve the titles, as the Miz connected with a Skull Crushing Finale on Stardust to end their hopes. The battle royal for the US title on SmackDown did not reap any success either, as both Goldust and Stardust were simultaneously eliminated by Jack Swagger.
The Big Show made a lot of enemies at Survivor Series by failing to believe in his team, betraying his team and eliminating John Cena in the process. But, with the Authority out of the picture, he now cuts a large, lonely figure in the locker room as a traitor. This has drawn the wrath of fellow Team Cena member Erick Rowan, who took down Big Show on RAW, and then eliminating him in the battle royal on SmackDown. This big man feud looks set to be featured at TLC.
Bray Wyatt might have left Survivor Series with a victory, but he likely didn’t feel much like a winner crawling through the wreckage of a broken table. However, he managed to get some measure of revenge on RAW, when he assaulted Dean Ambrose during his Intercontinental title shot against Wyatt’s former family member Luke Harper. Wyatt took the chance to bury Ambrose in chairs by the announce table, sending a message before their TLC match at its namesake PPV.
The former Divas Champion had a lot to say for herself on RAW this past week, but when it got down to the wrestling she once again came up short against a Bella. It was Brie on Monday, using her fists rather than lips to knock back an irate AJ, and another distraction from Nikki this time cost her the victory. AJ then produced one of her own brand of pipebombs that got the crowd captivated, informing the Bellas that talent was not sexually transmitted. Mic skills however might be based on this. This was followed by a post-match attack by AJ which had the twins running for the hills.
Erick Rowan has made the most of his return, his folk entrance music a light precursor to the damage that he can cause in between the ropes. On RAW he displayed his obvious displeasure at the actions of the Big Show at Survivor Series by sending him out of the ring. He then maintained this incentive heading into SmackDown, where he single-handedly eliminated the giant in the US Championship Battle Royal. These two behemoths will soon clash one-on-one, with the sheep enthusiast determined to continue his return to prominence.
Cesaro makes a return to these coveted Power Rankings with a solid performance in the US Championship battle royal on SmackDown. No stranger to success in these kinds of matches, his mixture of strength and athleticism led to a number of eliminations and a spot in the final three. However, despite looking more impressive than he has in recent weeks, he ended up being the penultimate man eliminated by his former Real American teammate Jack Swagger. Still, one can hope this can build some momentum for upcoming shows.
The Intercontinental Champion was a beneficiary of the championship advantage this week, as despite two defeats continues to carry the strap to the ring. On RAW he was placed opposite Dean Ambrose, the Lunatic Fringe posing a considerable threat in the early stages of his reign. Harper held his own in the battle of two unorthodox competitors, eventually losing by disqualification when he shoved Ambrose into the referee. Another defense on SmackDown was against former champ Dolph Ziggler, and in another great showing for both competitors, Harper was counted out and then suffered a post-match Zig-Zag from his in-form opponent.
After her unexpected heel turn at Survivor Series, Brie Bella has continued to show support to her twin sister Nikki, in spite of the servitude she endured under her. She allowed her sister to claim the Divas Championship, and then secured her own victory over AJ Lee on RAW thanks to Nikki returning the favor with a distraction (not a kiss though, sadly). Now firmly joined at the hip with her sister once more, Brie will be looking to ride her position of power during the continuation of this feud with the Crazy Diva.
The Big Red Monster traded in his corporate suit for a concessions stand uniform this week, as interim General Manager Daniel Bryan put him to work selling food to the crowd. With the Authority no longer in charge, Kane has lost the security that once protected him, and that resulted in him being embarrassed by Ryback backstage. Kane then suffered defeat to perennial Authority rival Dean Ambrose on Main Event. But, he managed a level of revenge on SmackDown, as he took out the Big Guy with a chokeslam on a steel chair, a taste of their upcoming match at TLC.
Tyson Kidd was the benefactor of some miscommunication between Adam Rose and the Bunny on RAW to earn a victory for himself and Natalya in an interspecies affair. On Main Event he watched from the sidelines as his wife took on Layla, but still remained arguably the most interesting component with his interaction with the crowd. On SmackDown, his push into title contention continued, this time in the US Championship battle royal, where he finished a respectable fourth place, eliminated by Jack Swagger.
Natalya places one ahead of her husband Tyson Kidd with two victories to her name this week. On RAW she worked alongside Kidd to once again defeat Adam Rose and the Bunny in the most mixed tag team match in history. Natalya then was taken down a peg backstage at Main Event, when she became very familiar with a pumpkin pie and some whipped cream, courtesy of Layla and Summer Rae. However, when the action switched to the ring the Queen of Harts came out on top, defeating the British diva with the Sharpshooter.
The Real American has overcome the disappointment of losing his spot on Team Cena, and has set his sights on a mission that seemed lost a few months ago. On RAW, he set his eyes firmly on Rusev and the United States Championship, assaulting the Bulgarian when he refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance. This mission moved onto the battle royal on SmackDown, where Swagger fought valiantly getting a number of crucial eliminations, including Gold/Stardust, Tyson Kidd and Cesaro. But, Rusev as an obstacle was too much to overcome this night.
Seth Rollins was likely hit hardest by the fall of the Authority, as Mr. Money in the Bank’s time as the Golden Child of the company came to a screeching halt. He was given a handicap match against John Cena and Dolph Ziggler, but the fans lumped him with teammates Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury, who fell short despite their best efforts. Rollins was then fed to Ryback on SmackDown, and escaped only due to the interference of Kane. Although, he did get to revel in the post-match assault of the Big Guy.
Fandango continues his re-emergence at Survivor Series with a pair of victories this week. His new flamenco dancing gimmick and smoldering stares may not be too radical a shift, but he has started out in fine form. On RAW he defeated Justin Gabriel for the second time in the space of a day with relative ease. He then moved onto Main Event, doing what many fans have been begging for which is shut up the Bunny on his way to defeating Adam Rose.
The new Divas Champion was spared from action on Monday, as she stood on the sidelines to watch her sister Brie take on rival AJ Lee. After Brie’s kiss provided a killer distraction onto Nikki’s title triumph, she returned the favor on RAW, pulling AJ’s arm whilst the referee was distracted. She then enjoyed a victory in her first match as champion on SmackDown when she handily defeated the Aussie Emma with a Rack Attack. Cutting a scathing (and heavily edited) promo following the victory, she was eventually chased away by AJ, letting Brie take the brunt of her attack.
SmackDown featured a return that has been promoted for the past month or so, as the New Day finally dawned Friday night. The all-dancing trio of Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods came out bouncing with excitement as the choir music played. Placed against Curtis Axel and Slater Gator, all three members looked to make the most of their return with a big performance. Kingston was as athletic as ever, with a helping hand by Big E seeing him fly over the top rope onto his opponents. Woods got the pin thanks to a cool double-team version of the Big Ending, as the New Day celebrated a first victory in style.
The captain of Team Cena had a great deal to be joyous about come Monday night. Although he did not survive to witness the finish, his team were victorious, sending the Authority packing with John Cena the only man capable of bringing them back. On RAW he thus took to his match with a smile, as he teamed with Dolph Ziggler to take on the collective of Seth Rollins, Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. Although the numbers game belonged to Rollins, his eventual abandoning of his teammates saw both members of J&J Security toppled.
Ryback may not have had the greatest Survivor Series performance, but he made up for that oversight with a demolition job on RAW. After bulldozing Mark Henry in a matter of minutes with a Meat Hook Clothesline, he then proceeded to set his sights on Concessions Stand Manager Kane, humiliating him backstage. On SmackDown, he was placed in a match with former Authority golden boy Seth Rollins, defeating him by disqualification when Kane got involved with a steel chair. Ryback might have ended the night staring at the roof of the arena, but he’ll get his chance for revenge at TLC.
The Lunatic Fringe maintains his reputation as a bringer of excitement, and after bringing out the toys to deal with Bray Wyatt at Survivor Series, he tried the same on RAW. Only this time his target was Intercontinental Champion Luke Harper, who Ambrose defeated by disqualification with the belt on the line. This intended retribution was curtailed by an attack by Wyatt that left Ambrose lying in a sea of steel chairs. However, he bounced back as he often does on Main Event, defeating Kane in singles action.
The newly crowned Tag Team Champions have risen to the A-List of this rankings board with some solid victories. With the Miz carrying both belts and the beloved Mizdow clutching his stunt pair, they retained their titles on RAW when they defeated former champs Gold/Stardust. This was then followed up by a win over Los Matadores on Main Event with a couple of Figure-Four Leglocks the cause. However, in spite of this they weren’t able to add anymore gold to their collection on SmackDown, as Miz was eliminated in the US title battle royal, leaving the dutiful Mizdow to throw himself out as well.
The US Champion was likely to come under the microscope following the fall of the Authority at Survivor Series. On RAW, Daniel Bryan instructed Rusev and Lana to take the Pledge of Allegiance under the watchful gaze of Sergeant Slaughter. When the America-hating Bulgarian refused and intimidating the Serge, Jack Swagger made the save, sending Rusev out of the ring. The punishment for refusing the oath was immediate, as Rusev was forced to defend his US title in a 20-man battle royal on SmackDown. Yet, his dominant stature once again came to the forefront in overwhelming odds, outlasting everybody by last eliminating Swagger with a jumping super kick.