The rules are that each spot must be filled and only one person can be in each spot, so no ties can happen, nor can anyone opt out. No matter how difficult it might be, you have to pick.
This edition is going to revolve around the five men who are challenging John Cena for the WWE Championship in the 2017 Elimination Chamber match on SmackDown's upcoming pay-per-view February 12th.
5) RELEASED = Bray Wyatt
There was a point in time where I wanted Bray Wyatt to win the world title and to be one of the next big main event guys. That eventually passed as I realized he never really improved past a certain level. Then, the act got tiresome and I became completely bored with it. By now, when I do things like my Fantasy Booking for WrestleMania, the past 2 or 3 years he's been in the back of my mind as "well, if I can't think of anything for him, it's not that bad cause he can just be in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal." You know who else I do that with? Folks like The Shining Stars, The Golden Truth, Bo Dallas, Curt Hawkins, Darren Young and other jobbers.
Wyatt shouldn't be released in WWE proper, but in the confines of this list, he's my least valuable player and the one that I think has the lowest amount of returns based on the investment.
4) JOBBER = Baron Corbin
I'd hate to reduce Corbin down to a jobber, but the other three names are just more important to me. This is a shame, as I think Corbin has done the opposite of Bray Wyatt, where he keeps making improvements and convincing me that he has a lot to offer. Ideally at the moment, he'd be in a position where he could win the Intercontinental Championship and even be leaning towards the Upper Midcard range. I want to see him be the one to beat Dean Ambrose for that title, so I definitely don't want to see him job out any time soon.
However, once more, when it comes to this list, it's a bitch. Two people have to lose, essentially, and I like three people more than Corbin, so he has to be put in 4th place.
3) MIDCARD = The Miz
I know, I know, The Miz has been doing some of his absolute best work this past year and he should be rewarded for it, but that's precisely why I have him in this spot. With Ambrose and Styles, they need to be put in the top two spots to be able to stay relevant but The Miz just commands attention to himself so much that he's able to take a midcard feud and elevate it all the time. Look at what he did with the Intercontinental Championship. Zack Ryder—a guy I like, but have to admit is just a midcarder—feuded with him and suddenly, the midcard wasn't filler on the card, but something people legitimately were interested in checking out.
If The Miz can do that for the midcard, why not keep him there so he can be the guy directing traffic and making sure all aspects of a show are valuable rather than just one or two big matches?
2) UPPER MIDCARD = Dean Ambrose
Ambrose is far too popular to put down too far, but I think he works best when he has something to strive for. When he's the top dog, he becomes complacent. His character is a guy who fights for things and if he has nothing to fight for, he just comes off like a dick. This is fine when he's a heel, but when he's a babyface (which I think is something he's also more fun playing up) then it means Upper Midcard is the spot for him. He can still have those primary feuds, but he just isn't THE guy.
1) MAIN EVENT = AJ Styles
I never thought Styles was great on the mic, which is normally something that would separate someone from the Main Event and Upper Midcard spots or maybe even Midcard. However, this past year, he's sold me on him being a top guy. His in-ring work has just been fantastic and he's actually been able to hold his own in feuds with John Cena, Dean Ambrose and plenty of others without looking like a guy who can only wrestle and can't talk. Since he's fresher on the roster, too, why not utilize him at the peak that you can?