Power Rankings, 2011 Week #2


Who were the biggest movers and shakers in the worlds of WWE and TNA this week? We’ll find out in this edition of the Daily DDT Power Rankings!

Dropping out of this week’s poll: A.J. Styles (9), CM Punk (6)

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Kazarian put on a good show with Jay Lethal this past weekend at Genesis, taking home the TNA X Division Championship as part of Immortals’ goal of collecting all the TNA titles that evening. Kaz got the win with his reverse Tombstone Piledriver move, but the match was sold as hard fought and evenly matched with both Kaz and Lethal getting good offense. Kazarian also delivered a good promo following the match in which he praised a number of TNA wrestlers who helped build the X Division at its onset. Sadly, the X Division now isn’t nearly what it was back then, as evident by the fact that there was almost no mention of Kazarian and his title victory on the episode of Impact following the PPV. That keeps Kazarian at #10 for this week.

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Edge remains in the top 10 acts of the week with a decent promo on the Cutting Edge on this past Friday’s Smackdown. While Edge played on the typical aspects of Vickie Guerrero’s personality (and weight, sadly), he also ragged enough on Ziggler to make the feud a bit more personal, and more importantly he acted enough like a face to be a sympathetic character at the end when he held off from spearing Vickie. Ultimately, he ended up on the bad end of a Zig-Zag into the steel steps, but the segment worked well enough to begin promoting the feud. Hopefully next week the focus stops being on Edge and Vickie’s past relationship and begins focusing on the World Heavyweight Championship as the centerpiece of the feud.

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Motor City Machine Guns77
Beer Money6

Beer Money and the Motor City Machine Guns put on yet another excellent display of tag team wrestling, working two great matches at Genesis and Impact with the TNA Tag Team Championship belts on the line. Robert Roode and James Storm captured and retained the belts over the Guns with the somewhat-unclean finish of Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley “miscommunicating” and taking turns kicking each other out to cost themselves the titles. While the MCMG breakup tease certainly is a negative, expecially with how weak the X Division currently is and how likely it is that Sabin and Shelley would fade into obscurity outside of the tag division, the acutal finishes aren’t bad for the purposes of continuing the feud. We aren’t likely to see something like the spectacle we saw last year between the two with the best-out-of-five series, but an ongoing Beer Money-MCMG feud can only mean good things for TNA in 2011. They’ll continue to carry the only worthwhile tag division on television.

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Mr. Anderson6

Mr. Anderson put on two good main event matches, one on Genesis to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and one on Impact alongside RVD taking on Matt and Jeff Hardy. Anderson’s win over Matt Morgan was acceptable, if not a bit strange, since the win came on a roll-up/inside cradle rather than a finishing maneuver. However, given that TNA was going to follow up with the TNA World Heavyweight Championship title afterwards, it figures that they would save the Mic Check for Jeff Hardy. Anderson sold the effects of his previous match well, making it look like he overcame great odds to win the title.

His performance on Impact was a mixed bag. Some of his promo regarding his backstory worked, particularly about how he acted as himself and did his thing to win the title. However, it wouldn’t be TNA without a reference to a certain “company up north” that Anderson said held him back from being a champion. I could have certainly done without the WWE reference and the jab at Triple H, as it just isn’t necessary to get over how much of an accomplishment Anderson’s win was. The match and backstage segments with RVD and Anderson chasing down Immortal worked fine, though the ending was predictable with large-scale run-ins following a referee bump. We need to see more before determining how good Anderson will be as TNA’s headline champ.

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The Miz51

This is the first week the Miz has spent outside of the #1 spot in our weekly Power Rankings, which tells you how well he’s performed so far. This past Monday night on Raw, however, had Miz booked once again as a sniveling coward of a champion in the face of Randy Orton. It is acceptable to have a heel play the coward role against a face, especially one as intimidating as Orton, but WWE took things a bit far in the main event tag match that evening. Miz unnecessarily took an RKO from Orton for a visual three-count that had to be broken up by Alex Riley, and the match finish made Miz look terrible as he cowered in fear of Orton’s intense stare. As a result, even though Miz played his role well, he couldn’t possibly look good doing so, and his character lost a bit of credibility on the way. This Monday will be important for building that credibility back.

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Kofi Kingston44

Kingston remains firmly placed at the fourth position following yet another victory over Jack Swagger a week after he captured the Intercontinental Championship in convincing fashion. Hopefully, the WWE notices that Kingston is once again very well over with the crowd and, at some point this year, gives him another shot at the main event. It wasn’t all that long ago that he was bashing Randy Orton’s car and fighting in main event title feuds, but somewhere along the way he shifted back into the mid-card. A strong showing with the Intercontinental Title should do what it did for Ziggler, which is keep him strong and eventually catapult him into the main event of a weak Smackdown roster.

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Randy Orton35

Orton was once again booked very strong, but it is important to note that he did nothing out of the ordinary to get this ranking. He continues to be the go-to guy to feud for the WWE Championship on Raw, but it remains to be seen what the WWE will do with him once his program with the Miz is over. Will the program get stretched out to Wrestlemania, with Orton once again failing to get his hands on Miz definitively at Royal Rumble? There isn’t anything great on the horizon for him after Miz, and he’ll need something to do for Wrestlemania.

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John Morrison22

Morrison was the lone spotlight on an otherwise boring Raw, as he posted a solid comeback win versus Sheamus and remained strong. The WWE Universe seems fully behind Morrison, and the WWE would be wise to continue pushing him as a main-event caliber player on Raw or Smackdown in the future. The only thing unfortunate in the otherwise good match was the fact that Sheamus took the clean loss in just around 10 minutes once again. Like Swagger on Smackdown, Sheamus has suffered quite a fall from grace compared to earlier in the year, and he could use a boost in terms of wins in order to prevent him from looking weak and non-credible. This is especially true if the ultimate goal is to set up a Sheamus-Triple H program for Wrestlemania; Sheamus doesn’t look ready to threaten Hunter. Morrison, on the other hand, looks ready for a strong program at Wrestlemania. Don’t be surprised if he pulls out the Rumble victory.

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Dolph Ziggler & Vickie Guerrero13

Ziggler and Guerrero take the top act this week with their solid promo on the Cutting Edge on Friday. Part of what made the promo work was the awkward humor from the timing and delivery of the comments between the three characters involved; I particularly enjoyed Vickie’s angry interruption after Edge began admitting some fault (“It was our wedding day!”) and Ziggler’s half-hearted defense of Vickie after an Edge fat joke (“That’s not fair. She…has lost a lot of weight.”). If it were just that, Smackdown’s premier couple would not have made the top spot, but Ziggler closed the promo with a good heel appeal for the title and a painful-looking Zig-Zag into the steel steps on Edge. These two came out on top once again this week on Smackdown, and they come up on top for the first time on the Daily DDT Power Rankings!