Power Rankings, 2011 Week #3


This week in WWE and TNA was a bit weak, but who rose to the top in the Daily DDT Power Rankings as the week’s best performers? Let’s find out.

Dropping out of this week’s poll: Kazarian (10), Motor City Machine Guns (7), Kofi Kingston (4)

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John Cena10

Cena only gets the nod here for having put on an excellent TV main event match against CM Punk on this past Monday’s edition of Raw. The match was exactly the sort of interesting spectacle fans could expect to see from a solid (if limited) worker in Cena and one of the best wrestlers in the business in Punk. It was good to see Cena putting over Punk’s offense in the match, particularly near the tail end of the match with Punk’s submission maneuver appearing to come close to taking the win. It was also good to see that neither Cena nor Punk delivered their respective finishers, which leaves just enough intrigue in the feud for fans to want to see another match between the two. Cena’s subsequent beating at the hands of the newest member of Nexus, FCW Champion Mason Ryan, was sold decently, and the DQ finish was appropriate in order to keep the feud alive. Despite the fact that the Cena/Nexus angle seems way overplayed, they have kept just enough interest in it for the next week.

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John Morrison92

The WWE rightfully doesn’t trust Morrison enough on the mic to let him cut promos to build back his heat, but if he can’t talk his way back up, he needs to wrestle his way up. While he did get the win over WWE United States Champion Daniel Bryan (who himself has fallen pretty far as of late), Morrison and Bryan simply did not get enough time to impress in the ring. There is no doubt that, given 10 to 15 minutes, these two would put on a spectacle of a show in the ring, as they are two of the best wrestlers in the WWE right now. However, in just seven minutes of time, three of which were during a commercial break, it was not enough to keep Morrison high in the Power Rankings. One thing that did impress me this week was his reaction to Sheamus’ post-match promo; Morrison’s facial expressions actually made him appear angry, which is more than I can say for his usual acting work.

By the way, Morrison is my favorite to win the Royal Rumble next Sunday. The WWE has pushed him without overexposing him with promos and such (unlike Alberto Del Rio), and he is very over with the fans. With the Miz as current WWE Champion, the WWE may be interested in pulling the trigger on a rematch between the two at Wrestlemania.

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Beer Money86

Beer Money put in some strong offense against Rob Van Dam and the TNA World Heavyweight Champion Mr. Anderson, but they essentially were used as fodder for the next chapter of the storyline between the two faces and Jeff Hardy. James Storm particularly impressed with some nice spots, including a sweet-looking backbreaker performed in the Chris Jericho Codebreaker fashion. However, Storm also looked terrible at the end of the match with a weak-looking kick that was blocked and led to the eventual match finish.

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Edge looked solid in his limited television time this week. He and Justin Gabriel put on the best match of the evening for Smackdown, though given the quality of the matches before them, that was not all that difficult to do. Edge appeared more athletic than usual wrestling against Gabriel, who did an excellent job of bumping for Edge’s various offensive maneuvers. Edge also did a decent job on the mic against the Miz, promoting Smackdown as his turf. The unclean finish to his match did not diminish his status as top dog on Smackdown, but it did help to put over the Corre and Dolph Ziggler as potential threats to Edge’s World Heavyweight Championship reign. All in all, it was a strong enoug week for Edge to push him up in the Power Rankings.

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The Corre6

I was OK with the Corre’s work on Smackdown this week. I enjoyed Wade Barrett’s promo regarding how the Corre will be more about the group as a whole and less about Barrett, which was a common knock on the way the Barrett-led Nexus was booked. I liked that each member got to speak on the mic, although the others were pretty weak. Gabriel put up a solid fight and sold very well in his match against Edge. Ezekiel Jackson is a perfect addition to the group, which needed a Skip Sheffield style enforcer to look intimidating since the other three members simply do not look strong. I don’t know how long they will remain interesting, but right now they looked strong. Just keep Heath Slater off the mic.

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Mr. Anderson56

Mr. Anderson had a limited showing in his TV main event match with RVD against Beer Money, but he looked good in the ring during his allotted time. What I enjoyed the most out of this week in Anderson was his promo work, which really established his strong personality. Yes, he is the Total Nonstop Asshole, and that’s a fine gimmick to have if you remain consistent with it and continue to give credence to the importance of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. He put the importance of the title over to some degree in both his backstage promo and his ring announcer gimmick, which worked for me. Anderson is someone TNA can continue to build upon.

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Randy Orton43

This was another prototypical performance by Orton, who put on a strong performance against Dolph Ziggler and got the win over the Smackdown #1 contender, but then was immediately beaten down by the Miz post-match in a brutal fashion. After a couple of solid close falls at the end of the match with Ziggler, Orton finished the match with a counter to Ziggler’s Zig-Zag, hitting the RKO for one of those ambiguous “who got the worst of that move” spots. While that spot did not work, the rest of the match was well done by both men, but it once again felt old, as if we’d seen this from Orton many times before. Like Morrison, Orton delivers a solid match every time, but we still don’t have any idea about his motivations or why he is doing what he’s doing because he gets too little mic time.

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CM Punk3

CM Punk looked strong in the ring, and his ability made Cena look credible as well. So why is Punk all the way up at #3 while Cena is down at #10? Cena would have ranked higher had he not acted so flippant in his promo across from the Miz. There is simply no need to say things like “poopy” in any serious conversation, especially one with the WWE Champion. Cena followed up by “winking at the camera,” saying that the show is PG and “this was the best he could do.” The fans do not want to hear that; the young fans don’t care about that, and the older demographic from the Attitude Era would be insulted by that comment. Cena’s atrocity of a promo landed him at #10, detracting from the quality of his match with Punk.

Punk’s work was very good, and the addition of Mason Ryan as an enforcer-type on his new Nexus helps the group a little bit. Punk’s own promo work was hit and miss as well, as the preachy backstage promo did nothing to get him or the group over with the crowd.

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The Miz25

MIz did not have the benefit of getting into the ring this week, but that almost worked to his advantage, as he was free to interfere in the Randy Orton-Dolph Ziggler match on Raw. Miz also tried his best to make a disastrous John Cena promo look serious at the beginning of Raw. His beatdown of Orton after Orton’s match was perfect, showing his aggressive streak and building good heel heat on his character leading into their WWE Championship match at the Rumble. For up-and-coming wrestlers looking to learn how to act like a cocky heel and build heat while still playing the coward in the ring, look no further than the Miz; his work is reminiscent of how Triple H performed before he became the dominant Game persona.

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Dolph Ziggler & Vickie Guerrero11

Miz would have taken the #1 spot had he wrestled a solid match, but as it stands, Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero hold onto the top spot in the Power Rankings for another week. Ziggler had a strong performance versus Randy Orton despite the loss, as he was booked to look credible versus one of the biggest names in the industry. While the loss was not ideal, it does not necessarily hurt him moving into his main event feud with Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship. The negative for Ziggler’s week was in his special guest commentating for Edge’s match versus Justin Gabriel. While he acted heelish in a good deal of the match, his comment about feeling sorry for Edge came off as absolutely terrible for a challenger to say. Yes, it sounds sportsmanlike, but heels should not come off sportsmanlike. Ziggler’s tone did not sound sarcastic and came off too polite, which did drop his credibility some. Nevertheless, he remains in the top spot, though Miz, Punk, and Orton are right on his heels at the moment