Power Rankings, Week #4 (with Royal Rumble predictions!)


Another week, another edition of the Daily DDT Power Rankings. Who were the best acts in this week in pro wrestling? Let’s dive right in and find out.

Dropping from the poll this week: John Cena (10), Beer Money (8)

WrestlerRankLast WeekTrending
Cody Rhodes10

Rhodes gets the nod this week for a terrific promo that he cut on Smackdown this past Friday. I was not initially a fan of the “Dashing” gimmick he is currently using, but I have grown to accept it as a funny, annoying mid-card heel gimmick. Rhodes has sat in limbo with the gimmick for the past few months now, and he is deserving of a push due to his in-ring work. This past week’s promo had him put on a more serious act on, claiming that the impact of Rey Mysterio’s 619 from the previous week broke his nose and stole his Royal Rumble opportunity away. He really sold the importance of the Rumble and how it pertains to headlining Wrestlemania, and the “injury” appears to have brought a more dramatic and darker edge to Rhodes’s character. I personally am all for it; a feud with Mysterio could help elevate Rhodes from silly mid-card gimmick to main eventer, something that Smackdown could probably use.

WrestlerRankLast WeekTrending
Jeff Hardy9

Jeff Hardy made his way onto the Power Rankings on the back of his strong promo work as well. I am surprised that I have enjoyed Hardy’s heel work, as his moveset and previous demeanor made him one of the biggest babyfaces in the wrestling industry in 2009-2010. The heel turn has allowed Hardy to shine on the mic, which previously was a weakness for him. This week, he went off on the fans again, claiming that they never cared that he busted up his body for ten years (a pretty fair point in reality). His confrontation with the TNA World Heavyweight Champion Mr. Anderson was also sold well, as Anderson got in Hardy’s face and made Hardy furious. Their exchange did an excellent job of selling next week’s TNA Title match on Impact. Aside from Hardy’s mention of “marks and Internet junkies” (oh my goodness, TNA is so real!), which I could have done without, it was a strong performance for Hardy on the mic.

WrestlerRankLast WeekTrending
John MorrisonT69
CM PunkT63
The CorreT66

I have no interest in attempting to discern any of these three potential Royal Rumble winners. Punk, Nexus, and the Corre were each unable to distinguish themselves due to the crappy booking in Raw’s main event this past Monday night. In addition, seeing the Corre chased away by a forgotten set of Raw wrestlers (sadly including Daniel Bryan, who has been completely cast aside for three months) did them no favors. Morrison did the grunt work in the tag team loss this week to Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus, but his winning streak momentum was taken down a notch by the match. He is still my dark horse candidate to win the Rumble, but his odds are down to 10 percent or less.

WrestlerRankLast WeekTrending
Dolph Ziggler & Vickie Guerrero51

Ziggler was booked for a bad week, and it was enough to knock him out of the top spot and all the way down to #5 in this week’s Power Rankings. He interfered in the Champions vs Champions match on Raw on Monday, but quickly was disposed of by Randy Orton. On Friday night, he took the pinfall loss to Edge in the tag match between the champions and challengers and also ended up receiving at least three Spears. A special mention of Ziggler and Guerrero’s commentating also needs to be made; their arguing with Jerry Lawler was so distracting to the Champions vs. Champions match that it made the 17-minute affair almost unwatchable. All of that contributed to a horrendous week for the challenger for World Heavyweight Championship.

WrestlerRankLast WeekTrending
Randy Orton44

Every week, Randy Orton puts up the same sort of performance, and no one thinks any better or worse of it. Orton made the run-in post-match to break up the two-on-one beatdown of Edge after the Champions vs. Champions match, and he delivered some strong offense and came out on top. At the same time, we didn’t hear him speak once, and it was awkward; if the announcers didn’t talk about it, I wouldn’t even know that Orton was up for a title match. The audience needs to hear how important the title match is for Orton in order to get invested in the feud. The Miz has held up his end, continually boasting and putting himself over as a cocky heel, but we’ve barely seen or heard from Orton. His tag match performance on Friday night was fine, but once again, we heard Orton speak earlier in the evening and it had little or nothing to do with the WWE Championship match. Despite being booked strong, Orton did not impress much this week.

WrestlerRankLast WeekTrending

Edge came out on top on Friday night, spearing his challenger Dolph Ziggler three times before Vickie Guerrero decreed that he could not use the spear in Sunday night’s Royal Rumble event. Of course, the stipulation all but guarantees that Edge will leave the event still the World Heavyweight Champion, as these are exactly the sort of gimmicks that are designed to bring intrigue and assist a contender bookers don’t think is strong enough to compete normally. It doesn’t speak well for Ziggler, and it kills the intrigue of the match as well. Edge also put on a decent show on Raw against the Miz, but that match was so wrought by bad commentary and the two commercial breaks that it was difficult to get invested on what was probably acceptable action by both men.

WrestlerRankLast WeekTrending
Mr. Anderson25

Anderson scored a victory over Matt Hardy on Thursday’s Impact, but it was his exchange with Jeff Hardy that jumped him multiple spots in this week’s Power Rankings. Anderson sold the importance of “W’s and L’s” in his promo and continued to put over the TNA World Heavyweight Title’s importance. He also took his promo a bit more seriously, which sold the moment as more intense and interesting than his typical comedy mic work. Anderson has developed a lot over the past year and now has the look of a main eventer. While I do think that TNA has to ultimately utilize the talent they originally brought up (A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe need to be in that TNA title hunt), Anderson has sold me on being a credible champion with his improved serious mic work and his ring acumen.

WrestlerRankLast WeekTrending
The Miz12

The Miz returns to the top spot once again with two decent showings in the ring and good mic work outside of it. The WWE creative team continues to drop hints about a potential Miz/Cena feud with a second straight week of mic work between the two. Cena did a good job of bringing home his point (that Miz did not belong in the Wrestlemania main event), but Miz countered with a good promo on Smackdown and decent work in the ring twice during the week. It wasn’t the best week for him, but with Ziggler booked really poorly and no one else outside of Anderson impressing a whole lot, Miz takes the top spot by default.

Royal Rumble Predictions

The Rumble always picks up buys, as fans are interested to see the spectacle that is the Royal Rumble match, but this year’s Rumble card looks mighty weak. With the stipulation added onto the World Heavyweight Title match, it is almost a certainty that Edge will overcome being unable to use the Spear and retain the title. The booking team has snuck in too many Miz/Cena Wrestlemania teaser promos to have him suddenly drop the title to Orton, who has barely received any mic time.

Natalya (C) vs. Michelle McCool/Layla
WWE Unified Divas Championship

Prediction: Natalya’s title run has been nice, and she hasn’t been close to taking a pinfall loss yet. However WWE books McCool or Layla in the match, the ultimate result should be a clean win for Natalya. Natalya wins and retains

Edge (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler
World Heavyweight Championship
Stipulation: Edge cannot use the Spear

Prediction: The stipulation pretty much gives away Edge’s victory. The only matter of intrigue is whether Ziggler will look competitive and good in the loss; a strong competition might keep him in the main event title for the future before WWE inevitably drops him back into the mid-card for a spell as they’ve done for every young, new main eventer (see CM Punk, Sheamus). A weak loss or a glorified squash for Edge may kill Ziggler’s main event credibility. Edge wins and retains

The Miz (C) vs. Randy Orton
WWE Championship

Prediction: I would love for the Miz to pick up his defining, clean PPV victory over Orton, whose character needs a fresh feud to rebuild heat as a main eventer. However, with the WWE continuing to book Miz as a vulnerable champion, it is much more likely that he either gets a DQ to retain or wins in a very suspect fashion. If the WWE is going with Miz and Cena at Wrestlemania, they are eventually going to have to give Miz a credible victory. The Miz wins and retains

Royal Rumble

Prediction: Aside from the surprise entrants in the Rumble*, the WWE is likely to book these five men for the end of the Rumble match: John Cena, John Morrison, Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett, and CM Punk. The final four will probably include both heel faction leaders, Cena, and one of either Morrison or Del Rio. At this point, I have Cena at a 50 percent chance of winning, with Del Rio taking 35 percent, Morrison at 10 percent, and a 5 percent chance that someone not mentioned (such as a surprise return by Triple H) wins it. John Cena wins