John Cena is once again WWE World Champion. Randy Orton won his second Royal Rumble match. Neville is the WWE Cruiserweight Champion. If you missed the Royal Rumble, you missed a lot. Here’s this week’s edition of FanSided’s WWE Power Rankings. Who rose and who faltered after the Rumble?
There’s three things in life that are more than certain to happen: death, taxes and John Cena being WWE World Champion at some point. All three are just givens.
Article continues below ...
Cena, who jumped from No. 5 in the initial rankings on this list to No. 2 prior to the Royal Rumble, defeated AJ Styles (the current No. 1 on this list) to win his record-tying 16th WWE title in one of the best matches you’ll see all year.
Along with Cena’s triumph over Styles, Charlotte retained her Raw Women’s Championship against Bayley, Neville defeated Rich Swann to win the Cruiserweight Championship, Kevin Owens defeated Roman Reigns (with some assistance) to retain the Universal title and Randy Orton won the second Royal Rumble match of his career.
Each brand has had one episode after the first “Big Four” pay-per-view of the calendar year, so who took advantage of a big night and climbed in the rankings and who took a tumble?
Let’s take a look at this week’s WWE Superstar Power Rankings.
(Disclaimer: The wrestlers chosen for this power rankings list only appear on Monday Night Raw or SmackDown Live, so that means no NXT/205Live specific stars are on this list.)
Last week: N/A
Luke Harper only spent 9:56 in the Royal Rumble match on Sunday night, but in his defense, he entered at No. 25 and was eliminated by Goldberg, who eliminated three guys in just over three minutes before he was knocked out by The Undertaker. Still, Harper had a real quality spot with Bray Wyatt that played as a good tease in the match and looked good on Tuesday night before being beaten by Wyatt and Randy Orton in a tag team match with John Cena. It wasn’t the most quality of weeks, but with several people faltering throughout the weekend, Harper snuck in on this week’s list.
Last week: N/A
Here’s a name you should probably be paying more attention to: Baron Corbin. He only eliminated one superstar on Sunday night, but from the No. 13 slot, he last almost 33 minutes before The Undertaker eliminated him. He looked really strong on Tuesday night after the main event ended with a End of Days to The Miz and to Dean Ambrose, the current Intercontinental Champion. If you’re looking for a guy who could hold SmackDown’s mid-card title next, this might be your guy.
Rich Swann had a tough weekend at the office. Although he performed valiantly against Neville in their Cruiserweight title match, the “King of the Cruiserweights” was just too much for the former champion. Swann did bounce back a bit when Neville tried to attack him from behind during his coronation segment on Raw Monday night, but getting that title back isn’t looking likely for him.
Last week: No. 10 (-7)
Did anyone have a worse weekend than Seth Rollins? Not only did Rollins lose his spot in the Royal Rumble match last week on Raw, he busted into the middle of NXT TakeOver: San Antonio, demanded for Triple H to face him, but was greeted with security that threw him out of the building. After being barred from the building on Sunday, Rollins called out The Game again, but was greeted not just with Triple H. Samoa Joe, the former two-time NXT Champion, was waiting on Rollins’ arrival to face Triple H and pummeled him to close out Raw this past Monday. The news of a knee injury Rollins potentially suffered in that segment isn’t good either.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome Sami Zayn to the FanSided WWE Power Rankings. After defeating Seth Rollins in a one-on-match last week on Raw, Zayn took that momentum into the Royal Rumble match with the spot he earned and lasted almost as long as anyone did from the No. 8 spot. Only Chris Jericho lasted longer than Zayn’s 47:12 on Sunday night, which is funny, being that Zayn just pinned Jericho on Raw this past Monday in a non-United States title match.
Last week: N/A
I don’t care if you like Nia Jax. She rules and that’s all that needs to be said about that. Also, she could be ruling the Raw Women’s Division sometime soon, too. Jax picked up not one, but two victories over former champion Sasha Banks in two nights this week. She didn’t just win either. She thoroughly dominated the three-time Raw Women’s Champion in both bouts and looked like an absolute monster. She has definitely put the division on notice.
Boy, Roman Reigns had quite the Sunday night, huh? Not only did he and Kevin Owens tear the house down (literally) in a no disqualification match for the Universal title, Reigns surprised (HAHA, surprised us … not really, but anyway) everyone as the No. 30 entrant in the Royal Rumble match and was the last man eliminated in the match. Reigns lost the first match of his night due to some outside interference from Braun Strowman, but got a little retribution for the attack with a huge Spear on Raw during Strowman’s Universal title match against Owens on Raw. The Big Dog is going to remain right around the title picture, so get used to it.
Last week: N/A
SAMOA JOE IS NOW A MEMBER OF THE WWE’S MAIN ROSTER. (No seriously, it’s true. It happened.) Joe debuted on Raw in the final segment of the night and looked like an absolute monster in his brawl with Seth Rollins. Triple H didn’t even lay a hand on Rollins and didn’t need to. The former NXT Champion decimated Rollins and sent a big-time message in his Raw debut. It was awesome.
BREMEN, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 10: Dean Ambrose during WWE Germany Live Bremen – Road To Wrestlemania at OVB-Arena on February 10, 2016 in Bremen, Germany. (Photo by Joachim Sielski/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Last week: No. 14 (+2)
Even with all of the new faces and changes on this week’s list, Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose actually moved up two spots from his spot last week. He hasn’t done anything too special as of late other than his title victory over The Miz, but he lasted just a shade under 27 minutes in the Royal Rumble match and is already entertaining with a camera in front of him. (I legitimately thought he was going to be driving a churro cart to the ring after his Kickoff Show segment.) He’s nothing too special right now, but he’s as solid as they come.
Last week: No. 7 (-4)
It’s been a rough few days for the SmackDown Women’s Champion. Not only did her team lose in the six-woman tag team match on the Royal Rumble Kickoff Show, the tag team of her and Mickie James lost to Becky Lynch and Naomi this past Tuesday on SmackDown Live. Plus, Naomi called her a termite on Twitter in a hilarious back-and-forth exchange, so yeah … the wonderful Harley Quinn look-a-like had to fall a few positions on the list this week.
Man, it’s going to be weird when The Miz wins the WWE World Championship later this year when John Cena goes away to film more things. Wait, huh? But no really, The Miz could be in line for a main event run after his 2016. He lasted almost 33 minutes in the Royal Rumble match on Sunday and ruled the mid-card scene with Maryse and the Intercontinental Championship. I’ve never be one to cape for Miz, but it wouldn’t be shocking if The Awesome One wins a bigger belt of gold later this year.
Last week: No. 8 (-1)
Dolph Ziggler fell a couple spots this week (due to no fault of his own), but if the newer tradition of opening WrestleMania with an Intercontinental Championship ladder match happened tomorrow, he and Baron Corbin would probably be two of the favorites to win it. The main event scene is a bit crowded at the moment, but Ziggler is doing just fine on the mid-card with his new attitude. He’s solid, he’s good and he remains in the top 10 on this list.
For the second time in what will end as a Hall of Fame career, Randy Orton (No. 23) won the Royal Rumble match on Sunday night. The Viper eliminated only Roman Reigns on the night in 20:52 of ring time, but it was the one that sealed the match up for the former world champion. He’s locked up a WrestleMania title match, but the question is, who will hold SmackDown’s biggest prize going into that match?
Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows
Last week: No. 11 (+4)
It’s about freakin’ time, WWE. For the first time since coming to WWE, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows are Raw Tag Team Champions. The duo defeated Cesaro and Sheamus during the Royal Rumble Kickoff Show on Sunday night to win the titles. Despite AJ Styles losing his gold on Sunday, there was actually a point where The (Bullet) Club held the WWE World Championship and Raw’s tag team titles at the same time. Wait until the founder of that said club returns from an injury…
It’s hard to knock AJ Styles this much after helping John Cena have arguably the best match of his career on Sunday night at the Royal Rumble. But, he’s no longer “The Champ That Runs The Camp” … at least not right now. Styles lost to Cena, but did gain a little retribution on SmackDown Live when he drilled the Styles Clash on Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose and picked up the 1-2-3 in the main event of the show on Tuesday night. He’s not going anywhere.
Last week: No. 4 (-1)
Her team lost on Raw Monday night against the team of Bayley, Cesaro and Sheamus, but Charlotte Flair’s winning streak at pay-per-view events now sits at 16 after her triumph over Bayley at the Royal Rumble. The only reason she fell on this week’s list is because of the next person’s Sunday and Monday nights this week, but the Queen of the Women’s Division remains on her throne still.
In 13:11 on Sunday night, Braun Strowman entered from the No. 7 slot and eliminated a match high seven(!) guys in the Royal Rumble match. He followed that up with a good segment on Raw with Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho to open the show, kicked Chris Jericho into retirement and almost won the Universal title against a beaten and battered Owens. Roman Reigns shut all of that down as payback for what happened the night prior, but not many (if any) look stronger than Braun Strowman right now.
Last week: No. 5 (+2)
The King of the Cruiserweights is officially the king of the division after winning his first Cruiserweight Championship against Rich Swann on Sunday night at the Royal Rumble. Neville, who like Dolph Ziggler, has undergone an attitude adjustment (no pun intended) and it has worked flawlessly. He’s the best the division has to offer and his reign over the 205-pound division should be a good one and a dominant one, too.
Kevin Owens rejoins one of the top two slots once more after a week away last week. The Universal Championship holder defeated Roman Reigns (with Braun Strowman’s help) on Sunday night in what was a war. There was tables, brass knuckles, a beautiful display of stacked chairs and hard-hitting action throughout the entire match, but Owens survived. (He also wore a band on his bicep this past Monday night on Raw as a tribute to the recent Quebec City tragedy and it was awesome to see him recognize these trying times in his home province.)
Last week: No. 2 (+1)
The Champ is here. Again. After what could probably go down as the best match of his career, John Cena tied Ric Flair’s world title record of 16 on Sunday night and finally defeated AJ Styles. Cena looked fantastic against Styles, as the two men put on a show for the ages at the Royal Rumble in SmackDown’s main event. Whether you love him or you hate him, you have to recognize the greatness that is him. There’s no telling how long Cena will be around this year with other commitments outside of WWE, but he’s back for now and he’s the top guy in the company today. Again.