Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wrestling: The Kayfabe Countdown - 01/23

#1 Alberto Del Rio [+1] (4-1-0)
(WWE: Smackdown)

Last week, a gaffe in the system meant Alberto Del Rio was, at first, wrongly credited as the #1 ranking star. With no losses to weigh him down, Kofi Kingston was in actual fact our top ranking wrestler for Jan. 16! After suffering defeat at the hands of a Jack Swagger "amateur wrestling" challenge, however, the IC champ has made way for the only four-time victor in 2011! His name is Alberto Del Rio, but... you already knew that.

Del Rio continues to make a lot of noise about his intentions to win the Royal Rumble, which surely means he won't. It does seem all together too premature to expect an accolade of this statue -- which carries with it a main event championship match at Wrestlemania -- to be carried by a wrestler as new to WWE as Del Rio. That certainly won't diminish my enjoyment of his attempts to win, none the less. I would fully expect at least a final four berth in the Rumble, if nothing else. No mean feat when you consider that this will be the first time forty men contest the match!

#2 [+2] Robert Roode (3-0-0) (TNA) [Tag Team Champion]
#3 [+2] James Storm (3-0-0) (TNA) [Tag Team Champion]
#4 [+2] Randy Orton (3-0-0) (WWE)
#5 [+3] Chris Masters (3-0-0) (WWE)
#6 [-5] Kofi Kingston (3-1-0) (WWE) [Intercontinental Champion]
#7 [+2] Yoshi Tatsu (3-1-0) (WWE)
#8 [-5] Jeff Jarrett (2-0-1) (TNA)
#9 [-2] Matt Hardy (2-0-0) (TNA)
#10 [new] Natalya Neidhart (2-0-0) (WWE) [Divas Champion]

#1 [--] Robert Roode & James Storm (3-0-0) (TNA) [Tag Team Champions]
#2 [--] Eve Torres & Brie Bella (1-0-0) (WWE)
#3 [--] Madison Rayne & Sarita (1-0-0) (TNA)
#4 [--] Natalya Neidhart & Eve Torres (1-0-0) (WWE)
#5 [--] Natalya Neidhart & Brie Bella (1-0-0) (WWE)
#6 [--] Randy Orton & Jerry Lawler (1-0-0) (WWE)
#7 [--] Angelina Love & Winter (1-0-0) (TNA) [Knockouts Tag Team Champions]
#8 [--] Jeff Hardy & Matt Hardy (1-0-0) (TNA)
#9 [--] Chris Masters & JTG (1-0-0) (WWE)
#10 [--] Yoshi Tatsu & David Hart Smith (1-0-0) (WWE)

Superstar Spotlight:
#NR Mason Ryan
(0-0-0) (WWE) [FCW Heavyweight Champion]

Standing 6'6" and weighing in at a billed 298lbs, you'd be forgiven for mistaking Mason Ryan for another well built 6'6" wrestler in the 290 weight class. There's no escaping that Mason Ryan bares an uncanny resemblance to the freakishly built Dave Batista, but there are a few key differences setting the two apart... Okay, there's one: he's Welsh.

We'll try not to hold that against him, however, as he embarks on a long anticipated career in WWE, called up from the FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling) developmental territory to become the newest member of CM Punk's (#30) "New Nexus" on this week's episode of RAW. Ryan -- who toured with Smackdown during their time in the UK and has appeared in dark matches -- made his debut in fine fashion, leaping from the crowd to dominate John Cena (#67) before receiving an armband from the new Nexus leader. He fills the void of departing members Justin Gabriel (#31) and Heath Slater (#NR), who've joined Smackdown as part of Wade Barrett's (#75) off-shoot group, The Corre.

With a physique that seems readily comparable to the recently departed Batista, it seems likely that Mason Ryan will have a similarly bright future ahead of him. While it's a shame to think that the Nexus now has only one original member, David Otunga (#NR), it's pleasing to see WWE be so active in their pursuit of new talent. Mason Ryan may have a while to go before he breaks off as a solo star, or has the legitimate skills to have reason to, but his arrival is part of an on-going refreshment that makes 2011 seem very promising.

The Kayfabe Countdown is based on the cumulative tally of wrestler win/loss records, based on televised matches from WWE and TNA 2010 broadcasts. At present, they includes TNA: Impact!, WWE: RAW, WWE: Superstars, WWE: Smackdown, and monthly Pay-Per-View events.

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