Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wrestling: The Kayfabe Countdown - 05/19

#1 Randy Orton [--] (29-10-1)
As if to confirm their status as the top 3; Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio & Sheamus teamed up on the final Smackdown before Extreme Rules. Needless to say, their shared victory kept the ranks much the same. Orton's TV run ins with Antonio Cesaro continued on RAW (5/15), inconsequential in The Viper's ultimate revenge against Wrestlemania partner-turned-nemesis: Big Show.

#2 [--] Alberto Del Rio (26-4-1)
#3 [--] Sheamus (25-9-1)
#4 [+2] Kane (19-14-0)
#5 [--] Jack Swagger (18-6-2)
#6 [-2] Mark Henry (18-6-0)
#7 [--] Bryan Danielson (18-15-0)
#8 [--] Ryback (17-6-1)
#9 [--] Big Show (15-14-1)
#10 [RE] The Miz (13-7-1)

#1 [--] Kane & Bryan Danielson (13-6-0)
#2 [+3] Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins (10-1-0) [Tag Team Champions]
#3 [-1] Sheamus & Randy Orton (10-2-0)
#4 [-1] Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns (8-1-0)
#5 [-1] Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins (8-1-0)
#6 [--] Brodus Clay & Sweet Tea Tensai (6-3-1)
#7 [--] Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso (4-4-0)
#8 [--] Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow (4-6-1)
#9 [--] Sheamus & Big Show (3-1-0)
#10 [--] Randy Orton & Big Show (3-1-0)

Superstar Spotlight:
Extreme Rules (2013)
The superstar spotlight arguably belongs to The Shield alone, but the Extreme Rules tossed up a few points for consideration that couldn't be missed.

The week of the event should be recorded as the first 3-man loss for The Shield (RAW; 5/15)..That might've been regarded as a crushing blow to the group, had they not claimed a championship belt each over the weekend. Dean Ambrose will be the solo star, it seems, taking the US Championship from uninspiring holder, Kofi Kingston. One might deduce that the bizarre switch from Antonio Cesaro to Kingston [04/21/2013] was orchestrated for the sole purpose of giving Ambrose a face to crush. Whatever the reason, here's hoping it suggests a reinvigoration of the US belt, as opposed to a relegation (by way of the team's pack tactics).

Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins shot up the Tag Team ranks; breaking from their fellow to more firmly establish themselves as the great tag team hope. They ended the almost year-long reign of Kane & Bryan Danielson (Team Hell No) -- not a minute too soon! One wouldn't anticipate Hell No reclaiming the belts any time soon, leaving the door wide open for a proper reinvigoration of the tag division, by way of a Shield domination of queuing contenders. Considering The Usos' role in establishing them as a duo (Smackdown; 5/17), it seems reasonable to expect them to be the first babyface challengers. I'd love to toss up Sheamus & Randy Orton, but that just doesn't seem likely, win/loss record be damned!

It's nice to see Chris Jericho get a win on PPV. He took it back from Fandango, who would've otherwise been expected to lose at Wrestlemania to the more seasoned veteran, rather than in the follow up. Whatever the logic, I don't think this loss hurts Fandango, as much as his association with lesser comedy skit in previous appearances. Like The Undertaker's win over Ambrose [04/28/2013], Jericho is still a good rub for the newer star.

Less positive an association was that of John Cena and Ryback.
How Ryback even emerged as the top contender (after his loss to Mark Henry at Wrestlemania) is beyond me -- but worse still was the fact that it was another dud finish. Ryback started as a simple enough project. The Bill Goldberg formula for an impossible win streak was something I was very excited to see done in WWE, in 2013. It started so well, with local no-names jobbing before the Ryback cracked WWE bottom run talent. The gradient should have continued just like that. Instead, Ryback has been on a dry spell on PPV since October 2012. I don't for a minute think Ryback should've won the WWE Championship here. Love or hate him -- logical demands Cena have a credible run after defeating his demons at Wrestlemania (against The Rock). The problem is putting Ryback in this situation to begin with. Easily avoided with a little common sense. As the result suggests, no man was left standing after that result.

The Kayfabe Countdown is based on the cumulative tally of wrestler win/loss records. Tallied results only include matches broadcast during WWE 2013 programming. At present, this includes RAW (Mondays), Main Event (Wednesdays), Smackdown (Friday), and monthly Pay-Per-View events.

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