Wrestler Wrankings™: 2012-13 Season, Week 40

Hollywood Wallace

The Royal Rumble is the Perfect time to make stars... or break them. Find out more in this week's edition of Wrestler Wrankings.

The time is January, 1990. The shine of the 1980's style WWF is fading and a transition is sorely needed. The Rock N' Wrestling Connection is but a distant memory, and the New World Order's still a glint in Eric Bischoff's eyes.

Hulkamania was growing stale, but Hulk Hogan was still the biggest star in the World Wrestling Federation and the only other wrestler with mainstream appeal was Randy Savage, who had been given a chance at the top and proved merely to be a worthy foil to Hogan and nothing greater.

The hottest rising star, and clear number one contender, for Hogan's WWF Championship at Royal Rumble 1990 was undoubtedly Mr. Perfect. He was regularly pushing Hogan to his limits in matches, even going so far as to steal a victory over Hogan just a week prior at Madison Square Garden. It seemed a fait accompli that Perfect and others like him (Ted DiBiase, Rick Rude, Rick Martel, etc.) would soon topple the fading Hogan and lead the WWF into a new, modern era of Nineties cockiness that would have likely been a big hit with the developing tastes of the public.

The Royal Rumble, packed legendary talent, would be the stage where Perfect would finally cast off the shadow of wrestling's past. He even had perfect luck in drawing the coveted number 30, giving him the inside track to a victory.

It wouldn't be enough to just win the Rumble, Perfect would need to vanquish Hulk directly and this opportunity would arise when the final three came down to just Perfect, Hogan, and fellow Heenan Family member and Perfect's lifelong loyal friend, the aforementioned Ravishing Rick Rude.

Perfect and Rude, both at the absolute apex of their powers, overwhelmed Hogan, who seemed to have no answer for this perfect confluence of circumstance. It was only a matter of time before he would be vanquished.

But it didn't happen that way. Mr. Perfect tugged on the ropes to right himself from the apron just as Hogan sent Rude rebounding in that direction, which was enough to eject the Ravishing One completely out of the ring. A clearly rattled Perfect was then overcome by a rejuvenated Hulkster, and that was that.

If that crucial 10 seconds had played out any other way, then Perfect (or Rude) would have almost certainly won the match, leading to a huge title opportunity, probably at WrestleMania 6. Instead, the big story coming out of the Rumble was the Ultimate Warrior/Hulk Hogan encounter, which set the stage for their own match at WrestleMania 6. Perfect, bereft of his career momentum, was passed over for his big title shot, never to get the chance again.

Now indulge me with a comparison:

The time is now, and the turn of the millennium WWE style is fading. A transition is sorely needed. The Attitude Era is long gone, and who knows what new trend will emerge?

John Cena is growing stale, but is by far the most famous wrestler in the world. The only other superstar with any mainstream appeal is CM Punk, but he's been given his shot at the top and has been totally unable to eclipse Cena, despite proving to be a worthy adversary both in and out of the ring.

The roster is brimming with talent and The Royal Rumble is the perfect vehicle for a star to rise. Who will get the chance this time, and will they succeed at that crucial moment where Perfect faltered?

I can't wait to find out.

***

OFFICIAL WRESTLER WRANKINGS FORMULA

ANY WIN = 2 POINTS

US OR INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE BOUT = 1 POINT

WWE OR WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE BOUT = 3 POINTS

NON "BIG 4" PPV BONUS = 1.5X

SUMMERSLAM, SURVIVOR SERIES, ROYAL RUMBLE = 2X BONUS

WRESTLEMANIA = 3X BONUS

The WWE season begins on the day after WrestleMania 28 and culminates with WrestleMania 29. The wrestler who accumulates the most points over the course of the season, wins the coveted Wrankings Championship!

***

Monday Night Raw -- 12/31/12

  • Big Show - 5 points (WH title bout, win)
  • Ricardo Rodriguez - 3 points (WH title bout, no win)
  • Antonio Cesaro - 3 points (US title bout, win)
  • Sgt. Slaughter - 1 point (US title bout, no win)
  • Wade Barrett - 3 points (IC title bout, win)
  • Kofi Kingston - 1 point (IC title bout, no win)
  • Sheamus - 2 points (win)

Main Event -- 1/2/13

  • Antonio Cesaro - 3 points (US title bout, win)
  • Great Khali - 1 point (US title bout, no win)
  • Wade Barrett - 6 points (win, win, win)
  • Kofi Kingston - 2 points (win)

SmackDown -- 1/4/13

  • Wade Barrett - 3 points (IC title bout, win)
  • Kofi Kingston - 1 point (IC title bout, no win)
  • Miz - 2 points (win)

---------------------------------------------------------------

WRESTLER WRANKINGS, WEEK 40 *TOP TEN*

Sheamus-hulksmash_medium

via wikimedia

1. SHEAMUS -- 145.5 points

2. Ryback -- 103.5

3. CM Punk -- 95

4. Alberto Del Rio -- 80.5

T5. Big Show -- 72.5

T5. Antonio Cesaro -- 72.5

7. John Cena -- 60.5

8. Randy Orton -- 51.5

9. Dolph Ziggler -- 45

10. Kofi Kingston -- 41

Thanks so much for reading, Cagesiders. We'll see you next week!

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