The New World Order (nWo) was instantly the biggest thing in professional wrestling upon it's formation in May of 1996. There were certainly many factors that contributed to this dominance, ranging from their trendy color scheme (black and white), quotable catchphrases (Too Sweet!!!), the financial backing of "Trillionaire" Ted DiBiase, and general lack of concern for their fellow man (Eric Bischoff powerbomb off a 10 foot platform, Rey Mysterio as human dart, Arn Anderson "My Spot" speech parody, etc.).
But a pro wrestling stable can only subsist on attitude and back lot mayhem for so long. The nWo may have been anti-establishment, but they were still professional wrestlers, motivated by the same things that motivate them all: championship gold. After all, what better way to decimate WCW than to beat them at their own game.
Once they set their sights on titles, there seemed to be no stopping this rouge faction. During it's heyday, the nWo held all the championships that mattered. Syxx won the very relevant WCW Cruiserweight Title. Curt Hennig regularly defended the United States Championship on WCW Monday Nitro main events. The Outsiders, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, had long reigns with the WCW Tag Team Championships. And of course, "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan presided over everything while sporting the infamously defaced WCW World Heavyweight Championship belt.
Many of these belts, once earned, were kept by making judicious use of "champions advantage." That is, the reality that the title doesn't change hands on a count out or disqualification. Therefore, if a match turned against the reigning nWo member, he could either vacate the ring and be counted out, or signal for his brethren to emerge from the back and put a beating on his hapless opponent. Certainly this would do no favors to the nWo's winning percentage (or Wranking), but the champion could live to fight another day while maintaining the political clout of the championship title.
Does any of this sound familiar?
The reason this discussion is relevant today is the recent success of The Shield and their newly won championship titles. As a group, they are absolutely unafraid to employ illegal group tactics in their matches. This may be a hindrance to winning titles by the letter of the law, but now that that they own the Tag Team and United States belts, it will make it very hard for them to lose them.
To this point, The Shield made their mark by showing up uninvited or by being so darn entertaining that WWE was forced to book them in official matches, by public demand. Now that Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns are officially champions, they are in the catbird seat in terms of matchmaking, working schedule, and other important facets of the wrestling business. With these advantages it will be very difficult to unseat them as champions. Additionally, it will be interesting to see if they wield the considerable political clout of their titles, as the nWo did.
WWE is experiencing what could be described as a fallow period, but The Shield, with championship gold in tow, is reason enough to tune in.
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 29 and culminates with WrestleMania 30. The wrestler who accumulates the most points over the course of the season, wins the coveted Wrankings Championship!
Extreme Rules -- 5/19/13 (1.5x bonus already included)
- John Cena - 4.5 points (WWE Title bout, no contest)
- Ryback - 4.5 points (WWE Title bout, no contest)
- Dean Ambrose - 4.5 points (US Title bout, win)
- Kofi Kingston - 1.5 points (US Title bout, no win)
- Brock Lesnar - 3 points (win)
- Randy Orton - 3 points (win)
- Alberto Del Rio - 3 points (win)
- Sheamus - 3 points (win)
- Chris Jericho - 3 points (win)
- Miz - 3 points (win)
Monday Night Raw -- 5/20/13
- Randy Orton - 2 points (win)
- Sheamus - 2 points (win)
- Big E. Langston - 2 points (win)
- Cody Rhodes - 2 points (win)
Main Event -- 5/22/13
- Alberto Del Rio - 2 points (win)
SmackDown -- 5/24/13
- Miz - 3 points (IC Title bout, win)
- Wade Barrett - 1 point (IC title bout, no win)
- Dean Ambrose - 1 point (US Title bout, no contest)
- Kofi Kingston - 1 point (US Title bout, no contest)
- Chris Jericho - 2 points (win)
- Daniel Bryan - 2 points (win)
- Curtis Axel - 2 points (win)
WRESTLER WRANKINGS, WEEK 7 *TOP TEN*
1. RANDY ORTON -- 17 points
2. Kofi Kingston -- 16.5
3. Alberto Del Rio -- 16
T4. Dolph Ziggler -- 11
T4. Wade Barrett -- 11
T4. Sheamus -- 11
T4. Miz -- 11
8. Ryback -- 10.5
T9. Fandango -- 10
T9. Jack Swagger -- 10
T9. Big E. Langston -- 10
Thanks for reading Cagesiders. We'll see you back here next week!