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WWE's Most Improved Wrestler Isn't Roman Reigns

WWE.com

People ask me all the time, "What does it all mean?"

I usually tell people that each of us is a collection of chemicals and electricity that is stranded on a spinning ball of minerals that is rotating around a perpetually burning hellscape which itself is one of countless others revolving together as an unremarkable galaxy that itself is spinning around a nondescript point in space far away where this whole mess got started.

A cosmic accident.

Then these people pick themselves up off the floor and say, "No, I mean what do the Wrestler Wrankings mean?"

Why didn't you say so?

Taken alone, a single week of Wrankings tabulations means very little. The results are largely based on who had an opportunity to compete on WWE television. The opportunities can be earned or arbitrary.

And of course it measures what is made of those opportunities. Winning is the way to accrue points. Match results are largely based on skill, but there is an element of luck in all sport.

On a season basis, the picture is far more clear. Comparing wrestlers to their contemporaries on a season-long timeline is what made the Wrestler Wrankings famous. Roman Reigns is the most dominant and relevant Superstar in WWE since Wrestlemania 31 and, if not for his injury, Seth Rollins would be right there with him. That's the Wrestler Wrankings at work.

But it doesn't have to stop there. With a big enough data pool, we can determine much more about the landscape, using the power of trends. Who is the most improved wrestler this season? We can find out by comparing these great athletes to their true greatest opponents... themselves.

What I've done is dip into my vast stores of data to compare this years point total to last years, at the same point in the season. Among other things I've learned that Damien Sandow and Fandango sucked nearly equally both this year, and last.

In more surprising news, there is the fall of Rusev. Though he's held his own with 43 points this season, good for tenth place, he was leading the pack this time last year with 107 points. That's good for a 64 point drop; the largest of any Superstar.

On the other end of the spectrum is the risers. Those wrestlers who have improved the most year over year. Here the list of every wrestler who added 20 or more points to their overall score:

  1. Kevin Owens +76*
  2. Neville +70*
  3. Ryback +52.5
  4. Roman Reigns +45
  5. Stardust +34
  6. Dean Ambrose +20
I've put an asterisk by Owens and Neville to indicate their rookie status. Still, to go from the minor leagues to the big time with that much success is a remarkable feat.

More remarkable is the huge boost that Dean Ambrose, Stardust, Roman Reigns, and especially Ryback have enjoyed. A 50 point increase is absolutely monumental and marks Ryback as the clear choice for WWE's Most Improved Wrestler.

If I was a betting man (which, of course, my position as a journalist precludes) I'd be laying major bread on Big Hungry.

***

wrankings

OFFICIAL WRESTLER WRANKINGS FORMULA

ANY WIN = 2 POINTS

US OR INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE BOUT = 1 POINT

WWE 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 31 and culminates with WrestleMania 32. The wrestler who accumulates the most points over the course of the season, wins the coveted Wrankings Championship!

***

Royal Rumble-- 1/24/16 (2x bonus included)

  • Triple H - 10 points (WWEWH title bout, win)
  • A.J. Styles, Alberto Del Rio, Big Show, Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho, Curtis Axel, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Goldust, Jack Swagger, Kane, Kofi Kingston, Luke Harper, Mark Henry, Miz, Neville, R-Truth, Roman Reigns (C), Rusev, Ryback, Sami Zayn, Sheamus, Stardust, Titus O'Neil, Tyler Breeze - 6 points (WWEWH title bout, no win)
  • Dean Ambrose - 12 points (IC title bout, win, WWE title bout, no win)
  • Kevin Owens - 8 points (IC title bout, no win, WWEWH title bout, no win)
  • Kalisto - 6 points (US title bout, win)
  • Alberto Del Rio - 2 points (US title bout, no win)
  • Monday Night Raw-- 1/25/16

  • Kevin Owens - 2 points (win)
  • Bray Wyatt - 2 points (win)
  • Kalisto - 2 points (win)
  • AJ Styles - 2 points (win)
  • Main Event-- 1/26/16

  • Kevin Owens - 2 points (win)
  • Rusev - 2 points (win)
  • Smackdown-- 1/28/16

  • Kalisto - 3 points (US title bout, win)
  • Neville- 1 point (US title bout, no win)
  • AJ Styles - 2 points (win)
  • -----------------------------------

    WRESTLER WRANKINGS, WEEK 44 *TOP TEN*

    1. Roman Reigns -- 108 points

    2. Seth Rollins -- 92

    3. Ryback -- 88

    4. Kevin Owens -- 84

    5. Dean Ambrose -- 79

    6. Neville -- 76

    7. John Cena -- 74.5

    8. Sheamus -- 74

    9. Dolph Ziggler -- 52.5

    10. Rusev -- 49

    Thanks for reading, Cagesiders. We'll see you back here next week!