WWE NXT Power Rankings: January 2014
It’s been an eventful month for the hopeful Superstars and Divas of WWE NXT. From the show’s 200th episode to the announcement that they’ll be showcasing their skills on the groundbreaking WWE Network beginning Feb. 24, there’s plenty to be excited about these days in the NXT Universe.
Inside the ring, the stakes are higher than ever as these young competitors prepare to battle before a massive audience. With pressure mounting, who emerged from the pack of hungry NXT Superstars to set themselves up for greater glory? Find out in this month’s WWE NXT Power Rankings!
Find out more about how you can watch WWE NXT on WWE Network, beginning Feb. 24 by clicking here!
Last month: Unranked
“He’s full of life and energy, it’s infectious,” William Regal said of this newcomer to NXT.
There’s no disagreeing with Regal when it comes to Mojo Rawley.
Like a 6-foot-4, 290-pound ball of fire, Rawley bursts into the arena, sprinting to the ring and running the ropes at full speed. His energy is boundless, and it spreads to the WWE Universe before the bell even rings. Scott Dawson wasn’t quite sure what hit him on the Dec. 11 edition of NXT. Mojo steamrolled over “Captain Roughneck,” picking up a win with his patented Hyperdrive.
The explosive Rawley has been impressive since his NXT debut in October. A win over a grizzled competitor like Dawson earns him a spot on the WWE NXT Power Rankings. If Regal’s right, it’s the first of many accolades that will come Mojo’s way.
“He’s a Superstar in the making,” Regal said. “I see a big future for him.”
Last Month: Unranked
She may be sneaking her way into the collective mind of the WWE Universe with a little guerrilla marketing on Raw, but Emma has already won over the hearts of NXT fans everywhere.
“You can’t help but like her,” Regal said of the bubbly Diva.
After falling off the WWE NXT Power Rankings last month, Emma dances back onto the countdown in a big way. All that stood between her and a chance to challenge for Paige’s NXT Women’s Championship was a former Divas Champion — Natalya.
Though many would have predicted an easy win for the “Total Diva,” Emma went hold-for-hold with Natalya, claiming victory with her vicious Emma Lock.
“She’s very, very talented,” Regal said of Emma. “You forget how good of a competitor she is because of the way she conducts herself with the dancing and all that, but when the bell rings, she’s really good in the ring.”
The leader of the #EMMAlution may currently have her sights on a battle with Paige, but beyond that, Emma’s future is looking extra bright.
Last Month: #10
Very few things leave William Regal stumbling over his words. The calculating Brit was nearly speechless when we asked him about Aiden English. Composing himself, Regal succinctly summed up his feelings on “The Artiste.”
“I have a huge man-crush on Aiden English,” he said giddily.
That may be the understatement of the century. On several occasions, Regal has been brought to tears as English sang his way to victory. But “The Artiste” found himself in a conundrum over the past month. Left furious after the NXT Universe declared Colin Cassady a better singer, English unleashed his anger on the 7-footer, taking Cassady’s knee out with a vicious chop block.
English was just as ruthless one week later, taking on Big Cass in a singles match. Targeting Cassady’s legs once again, English cruised to a win, striding out of the ring with roses falling at his feet. Bravo!
Last Month: #9
It seemed as though Tyler Breeze was content to let the rest of NXT’s Superstars do the fighting while he hung back and snapped selfies. That was until he prevented Adrian Neville from capturing the NXT Championship from Bo Dallas.
“I’m not sure if Tyler Breeze helped Bo Dallas,” Regal said of the runway model. “I think Tyler Breeze helped himself. There’s a big difference.”
Regal’s definitely right, as Breeze has gone from eye candy to one of NXT’s central figures through the simple act of pulling Dallas out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, that’s earned him the scorn of Neville, who’s vowed to play the waiting game with Breeze, leaving “Prince Pretty” on edge.
Last Month: #7
After coming just short of earning another NXT Championship opportunity last month against Adrian Neville, Sami Zayn had to turn his sights to Leo Kruger. The crazed South African hunter had Zayn in his crosshairs, defeating him in one-on-one competition on Dec. 11.
Zayn rebounded the following week, teaming with Tyson Kidd to beat Kruger and Antonio Cesaro in tag team action. Knowing he had to vanquish the big game hunter to continue on his quest for championship glory, the French-Canadian challenged Kruger to a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match on the first NXT of 2014.
In a thrilling bout, Sami Zayn surprised the NXT Universe by defeating Kruger in two straight falls, forcing the hunter to tap out in the painful Koji Clutch. With an emphatic win over Kruger under his belt, Zayn moves up in this month’s Power Rankings.
Last Month: #3
Adrian Neville’s holiday season got off to a terrible start. He was in position to land his breathtaking Red Arrow on Bo Dallas to capture the NXT Championship in a Lumberjack Match, until Tyler Breeze yanked Dallas out of the ring at the last minute.
That crash landing meant Dallas walked out of the Dec. 18 edition of NXT with his title in hand. Neville left with a new adversary in the eccentric Breeze, but he promised to deal with Breeze on his own schedule, making the runway model a little skittish.
If William Regal’s right, the male model will pay dearly when he faces Neville.
“Neville’s a ferocious competitor,” Regal said. “He’s got an edge about him. When he’s on the attack, it’s something special to watch.”
Last Month: #5
Konnor & Viktor were on a downward spiral after their defeat last month at the hands of Hunico & Camacho. However, The Ascension showed their resiliency recently, proving why they are the NXT Tag Team Champions.
“They’re a force to be reckoned with,” Regal said of The Ascension. “They defeat anyone that’s put in their path.”
The champs extended a challenge to any tag team in the world for NXT’s 200thepisode. Many were shocked to see international standouts The American Pitbulls answer the call. Ready for anyone, Konnor & Viktor handily defeated their well-traveled foes.
The Ascension followed that up on the Jan. 8 edition of NXT by taking on Hunico & Camacho in a Tornado Tag Team Match. In an all-out brawl, Konnor & Viktor emerged victorious. Back on the right track, the NXT Tag Team Champions move up to No. 4 in this month’s Power Rankings.
Last Month: #1
The NXT Women’s Champion claimed the No. 1 spot on the Power Rankings last month after her huge win over Natalya, but Paige’s lack of action causes her to drop to No. 3 this month.
The raven-haired fighter took on Sasha Banks on the Dec. 11 edition of NXT. Paige foiled Summer Rae’s attempts at interference and hit “The Boss” with the Paige Turner to claim victory.
Though Paige hasn’t seen action since, the NXT Universe is waiting eagerly for her return. With Emma’s victory over Natalya to earn the No. 1 contendership, fans are ready to see Paige and Emma tangle in a rematch of the NXT Women’s Championship Tournament Finals.
Last Month: #2
NXT Champion Bo Dallas holds steady at No. 2 this month. Dallas had to contend with Adrian Neville, who won the Beat the Clock Challenge to earn a title opportunity. In a Lumberjack Match, which would prevent any count-outs like their last encounter, Tyler Breeze pulled Dallas out of the way of Neville’s Red Arrow. That allowed Dallas to retain, as Bo-lievers around the world rejoiced.
Although he still holds his coveted championship, Dallas finds himself with no shortage of challengers. The controversial ending to their match leaves Neville hungry for another chance. And Sami Zayn is no doubt waiting in the wings for his opportunity after coming within a hair of winning the title himself.
As Dallas gets ready to lead NXT into a new era with the launch of WWE Network on Feb. 24, he better watch his back, or he may find himself without a title and at the bottom of the NXT Power Rankings. Bo-lieve it or not.
Last Month: #4
Few Superstars have looked as dominant as Alexander Rusev. The Bulgarian brute has conquered nearly everyone in his path since storming into NXT last year. But his most impactful victory of all came on the first NXT of 2014.
With the beautiful Lana in his corner, Alexander Rusev steamrolled over Kofi Kingston, forcing the former Intercontinental Champion to submit to his Accolade, stunning the NXT Universe — especially William Regal.
“He scares me,” Regal stated.
Rusev followed up his monumental win one week later by defeating Xavier Woods, another main roster Superstar. His one-sided victories over the past month make him the top NXT athlete, truly worthy of the No. 1 spot on this month’s Power Rankings.
“He’s strong with a real spiteful streak,” Regal said. “There’s people that have all these other qualities, but if you’ve got a spiteful streak, that will take you to realms people have no concept of.”