Welcome back to the Depth Chart – a Wrestlezone exclusive that brings you the most interactive rankings of all the best in pro wrestling, each and every month! For months CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler have been locked in a battle for the top spot; that coveted prize that establishes you as the best star in WWE and TNA, and bestowed upon you the title of being…"In the Zone". Who will reign supreme following the Royal Rumble and over a month's worth of action? We'll find out in just a few minutes, but first we've got to travel the road to the top…
Note: Because so much time has elapsed since the last issue of The Depth Chart, and so many Superstars have made an impact, you may see some radical shifts in the rankings. We appreciate your comments (in the appropriate section below!), but if you don't see a Superstar you feel deserves to be on the list…well, you should have voted for them!
As always, the number in parenthesis indicates the Superstars placement on the list last month. A "n/a" means they are new to the list.
"On the Bench" - The guys that didn't quite make the cut…
Sheamus: I expect to get a lot of backlash over the fact that last night's Royal Rumble winner isn't featured on a list of the best in pro wrestling. While Sheamus' victory was impressive, and I'm sure he'll make the cut after the Elimination PPV, this Rumble win comes off the heels of a lackluster mid-card push on Smackdown. While he continues to draw a great crowd reaction week after week, one big win isn't enough to propel you past certain Superstars that been performing well each and every week.
Mark Henry: This is one of those "radical shifts" I was talking about. The World's Strongest Man held the all-important #3 spot last month, but after losing the World title and falling to not one, but two minor injures that have severely limited his in-ring work, we can't keep him on the list. His promos were still some of the highlights of Smackdown every week, and we really hope he gets back in the game as we head towards WrestleMania, but we also couldn't allow him to beat out guys who deserve it just a little bit more this month.
Chris Jericho: Show up, confuse everyone, lose the Royal Rumble. He may be a fan-favorite, but he hasn't done nearly enough to merit being on our list. Maybe next month Mr. Jericho.
James Storm & Jeff Hardy: Both of these main event faces in TNA have been quite impressive recently. In fact, the only reason that they are not on our list is that they have fallen one too many times to Bully Ray's post-match antics. That and, we take our reader votes into consideration when making our own list. Like I already said, if you wanted them there, more of you should have voted for them…
10. Kane – WWE (n/a)
The Big Red Machine has returned, mask and all, and left a pretty long trail of destruction on his way to the Royal Rumble. The double count-out at the PPV was of no consequence to us, as Kane seemed dead-set on doing one thing: inflicting punishment. We won't know if his brutal attacks on Zack Ryder succeeded in turning the heart of John Cena until Raw tonight (or perhaps even the Elimination Chamber next month!), but Kane has, at the very least, made things interesting in Cena-land. Welcome to the list, ya big ole' teddy bear!
9. Austin Aries – TNA (n/a)
Ken Napzok: "Conventional wisdom states that it is easier to be a bad guy than a good guy. That's generally true. Just ask John Cena! But to take being a heel to the next level… the level where you can make storyline after storyline compelling no matter who is in the program with you while not pandering and playing for boss… is an art form. Make no mistake, Austin Aries is an artist."
Editor's Note: You would think, with the amount of hate mail that I get every month about A-Double not being included, that the readers would have voted for him more often! So there you go, Jason the "if you don't include Austin Aries this month, I'll kidnap your dog" guy. I don't really have a dog, but if I did I'd name him Screw You Jason, You're a Jerk…Killam.
8. John Cena – WWE (#10)
After a small boost of intensity from Cena's character, he not only stays alive on this list, but he moves back to #8! And for the second person in a row, it seems the fans completely agree with our choice as well… Hopefully Cena does something with the hatred Kane is brewing inside of him, because if he goes over Big Red at the Elimination Chamber and nothing comes from this feud, we will be incredibly disappointed… Cena needs to do something big, something that stands out, and something that will put him back on top going towards his huge match with the Rock at WrestleMania!
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