Intercontinental Champion – Cody Rhodes
Not only was Cody Rhodes granted a spot in Smackdown's Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship, but he managed to get a pin on, and eliminate the Big Show! Between the Royal Rumble and now he also managed to knock off several prominent Intercontinental title reigns by simply holding on to the belt, putting him within reach of WrestleMania and the top ten longest IC championship reigns in history! Plus, you can't deny: the Beautiful Disaster kick is one of the best moves in wrestling today.
Bob Bamber is one of our brothers from "across the pond," and Wrestlezone's Social Media Manager. When he's not swooning to the sound of his own accent, Bob also runs a football podcast @OwnGoalPodcast.
Bob Bamber: "Did he win the Royal Rumble? No. Has he lost every match since the Royal Rumble? Yes. But Cody Rhodes has still managed to have a good month. His long run in the Rumble made him more of a star than being Intercontinental Champion and he has been featuring on every Smackdown since then. He may well follow up a victory at WrestleMania 27 against Rey Mysterio with a second singles match in Miami in April. The smart money is with a match against his real-life brother Goldust, but I wouldn't rule out an unlikely face-off with Santino Marella. Despite his results, Cody Rhodes continues to be placed into big name spots, and he isn't far off becoming a big name on the blue brand."
The Viper – Randy Orton
The WWE's Apex Predator may have suffered an injury (or two) that might just end up setting him back until WrestleMania, but that didn't stop him from going out with a bang. Weekly matches on both Smackdown and Raw early in the month earned him steady points, but it was the No DQ match with Wade Barrett the week of the Royal Rumble that did it for him. The question now is whether or not Orton can manage to stay on the list as we build towards WrestleMania! Every week is going to be huge, and hopefully the recovery process is quick enough to get the the Viper back in the game!
Rise Above Hate – John Cena
John Cena is a staple in any good wrestling list. Love him or hate him, he lives and breathes the business and that translates to every single time he's on my television screen. I'm sure there will be some who want him higher up on the list (he is the "face of the company" for crying out loud!), and many that won't want him around at all (blah blah blah blah, CENA SUCKS!). In fact, many of you seem to prefer him gone from the face of the Depth Chart, as he came in 11th under Zack Ryder in the Fan Vote! That is one decision I don't think I could ever justify, but you're all going to have to live with yourselves…
After a Cena-less TLC PPV back in December and a relatively uneventful build towards his Royal Rumble match I wasn't sure if "the Champ" was going to bounce back into the spotlight; silly me… His recent work with Kane/Ryder/Eve has been great – an homage to the old school days of cartoonish violence and story telling. It's the classic Super Hero up against the big, ugly Villain with the fate of his loved ones on the line! In fact, Cena would placed higher up on the list this month if anything had actually come from the feud. No hate was embraced, Kane was never truly "destroyed" and John Cena is still John Cena. Honestly, that's probably for the best moving towards the Rock in just six weeks, but as a long-time fan I have to side with the people who were hoping for something more. Anything more.