Welcome to the WrestleMania stock report, our yearly series where we look back at all the players from last year’s WrestleMania card and see how they fared over the year. You can take a look at where people were at this time last year in last year’s final report here.
WrestleMania is the perfect time to see how the stock of a wrestler has moved over 365 days. It serves as a “season finale” to the year of WWE. This is where they pay off their big storylines and where they want to showcase their best. Where someone lands on the Mania card says a lot about what their stock is currently. Given there are so many people vying for spots on the biggest show of the year, it’s a good look at how WWE views certain talent.
We’re going to look at the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal this time. Much like the Andre, it’s the “Get everyone on the card” match for the women. Though the women have fewer opportunities in general to get on the card since there were only two other women’s matches last year.
WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal
The Tuesday after WrestleMania last year, Carmella defeated Charlotte Flair to win the SmackDown Women’s championship when she cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase. She also retained in the rematch. Her next challenger was Asuka, who she also bested twice, this time with the help of a returning James Ellsworth.
She lost the title at SummerSlam in a triple threat against Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch. (Charlotte won the title.)
Carmella would then turn babyface to pair with R-Truth for not just the Mixed Match Challenge (which they won), but for our general enjoyment on Tuesdays too.
She’ll be back in the battle royal this year.
Best Moment: Winning the championship
Worst Moment: Having to go to Stamford after winning MMC
Stock: Down - Last year, she had the briefcase, which meant a championship was likely in her future
Brooke started her year still associated with Titus Worldwide, but that dissolved without much fanfare by the end of the year.
Her biggest point of note this year was recent, when she stood up to Ronda Rousey (and got dropped on her head for her troubles). She had a Raw Women’s title match the following week which she quickly lost.
Best Moment: Getting a title match
Worst Moment: Getting squashed in said match
Stock: Slightly down - Much like Titus, not being in Worldwide has her a bit more directionless.
Sonya and Mandy were brought to SmackDown in the Shake-Up, which also officially ended Absolution. (Paige officially retired the Raw after ‘Mania.)
Sonya was on SmackDown here and there. She competed in the Evolution battle royal, the Royal Rumble, and in the tag team Elimination Chamber. But she didn’t have any major stories until just recently.
It looked like Sonya’s relationship with Mandy was fracturing when she accidentally cost Rose her title match against Asuka at Fastlane. Whatever plans they may have had for WrestleMania were derailed with the last minute title change on SmackDown a couple weeks back. She’s back in the battle royal.
Best Moment: Nothing singular sticks out, but in general it feels like her move to SDLive has helped her flourish a bit
Worst Moment: Costing her friend Mandy in her title match, possibly costing their friendship
Stock: Increase - Still in the battle royal but more featured on SmackDown
The other former Absolution member moved to SmackDown as well, but was more featured than Sonya.
She had a feud with Naomi where she hit on Naomi’s husband Jimmy Uso to mess with her. Mandy won pretty much all of the matches against Naomi.
Rose also had a title match against Asuka, which she earned by beating the Empress on TV. The title match was on PPV at Fastlane, which she lost when Sonya accidentally tripped her up.
She’ll be back in the battle royal this year, but that may not have been the case if they didn’t opt to put the SmackDown title on Charlotte last minute. Rumor had it prior to that, she was going to be the one facing Asuka for the title.
Best Moment: Picking up a win over Asuka
Worst Moment: Asuka losing the title, potentially costing Mandy a ‘Mania title match
Lana mainly served as Rusev’s manager.
Lana returned to SmackDown after some time away, and it looked like Lana was going to try to convince Rusev to break up with Aiden English. But that was dropped and she came around on Aiden. The Artiste even wrote a song about her!
Rusev Day eventually had issues, and that included Rusev getting frustrated with both English and Lana. But in the end, Lana and Rusev stood together and Aiden was the one who broke off. This was the whole “Night in Milwaukee” thing that was quite terrible.
Wrestling wise, she missed the Royal Rumble due to an kayfabe injury sustained earlier that night, allowing Becky Lynch to take her spot.
She’s back in the battle royal.
Best Moment: Getting a song written for her by Aiden English. Who wouldn’t want that?
Worst Moment: Not being able to compete in the Royal Rumble
Stock: About the same
These six were just NXT women to fill the field, so I won’t be looking at their stock.
Kavita isn’t used on NXT TV yet. Taynara has just started to have some matches. Kai unfortunately got injured. Belair is in the women’s title scene. Kairi Sane is a former NXT champion. (Both Kairi and Bianca are in a fatal 4-way for the Women’s title at TakeOver: New York.)
I debated giving Peyton the full look, but she was here as an NXT member (Billie Kay wasn’t even with her.) She debuted two days after this with Billie as the IIconics (the second “I” was new). They annoyed the SmackDown roster for much of the year. Peyton will be back at WrestleMania this year challenging for the Women’s tag team titles alongside Billie.
When you talk about a meteoric rise, you talk about Becky Lynch.
This is basically organized in order of elimination so Becky wasn’t even a threat in this pre-show battle royal. She was pretty much an afterthought during this time.
Despite poor booking for an extended period of time, fans were still behind her. So when SmackDown started telling a story involving Becky going on a winning streak, tearing through the division on her way to a title match at SummerSlam, the fans were here for it.
Unfortunately Charlotte Flair was added in, like she’s added into everything. They were friends at the time, but that all ended when Charlotte won the title at SummerSlam. Becky snapped and attacked her best friend.
It was intended as a heel turn, but the fans just cheered louder. The Man was born.
Becky won the title from Charlotte at Hell in a Cell and retained in an epic match at Evolution.
The Man was scheduled to face Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series and led a SmackDown attack against Raw. An errant punch from Nia Jax busted her nose but a bloodied Becky still beat the hell out of Ronda, providing us with an epic image of her posturing bloodied in the crowd.
Unfortunately, she suffered a concussion from the Jax strike and couldn’t wrestle at Survivor Series. But it put a WrestleMania main event in motion.
Becky lost the title to Asuka at TLC in a ladder match and failed to win it back at the Royal Rumble. (She tapped to Asuka which feels like a very baffling decision in retrospect). But she won the Royal Rumble and challenged Ronda for the Raw Women’s title.
The story got very convoluted from there, but no matter what, she’ll be going on last at MetLife Stadium in the main event in a match with both Women’s titles on the line. That’s a long way from the kickoff battle royal.
Best Moment: Her Raw invasion
Worst Moment: Tapping to Asuka at the Royal Rumble
Stock: Sky Rocket
Mickie is more of a supporting player.
She worked a tag match at Evolution, teaming with Alicia Fox (who was Alexa Bliss’ replacement) to face Lita and Trish Stratus. That was pretty cool.
She also had a title match against Ronda Rousey which she obviously lost.
And she was part of Team Country Strong with Bobby Lashley on the Mixed Match Challenge this year.
She’ll be back in the battle royal this year.
Best Moment: Her Evolution moment with Trish and Lita.
Worst Moment: The fact that she didn’t win anything of note all year
Stock: Mild decrease - Last year, she was also part of the story with Alexa Bliss, which gave her a bit more of a spotlight.
Nattie moved to Raw this year and much of the year played the role of “friend of Ronda Rousey” for Ronda’s feuds.
She had her own angle with Ruby Riott later in the year that kicked off when Ruby broke Nattie’s sunglasses, which belonged to her late father Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. That culminated in a tables match which Nattie won. (I wish we’d see more of these non-title feuds in the Women’s division.)
She recently reunited with a returning Beth Phoenix to reform the Divas of Doom and they will take a crack at winning the Women’s tag titles in a fatal 4-way at WrestleMania.
Best Moment: Winning the Ruby Riott feud
Worst Moment: Learning her friend Ronda Rousey was actually terrible this whole time
Stock: Increased - She’s in a non-battle royal match.
The Riott Squad
The main function of the Squad was heel trio that loses.
Ruby missed some time with a knee injury this year, but even when she was gone, the other two had TV time. So in that sense, they were on TV fairly often.
The Squad feuded with the Bella Twins and Ronda Rousey. (On a tag match on Raw, Liv Morgan was knocked out cold from a Brie Bella Yes Kick.)
Ruby had a feud with Natalya that stemmed from Riott disrespecting Jim Neidhart, who had recently passed. She lost in a tables match which blew off the feud.. Ruby also received a Women’s title match at Elimination Chamber, where she was straight up squashed. She had a better showing the following Raw in a rematch but lost that too.
Liv and Sarah Morgan were also unsuccessful in the tag team Elimination Chamber match.
They were recently all fodder for a Beat the Clock challenge involving Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Rousey. While Riott didn’t lose, the others lost in under a minute and a half.
They’re in the battle royal this year.
Best Moment: Ruby Riott’s return to reunite the trio. (Honestly I can think of a ton of worst moments but not many great ones.)
Worst Moment: Liv Morgan getting knocked out cold in the middle of the ring
Stock: Down - While they are featured, they’re clearly a jobber trio right now.
Some tough story telling for Banks and Bayley this year.
The two women had issues with each other to the point where Bayley eventually attacked Banks on Raw. But that was followed up with a Dr. Shelby therapy segment the next week. So much for that heat.
Fans predicted they’d be getting a big match in Brooklyn akin to their TakeOver match, but that never happened. In fact, neither one was on the SummerSlam card at all.
They eventually buried the hatchet and committed to work as a team. Finally, WWE introduced Women’s tag titles, but prior to focusing on those, Banks would get a singles opportunity.
The Boss faced Ronda Rousey at the Royal Rumble for the title. She lost, but didn’t tap out to the arm bar, which is Rousey’s standard method of victory.
Refocused on the tag team, the Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection won the Elimination Chamber to become the inaugural women’s tag team champions. They successfully defended against Nia Jax & Tamina. They’ll defend them in a fatal 4-way at WrestleMania.
Best Moment: Winning the tag team championships
Worst Moment: Having to go to Dr. Shelby. (Missing SummerSlam was bad too.)
Bayley’s story was tied to Sasha’s most of the year.
The big difference is she didn’t get a PPV title match. But she did get one on Raw, which she lost.
Best Moment: Winning the tag championships
Worst Moment: Being left off the SummerSlam card
Naomi won the uterus trophy last year, but little good it did her.
She was part of a story with the Usos when they squared off against the Bludgeon Brothers. It involved Luke Harper CREEPING on her.
Naomi had a program with Mandy Rose where Mandy was hitting on Jimmy Uso. Naomi won zero matches against Mandy, so that wasn’t good for her.
Otherwise, she was in the Rumble and the Money in the Bank. She was at Evolution, but in a battle royal there too.
She had a chance to challenge for the SmackDown Women’s title at ‘Mania, but then Asuka went and lost it to Charlotte, so it’s back to the battle royal for her.
Best Moment: Her Rumble Moment
Worst Moment: Getting eliminated immediately afterwards
Stock: Unchanged - It’s not a good unchanged. She’s rarely used. But it was the same coming into last year.
OK, let’s break down the ladies battle royal.
- There were 20 women total in the battle royal last year.
- Six of those were NXT talents who weren’t on the roster at the time and were used to help fill out the match. Only one of those (Peyton Royce) is on the roster now. The rest are still in NXT, some much further along than others.
- Of the 14 left, 6 had increased stocks (43%).
- Obviously, the biggest jump was Becky Lynch, who is in the main event of WrestleMania this year. No one touches that type of stock increase. Bayley and Sasha also did better because of the advent of the Women’s tag team titles.
- 6/14 had decreased stocks (43%).
- No one fell too far, but when you start in this match, you’re not too high up to begin with. Though I’d say Carmella (who was on the cusp of winning the title) and the Riott Squad (who are now complete jobbers) showed a decent drop.
- 2/14 (14%) are about the same, but that’s not good for either woman. Lana is still mainly Rusev’s manager and Naomi had little direction all year.
- Four of the main roster members (and Peyton Royce) are in a match that’s not the battle royal. Becky is in the main event and Nattie, Sasha, & Bayley are in the tag team match. Four is a low number, but with only two other women’s matches on the card this year, it’s tough to get that spot.
These numbers look as bleak as the men’s. However, the men have more opportunity still to get on the card. Even with three women’s titles, they only have two other matches.
The other obvious takeaway is how great Becky Lynch’s year was. She wasn’t even one of the last women in this match. She was eliminated in the middle. To go from an afterthought in a kickoff battle royal to the hottest act in the main event of the show is amazing. The fans were always in her corner and when she got the opportunity (and they may only come once) she kicked that door down. We’ll probably never see Becky in one of these matches again.
You can catch up on the rest of this series below: