Welcome to the AEW Stock Report, a look at three things trending down and three trending up over the past week in All Elite Wrestling.
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This week in AEW wasn’t particularly eventful, but did do a lot of building to Grand Slam next week. Let’s see who’s rising and who’s falling before AEW’s two part event at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Stock Down #1: Nyla Rose
May 23, 2020 must feel like an eternity ago for Rose. That was the day she lost the AEW Women’s Title to Hikaru Shida. While she’s had plenty of opportunities, it could be argued that she hasn’t had a serious chance at winning gold again since then. That continued this week when Toni Storm won the four way eliminator to see who would take on Saraya at Grand Slam. Despite being a force, she stood out as the only competitor that didn’t have a believable shot at winning and was an odd choice other than to even the face/heel numbers.
Stock Down #2: Britt Baker
While it hasn’t been as long for Britt as it has for Nyla, doesn’t Baker feuding with Thunder Rosa for the Women’s Title seem like a lot longer than a year and a half ago? Baker must think so, because she changed plans and challenged the winner of Cargill/Statlander for the TBS title on Collision at her alma mater, Penn State, after losing in the eliminator match. Despite being the crowd favorite and putting on a strong match, Baker lost to Statlander. Baker will likely feud with Hikaru Shida next as she currently finds herself without a clear path to either of the women’s belts. This has to be a tough pill to swallow for someone who believes that AEW is her house and that she is the face of the women’s division.
Stock Down #3: Adam Cole
Cole’s still the ROH Tag Team Champion with brochacho MJF, but he finds himself on the outside looking in at the AEW World Title scene after losing again at All In. This week, he served as Max’s sidekick and the team’s weak link while being used by Max’s two biggest threats. First, he looked like a dope for falling for Roddy’s "neck health" act. After his match, Strong went from being in some pain to flopping to the ground like a fish and screaming "Adam!" upon seeing him. This was over the top hilariousness, with the Kingdom even blaming Cole for Strong’s injury, even though Adam tried talking his friend out of fighting Joe. How Cole fell for this is beyond me, but the resulting chaos then allowed next week’s challenger to come back and choke him out to end the show. Joe took the first step in taking everything from MJF.
Stock Up #1: The Dark Order
That’s right. Everybody’s favorite dorky punching bags are looking pretty good right now. Which they should, since they are the Good Guys. I like this angle for the Dark Order and feel like it gives them a viable path to success they haven’t had since Brody was leading them. It seems like they’ve found something that allows them to be believable heels while remaining true to who they’ve been. They’re tired of losing, have proved themselves in the ring with multiple good matches recently, and are ready to take what they deserve. I don’t think many titles will change hands at Grand Slam and don’t expect them to lose the Trios Titles already, but I think the Acclaimed should at least be on upset alert. That’s a lot more than you could expect from past Dark Order title challenges.
Stock Up #2: RJ City and Toni Storm, QTV, and Neck Health Awareness Month
This is a Stock Up for the "pro wrestling" company having a sense of humor, and sports entertaining us all for a little bit each week. Hey!EW, it’s RJ City on tv interviewing Toni Storm. Toni Storm’s lost it but is the only thing interesting about the Outcasts right now. I wish their "interview" was longer, but there are more parts and the two play well off of each other. RJ’s YouTube show is great, and I hope they find more ways like this to get him on tv.
I crapped on QTV pretty hard when it started. A TMZ parody? I still don’t know why QTV exists, but their segments are always crazy and always deliver. None of it makes a whole lot of sense, but their segments are full of weird little moments and personality quirks that are hilarious. Johnny TV, Harley Cameron, and Aaron Solo are all killing it right now, and so is QT Marshall! As a champion in Mexico! It really doesn’t have anything to do with AEW, but it’ a thing that’s actually happening and is also kind of weird.
Lastly, if you know somebody that doesn’t believe in Neck Health Awareness, doesn’t care if QT comes back, or didn’t laugh at "ADAM! ADAM!!", you tell that person "Look out for the shooee!", then ball your fist up, and punch them in the weiner!
Stock Up #3: Samoa Joe
Joe finds his stock soaring as he’s a Stock Up for the second week in a row. He looks absolutely dominant right now. While Strong gave him a bit of a fight, Joe mostly beat up and rag dolled Roddy to earn the title shot against MJF next week. His catch and slam of a running Strong looked impressive and brutal. I also thought he beat MJF promo wise for the second week in a row. While MJF’s "Steiner Math" was kind of funny, it doesn’t come close to being as good as Joe promising to take everything away from Max while choking his friend out. He then flexed and posed over Cole’s lifeless body. You can’t do any better than that to close out the week.
Do I think Joe should win at Grand Slam. Yes. Joe looks great, MJF’s hurt, Cole’s hurt, and Strong figures to continue being a problem for them. I also think giving face MJF a chance to chase after the title would be fun and a good way to get the crowd even more behind him. Anything to make it that much worse when he rejects the fans and turns heel. (it may not be against Cole, but he will return to his roots at some point) Do I think Joe’s going to win at Grand Slam? No. Joe looks too good and MJF too vulnerable for me to buy into things continuing that way. MJF should probably lose to somebody closer in age who can benefit more from the rub and become a rival for years to come. This is by far and away the most vulnerable MJF has looked before a defense, though, and Joe looks unstoppable. We’ll see what happens.
Who do you think walks away with the World Title next week? Did anybody else’s stock change significantly before Grand Slam?