With WWE being a all year show, with no breaks in the action, it can feel like one never ending story. However, if there were a WWE "season" it would go from WrestleMania to WrestleMania. This it the show where the major stories resolve. It's the season finale. And that makes it the best time to take a look at the stock of the members of the roster fared over the season prior.
So welcome to the third annual WWE Stock Report, where we look at the stock of those who were on the WrestleMania 31 card last year. Who found themselves in a much better position within just a year? Who's stock crashed down in that time? We'll look at everyone on the card, and those who were left off, and evaluate how their year went.
As a note note, if someone is new to the roster (i.e. Neville, Kevin Owens, or Tyler Breeze) or was injured at this time last year (i.e. Sheamus), they won't be covered here. However, if they were healthy last year and were not on the card, which really applies only to the Divas given all the men are in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, they will be evaluated at. To get an idea of where things were last year, feel free to take a look back at last year's Stock Report.
Last year, anyone who was injured, retired, or fired I put as a "Dropped" status. This year, I've opted to be more specific with that, making "Injured" a stock status. And believe me, I needed to.
Today, we are going to take a look at all those involved in the WrestleMania pre-show four team tag title match to get things started. The women who acted as valets for this match (Natalya and Naomi) will be evaluated with the rest of the Divas in part five.
The Usos vs. Los Matadores vs. the New Day vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (c) for the tag team championship
Coming into WrestleMania last year, Jey Uso was already dealing with a shoulder injury bad enough that it was questionable whether the Usos would even make it onto the WrestleMania card as a team. He was able to compete; however, he reaggravated that injury and was out until September.
Jimmy kept himself busy without Jey as the SmackDown announcer you always forgot was there. He also had a brief run teaming with Roman Reigns against the Wyatt Family, though that did not end well for him. Because of Jey's injury, half of this WWE season had no Usos tag team. But that didn’t keep them from being voted the Slammy winning Tag Team of the Year despite the New Day being tag team champions for the majority of 2015.
Since Jey returned, the Usos unsuccessfully challenged the New Day multiple times. Now they find themselves in a feud with the Dudley Boys, who they will be facing at WrestleMania.
Their stock is giving me a bit of trouble because for one, they are not the featured tag team like they were much of 2014 headed into WrestleMania season. However, they are still featured and they are actually getting a one on one feud this year with a story and this time last year, Cesaro/Kidd were the tag team focus.
Best Moment: Winning a Slammy award despite barely wrestling as a team 2015. (Yeah, I'm still bitter about that.)
Worst Moment: Getting beat down by the Dudley's as the crowd cheered their demise.
Los Matadores with El Torito
Every year, the Matadors are built up a bit so they can be inserted into a multi-man tag team match when WWE wants us to believe their tag division isn’t as thin as it really is. That’s what happened last year at WrestleMania when they were part of the four team pre-show tag match.
They disappeared until Elimination Chamber when WWE needed bodies in the Elimination Chamber tag match. They were built up again for a fatal four way at SummerSlam (where they got pinned by the New Day, costing the Prime Time Players their titles.) They had a heel turn of little consequence in September when they blamed El Torito for a loss and attacked him, but haven’t been seen on TV much at all.
As of now, they are not on the WrestleMania card and unlike last two years, they are not in any tag match. While nothing is official, but they will probably be used to fill up the Andre.
Best Moment: Their two PPV matches
Worst Moments: The rest of the year
The New Day
This time last year, Kofi, Big E, and Xavier Woods weren’t doing great in WWE. Sure they were a WWE tag team in a division that was doing OK (Cesaro and Kidd had brought life to the division but with Jey Uso already out with an injury, it the division was slim.) However, the New Day's face run was stale and crowds were starting to turn on them.
When they entered for the pre-show multi-man tag team match at WrestleMania, they were getting boos, but give they were faces, that was not desirable. The next night at Raw, the crowd did the New Day a favor with a rousing "New Day Sucks" chant so loud it couldn’t be ignored. It was the catalyst for a heel turn that breathed life into the gimmick and heated them up for a sustained, successful heel run.
It wasn’t long until they defeated Cesaro and Kidd for the tag team championships and they held them into the summer. Their almost year long title reigns had a brief hiccup when they lost the titles to the Prime Time Players at Money in the Bank. However, they regained them at SummerSlam and haven’t relinquished them since. They’ve fended off the Dudleys, the Lucha Dragons, the Usos, a very brief Y2AJ team, and the League of Nations
This year they went from a bland team, to a rare tag team that are cutting promos on every show and selling a ton of merchandise. A year after their heel turn, they found themselves with the opposite problem: a heel team that’s getting cheered too much. Because of that, they’ve become the pseudo good guys as they continue to feud against the League of Nations at WrestleMania. This will be the first time in 3 year the tag titles aren’t part of a multi-team pre-show match and a rare time we're wondering what special entrance a tag team is going to get.
Stock: Major increase
Best Moment: Their "Save the Tables" campaign
Worst Moment: The tragic death of Francesca
Man, this recap is going to hurt to do. Because this time last year, Tyson Kidd and Cesaro were a white hot tag team. They were technically still heels at WrestleMania, though crowds loved them, they made a turn when feuding with the New Day, fresh off a heel turn of their own. They lost their titles to the New Day and despite multiple rematches, they were never able to win them back.
Early in summer, Tyson was in a dark match against Samoa Joe and severely injured his neck. This injury could very well be career ending.
Best Moment: Killing it with #BTE
Worst Moment: Sustaining a very severe neck injury
The other member of the #BTE didn’t have a great latter half of his season either, but not nearly as bad as Tyson Kidd.
Since they were a tag team, Cesaro and Tyson had the same trajectory until Tyson got hurt in June. This left Cesaro to make his way as a single’s competitor once again. As is hallmark for a Cesaro singles run, it had many peaks and valleys.
Things started out very well when Cesaro had a couple of great matches against John Cena as part of the US title open challenge. The first he he technically won by DQ because Kevin Owens attacked him mid match. (This was when Owens was still feuding with John Cena.) Cesaro accepted the challenge again the next week and put on what viewers voted as the Best John Cena US Open Challenge. Following that match, after Raw went off the air, Cena verbally put Cesaro over to the crowd.
However, much like any perceived Cesaro push, things weren’t going to continue moving upward. Cesaro then feuded with Kevin Owens going into SummerSlam in a match that he lost. He was left off the Night of Champions card and then the next few weeks put over the Big Show in order for the Big Show to look a big stronger when Show lost to Brock Lesnar at Live at MSG.
Prior to Survivor Series, Cesaro lost to Roman Reigns in the tournament for the vacant WWE title. And while it seemed like Cesaro was getting another push, with plenty of focus on the "Cesaro section," that all came to a quick halt when a shoulder injury kept him out of action. He will miss WrestleMania recovering.
Best Moment: His match with John Cena in Chicago
Worst Moment: Asides from getting injured, being used to build up the Big Show so Show could go lose to Brock.
There we have it folks. Feel free to debate in the comments. Tomorrow we start tackling the Andre Battle Royal, which will end up taking two posts.