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WWE Stock Report: Raw’s young talent gives it a big edge over SmackDown

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Some places do power rankings. Here at Cageside, we do a stock report.

In this weekly series, we identify three Superstars (or groups of Superstars) who are on their way up, and three that are moving in the opposite direction. After a busy week that included the conclusion of the WWE draft, Chad Gable fully transforming into Shorty G, and a contract signing between Tyson Fury and Braun Strowman, a lot of fortunes were changed.

With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:

Stock Down #3: Cedric Alexander

It wasn’t that long ago when Cedric Alexander was the guy picking up a surprising win over Drew McIntyre on his way to a mid-card title match against AJ Styles. However it’s been all downhill for Alexander since then, and now he’s the guy putting over one of Raw’s newest draft picks, Buddy Murphy.

Stock Down #2: R-Truth, Carmella, Drake Maverick

Carmella and R-Truth were split up in the WWE draft. Considering how well they complement each other, this change feels like a big blow to the 24/7 title scene, which apparently will be staying on the USA network.

Maverick was also separated from Truth in the draft, which means he may never get to consummate his marriage. Drake might be out of the one storyline that got him consistent television time on the main roster.

Stock Down #1: Seth Rollins

Seth Rollins is supposed to be a babyface, but you wouldn’t be able to tell based on his actions from Raw. Rollins took things way too far by burning down Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Fun House, and he was loudly booed by the Raw audience as a result. Dave Meltzer says this was not a double turn. If that’s true, then Seth Rollins has to be one of the least likable top babyfaces in the history of WWE.

Now let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:

Stock Up #3: Nikki Cross

Cross was traded to SmackDown in a not-so-blockbuster deal, and then made an immediate impact this week (Oct. 18) by winning a Six-Pack challenge over Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Dana Brooke, Carmella, and Lacey Evans. This victory means that Cross will get a future shot at Bayley’s SmackDown women’s championship. SmackDown doesn’t have too many babyfaces on the women’s roster, so this could be Nikki’s chance to become a mainstay at the top of the division.

Stock Up #2: Ricochet, Buddy Murphy, Aleister Black, Andrade & Zelina Vega

The main thing that stood out to me about Raw’s draft roster was the amount of younger high work rate superstars who are now in the hands of Paul Heyman. Andrade, Black, Murphy, and Ricochet were all drafted to Raw and individually booked to win matches over lower card talent on this week’s (Oct. 14) episode.

Andrade was selected in the very first round of the draft alongside stars like Brock Lesnar and Charlotte Flair, which made him seem like a big deal. Black looks absolutely vicious in his quick matches and appears to be a guy who can rise up the card in no time at all. Then there’s Ricochet, who always dazzles in the ring, but desperately needs to get away from the cringe-worthy “Superheroes R Real” marketing campaign. As for Buddy Murphy, Dave Meltzer recently said that Paul Heyman is “super high” on him, so this move to Raw is a welcome change.

Stock Up #1: Viking Raiders

The undefeated Viking Raiders won the Raw tag team titles from Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler. Later in the show, Ivar and Erik cut a promo where they mentioned their history as IWGP, ROH, and NXT tag team champions. It’s taken a while to get here due to the corny viking gimmick, but things seem to finally be coming together for the talented duo.

There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?