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WWE Stock Report: Sasha Banks still isn’t booked like a top star

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 Survivor Series 2019 and all of its fallout, a lot of fortunes were changed.

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

Stock Down #3: Drew Gulak

WWE has made it difficult to fill out this side of the column for a couple weeks now, so Gulak draws the short straw this time. There were a couple segments in October when Gulak was meddling in Braun Strowman’s affairs, and there appeared to be potential for Gulak to gain meaningful exposure if he continued being a pest opposite a big star like Strowman.

But his last two matches on SmackDown television have included very quick losses to Kalisto and Mustafa Ali, establishing Gulak as a definite low card guy. He used to be the champion of all cruiserweights not that long ago, but can barely hang for three minutes with some of them now.

Stock Down #2: Sasha Banks & Bayley

Sasha Banks and Bayley both came up short at Survivor Series. Bayley tapped out in the main event, while Sasha couldn’t outlast Rhea Ripley in the women’s elimination match. But their lowest point of the week came a few days later (Nov. 29) on SmackDown. After making excuses for their failure on the pay-per-view (PPV), Lacey Evans entered the ring to shut them up. She knocked out Sasha Banks with a punch, and Bayley (the women’s champion) just stood there and did nothing about it.

Sasha Banks was gone from WWE for four months following WrestleMania 35, and that situation will go down as one of the biggest stories in pro wrestling this year. Her return in August was a huge moment, and WWE had a chance to wipe the slate clean and push her to the moon. And while she’s in a good spot and is always featured, it still feels like her push is not commensurate with her talent level.

Can you imagine Dean Ambrose or CM Punk returning to WWE and not getting some major victories on PPV right away? What Sasha got after her return was a disqualification victory over Becky Lynch at Clash of Champions, a submission loss at Hell in a Cell, another defeat at Survivor Series, and then a punch in the mouth from Lacey Evans. Oh and Sasha isn’t the one holding championship gold, she’s the person playing sidekick to the champ. This isn’t how a top star is booked, and I think WWE missed an obvious chance to do something special with Sasha after her return.

Stock Down #1: Humberto Carrillo

After spending a month or so hyping up Humberto Carrillo as a threat to AJ Styles’ United States title, Carrillo didn’t even make it to the ring for his advertised championship match on this week’s Raw. He was taken out by AJ’s thugs, replaced by four other dudes who are bigger stars than him, and then Rey Mysterio somehow emerged as the new champ. Humberto Carrillo was immediately forgotten about, and I expect that this is the abrupt end of his recent mini push.

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

Stock Up #3: Roman Reigns

One of the problems with putting a midcard heel like Baron Corbin in a main event level feud is that it risks taking the star power of the babyface down a notch if it drags on for too long. Corbin had this effect on Braun Strowman roughly one year ago, he had this effect on Seth Rollins earlier this summer, and there is potential for it to happen now with Roman Reigns.

But then Roman Reigns speared Corbin’s ass into oblivion at Survivor Series, became the sole survivor for Team SmackDown, and sent Robert Roode to the hospital after a vicious beating on SmackDown. That’s how you book a badass babyface.

Stock Up #2: Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Authors of Pain

I’m throwing all of these guys together because their storylines intersected this week on Raw.

First and foremost, Seth Rollins was clearly no longer viable as a top babyface, so WWE finally did the smart thing and turned him heel. The Architect has embraced his inner douche and is now the kind of insufferable locker room leader who talks down to everyone around him like they are nowhere near his level.

With the top babyface spot on Raw now vacated thanks to Rollins’ turn, that has opened the door for Kevin Owens to step up and fill in the void. This storyline has also allowed Authors of Pain to make an immediate impact in the main event scene on Raw, rather than doing low card things for months on end. We aren’t quite there yet, but a heel Seth Rollins being backed up by AoP sounds like quite a formidable trio.

Stock Up #1: Bray Wyatt

Bray Wyatt has managed to survive the Hell in a Cell 2019 debacle and it looks like he could be in line for a lengthy run as Universal champion. Wyatt convincingly defeated Daniel Bryan at Survivor Series while once again being impossible to keep down, and then this week on SmackDown he seemingly ripped out Bryan’s hair. He also debuted a new version of the Universal title for The Fiend, and is said to be the top merch seller in WWE.

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

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