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 Cedric Alexander wrestling under a mask in the main event of Raw, Baron Corbin no-selling a punch from Becky Lynch, and Cesaro revealing himself as Aleister Black’s opponent for Extreme Rules, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Dana Brooke
There was a brief moment a while back when Dana Brooke got some mic time and it looked like she might receive a mini-push, but her quick defeat on Raw during this week’s (July 8) Beat The Clock challenge was a swift reminder that she is firmly entrenched in the lower card.
Stock Down #2: Sami Zayn
What happened to Sami Zayn? He has pretty much been off TV since losing matches on both the June 24 episode of Raw and the June 25 episode of SmackDown. Now that Kevin Owens is no longer a heel, Sami Zayn will probably have to fend for himself in kayfabe, and it seems like creative doesn’t have much for him. Zayn’s very entertaining “critic of the critics” gimmick initially looked like it had strong potential, but his momentum has now stalled and it’s not clear at all what WWE plans to do with him going forward.
Stock Down #1: Rey Mysterio
Rey’s return from injury was heavily promoted by WWE, and the idea of an open challenge was an intriguing concept. However it quickly backfired on Rey when he was essentially squashed by Bobby Lashley. I get that Lashley needs to be protected for Extreme Rules, and a Rey segment on Raw is better for ratings than having Lashley beat up a low card guy. But the bottom line is that Rey is a legend who was treated like garbage here and made to look like a jabroni.
Now let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Shinsuke Nakamura
Nakamura’s last year in WWE has been largely forgettable. But then he went to Singapore and Japan with WWE at the very end of June and apparently had an incredible match with Seth Rollins. Nakamura also teamed up with Triple H for a match on that tour, and now WWE suddenly remembers that Shinsuke is an elite level pro wrestler.
This week’s (July 9) episode of SmackDown made it clear that Nakamura is back in the singles division, and he made a strong impression by brutally taking out Finn Balor with multiple Kinshasa strikes. Let’s hope this newfound push for Shinsuke has some lasting power.
Stock Up #2: Nikki Cross
Nikki Cross has been the focal point of the SmackDown women’s championship story, and she shined especially bright this week with both a win over Carmella and a victory in a Beat the Clock challenge. Nikki has also shown off her verbal skills while sparring with Bayley on the mic. Cross is demonstrating all the skills required to be a big deal in WWE, and it’s refreshing to see a new star on the rise in the women’s division.
Stock Up #1: Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens went full Stone Cold on this week’s episode of SmackDown. He defied a McMahon order to go home, grabbed a mic in anger, and spoke about how much Shane McMahon’s presence makes him sick to his stomach. Owens then nailed the Best in the World with a Stunner towards the end of the main event match between Roman Reigns and Dolph Ziggler. Now there are rumors going around that the Owens/McMahon feud could result in phasing Shane out from weekly storylines. It looks like something great can finally come from this Shane McMahon overload that we have been experiencing throughout 2019, and antihero Kevin Owens definitely has main event star potential.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?