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WWE Stock Report: There’s nothing extraordinary about Finn Balor right now

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 Extreme Rules 2019 and all of its fallout, a lot of fortunes were changed.

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

Stock Up #3: Natalya & Ember Moon

Natalya and Ember Moon emerged this week as new contenders to the Raw and SmackDown women’s championships, respectively. SummerSlam 2019 will take place in Toronto, which helps explain why Natalya is suddenly back in a top spot after putting over Lacey Evans multiple times prior to Extreme Rules.

As for Ember Moon, she can easily give Bayley the best match of her current championship reign, and can help remind WWE fans how great women’s wrestling can be. There’s still a decent chance that Charlotte Flair will find her way into that match as well, but for now Ember Moon has the spotlight all to herself as the top contender on Tuesday nights.

Stock Up #2: Kevin Owens

This week Kevin Owens continued along his path of attacking Shane McMahon with a barrage of Stunners. The crowd pops are noticeably larger for KO and illustrate that his recent gimmick change has been a resounding success. Owens also made very quick work of Dolph Ziggler at Extreme Rules, and this could be the beginning of a strong push right to the main event.

Stock Up #1: Bray Wyatt

Bray Wyatt’s spectacular return to Raw was the most talked about moment from WWE television this week. The anticipation for Wyatt’s return had been building for weeks with various puppet sightings during backstage segments, and it finally paid off when he appeared in his super creepy “Fiend” persona and took out Finn Balor with Sister Abigail’s kiss. Wyatt is back to terrorize the WWE Universe, and it seems like many fans are quite eager to let him in.

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

Stock Down #3: Kabuki Warriors

The introduction of the Kabuki Warriors on SmackDown has been severely botched, and this week (July 16) was more of the same. Asuka and Kairi Sane were finally booked in a television match for the first time in over two months, and they really needed a big moment to make up for months of irrelevance.

Instead what they got was a jobber entrance, and then they were duped by the heels with an intentional count out, thereby failing to win the Women’s tag titles. Considering that WWE wants to be presented more like real sports now, allowing champions to retain their titles in this fashion is questionable to begin with, and it did no favors at all for the babyface duo. Asuka and Sane look like fools who fell for a simple ruse.

Stock Down #2: Drew McIntyre

When Drew McIntyre joined WWE’s main roster a little over one year ago, he ripped the locker room apart for being too soft. Well now here he is playing bodyguard for Shane McMahon, and he’s not even all that good at it. McIntyre and McMahon failed to take out the Undertaker and Roman Reigns at Extreme Rules, the Scottish Psychopath then lost a match to Cedric Alexander on Raw the next night (July 15), and Drew somehow always fails to protect Shane from Kevin Owens’ frequent sneak attacks. Last year it felt like Drew McIntyre could be a top player in WWE, but every night he spends playing incompetent bodyguard for Shane takes him further away from that spot.

Stock Down #1: Finn Balor

WWE often refers to Finn Balor as “the extraordinary man who does extraordinary things,” but it’s hard to think of anything special about Balor’s booking since his great match with Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble 2019. He’s been a mainstay in the mid-card as part of the Intercontinental championship scene but struggled to find TV time in May and June.

He’s now opened July with three consecutive defeats, including the sudden loss of his championship to Shinsuke Nakamura on a rushed pre-show match at Extreme Rules that was given less time than their television match from the prior week. Balor is also now the first victim lined up for Bray Wyatt and could be headed for time off soon. It seems clear that beating regular Finn won’t mean much for Wyatt, so hopefully the rumors about The Demon’s absence from this feud are false.

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

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