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 Stone Cold Steve Austin offering a toast to Raw, John Cena joking around with the Usos about their past arrests days before Jimmy Uso was arrested for DUI, and a whole bunch of 24/7 title changes at Raw Reunion, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe is doing well in WWE. He excels whenever he gets mic time and he usually works in the upper card. Most superstars in WWE would love to be in Joe’s spot. That being said, Joe’s storyline with Kofi Kingston was abruptly cut short without any development to the tease that Joe presented when he offered Kingston a handshake on the July 2 episode of SmackDown. When Kofi flipped Joe off, it opened the door for a long-term story where Joe could attempt to expose Kingston as a man who only cares about himself.
Instead, Joe did the job for Kofi at Extreme Rules in a title match that didn’t go very long, and he was not chosen as Kofi’s challenger for SummerSlam. It didn’t help Joe’s cause when he was pinned by Roman Reigns on this week’s Raw, and ate an RKO on SmackDown after being disqualified against Kofi Kingston. Joe is still in a good spot, but this last month strengthened the notion that he’ll never win the big one in WWE.
Stock Down #2: Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville
Mandy and Sonya had a quick backstage segment on SmackDown this week (July 23), and it did not go well at all. One staff member in the Cageside offices described it as “Sonya sounded like a freshman acting student on day one,” while another staff member simultaneously concluded that “Mandy made me confused as to what is going on.” The crux of the issue boils down to this specific exchange:
Sonya: “Wait. Are you saying next week we have a women’s tag team title match?”
Mandy: “Yep. And if we win, we deserve a tag team title match!”
Stock Down #1: AJ Styles & The O.C.
After suffering through months of Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans as the top pushed heels on Raw, it was a breath of fresh air when AJ Styles turned heel and embraced Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson once again. WWE finally had a credible full-time main event level heel on Monday nights.
So of course that heel stable was made to look like a joke this week (July 22) at Raw Reunion when they were confronted by the dusted off members of DX and The Kliq. Scott Hall and X-Pac even referred to the segment as a burial when discussing it later in the week, and said they were overruled when expressing some hesitation about the idea. Of course they were overruled; it’s usually wise to assume that the past stars will get over on the current stars in WWE. Mick Foley is the exception, not the rule.
Now let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Ember Moon
Ember Moon defeated Charlotte Flair in a brief match on SmackDown, and then she nailed both Charlotte and Bayley with eclipses in the aftermath. Moon needs some strong booking to make up for months of doing nothing, and this is an effective way to quickly build her up as a credible challenger for the SmackDown women’s championship at SummerSlam.
Stock Up #2: Randy Orton
Randy Orton is suddenly back in the spotlight now that a major WWE pay-per-view is on the horizon. One week after pinning WWE champion Kofi Kingston, the Viper is now officially challenging for that championship at SummerSlam 2019.
Considering Orton’s history as a top star in WWE for well over a decade, it wouldn’t be surprising if Vince McMahon chooses him to be the first WWE champion of the Fox era, which begins in October. McMahon probably wants Roman Reigns to be the focal point of the show on Fox, and it makes more sense to have Roman chasing a heel champion than a babyface like Kingston. McMahon loves to fall back on things that worked in the past, so Orton is automatically a bigger threat to the title than Samoa Joe ever was.
Stock Up #1: Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler is in a really interesting spot right now. Over the last couple of weeks he has started a new storyline with the Miz, fired off multiple verbal shots at Goldberg, and laid out Shawn Michaels with a superkick. There are several branches that WWE could follow here, or maybe they won’t follow any of them. The bottom line though is that Ziggler is positioned well for whatever comes next.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?