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 a potential babyface turn for Kevin Owens, the Street Profits showing up on Raw, and a ton of explosions at the end of a Strowman/Lashley match, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Heavy Machinery
Heavy Machinery main evented SmackDown this week (July 2) with a big win over the makeshift team of Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler, the two most recent challengers for the WWE championship. Daniel Bryan also managed to do a great job of putting over Tucker and Otis on commentary during the match. The SmackDown tag division reached a low point not too long ago, but the emergence of Heavy Machinery is providing some hope that things can change soon.
Stock Up #2: Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe put Kofi Kingston to sleep on Raw in a tag team match, forcing Kofi to suffer his first official loss since he won the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 35. Joe then followed this up on SmackDown in an edgier segment where he essentially offered Kofi a handshake with the devil in order to ensure the safety of Kofi’s loved ones. Kofi flipped Joe off and then kicked his head off. This pretty much guarantees that Joe is going to start hurting the people closest to Kofi and remind everyone why he is one of the most dangerous superstars in WWE.
Stock Up #1: AJ Styles, Gallows & Anderson, Ricochet
It’s tempting to just stick with the heels here considering how great AJ’s heel turn was, as well as the role Gallows and Anderson played in instigating the whole situation. However Ricochet did pin AJ Styles on Raw and has now main evented the show in consecutive weeks. His feud with AJ is reinforcing the idea that Ricochet is an upper card superstar and someone the fans need to take seriously in that spot going forward. All four of these men are clearly elevated as a result of this storyline.
Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Elias
This was a strange week in WWE where the potential options for the Stock Up side were very crowded and there are several snubs, whereas it was much more difficult to find three viable Stock Down arguments. Maybe No Way Jose deserves this spot for being destroyed before his match with Cesaro ever started. Undertaker’s “acrid stench of death” promo on Raw didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Cedric Alexander’s move to the Raw roster has quickly turned into him running around backstage with a bunch of jobbers trying to chase down R-Truth.
Ultimately I’m going to settle on Elias in this spot for losing a two out of three falls match to the Miz in rather quick fashion on Raw this week (July 1), and also tapping out to Miz’s figure four leglock. I mean if you are going to lose to the Miz, at least force him to give you the Skull Crushing Finale multiple times, rather than tapping out to a move that he is known to botch and rarely ever uses successfully to win a match.
Stock Down #2: Natalya
Natalya was one of the women who clearly benefited from Ronda Rousey’s presence on Raw between WrestleMania 34 and WrestleMania 35. The Queen of Hearts was often involved in the periphery of Ronda’s storyline, and she also fought Rousey in a championship match in the main event of Raw back in December 2018. More recently, Natalya was featured in a big match at WrestleMania 35 where she teamed with WWE Hall of Fame superstar Beth Phoenix as they tried to win the Women’s tag team championship.
However, things have quickly gone downhill for Natalya since Rousey has been off WWE television in the aftermath of Wrestlemania 35. Nattie is not on TV very much, and she has been on the losing side of matches the last two weeks on Raw to help put over Nikki Cross and Lacey Evans, respectively.
It looks like WWE tried to give Natalya a decent push while she was playing the role of Ronda Rousey’s best friend. But now that Rousey is gone, Natalya’s role has shifted to putting over some of the newer stars on Raw. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing as far as the direction of the WWE women’s division is concerned, but it’s definitely not a good sign for Natalya’s position on the card.
Stock Down #1: Mike Kanellis
Mike Kanellis was severely humiliated on Raw during his wife’s surprise pregnancy angle. Maria Kanellis referred to him as her bitch, she then talked down to him and claimed he wasn’t man enough to impregnate her, and he also tapped out to Becky Lynch. It was impressive that the Kanellis story did completely overshadow Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins on Raw, but the story seems designed to shine a spotlight on Maria, at Mike’s expense.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?