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 Clash of Champions 2019 and all of its fallout, as well as Baron Corbin winning the King of the Ring tournament, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Kofi Kingston
Kingston finally got his revenge from a decade ago by pinning Randy Orton at Clash of Champions, and then prevailing over the Viper and the Revival in a 6-man tag team match two nights later (Sept. 17) on SmackDown.
Kofi’s lengthy title reign has yet to be featured in a pay-per-view (PPV) main event, but with the sudden emergence of Brock Lesnar on his radar, Kingston is now in the main event of the premiere episode of SmackDown on Fox, on October 4. This is perhaps the biggest match of Kingston’s career, and while the outcome feels inevitable, Kofi has never been better positioned in WWE.
Stock Up #2: Erick Rowan & Luke Harper
Roman Reigns isn’t booked to absolutely dominate on PPV the way some former top guys like John Cena or Hulk Hogan did at their peak, but pinning the Big Dog is still a really big deal. And Rowan was able to do just that at Clash of Champions, with an assist from his Bludgeon Brother, Luke Harper.
When this story began at the very end of July, Rowan was just a silent sidekick to the real star of the act, Daniel Bryan. Now here he is doing sit-down interviews with Michael Cole, defeating Roman Reigns on PPV, and teaming up with Harper to wreak havoc in the main event of SmackDown. Who the heck ever saw this coming?
Stock Up #1: Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt teased for weeks that he was next in line for the Universal championship, and he wasted no time turning that warning into a reality once Seth Rollins retained the title at Clash of Champions. The Fiend immediately struck Seth down with Sister Abigail’s kiss and a mandible claw.
The Fiend is probably the most interesting character in WWE right now, and he has a Universal championship match inside Hell in a Cell. He pretty much has to win the gold when he takes Seth to hell, right?
Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Mike Kanellis
Mike Kanellis was utterly humiliated this week (Sept. 16) on Raw. His pregnant wife Maria tormented him with the idea that first Ricochet and then Rusev was actually the father of her child. Ricochet and Rusev both made quick work of Mike in the ring in separate matches. Mike actually congratulated Rusev on being the father before trying to run away from the fight. This prompted Michael Cole to say “this guy’s a loser”, while Corey Graves described Mike as “a clear beta cuck.”
Some folks might argue that some TV time is better than no TV time, but the bottom line is that this story is designed to embarrass and humiliate Mike at every turn.
Stock Down #2: Braun Strowman
One basic tenet of WWE is that if the Universal championship is on the line, Braun Strowman is guaranteed to fail at winning it. His inability to defeat Seth Rollins for that title at Clash of Champions is now his sixth such failed attempt on pay-per-view (including SummerSlam 2017, No Mercy 2017, Royal Rumble 2018, Hell in a Cell 2018, and Crown Jewel).
Strowman was also booked to lose his Raw tag team titles earlier that night. WWE tried to soften the blow by having Rollins take the pin in the tag match, and then letting Strowman run wild on both the Raw and SmackDown tag champs the following night. But none of that erases the strongly-reinforced perception that Braun Strowman just isn’t good enough to get the job done when it counts the most.
Stock Down #1: Cedric Alexander
Before this week, Alexander was mostly thriving in the era of Paul Heyman as executive producer of Raw. But then, well, Dave Meltzer claims that Vince McMahon decided it was time to bury him.
Alexander’s match against AJ Styles for the United States championship at Clash of Champions was suddenly dumped off to the pre-show, where it was given close to no time right as the pre-show ended. Styles quickly beat Alexander in front of Cedric’s hometown, and then The O.C. put the boots to Alexander after the match was over. What looked like a potential PPV showcase match that could have put a positive spotlight on Cedric Alexander instead turned into a pre-show match where he looked like a pretender.
This was followed up on Raw the next night with a 6-man tag team match where Alexander was once again pinned by Styles and then laid out afterwards with a Styles Clash.
Whether Meltzer’s claim about this burial is correct or not, Alexander’s booking this week was a huge step down from the last month when he was going toe-to-toe with Drew McIntyre and looked like a star who belonged in the same ring with AJ Styles.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?