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WWE Stock Report: The Intercontinental championship is useless around the waist of Shinsuke Nakamura

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 the return of Kane, R-Truth stealing the show in a Brock Lesnar segment, and a Fist Fight that didn’t include much fist-fighting, a lot of fortunes were changed.

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

Stock Down #3: Sheamus

Nothing about the return of Sheamus is new or interesting. He is an obnoxious bully who scoffs at short people and thinks the locker room is soft and weak. This week (Jan. 17) on SmackDown he was a huge jerk to Shorty G backstage, so Shorty responded by taking Sheamus down and beating his ass for a few moments. Yeah, Sheamus is probably going to steamroll G at Royal Rumble 2020, but it already feels like Sheamus needs a fresh coat of paint.

Stock Down #2: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura

This is really just the same story from last week, where WWE doesn’t even pretend that Cesaro and Nakamura are anywhere near the same level as Braun Strowman, who easily dispatched both stars after they caused trouble for Elias. Hell, even Elias fared pretty well against these two guys in a brief skirmish before Sami Zayn’s involvement proved to be too much for the Drifter to handle.

WWE should just give the Intercontinental championship to Strowman already, because it’s completely useless around the waist of Nakamura. He hasn’t even defended the title on television or pay-per-view since October 18, exactly three months ago. And he lost that match, of course. It’s clear that WWE isn’t going to book him as a credible champ, so it’s time to do something different with the title.

Stock Down #1: The Revival

I guess the Revival is in the midst of a terrible slump, because the story of their downfall was heavily emphasized on commentary this week during their loss to the Usos. Here are a few lines and phrases from the commentators about the Revival during that segment:

“...the story of the Revival career for the past couple of months, things just haven’t gone the right way for Dawson and Wilder”

“[The Revival] really has to regain their focus”

“the slide continues...for the Revival”

“this rough patch for Dawson and Wilder does not seem to be getting any better”

The Revival expressed their frustration and hinted at a major change, so maybe the recent rumors about Dash and Dawson becoming a comedy act are about to be realized.

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

Stock Up #3: Drew McIntyre

WWE wants you to believe that Drew McIntyre is a legitimate threat to win the men’s Royal Rumble even though he never won a pay-per-view match in 2019. His booking on Raw this week (Jan. 13) served him well on that front, as he defeated Randy Orton and AJ Styles in a damn good triple threat match. This was Drew’s biggest win in quite some time, and is a noticeable step up from the jobber squashing spree he’s been on recently.

Stock Up #2: Lacey Evans

Lacey Evans defeated the SmackDown women’s champion this week to earn a future shot at the SmackDown women’s championship. Bayley took the loss fighting as a replacement for Sasha Lesnar, and now Evans is set up to take home the gold at Royal Rumble 2020.

Stock Up #1: Aleister Black & Buddy Murphy

The feud between Black and Murphy is a great example of how to benefit all parties in a story. Aleister Black won all three matches in their series and still has not lost a singles match on the main roster. That’s clearly a great thing for him, and it’s the kind of push that could elevate him up the card in a blink.

As for Murphy, well, looking good in defeat for three consecutive matches isn’t a reliable way to get over, because it doesn’t hide the fact that he’s a loser. However, he’s a loser who immediately found a new purpose by joining up with Seth Rollins and the Authors of Pain. WWE found a way to keep Murphy relevant and interesting in the aftermath of his three losses to Black, and now he’s part of a main event stable. That means he’s in a much better spot than he was right before his feud with Black began.

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

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