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WWE Stock Report: Splitting teams up in the draft doesn’t make any sense

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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 night one of the 2020 WWE Draft, a disciple attacking his Messiah, and The Fiend wrestling on SmackDown television for the first time, a lot of fortunes were changed.

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

Stock Up #3: Randy Orton

On this week’s (Oct. 5) episode of Raw, Drew McIntyre was pinned for the first time in almost a year. Randy Orton was the man who put him down, and he did so with his RKO finisher. Orton is getting one more WWE championship match against McIntyre at Hell in a Cell 2020 on Oct. 25, and things are looking pretty good for the night vision legend killer right now.

Stock Up #2: Lars Sullivan

Lars Sullivan returned to WWE on this week’s episode of SmackDown and laid waste to everyone in his path. Vince McMahon can’t get enough of monster heels, so the probability of a very strong push coming Lars’ way seems relatively high.

Stock Up #1: Mustafa Ali

Mustafa Ali received a big spotlight on Raw when he was revealed to be the leader of RETRIBUTION, the struggling anarchist group that wants to take down WWE. Ali was barely featured on Raw television prior to this angle, but now he should get plenty of mic and ring time to show off his tremendous skills. That means there’s a decent amount of upside for Ali in this role, even if the faction is still doomed. In general, finding an escape from RETRIBUTION is probably a good move for a wrestler’s career. However, in Ali’s case as the leader of the group, it’s a clear step up.

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

Stock Down #3: Humberto Carrillo

Humberto Carrillo was a third round draft pick in the 2019 WWE draft. One year later, his relevancy in WWE is barely hanging on as the fall guy in a makeshift team with Dominik Mysterio. And he doesn’t even have that partnership to look forward to anymore, because Carrillo was drafted to a different brand than the Mysterios during the supplemental draft round that wasn’t important enough to make SmackDown television.

Stock Down #2: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura

Last month these two guys were fed to the Street Profits in a lopsided Champions vs. Champions angle, and this week (Oct. 9) on SmackDown they lost their tag titles against the New Day with close to zero notice. They had a decent run on top of the Friday night tag division while it lasted. But without the championships around their waists, they can quickly return to being regular mid card losers going forward.

Stock Down #1: Heavy Machinery

The executives from the FOX and USA networks in charge of making draft picks are heartless bastards. After Raw selected Mandy Rose in round three of the 2020 WWE Draft, the FOX execs decided to split Otis away from the love of his life by keeping him on Friday nights. To kick the working man while he was down, they didn’t even bother taking Otis’ tag team partner and best friend, Tucker, even though they could have drafted him alongside Otis as part of the same selection. FOX left Heavy Machinery vulnerable to being split up, and the USA execs sealed the deal by drafting Tucker to Raw during the supplemental draft round. Otis is now separated from the people he cares about the most in this kayfabe world, while Tucker is unlikely to ever be pushed without Otis by his side.

WWE decided to break up other tag teams in the draft as well, such as New Day and potentially Lucha House Party. These decisions don’t make any sense. It would help if WWE offered an explanation for why one brand would choose to ignore one or more team members even though they are allowed to draft the entire group in one pick, especially in Big E’s case where he’s way more accomplished than Tucker, Lince Dorado, or Gran Metalik. But we are left to try to figure out the logic ourselves.

As a result, the decision-makers come off as completely inept for passing on wrestlers they could draft for free, for lack of a better term. Even worse, it really makes low card guys like Tucker and Lince Dorado seem completely replaceable and holding little to no value in WWE when they are intentionally bypassed in a draft round like this for seemingly no discernible reason.

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