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 Royal Rumble 2020, a suspension for Andrade, and a Loser Eats Dog Food match, 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
Seth Rollins and his thugs have consistently gotten the better of their babyface counterparts, starting with that Fist Fight back on Jan. 13. Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe needed something to finally go their way this week, but things have only gotten worse for Joe. He was forced to depart a tag team match on Raw (Jan. 27) due to injury, which is believed to be a concussion, and his availability going forward on the road to WrestleMania is now in doubt.
Stock Down #2: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura
This is the fourth straight week where Nakamura and Cesaro have made the Stock Down list. After a month of being booked as completely ineffective losers, WWE finally pulled the trigger on Nakamura dropping the Intercontinental championship to Braun Strowman this week (Jan. 31) on SmackDown. Minutes later, Cesaro was fed to Elias in a quick beatdown, because why not? Earlier in the week, Cesaro and Nakamura combined to survive for only 38 seconds in the Royal Rumble match. These guys are pathetic.
Stock Down #1: The O.C.
AJ Styles separated his shoulder taking a spear from Edge in the Royal Rumble match, and the best case scenario looks to be a return in March. As for the Good Brothers, well, they were essentially squashed by Drew McIntyre in a quick handicap match on Raw. This kind of booking is why it’s laughable when commentary suggests that Gallows and Anderson are among the most dominant teams in WWE. The so-called Best Tag Team in the World was barely even competitive in a match against one guy.
Now let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair
The first WWE pay-per-view of 2020 showed that Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair will continue their dominant presence on top of the women’s division. Both superstars went into Royal Rumble 2020 with some question marks. For Lynch, there was self-doubt in kayfabe due to her past struggles with Asuka. For Flair, it was a blend of both real and kayfabe concern over what her direction was going to be without any championship gold around her waist.
All of those concerns were extinguished this week. Lynch finally defeated Asuka, and then on Raw she asserted her position as the top star in the company by boldly proclaiming herself to be the greatest of all time. Meanwhile Flair won the Royal Rumble match and is now penciled in as a championship challenger at WrestleMania 36. Lynch and Flair have been the top two stars in the women’s division for roughly a year and a half now (and much longer in Flair’s case), and their Royal Rumble booking is evidence that we should expect more of the same in 2020.
Stock Up #2: Edge
After a roughly nine year retirement, Edge dramatically returned to active competition in WWE as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble match. The Rated R Superstar played a vital role in the match, lasting all the way to the final three superstars. He then gave a heartfelt babyface promo on Raw the following night, talking about how he needed to end his career on his own terms. That’s when Randy Orton snapped. The Viper sadistically targeted Edge’s neck with a steel chair while the audience looked on in horror, but in the good kind of way that is difficult to achieve in this era when kayfabe is completely dead.
The bottom line is that Edge is back wrestling in WWE, he’s going to make big bucks for limited dates, and his return has already resulted in a very compelling story that will be heavily featured as WrestleMania 36 approaches.
Stock Up #1: Drew McIntyre
WWE desperately needed some fresh new challengers and storylines for Brock Lesnar. For the last three years it felt like the only guys who WWE would occasionally put on the same level with him were Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Braun Strowman. There were some quick one-off matches with other opponents during that time, like AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, and Finn Balor, but they were never serious threats to Lesnar.
All it took was one match to elevate Drew McIntyre into this conversation, and it already looks like he has a good chance to become more than just a one pay-per-view opponent for Lesnar. Nearly the entire Royal Rumble match was designed to make McIntyre look as strong as possible. He was the man who did the impossible and eliminated Brock Lesnar from the match, after the Beast Incarnate completely dismantled 13 previous wrestlers. McIntyre then went on to eliminate top stars like Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, and he also eliminated the likes of King Corbin, Ricochet, and Miz.
Coming into that match, many fans figured that two WrestleMania matches could be created by having one superstar eliminate Lesnar, with a different superstar then winning the Royal Rumble match. McIntyre took home both of those accomplishments, and could easily find himself in the main event of WrestleMania 36. It’s a surprisingly massive push for a guy who had not won a match on pay-per-view since 2018.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?