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 nWo invading SmackDown, Beth Phoenix taking an RKO, and Aleister Black’s first pin fall loss on the main roster, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Street Profits
Seth Rollins and his disciples were finally thwarted on this week’s (Mar. 2) episode of Raw. The Street Profits took advantage of some help from Kevin Owens to win the Raw tag titles from Murphy & Rollins, With WrestleMania right around the corner, this is the right time of year to be holding some gold. Their championship rematch at Elimination Chamber will let us know whether this push is real, or if WWE just needed a reason to book an extra match on the pay-per-view.
Stock Up #2: Heavy Machinery
WWE usually dusts off the gauntlet match at this time of year to get someone hot right before WrestleMania. In 2018 it was Seth Rollins. Last year it was Kofi Kingston. And now this week (Mar. 6) on SmackDown, Heavy Machinery ran through four teams in a gauntlet match, only to lose in heartbreaking fashion to the fifth and final team, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. Tucker and Otis shined throughout the entire match while beating the best teams that WWE has to offer. Otis is particularly over with the fans, and it’s clear that he’s a big time star. This was an extremely effective way to create an even stronger connection between the fans and Heavy Machinery.
Stock Up #1: Drew McIntyre
Now this is how you push a babyface to be a credible threat against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Drew McIntyre laid out Brock Lesnar with three Claymore kicks on Raw, and the audience was completely behind him the entire time, asking for more. He beat the hell out of the champ, held up the title, and looked cool as hell doing it. Brock’s terrific selling helped Drew look like a million bucks in this segment.
Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Apollo Crews
This guy couldn’t beat Sheamus in a handicap match a few weeks back, but for some reason thought it would be wise to ignore Shorty G’s help and go at it alone. Needless to say, Sheamus beat him very quickly with a Brogue kick.
Stock Down #2: Erick Rowan
Rowan has been steadily pushed since last summer, when he was revealed to be the guy who tried to murder Roman Reigns. He was then moved over to Raw, spent most of his time squashing jobbers while carrying a mysterious cage, but was never part of any substantive feud that would end up on pay-per-view.
The last couple of weeks have exposed what a huge waste of time his entire push has been. Three losses suddenly piled up in quick succession in the latter half of February. Then this week, the final thing keeping him interesting was revealed to be a giant fake spider. The underwhelming reveal took place in a backstage segment with No Way Jose.
WWE spent a whole bunch of time on Rowan’s push since last summer, and even gave him a pay-per-view win over Roman Reigns for some reason, just so they could eventually reveal that he’s been carrying a big phony spider in a cage that has somehow bloodied people.
This whole thing was pointless. These last seven months would have been better utilized showcasing one of the other many talented superstars who creative has forgotten about.
Rowan’s not even that good in the ring, nor is he all that charismatic. He never should have been pushed in a singles role to begin with.
Stock Down #1: Ricochet
Oh man. This dude went from being the top contender for the WWE championship, to getting squashed with zero offense in the actual WWE championship match, and now being pinned by the 24/7 champion. That’s right, Ricochet isn’t even good enough to hold a jobber title that the important stars on the roster don’t bother trying to win. This is either an outright burial or a setup for him to eventually become a disciple for Seth Rollins. At this point it’s very easy to be skeptical of WWE’s plans for him going forward, assuming there are any plans at all other than being a total loser.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?