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 Tamina dominating the SmackDown women, Becky Lynch watching a 45 minute match in the middle of her promo, and some very important updates on Elias, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: John Cena & Bray Wyatt
Cena and Wyatt have told a good story on the way to their Firefly Fun House match at WrestleMania 36, and this week’s (Apr. 3) go-home angle was particularly effective. Cena compared The Fiend to a global pandemic, Wyatt’s puppets delivered some creepy lines, and then we got ourselves a jump scare.
Stock Up #2: Everyone involved in the Otis/Mandy story
We finally got the big reveal that Sonya Deville and Dolph Ziggler conspired to sabotage Mandy’s date on Valentine’s Day with Otis, and now the foundation is there for a special Macho Man / Elizabeth type moment between Otis and Mandy at WrestleMania 36.
Stock Up #1: Undertaker, Edge, Kevin Owens, Paul Heyman
These four performers all delivered killer go-home promos on Raw this week (Mar. 30). It’s too bad that WrestleMania 36 is taped show with no live audience, because the amount of hype that these four stars added to their respective matches was extremely impressive. Undertaker might have delivered his best promo in years when he promised to make AJ Styles famous in a boneyard.
Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Andrade
Andrade was replaced on the WrestleMania 36 card due to injury. It’s startling just how infrequently Andrade has found his way onto pay-per-view cards in WWE considering he’s generally pushed well on television.
Stock Down #2: Drew McIntyre
McIntyre has been almost a complete non-factor on these empty venue Raw episodes, which is not ideal for someone who could very well be wrestling in the main event on Sunday night.
The lack of a live audience has really put Drew in an unfortunate situation as far as his WrestleMania 36 booking is concerned. Beating Lesnar in front of zero people isn’t exactly going to come off like a career-defining WrestleMania moment that will rank up there with Stone Cold and Daniel Bryan. But Paul Heyman made it very clear that Drew will just be “Brock’s bitch” when he loses, so that’s not really a viable option. Maybe WWE will book a smoz or DQ finish to stall, but then the match very likely won’t main event the card in that case.
Stock Down #1: Goldberg & Braun Strowman
We’re a fan blog here at Cageside Seats, where everyone from staff to community members are all just fans giving their opinions on what they see. Sometimes that will involve WWE receiving criticism for their decision-making, and when that happens there is usually some pushback from others who think the people who criticize WWE are being toxic haters who have some kind of agenda. It’s of course a silly conclusion to make; criticism and hate are very different things, and it’s easy to tell the difference.
In this particular case, WWE received sharp criticism from many fans after the Mar. 27 episode of SmackDown ended with WWE falsely advertising Roman Reigns as Goldberg’s opponent for WrestleMania 36. This was met with some resistance from others who said WWE still had one final episode of SmackDown to run an angle where Braun Strowman gets the spot, or at least offer an explanation of the change.
With that in mind, WWE had over a week to figure out how to move Strowman into Reigns’ spot on the card. Even after Reigns confirmed his absence from WrestleMania 36 on Instagram, WWE went ahead with falsely advertising Goldberg vs. Reigns. Triple H acknowledged Roman’s situation in an interview and then said it would be handled in a unique manner.
That unique way turned out to be completely ignoring Roman Reigns. That unique way turned out to be not explaining a damn thing. That unique way turned out to be Michael Cole just running down the lineup of WrestleMania 36 and saying that Goldberg is facing Braun Strowman. WWE gave no explanation for why the main event of WrestleMania was changed. They didn’t create any angle or story behind the change. Instead they decided to treat their fans like stupid morons and pretend like nothing happened.
Goldberg and Braun Strowman now have a Universal championship match at WrestleMania 36 that has just as much of a story behind it as Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley. Goldberg and Strowman have both been put in a bad spot here by WWE.
If this is all it was ever going to be, WWE could have made this announcement as soon as the news broke that Reigns pulled out. There was time for Goldberg and Strowman to tape some remote promos that could have aired on SmackDown or social media during the week. Instead WWE blatantly went ahead with false advertising for over a week, shamelessly deceiving their fanbase.
Crap like this is why WWE often deserves the criticism they get, and crap like this is why they don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?