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 Money in the Bank 2020 and all of its fallout, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Bobby Lashley
Lashley has decided to de-emphasize Lana from his presentation, and now MVP is latching on to him. It’s resulting in a lot of wins over babyfaces, including R-Truth at Money in the Bank, and Humberto Carrillo on this week’s (May 11) Raw.
Now MVP is whispering into Lashley’s ear about how he should be in the WWE championship mix. Drew McIntyre is going to need some new opponents this summer, and it sure looks like Lashley is being groomed for a championship match sooner rather than later.
Stock Up #2: Asuka
Asuka won the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match, and then officially became the Raw women’s champion just 24 hours later due to Becky Lynch’s pregnancy. Asuka has consistently been a bright spot during WWE’s empty arena shows, and now it looks like she’ll be the lead women’s babyface on Raw opposite heels like Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax.
Stock Up #1: Otis
Otis won the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match, which means he’s just one step away from becoming the Universal or WWE champion. No time was wasted in teasing that Otis might cash in at any moment on Braun Strowman, so it looks like Otis could be a regular presence in SmackDown’s upper card or main event scene going forward.
Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn has decided to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic, and therefore he was stripped of the Intercontinental championship this week. Zayn really hasn’t wrestled much since last fall, and it looks like he won’t return to action any time soon.
Maybe there won’t be any other booking consequences for his decision to stay home, but given WWE’s pettiness, it sounds like some wrestlers are understandably worried about repercussions if they do not show up to Raw or SmackDown right now. It’s worth wondering how this might affect Zayn’s booking whenever he does return to a WWE ring.
Stock Down #2: Viking Raiders
The Viking Raiders sorely needed some character development, but WWE decided to pursue the bad comedy route of achieving that goal. There’s no audience to listen to, so it’s hard to say for sure that it’s failing, but I can’t imagine that singing in a car and then goofy sports segments are going to help them get over. Even sticking within kayfabe here, it’s not clear why hitting a few half court shots and one slam dunk means they got the last laugh on the Street Profits, who outscored them by more than 70 points prior to that.
The main thing on my mind while watching this basketball segment was that The Revival clearly made the right decision in getting as far away from WWE’s concept of tag team wrestling as possible. The tag champs and top contenders on Raw are playing silly basketball games against each other. Ricochet and Cedric Alexander played second fiddle to comedy from R-Truth’s “Pretty Ricky” persona on Raw. Zelina Vega’s crew can’t get along, and have their heads kicked off by Drew McIntyre most weeks. Then there’s Brendan Vink and Shane Thorne, who were defeated by comedy from “Pretty Ricky.”
Raw’s tag team division is a complete joke.
Stock Down #1: Naomi
Naomi’s booking woes continue, and at this point it’s expected. She once again lost a match to Dana Brooke on SmackDown this week (May 15), and it’s hard to find a woman on the SmackDown roster who is booked worse than Naomi. With the Usos out of the picture for a while, perhaps the answer here is a heel turn for Naomi?
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?