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 Backlash 2020 and all of its fallout, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Lana
Lana’s interference at Backlash 2020 inadvertently hurt Bobby Lashley’s chances of winning the WWE championship, and 24 hours later he told her that he wants a divorce. This left Lana commiserating backstage with Natalya.
In the short term this is bad for Lana because it looks like an exit from the WWE championship storyline. Looking a bit further down the road, it’s easy to see a scenario where she falls out of WWE’s creative plans. Her wrestling skills don’t compare to others on the roster, and Rusev is no longer around as a fallback storyline option.
Stock Down #2: Liv Morgan
After a month of either doing nothing on Raw, or being featured in pre-taped talking segments that didn’t do much to develop her character, Liv Morgan returned to Raw and was pinned by The IIconics in a tag team match. Natalya then blamed Morgan’s rookie mistakes for the loss.
The booking here for Liv felt very different compared to April when she was picking up regular wins on television. It has naturally led to some speculation that her booking is about to take a turn for the worse without Paul Heyman around on the Raw creative team.
Stock Down #1: Mojo Rawley
Mojo Rawley is all bark and no bite. Not only was this bully embarrassed by Shorty G backstage before their match on SmackDown, he was then easily defeated in the ring. I have no idea why one of the WWE commentators tried to frame Rawley’s loss as an unexpected outcome - Mojo is pretty much a lock to lose any match that doesn’t involve the 24/7 title. With Rob Gronkowski gone from WWE, it’s tough to see things improving for Rawley.
Now let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Apollo Crews
Many people were worried that Paul Heyman’s removal from the WWE creative team would result in Apollo Crews being moved down the card. But it actually looks like the opposite is possible. MVP is now in his ear, and Crews teased a heel turn when he used the ropes to score a win over Shelton Benjamin. There are a lot of interesting scenarios that can come from Crews’ story on Raw, so let’s hope there is more signal here than noise.
Stock Up #2: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura
It seems clear that The Forgotten Sons’ spot has gone to Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura, who have quickly emerged as threats to the New Day’s SmackDown tag team titles.
Last week the Artists defeated Kofi Kingston and Big E in a tag team match, and they followed it up this week (June 19) with a successful post-match attack on the champs. They showed off a damn cool tandem finisher that combines Cesaro’s swing with Nakamura’s Kinshasa. Afterwards, Cesaro let it be known that they are sick of being overlooked. More of this, please.
Stock Up #1: Randy Orton
Randy Orton was victorious over Edge at Backlash 2020 in a match that WWE branded as The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever. Orton used his punt to take out Edge, and he also used that move to defeat Christian in an unsanctioned match on Raw the next night (June 15). The Viper is currently positioned as the top heel in WWE, and he could very well be lined up for a WWE championship match against Drew McIntyre later this summer.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?