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 Heath Slater confronting Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens returning to Raw, and MVP creating a new United States championship, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Randy Orton
On this week’s (July 6) Raw, Orton wrestled in a six man tag team match alongside Angel Garza and Andrade, who have had trouble working together lately. So how did Randy convince them to remain on the same page during the match? He grabbed Garza by the throat and threatened to murder him if he didn’t get his head out of his ass. What do you know, Orton’s intimidation worked, and the heels were victorious.
On top of that, Orton was later involved in a pretty funny backstage segment where R-Truth accused Ric Flair of being Akira Tozawa in disguise, which led to Randy helping Truth escape from a bunch of ninjas.
All in all, it was another great week for the Legend Killer.
Stock Up #2: Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy lost to Sheamus last month at Backlash, and so WWE is going with the narrative that it’s the latest example of Jeff disappointing everyone who believes in him.
But as far as in-ring competition goes, Jeff Hardy has been quite successful since returning to WWE a few months ago. He’s won every match he’s had outside of Backlash, and he even beat Sheamus in the more important of their two matches, which took place during the Intercontinental championship tournament.
Hardy showed once again this week (July 10) on SmackDown that he’s very good at winning, this time overcoming a distraction from Sheamus and still managing to beat The Miz in a singles match.
Stock Up #1: Kabuki Warriors
Kairi Sane returned to Raw this week and took Sasha Banks to the limit, before Bayley had to cheat to prevent Sane from securing the win. Asuka then defeated Bayley in the main event in a champion vs. champion match.
As a result, Asuka and Sane are riding high into their upcoming women’s tag team championship match against Bayley and Banks on the July 13 Raw.
Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Ricochet
Ricochet has been back on Raw the last couple weeks, perhaps because WWE needs a few extra bodies right now due to their outbreak of COVID-19. He’s been decimated by Lashley both weeks. On top of that, MVP is actively recruiting Ricochet’s tag partner, Cedric Alexander. That means Alexander has a more plausible path out of jobber status than Ricochet does right now.
Stock Down #2: Ruby Riott
Ruby Riott has now lost in singles competition against both members of The IIconics, who have never been presented as successful singles wrestlers on the main roster. Maybe the idea is for Ruby to eventually triumph if she can form an alliance with Liv Morgan. But the main idea WWE has beat over my head since Ruby Riott returned in February is that she is a loser.
According to CageMatch, Riott has yet to win a match since she returned five months ago. That includes Raw, pay-per-view (PPV), and even Main Event. Considering how much time she missed due to injury before that, it looks like her last victory occurred on a house show in April 2019. The last time she won a televised match was in February 2019, when she was being set up for a PPV match against Ronda Rousey.
I understand why some fans remain optimistic that WWE will follow through on a potentially very interesting reunion story here with Riott and Morgan. But it’s completely understandable why others remain skeptical, considering how often Vince McMahon changes booking plans and drops stories on a whim.
On the bright side, at least Ruby isn’t stuck doing bad karaoke on SmackDown.
Stock Down #1: Lacey Evans, Tamina, Naomi, Jey Uso, Dana Brooke
These five wrestlers were all involved in a terrible karaoke segment on SmackDown, and it was one of the worst segments in the history of the show. It’s not even worth taking the time to figure out who came off worse or better than others here. Just being part of this truly awful segment is enough to hurt your stock.
The SmackDown roster seems to have been affected the most by WWE’s outbreak of COVID-19, which means there is plenty of television time to fill, and presumably more opportunities for wrestlers who have not been featured lately. That this is the best WWE could come up with for these performers is a blight on the entire creative process.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?