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 AJ Styles beating Matt Riddle, Braun Strowman squashing John Morrison, and Randy Orton challenging Big Show to an unsanctioned match, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Bianca Belair & Shayna Baszler
After months away from Raw, Bianca Belair and Shayna Baszler both returned this week (July 13). Belair picked up a tag team win with Ruby Riott, while Baszler beat up some ninjas and cut a promo on the women’s division.
It’s good for both women that they are back on television Monday nights, but there are reasons to keep expectations tempered for now. In the case of Belair, it’s because she may have been a placeholder for Liv Morgan. In the case of Baszler, the wording of her promo was awkward at times, with phrasing like “that the limbs and the terror left in my wake are nothing but a distant memory.” It just comes off like reciting a scripted promo rather than something one would naturally say.
Stock Up #2: Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens doesn’t have much going on for this Sunday (July 19) at Extreme Rules, but that didn’t stop WWE from booking him to beat Seth Rollins on this week’s Raw. Beating Rollins is always a big deal, and it’s an indicator that Owens will be a force to be reckoned with as we move forward from The Horror Show.
Stock Up #1: Bayley & Sasha Banks
Bayley and Banks dominated both Raw and SmackDown this week, with tag team victories on each show over Asuka and either Kairi Sane (Raw) or Nikki Cross (SmackDown).
The top story in WWE right now is Bayley and Banks’ pursuit of all the championship gold this Sunday at Extreme Rules 2020. Considering how well they have been pushed lately, becoming the Two Woman Power Trip may very well be the next step for Sasha and Bayley.
Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Nikki Cross
There isn’t much reason to think that Nikki Cross will beat Bayley for the SmackDown women’s championship at Extreme Rules 2020. After being pinned by Bayley on consecutive episodes of SmackDown, WWE has even booked Nikki Cross into doubting herself.
Stock Down #2: Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler has been back on Raw for four weeks now, and he has yet to clearly stand tall over Drew McIntyre in a physical confrontation.
The first week was a promo with no physical conflict, where their WWE championship match for Extreme Rules 2020 was made official.
The second week was a contract signing with a brief physical interaction, and then a mixed tag team match. Ziggler’s team beat McIntyre’s team, but it was because Sasha Banks pinned Asuka.
The third week was the return of Heath Slater, where both Dolph and Drew got to beat up on Heath.
The fourth week was a promo where McIntyre laid Dolph out with a punch. Later on they briefly brawled backstage.
WWE hasn’t given Dolph a single moment where he actually looks like he can go toe-to-toe with Drew McIntyre. That’s a wise decision, because it’s very important to push Drew as the top guy right now, and getting beat up by a pretender like Dolph would undermine that objective. But the point remains that Dolph has no credibility going into their WWE championship match at Extreme Rules 2020. He couldn’t even beat Mansoor or Otis on pay-per-view earlier this year.
Stock Down #1: Naomi
Naomi’s booking was already at a low point roughly three months ago when Dana Brooke kept her from qualifying for Money in the Bank 2020. She has not won a match since February, and now she’s putting over Lacey Evans in a storyline that revolves around terrible karaoke.
Naomi hasn’t been booked well in years, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing any time soon.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?