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 The Fiend attacking Alexa Bliss, Sonya Deville cutting Mandy Rose’s hair, and Shorty G turning heel for the sake of a king’s ransom, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Ricochet & Cedric Alexander
These two guys competed in a tag team triple threat match this week to determine the top contenders for the Raw tag team titles. Here’s a thing WWE commentator Tom Phillips actually said about Ricochet and Alexander on their way to the ring for that match:
“There’s been some growing pains. The win-loss record’s not exactly what they would like. But there seems to be a universal agreement amongst the WWE Universe that these two are championship material.”
You know things are bad when the only way their presence in an important match can be justified is by saying there is “universal agreement” among fans that they are worthy. Of course Cedric Alexander took the fall in this match, because like Tom Phillips reminded us, their win-loss record is not their strength.
Stock Down #2: Aleister Black
Black’s poor fortune continued this week (July 27) on Raw when Murphy violently shoved his eye into the corner of the ring steps. That’s a well known way to force an eye to pop out of its socket and disrupt your vision for a week or two, but thankfully Aleister doesn’t seem to have suffered that kind of devastating inconvenience. Black was helpless in Murphy’s hands and needed to be saved by Dominik Mysterio.
There are rumors going around that Vince McMahon is not a fan of Black’s gimmick, and Black himself has even hinted at a change coming. Until that happens, it looks like Aleister will be a guy getting his ass kicked by Seth Rollins and his goons more often than not.
Stock Down #1: Mustafa Ali
Last week was Mustafa Ali’s return to WWE television, and I said that it makes all the sense in the world for WWE to give him a push. Several readers agreed, but concluded that meant Ali would be losing right away, because they’re accustomed to WWE doing things that do not make sense.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened this week on Raw. Mustafa Ali was immediately fed to Bobby Lashley and tapped out to the full nelson. Ali looked like a chump, and it’s clear that his return pin on MVP wasn’t about setting up a push. You don’t have a babyface tap out one week after his return if you’re trying to push him.
So much for Vince McMahon’s youth movement.
Now let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Big E
Big E’s singles push is finally here. He used a new submission finisher to put away Miz this week (July 31) on SmackDown. Establishing a new signature move is a key to differentiating singles wrestler Big E from tag team wrestler Big E, and suggests this push has legs behind it. And thighs, too.
Stock Up #2: Randy Orton
Since becoming WWE champion at WrestleMania 36, I don’t believe that Drew McIntyre has ever ended an episode of Raw laid out on his back. The closest thing to it was that strange ending on June 1 when he was locked in Bobby Lashley’s full nelson, but WWE made sure to abruptly go off the air early in the struggle rather than show McIntyre succumb to the maneuver. WWE even went out of their way to clarify that McIntyre did not pass out in Lashley’s hands.
The point is that McIntyre has been damn near invincible over the last several months, but Randy Orton finally put an end to that by hitting him with an RKO outta nowhere in the closing angle on this week’s Raw. Orton is going to challenge for the WWE championship at SummerSlam 2020 in what will probably be the main event of the card, and it sounds like Randy could very well walk out with the gold.
Stock Up #1: Bayley & Sasha Banks
Bayley and Sasha Banks continue to dominate WWE television and win important matches. In Bayley’s case, she successfully defended the SmackDown women’s championship in a main event match against Nikki Cross.
The bigger story this week was Sasha Banks winning the Raw women’s championship from Asuka. She won the title via count out after Bayley ambushed Kairi Sane backstage and forced Asuka into an impossible choice.
The angle that led to the title change has created a much more interesting and personal story between Banks and Asuka, which will likely become a focal point of SummerSlam 2020.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?