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WWE Stock Report: Moving Edge away from Randy Orton is a great decision

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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 Matt Riddle running the gauntlet, crispy Randy Orton delivering an RKO to Alexa Bliss, and a whole bunch of Raw stars crashing SmackDown, a lot of fortunes were changed.

With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:

Stock Down #3: Murphy

As recently as November, Murphy was heating up as an ally of the Mysterios, including wins over Seth Rollins and Corbin. But the Australian superstar has vanished from SmackDown television since early December.

Rey Mysterio recently hinted at bringing in some help to deal with Corbin, and that makes the recent absence of Murphy really stand out. It’s clear that the Mysterios could use Murphy’s assistance, because Corbin has dominated them all month long.

Given that we are in the middle of a global pandemic with many disruptive travel restrictions, this could be a situation that is out of WWE’s control. Regardless of the circumstances, Murphy is now completely off the WWE radar with the biggest shows of the year coming up.

Stock Down #2: Angel Garza

According to the data at CageMatch, nine of Garza’s last 11 matches have occurred on Main Event; he’s only had one match on Raw over the last three months. Considering how often recent episodes of Raw have asked multiple wrestlers to perform double duty, as well as the fact that Raw is three hours long, it’s just sheer incompetence at this point that WWE can’t find time on Monday nights for this super charismatic and gorgeous man who has mastered the art of ripping his pants off. I guess that Garza’s status as 24/7 champion to kick off 2021 really was an ominous sign for his spot on the card.

Stock Down #1: Keith Lee

Keith Lee missed the final two episodes of Raw prior to Royal Rumble 2021. No matter what the reason is for his absence, Lee now appears to be a non-factor in the men’s Royal Rumble match, where he was expected to be a top contender to win.

Now let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:

Stock Up #3: Braun Strowman

Strowman has been off WWE television for the last two months due to a kayfabe suspension that may have been cover for a legitimate injury. But that’s over with now; the Monster returned during the final minutes of the go home episode of SmackDown to wreak havoc and be hyped up by the commentators as the new favorite to win the men’s Royal Rumble match.

Stock Up #2: Bianca Belair

Belair followed up on last week’s impressive feat of strength by defeating Bayley in a singles match on last night’s (Jan. 29) SmackDown. This was presented as the biggest win of Bianca’s career thus far. The EST of WWE has all the momentum in the world behind her right now with the women’s Royal Rumble match coming up tomorrow night.

Stock Up #1: Edge

Seemingly out of nowhere, Edge revealed on this week’s (Jan. 25) Raw that he will return to WWE as an entrant in the men’s Royal Rumble match. His promo painted a picture of a man who was forced to drop the world championship ten years ago due to injury, and is desperate to win the Royal Rumble match so that he can return to WrestleMania and reclaim his prize that he never lost. With one promo, Edge is now among the favorites to win the Royal Rumble match.

Ever since Edge suffered torn triceps in June 2020, the rumor mill has strongly suggested that his return in 2021 would include one more WrestleMania match against Randy Orton, to cap off their feud. But this didn’t sound like a man who is looking to mix it up for a third time with Orton, and the Viper already has his hands full with fireballs and fiends anyway.

Edge has spoken about how he wants to use his comeback to get in the ring with wrestlers he’s never competed against before, like AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Ricochet. Maybe last year’s injury and missed time has created more urgency for Edge to find these new opponents before the window closes. The bottom line is that it looks like WWE is moving Edge away from Orton, and that’s the best thing possible.

There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?