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 Extreme Rules 2021 and night one of the WWE Draft, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Charlotte Flair
Charlotte Flair retained the Raw women’s championship by defeating Alexa Bliss at Extreme Rules. She then became the first woman picked in the WWE Draft and stood tall over Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks at the end of SmackDown. It’s good to be The Queen, especially when the FOX network is rumored to be so high on her.
Stock Up #2: Brock Lesnar
WWE’s next pay-per-view is Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia on Oct. 21, which means it’s time for Brock Lesnar to receive a huge spotlight on television. In addition to coming off like the top star in the company whenever he appears on TV, like he did last night on SmackDown, Lesnar was positioned above the entire roster in the WWE Draft. He’s a free agent and can go wherever he likes, because he’s Brock Lesnar and he’s a bigger deal than anybody else in WWE. That’s the message I got from last night’s show, anyway. Even fellow part-timer Edge was thrown into the draft, but not Brock.
Stock Up #1: Big E
Winning the WWE championship is great and all, but Big E still needed a definitive win over a top heel in a lengthy main event match to cement that he’s no fluke who just got lucky with a Money in the Bank cash-in. He got that win on this week’s episode of Raw, prevailing over Bobby Lashley in a steel cage match. Big E didn’t take any shortcuts to get the job done. In fact, he overcame an unfair pre-match attack from the All Mighty. Big E proved he is the better man and is a worthy WWE champion.
Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Jaxson Ryker
Did you know Jaxson Ryker built up an undefeated record of 10-0 ever since he split with Elias? Half of those wins came on Raw, and the other half came on Main Event.
Some warning signs popped up for him after beating Elias in a Symphony of Destruction match on the July 19 episode of Raw. Elias disappeared from Raw in the aftermath, and so did Ryker.
Lil’ Hogan was spotted earlier this month on Raw chasing jobber gold, which was another troubling sign for his push. He then returned to action on this week’s (Sept. 27) episode, where he was easily squashed by Karrion Kross. So much for that undefeated streak.
Stock Down #2: Alexa Bliss
As mentioned above, Alexa Bliss came up short against Charlotte Flair at Extreme Rules. After the match was over, Alexa’s stupid doll Lilly was destroyed by Flair, leaving Bliss crying in despair. For some folks, this looked like the final nail in the coffin for Alexa’s current supernatural gimmick. For others, it was the latest case of a WWE superstar being humiliated and beaten in her hometown.
It sounds like Bliss will be off television for a while due to surgery, so we’ll have to wait a bit before we have any clarification on how her gimmick might change as a result of this angle.
Stock Down #1: Finn Bálor
Roughly two months after rejoining WWE’s main roster, they already booked the Demon to lose his undefeated record at Extreme Rules. WWE chose a really bad way to do it, by having Finn flop around like a fish on the floor and then fall off a broken rope.
It was very easy to criticize this very dumb ending to a wrestling match, yet some folks urged fans to let the story play out before forming an opinion. WWE will surely provide meaningful follow-up on Bálor’s situation during this week’s (Oct. 1) episode of SmackDown, those people insisted. At the very least, WWE will explain why the rope broke, so that some people can stop assuming it was divine intervention.
Nothing of the sort happened. WWE quickly moved Roman Reigns away from Finn and right into his next feud with Brock Lesnar. WWE commentator Pat McAfee dismissed the need to explain the broken rope by reminding fans there are no rules in an Extreme Rules match, so the book is closed on that one and it’s time to move on.
Indeed, WWE wasted zero time moving on from Finn Bálor as a main event babyface on SmackDown. He never appeared on last night’s show, and WWE made no effort to try to help him save face after he looked like a goofball at the end of Extreme Rules.
Finn Bálor’s current run on SmackDown hasn’t even lasted three months, yet it feels like he already needs a change of scenery and should be drafted to Raw for a fresh start. That’s what two months with a couple of terrible booking decisions can do to a wrestler.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?