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 debut of Xia Li, Becky Lynch defeating Liv Morgan in the main event of Raw, and New Day winning bragging rights over RK-Bro and The Usos, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Alpha Academy
Alpha Academy’s role is a bit unusual in that Gable is a longtime jobber, whereas Otis is protected from taking falls. But their failures as a team have endured long enough where Otis is hurt merely by association. Otis has accomplished nothing as a heel other than having his personality completely stripped away.
Their latest defeat came against The Mysterios on this week’s (Dec. 6) Raw in the opening round of the RK-Bro-nament. Otis and Rey never tagged in, so it was effectively a singles match where Dominik beat Gable. Otis did slam
Matt Riddle after the match, but it’s hard to see how WWE can salvage anything out of Otis as long as he remains a boring heel with a jobber partner.
Stock Down #2: Los Lotharios
On last night’s (Dec. 10) episode of SmackDown, the commentators tried to hype up Los Lotharios by talking about their undefeated record on Friday nights since the draft. Angel and Humberto then proceeded to easily lose in less than 90 seconds against Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura. It was pretty darn close to a squash match. So much for that undefeated record.
Stock Down #1: Toni Storm
After some very bad pie-throwing angles over the last two weeks, Toni Storm’s match against Charlotte Flair last night on SmackDown was a chance for the babyface to build credibility as a worthy challenger for Flair’s SmackDown women’s championship. WWE couldn’t possibly book Storm to lose this match, right?
Indeed, Toni Storm technically won the match. But it was by intentional disqualification after Flair repeatedly stomped the hell out of her into the ring post. Flair beat her up some more after the match and left her laying in the ring, in case the point wasn’t already driven home.
I guess WWE thinks this builds up sympathy for Toni, but it’s not the finish she needs at this early point in her main roster run where she’ll have to kick a lot of ass to get the fans invested in her.
Now let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Brock Lesnar
Babyface Brock Lesnar and delusional Sami Zayn have been carrying SmackDown television over the last two weeks. It’s been very refreshing to see Brock do more than just stand there and look intimidating while Paul Heyman cuts a long promo for him. Being a babyface allows him to cleverly outwit heels like Zayn while still bringing all his overwhelming physical tools to the table. And even though it feels like almost nobody in WWE has a chance to beat Roman Reigns for the Universal championship, Brock Lesnar is one of the few exceptions to that rule.
Stock Up #2: Bobby Lashley
Lashley had a rough stretch in mid September to late October where he lost the WWE championship and was pinned by top stars like Roman Reigns, Big E, and Goldberg. He has recovered in recent weeks to make quick work of The Mysterios and insert himself back into the WWE championship mix. There’s a good chance that he’ll be added to Big E’s title defense at Day 1 against Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens.
Stock Up #1: Austin Theory
There’s no doubt that Austin Theory’s segments with Vince McMahon are very awkward. One week Vince is slapping him around, and when Vince asks Austin to do something to impress him the following week, Austin’s immediate response is to start unzipping his clothes. Given that WWE actually used the phrase “higher authority” on SmackDown last night, I’m convinced these strange McMahon/Theory segments exist solely for the future payoff where Vince reveals to Austin that it was him all along.
Nonetheless, things seem to be working out just fine for Theory at the moment. After having success in the ring against Jeff Hardy and The Mysterios in October, and challenging Big E for the WWE championship in November, Theory has now stuck his nose in Finn Balor’s business. Being involved in angles with McMahon and Balor is an enviable position to be in for a main roster newcomer like Theory.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?