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 return of Kofi Kingston, Vince McMahon slapping Austin Theory, and Roman Reigns squashing Sami Zayn in a Universal championship match, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander
The reuniting of the Hurt Business hasn’t led to better booking for Benjamin and Alexander. They lost against the struggling Mysterios in three minutes this week (Nov. 29) on Raw, with Dominik pinning Cedric. Alexander was pinned by Dana Brooke the week before that. These guys are jobbers, even if they do get to walk to the ring with the Hurt Business entrance theme. Their entrance wasn’t even televised this week.
Does Bobby Lashley or MVP acknowledge their existence in kayfabe anymore?
Stock Down #2: Finn Balor
Roughly three months ago, plenty of people fooled themselves into thinking there was some grand plan for Finn Balor to get revenge on John Cena, or that Balor actually had a decent chance to win the Universal championship from Roman Reigns.
Finn’s booking since then should clear up any misconceptions about what his role is on the main roster. He’s never going to be the top star; he’s the guy who puts over the top stars. That’s what he’s been doing of late, losing separate matches against Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins as those two men prepare for bigger things at Day 1.
Stock Down #1: Apollo Crews & Commander Azeez
Apollo Crews lost against Damian Priest in a United States championship match on Raw. This was Apollo’s first match on Raw since being drafted to the red brand. Unlike Liv Morgan’s upcoming championship match against Becky Lynch, there was barely any kind of storyline or build up to this match. It wasn’t even advertised on the morning of the show. Crews expressed interest in Priest’s title a few weeks ago, and this very much felt like a match that was done just to get Apollo out of the way so Priest can quickly find someone more interesting to feud with next.
It’s also hard to ignore the fact that Commander Azeez doesn’t stand out as a monster on Raw because Omos is already there dominating everyone in his path.
Now let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Kevin Owens
Stock Up #2: The Miz & Maryse
The Miz & Maryse made a big splash on Raw this week when they crashed Edge’s return. Just like that, Miz finds himself back in a top spot rather than doing mid card angles with drip sticks and John Morrison.
I don’t think this is what Edge had in mind for his next feud, however. Edge has been looking forward to working with some of the younger stars on the roster like Ricochet or
Matt Riddle, as well as great wrestlers he has never worked with before, like AJ Styles and Cesaro. The Miz doesn’t fall into either of those categories. Edge has indicated that he doesn’t get to choose his stories and opponents, and the evidence is right here.
The bottom line is that WWE thinks highly of The Miz, and that’s why he occasionally gets these big spots in between his longer periods of dwelling in the mid-card.
Stock Up #1: Brock Lesnar
It’s great to be Brock Lesnar. He had no problem paying his one million dollar fine, probably because he’s the highest paid star in WWE. The Beast then returned from suspension this week (Dec. 3) and was immediately granted a Universal championship match at Day 1. Lesnar also cleverly manipulated Sami Zayn into wasting his own Universal championship match on SmackDown. Brock Lesnar is the top babyface on Friday nights, and there is a WrestleMania main event awaiting his presence.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?