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 Apollo Crews’ new accent, Braun Strowman and Adam Pearce almost winning the Raw tag team titles, and Randy Orton cutting a promo on himself, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Cesaro
The Swiss Cyborg made it look easy against Murphy on this week’s (Mar. 5) SmackDown. It’s been almost two months, but I’m still not used to singles wrestler Cesaro being pushed on WWE television. He is is clearly headed for a big match against Seth Rollins, either at Fastlane 2021 or WrestleMania 37. Will this push actually translate to some pay-per-view wins for Cesaro?
Stock Up #2: Daniel Bryan
With a steel cage victory over Jey Uso, Daniel Bryan has now replaced Kevin Owens as the top men’s babyface on SmackDown. Perhaps he’s just a placeholder challenger for Roman Reigns’ Universal championship until the Edge story kicks into high gear, but for now Bryan has a chance at Fastlane to show why he’s still among the best in the world.
Stock Up #1: Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley squashed The Miz on Raw and became the WWE champion. This was the culmination of Lashley’s push as the most protected heel on Raw going back to last summer. He appears to be locked into a WWE championship match at WrestleMania 37. The primary question is, will his opponent be Drew McIntyre or Brock Lesnar?
Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Shayna Baszler
Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax had a very busy week wrestling on Raw, SmackDown, and NXT television. The results show that WWE is sticking to a trend that already stood out three months ago, where Jax is presented as a cut above her partner. Jax beat Naomi on this week’s (Mar. 1) Raw in two minutes, while Baszler was defeated in separate singles matches against Charlotte Flair on Raw and Bianca Belair on SmackDown.
Such is the plight of the tag team wrestler who is the far better worker than her partner. If the idea is to fill out television time with passable singles matches featuring Flair or Belair, then Baszler should be in those matches instead of Jax. Nia Jax almost throwing Dakota Kai on her head while trying to slam her on NXT is the latest reminder of that. But that means Baszler is getting pinned multiple times in a week like she’s nobody special. Meanwhile, Jax pinned Charlotte Flair at Royal Rumble, pinned Sasha Banks at Elimination Chamber, and pinned Asuka on Raw two weeks ago.
Baszler has yet to have a proper singles championship feud ever since she lost against Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 36 nearly one year ago, and these booking decisions make it seem like she’ll have to break away from Jax for that to be possible again.
Stock Down #2: Naomi & Lana
On the Feb. 1 episode of Raw, Naomi and Lana earned a future match for the women’s tag team titles. Here we are over a month later, and they are still waiting to receive that title shot. Meanwhile, Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair were booked in a tag team championship match for Fastlane despite failing already at Elimination Chamber. With Jax easily beating Naomi on Raw this week, and Lana admitting a few weeks back that she doesn’t expect to win and is just happy to be on television, things aren’t looking so good for their title chances.
Stock Down #1: The Miz
The Miz is no longer WWE champion after dropping the title in a squash match on Raw. His eight day WWE championship reign ranks as one of the very worst of all-time. This was always a plausible direction for his championship reign considering that he’s been booked nothing like a top singles star over the last year. It’s not all bad news for the Miz, since he will still likely be involved in a celebrity match at WrestleMania 37, but the way his brief championship run played out provides further evidence that Miz shouldn’t be taken seriously as a main event performer in WWE.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?