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 Commander Azeez winning the Nigerian Medal of Honor, Humberto Carrillo’s match stopped early due to a legitimate injury, and a WrestleMania rematch between Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Shinsuke Nakamura
Nakamura was pinned by King Corbin again this week (May 14) on SmackDown, which is not great, but then he made a lasting impression by stealing the king’s crown and demonstrating the proper way to model such an extravagant treasure.
Stock Up #2: Jinder Mahal
Jinder Mahal returned to Raw this week (May 10) with a victory over Jeff Hardy, and the modern day Maharaja brought some bigger friends with him this time. It’s hard to know exactly what kind of push Jinder will receive in his latest run in WWE, but he’s already talking about the WWE championship, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him mix it up with Drew McIntyre soon enough.
Stock Up #1: Tamina & Natalya
Tamina & Natalya received a big spotlight on SmackDown last night, beating Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler to win the Women’s tag team titles. They cut a babyface promo afterwards to hype up Tamina’s first major title win (sorry 24/7 title fans, but jobber gold doesn’t count). Tamina and Natalya now have an opportunity to increase their presence in WWE by appearing on both Raw and SmackDown each week, just as Jax and Baszler have previously done throughout 2021.
Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: The former members of RETRIBUTION
The former RETRIBUTION members are struggling to maintain relevance on WWE television.
MACE and T-BAR had a glimpse of hope when they picked a fight with Drew McIntyre on Raw shortly after WrestleMania 37 and got rid of their stupid masks. But they have now vanished again over the last two weeks.
Mia Yim was rumored to debut on SmackDown each of the last two weeks, bit it still hasn’t happened. WWE doesn’t appear to have any idea on what to do with her; she has wrestled in zero matches in 2021.
SLAPJACK is also rumored to be making the move to SmackDown but has yet to show up.
Mustafa Ali is holding down the fort on Main Event in matches against Ricochet that most WWE fans have no idea even exist.
The collective plight of these wrestlers shows how hard it can be to bounce back from a failed gimmick.
Stock Down #2: Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler has been pinned by both Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio in separate singles matches over the last two weeks. Dolph’s insistence that Dominik is an inexperienced child who doesn’t belong in WWE only makes it look worse for Dolph when he loses, and the commentators even wondered when Robert Roode is going to turn on this loser. This is very bad way for a defending champion to walk into his pay-per-view title defense.
Stock Down #1: Asuka
Asuka faced Raw women’s champion Rhea Ripley on this week’s episode, with Charlotte Flair at the commentary table. Late in the match, Flair distracted Ripley, leaving the champ vulnerable to Asuka’s hip attack.
Distractions are tantamount to instant failure for many wrestlers in WWE. But Ripley was able to overcome that distraction (and Asuka’s brief advantage) to eventually win clean with Riptide. Asuka looked bad enough here that even Batista called out WWE’s booking on Instagram:
This finish begs the question, why exactly is Asuka worthy of another championship match on Sunday at WrestleMania Backlash? It’s understandable why so many fans aren’t giving Asuka much of a chance to win the title back in that match.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?