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 Bianca Belair and Bayley setting up an “I Quit” match, babyface Jaxson Ryker beating Elias in a strap match, and the return of Zelina Vega, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: MVP & Kofi Kingston
While Drew McIntyre is busy rambling about Scottish folklore more often than not, Kofi Kingston is cutting extremely effective babyface promos that make him super easy to root for in his upcoming WWE championship match against Bobby Lashley at Money in the Bank 2021 on July 18. The segment between Kingston and MVP on this week’s (June 28) Raw showed both performers at their best on the mic, ending with a satisfying form of payback for what The Hurt Business did to Xavier Woods inside Hell in a Cell.
Stock Up #2: Otis
With Otis’ easy and swift destruction of Angelo Dawkins last night (July 2) on SmackDown, the commentators made it clear that Otis is now a force to be reckoned with, and the rest of the roster should be shaking in their boots. That makes it sound like Otis could be in line for a big singles push, with Chad Gable as his handler.
Stock Up #1: Riddle
Even though he came up short in the main event triple threat match,
Matt Riddle was pretty much the star of the show on this week’s Raw. The phony letter he claimed was written by Randy Orton was hilarious, as was taking on the identity of Orton throughout the night. This included being startled by Randy’s pyro. Riddle is a goofball, but the RK-BRO story keeps him relevant in the upper card on Raw, and he will likely be a big hit with the returning live fans. His chances of winning the Money in the Bank contract don’t look too shabby either.
Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke
Mandy and Dana are one of the very few established teams left in WWE to chase Natalya and Tamina for the tag titles, but the results in the ring don’t line up with future title challengers. Mandy jobbed to Natalya at Hell in a Cell, and she was also pinned by Charlotte Flair in a six-woman tag match on this week’s Raw. Many makeshift teams would stand a better chance against the tag champs than the Sexy Muscle Friends.
Stock Down #2: Jimmy Uso
Jimmy Uso’s defiance of Roman Reigns made him one of the most interesting characters in WWE shortly after his return from injury in May. But just like Edge stated on SmackDown this week, Jimmy has quickly become Roman Reigns’ bitch. Unlike the case of Jey Uso, Roman didn’t even need to beat the message or loyalty into him. With very little encouragement from Paul Heyman, Jimmy foolishly talked himself into a situation where Edge simply kicked his ass, and the Tribal Chief couldn’t be bothered to save his underling.
Roman Reigns vs. Jimmy Uso seemed like a viable pay-per-view match less than one month ago, but that’s no longer the case.
Stock Down #1: Asuka & Naomi
Asuka and Naomi were single-handedly defeated by Doudrop on Raw in less than three minutes. Asuka didn’t even last two full minutes with Doudrop from the point when she tagged into the match. Saying Asuka lasted almost two minutes is putting positive spin on it, because a good chunk of that time was taken up with Eva Marie’s betrayal of Her Partner. Asuka was easily taken out and pinned after just three moves from her opponent.
Asuka is the former Raw women’s champion, but she sure wasn’t booked like a champion or an upper card wrestler here. It’s hard to imagine other top stars like Randy Orton, Drew McIntyre, Seth Rollins, and Charlotte Flair being booked to lose clean and so quickly in what’s tantamount to a handicap match with the numbers advantage on their side. But that’s what happened with Asuka, because protecting her is not a priority in WWE’s booking. Naomi is also a former women’s champion, but she’s been dealing with this kind of booking for years so it’s really nothing new for her.
Asuka and Naomi are two of the eight participants in the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match; a loss of this nature makes it seem like they don’t really belong in such an important match. Then again, Carmella and Zelina Vega are also in that match despite recent losses against Liv Morgan. Liv should try losing more if she wants to become a better fit for the ladder match.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?