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 Day 1 and all of its fallout, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: The Usos
The Usos cemented themselves as the top tag team in WWE by defeating the New Day in two separate SmackDown tag team championship matches this week, and adding the Dudley Boyz’ all-time great finishing move to their arsenal. When you look at how poorly WWE presents some of the other teams on SmackDown like the Viking Raiders, it’s tempting to assume Jimmy and Jey will be holding onto the belts for a quite a while longer.
Stock Up #2: Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley dominated Brock Lesnar whenever they crossed paths at Day 1. Bob then defeated Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, and Big E on this week’s (Jan. 3) Raw to earn a WWE championship match against Lesnar at Royal Rumble. This has been Lashley’s dream match for many years, and he’s finally getting it.
Stock Up #1: Brock Lesnar
Lesnar’s Universal title match at Day 1 was canceled, so he instead joined the WWE championship match and pinned Big E to win the title. Free agent Brock now has his hands full on both Raw and SmackDown, in separate main event feuds with Bobby Lashley and Roman Reigns.
Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Big E
Big E lost the WWE championship at Day 1 and was immediately bypassed by Bobby Lashley as the number one contender for the title, creating the possibility that he won’t receive a championship rematch any time soon. Big E will probably have to win the Royal Rumble to make that happen.
Big E fought on four PPV events as the WWE champion, losing twice. Two of those four matches were non-title matches. He’s the guy who took the fall in a Fatal 4-way to lose the belt. Overall, it’s a rather underwhelming showing for the former champ.
Stock Down #2: Ricochet & Cesaro
After Ridge Holland’s nose was broken, these two babyfaces fought against Sheamus in what was effectively a handicap match on the Day 1 kickoff show. Heel Sheamus overcame the odds and won the fight. Ricochet and Cesaro looked like two of the biggest jabronis around with this kind of booking. It’s really difficult to root for babyfaces who suck this badly.
Stock Down #1: AJ Styles
AJ Styles is one of the greatest professional wrestlers of this generation. He’s also a former WWE champion, and a top star who pretty much always gets a high profile match on the WrestleMania card.
Styles lost against Omos on this week’s Raw in less than four minutes. It technically wasn’t a squash match, but Styles was treated like a nobody here. Omos dominated him with ease, making AJ look only a little more effective than the typical local jobber.
Can you imagine other top stars like Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, or Drew McIntyre being booked like this? I can’t, which forces me to conclude that AJ Styles is no longer a top star in WWE. A guy like Styles should be a plausible candidate to fill in for injured Drew McIntyre when Roman Reigns needs an opponent at Royal Rumble. AJ looks nowhere near that level after losing like a chump in less than four minutes on Raw.
And the match had no business going longer than four minutes, because Omos is the worst wrestler in main roster WWE. He’s clearly not ready for this level of wrestling. His attempts to sell AJ’s strikes were laughably bad. The tentative way he ran into AJ’s two raised boots in the corner showed that he’s in way over his head and needs much more practice and experience in the ring.
The commentators insult our intelligence when they claim Omos is the most athletic giant in WWE history, and also use words like “agile” and “nimble” to describe him. His mobility is not impressive. If that’s what WWE wants in a giant, maybe they shouldn’t have fired Braun Strowman.
Speaking of WWE’s 80+ releases over the last year, the Raw roster could be significantly improved right now with performers like Keith Lee, Aleister Black, John Morrison, Andrade, Buddy Murphy, Gran Metalik, Karrion Kross, Strowman, and so forth.
WWE will instead be subjecting its audience to more terrible matches like this one, all because Omos is a very tall man. This is why WWE has its head up its ass, so to speak.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?