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 Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler breaking the arm of Raquel Rodriguez, Baron Corbin losing on TV for the first time since aligning with JBL, and Bray Wyatt denying that he attacked LA Knight, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Hit Row
Hit Row’s job right now is to put over Valhalla and the Viking Raiders, so that’s exactly what they did in a very quick match on last night’s (Nov. 25) episode of SmackDown. Top Dolla and his teammates have never really gained any traction in WWE since returning in August, and it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon.
Stock Down #2: Mustafa Ali
Ali has lost three televised matches over the last couple weeks and is being treated like a chew toy by Bobby Lashley whenever they meet up backstage. There’s at least a chance this increased TV time can eventually benefit Ali and help him gain babyface sympathy with the fans, but it’s pretty clear that wasn’t happening this week (Nov. 21) on Raw when the live audience actually cheered Lashley after he kicked Ali’s ass on the Raw stage.
There’s also the fact that Raw ended a few weeks ago with Ali being presented as a threat to the United States title, but he has quickly become fodder for everyone else (Seth Rollins, Austin Theory, Lashley) to beat up as they all feud over the belt. Ali comes off as a pretender who isn’t winning over the audience in defeat.
Stock Down #1: Johnny Gargano
Is Vince McMahon secretly booking this guy? Tiny Gargano was fed to giant Omos on Raw this week, giving Johnny Wrestling a three match losing streak and a 2-4 record in singles matches on Raw since he joined the roster in September. Gargano is also still stuck in a very bad storyline with The Miz and Dexter Lumis, which might actually be worse for him than losing so many matches.
Fans who didn’t watch Gargano in NXT probably see him as a guy with a big mouth who isn’t all that effective at backing it up when the bell rings. That’s not a great combination of traits for a babyface to have.
Now let’s see whose stock increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Santos Escobar & Ricochet
Escobar and Ricochet both qualified for the finals of the SmackDown World Cup on this week’s episode with wins over Butch and Braun Strowman, respectively.
Ricochet’s booking was of particular interest given Strowman’s recent bad and dumb tweets asserting that nobody cares about flippy flippers in pro wrestling. WWE immediately worked his take into the storyline, pitting the big dumb monster against a flippy flipper in this tournament.
WWE’s booking sided with the flippy flipper in this case, which is also notable given how infrequently Strowman has been pinned clean in his WWE career.
Stock Up #2: Rhea Ripley & Dominik Mysterio
These two troublemakers caused quite the scene at the Mysterio household on Thanksgiving, beating the shit out of Rey for
putting up his Christmas decorations so early not inviting them to the family celebration. Rhea also managed to defeat Asuka on Raw and win the advantage for Team Damage CTRL at WarGames, so it was a pretty great week all around for her.
Stock Up #1: Becky Lynch
The Man has come around just in time to join Bianca Belair’s team at WarGames. Becky should thrive from here now that she is back in her natural babyface role and is still the biggest star in WWE not named Roman Reigns.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think changed the most this week?