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 Alexa Bliss earning a future title shot, Xia Li attacking Tegan Nox in disguise, and Miz admitting that he’s on an allowance from Maryse, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Bray Wyatt
The main positive that stands out in the current feud between LA Knight and Bray Wyatt is that Knight is very skilled on the mic. On last night’s (Dec. 16) episode of SmackDown he said the following about Wyatt:
“But let’s go ahead and put it all into perspective. Bray Wyatt, you’re a former WWE champion. You are one of the biggest WWE superstars of all-time. And if I’m honest, your recent return, one of the most talked about returns ever. Yet all you’ve done since you’ve returned is dress like a damn circus freak. You’ve whined and cried with your victim complex. You said a bunch of gobbledygook that never gets to the point.”
Knight is the heel in this story, but it’s hard to argue with his point here. Wyatt had a spectacular return to WWE two months ago but hasn’t done much of anything since then.
This week’s angle revealed that Uncle Howdy and Bray Wyatt are two different people. The awkward way it played out was a bit of a letdown, with Howdy laughing on the stage too long while Wyatt remained sitting in the corner of the ring after being stomped by Knight.
Could this all be leading to a Pitch Black match at Royal Rumble? That event is still six weeks away, so Wyatt’s story might keep trudging along at a snail’s pace.
Stock Down #2: Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley lost a number one contender’s match against Seth Rollins on this week’s (Dec. 12) Raw. He was then fired and unfired by Adam Pearce in the span of 24 hours. That latter part was rather confusing, so it’s not really clear what’s going on here.
Stock Down #1: Hit Row, Viking Raiders, Legado del Fantasma
Hit Row defeated both of these teams on SmackDown to earn a tag team title shot against The Usos. The main problem here is that Hit Row had a very bad match, with Top Dolla in particular looking like he doesn’t belong in main roster WWE. The other teams then also look like minor leaguers when they lose against such an unimpressive team. There was a recent rumor about Triple H being underwhelmed with some of the wrestlers he recently brought back to WWE, and it’s tempting to assume that Hit Row ranks right atop that list of disappointing returns.
Now let’s see whose stock increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Rhea Ripley & Dominik Mysterio
Ripley and Dominik picked up pin fall victories this week over Asuka and Akira Tozawa, respectively, furthering their current push as part of The Judgment Day.
The fun part came after Asuka spit her green mist into Dom’s eyes; Dominik cried out for Mami’s help backstage while mocking the WWE official trying to administer eye drops. Ripley was very protective of her pet while Damian Priest could only offer unhelpful words of encouragement. This kind of comedic scene might seem minor, but it helps the audience form a stronger connection with the wrestlers.
Stock Up #2: John Cena & Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens had a damn good week. He started it off with renewed exasperation about the whole Elias / Ezekiel identity drama from earlier this year, before saving Elias from The Bloodline and getting in a stunner on that alleged lying liar.
Owens ended the week by choosing John Cena as his tag team partner to go up against Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn on the Dec. 30 episode of SmackDown. It’s going to be hyped up like the biggest WWE television match of 2022.
Stock Up #1: GUNTHER & Ricochet
Vince McMahon could never quite figure out that the best way to get Ricochet over is to send him out there to show off his spectacular moves and have great matches. Ricochet has been doing an awful lot of that lately, including last night on SmackDown in a thrilling championship fight against GUNTHER. Meanwhile, GUNTHER is doing exactly what he set out to accomplish, which is restore credibility to the Intercontinental championship and dominate WWE.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think changed the most this week?