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 Uncle Howdy attacking Bray Wyatt, Top Dolla being ridiculed by the locker room over his spectacular botch, and a new interview with Cody Rhodes on a Raw clip show, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Raquel Rodriguez
Raquel Rodriguez tapped out against Ronda Rousey in a SmackDown women’s championship match on this week’s (Dec. 30) episode. WWE tried to protect Raquel in defeat, but the surprise return of Charlotte Flair, combined with Flair immediately defeating Rousey to win the belt, turned Rodriguez into a complete afterthought.
Stock Down #2: Lacey Evans
WWE’s latest repackaging of Lacey Evans was supposed to include her return to television last night on SmackDown, but she was nowhere to be seen on the broadcast. Was she bumped from the show due to a time crunch on a very packed card filled with major angles and matches? Was she removed from TV because of the dumb and bad shit she recently posted on social media? I don’t know the driving force behind this decision, but the bottom line is that WWE changed its mind on Lacey Evans yet again.
Stock Down #1: AJ Styles
The Phenomenal One suffered a broken ankle at a WWE house show and said this will be “the longest I’ve ever been out of the ring.” With the road to WrestleMania right around the corner, this takes Styles out of the mix for Royal Rumble and creates uncertainty about his spot on the biggest wrestling show of 2023.
Now let’s see whose stock increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Drew McIntyre
McIntyre missed about one month due to a ruptured ear drum, but he returned on SmackDown last night and is now set for a tag team title shot (with Sheamus) against the Usos on next week’s episode.
Stock Up #2: John Cena & Kevin Owens
When John Cena makes an appearance in WWE, he’s the biggest star on the show (unless The Rock, Steve Austin, or SLAPJACK also show up). That was quite evident last night on SmackDown when Cena competed in a tag team match with Kevin Owens. Cena was the legal man for only 36 seconds, but that was enough time to hit a few moves of doom and give Roman Reigns one of his very rare losses over the last few years. Cena reminded everyone that he’s still the biggest draw in professional wrestling, while Kevin Owens is now set up to challenge Reigns for championship gold.
Stock Up #1: Charlotte Flair
Flair made her surprise return to WWE on SmackDown and won the women’s championship from Ronda Rousey all in a matter of minutes. Flair was away from television since May and some fans wondered if Triple H’s team might push her less than Vince McMahon did. Based on what happened here, it looks like Flair’s spot as one of the biggest stars in the company is very secure no matter who is running the show.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think changed the most this week?