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 Royal Rumble 2022, Goldberg returning to WWE, and a scooter race, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: AJ Styles
Styles needed better booking in the aftermath of the Omos debacle, and he’s been getting it. After beating Austin Theory on the Jan. 24 episode of Raw, AJ went on to become the Iron Man in the men’s Royal Rumble match, even helping to eliminate Omos from the match. He then had the best match of the night with Rey Mysterio on this week’s (Jan. 31) Raw and qualified for the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match in Saudi Arabia.
Stock Up #2: Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre was on the shelf for most of January with neck issues that appeared to be quite serious. It sounded like there was a good chance he would miss the Royal Rumble event, and maybe even WrestleMania 38. That’s why it was a welcome surprise to see Drew return at the Rumble, where he made it all the way to the final two people in the match. SmackDown is desperate for top level babyfaces, and Drew shoots right back up to the top of the list (excluding part-timers like Goldberg, of course).
Stock Up #1: Ronda Rousey & Brock Lesnar
Lesnar and Rousey each won their respective Royal Rumble matches and secured their spots in the main events of WrestleMania 38. Lesnar wiped out everyone he encountered in the men’s Royal Rumble in less than three minutes, establishing his superiority over the WWE roster. Rousey didn’t have a great follow-up on Raw with a very awkward promo segment, but WWE turned things around with her by moving in a clearer babyface direction on SmackDown. The bottom line is that these two stars (and Roman Reigns) are going to be the focal points of WrestleMania 38, and will dominate WWE television over the next two months.
Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Dominik Mysterio
Dominik Mysterio looked like a total chump on Raw, losing to The Miz in about two minutes and 10 seconds. The Miz needed a win after losing both matches against Edge in January, and it was Dominik’s job to put him over.
Stock Down #2: Big E
Big E was the WWE champion and wrestled in the main event of both Survivor Series and Day 1. It looked like he was in a strong position to compete in an important match at WrestleMania 38.
Instead, Big E dropped the WWE championship to Brock Lesnar at Day 1 after WWE changed plans due to Roman Reigns catching COVID. Bob Lashley immediately bypassed Big E for the next title shot. Big E then lost clean to Seth Rollins on an episode of Raw in order to help Rollins look good for his Royal Rumble program with Reigns. Even with all of these warning signs surrounding Big E’s push, he was still listed alongside Brock Lesnar as the favorites to win the Royal Rumble match.
Unfortunately, Big E’s booking in the men’s Royal Rumble match was about as forgettable as it gets. He hung around for six and a half minutes with zero eliminations, ate a Brogue Kick and RKO in the process, and was quietly tossed out of the ring. He was never a threat to win it.
Somewhere along the way, Big E was also officially moved from Raw to SmackDown, where this week (Feb. 4) he was doing mid-card tag team work opposite Los Lotharios. Big E could be wrestling Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley inside an Elimination Chamber for the WWE championship later this month, or he could be getting his dream match with Goldberg, but instead he’s completely dropped out of the singles upper card picture.
Big E’s booking is just one of many reasons why so many people are discouraged and conclude that nothing matters in WWE.
Stock Down #1: Shane McMahon
Shane McMahon crashed and burned super hard this week. He returned to WWE in the men’s Royal Rumble match and made it to the final three, even eliminating Kevin Owens in the match. But it sounds like Shane’s ego got the better of him backstage while putting the match together, and he got a ton of heat as a result of his unprofessional behavior. Now instead of being featured at Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania 38, the prodigal son has reportedly been “let go” by WWE.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?