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 The Miz taking Rey Mysterio’s mask, Veer’s arrival date announced, and Brock Lesnar trashing Roman Reigns’ locker room, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs
It was obvious that the Viking Raiders never stood a chance against The Usos last month because neither viking scored a pin fall on Jimmy or Jey in the build up to their match. Things have gone much better for Nakamura and Boogs. Boogs pinned Jey two weeks ago, and Nakamura pinned Jimmy last night (Mar. 25) on SmackDown. These guys might actually be able to win the tag belts at WrestleMania.
Stock Up #2: Xavier Woods
After missing two months due to injury, King Xavier Woods returned to SmackDown and beat Ridge Holland in seconds. The babyface depth on SmackDown is pathetic, so Woods might already be the number two guy on that side of the roster.
Stock Up #1: Kevin Owens
Steve Austin isn’t showing up live on WWE television prior to WrestleMania 38, so it’s up to Kevin Owens to carry their entire feud on his back. And he did so masterfully on this week’s (Mar. 21) Raw, dressing up as Austin, mocking his entire shtick, and trolling the audience into expecting the real Stone Cold to come out by playing Austin’s entrance music in the middle of his performance.
Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Apollo Crews & Commander Azeez
These guys were buried on Raw when they were booked to lose in a 2-on-1 handicap match where they had the numbers advantage. Vince McMahon sure does love tall and big guys, and Azeez simply can’t measure up to Omos.
Stock Down #2: Finn Balor & Damian Priest
WWE announced that Balor and Priest will compete in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal on SmackDown the night before WrestleMania Saturday. In doing so, it looks like Balor and Priest will be left off the main card of WrestleMania.
It has been assumed for the last month that these guys would square off for the United States title on the grand stage, perhaps even warranting the return of Balor’s Demon form. But now it’s looking like they might have to settle for a pre-show match, if anything at all.
Just look at the rest of the field in that Battle Royal. It’s not a group you want to be lumped in with. It’s the latest reminder that Vince McMahon doesn’t think Finn Balor is a big star, and mid-card titles don’t matter in WWE.
Stock Down #1: Ricochet
Speaking of mid-card titles that don’t matter, Intercontinental Champion Ricochet lost two separate matches on SmackDown against low card tag team wrestlers Angel and Humberto. It was subsequently implied that Ricochet will be left off the WrestleMania 38 main card, because he’s defending his title against Angel and Humberto on SmackDown the night before WrestleMania Saturday. It doesn’t matter that Ricochet is very likely to retain his belt against those guys, he looked like a total loser here.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?