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WWE Stock Report: Vince McMahon’s obsession with name changes is out of control

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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 Cody Rhodes’ first match on Raw in several years, Sonya Deville booking herself in a championship match with Bianca Belair, and Tommaso Ciampa acknowledging Ezekiel as Elias’ younger brother, a lot of fortunes were changed.

With that in mind, let’s see whose stock increased the most this week:

Stock Up #3: Charlotte Flair

Charlotte Flair showed what an asshole she is last night (Apr. 15) on SmackDown by verbally berating Drew Gulak in his new role as interviewer, ambushing him from behind, and forcing him to tap out and scream the words “I Quit!” This was an effective angle for increasing fan interest in seeing Charlotte being forced to say those same two words at WrestleMania Backlash when she faces Ronda Rousey.

Stock Up #2: Veer Mahaan

Veer Mahaan viciously assaulted Dominik Mysterio on this week’s (Apr. 11) Raw, leaving him to be stretchered out of the arena. Veer’s mic work afterwards was just generic monster heel jargon that will need to be improved for him to go places in WWE, but the promotion appears to be serious about pushing him in the short-term.

Stock Up #1: RK-Bro & The Usos

Roman Reigns doesn’t have a direction for WrestleMania Backlash in part because there is nobody in WWE kayfabe at his level. As a result, he has put some of his spotlight onto the Usos and their quest to unify even more titles in WWE. With WWE’s brand split slowly dying, RK-Bro and the Usos are appearing each week on Raw and SmackDown, and their story is being presented as a main event level attraction. That top level emphasis on these two teams will continue over the next few weeks leading up to their title unification match on May 8.

Now let’s see whose stock decreased the most this week:

Stock Down #3: Alpha Academy & Street Profits

One consequence of WWE pushing towards tag title unification between RK-Bro and The Usos is that Street Profits and Alpha Academy are moving out of the title picture. On this week’s Raw, Gable & Otis lost against RK-Bro, while Street Profits lost against The Usos. It can be easy to get lost in the shuffle when not in title contention in WWE’s tag scene, so we’ll see if these two teams can avoid that fate.

Stock Down #2: Damian Priest

This week’s match on Raw between Damian Priest and AJ Styles featured one of the worst finishes I’ve ever seen.

After preventing AJ Styles from landing the Phenomenal Forearm, Priest dropped to his knees in the ring and looked up with his arms raised. The lights went out and he was bathed in Edge’s blue light. Raw went to a commercial break while Priest was covered in blue light. After returning from commercial, the ring was empty and the show simply moved on to the next segment. WTF?

The match ended with no explanation because Damian Priest decided it was time to be covered in blue light. Really bad endings like this leave the audience confused, frustrated disappointed, or less interested in seeing what comes next. It doesn’t help any of the wrestlers involved, especially someone like Priest who is trying to get over in a new heel role.

Stock Down #1: Austin Theory

Austin Theory lost his first name because Vince McMahon doesn’t think it suits him. That explanation actually does make sense in kayfabe, given McMahon just got his ass kicked by Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 38, but it leaves Theory with a terrible ring name.

Standard ring names are not a liability in professional wrestling. Just look at John Cena, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Steve Austin as proof that basic names can achieve the highest levels of success. It’s when wrestlers run around with dopey ring names like Shorty G, Doudrop, and Theory that fans will have a much harder time buying them as a big star in the company.

The bottom line is that Vince McMahon’s continued obsession and dumb rules regarding name changes for WWE wrestlers is out of control.

There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think changed the most this weekend?