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 a mystery opponent for Cody Rhodes, a double wedding with multiple 24/7 title changes, and Sami Zayn somehow running away from a Lumberjack match, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Madcap Moss
Madcap Moss is picking up wins over low card heel fodder like Humberto and Angel, but it’s clear that he will need a presentation overhaul for this babyface turn to work. The theme music, ring name, suspenders, and corny jokes are not cool at all, and will make it difficult for fans to get behind him.
Stock Down #2: Drew Gulak
Drew Gulak is no longer a wrestler in kayfabe, and his job is to get beat up by Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey each week. This is not the sort of booking you want to receive in a company like WWE where budget cuts happen with such high frequency over the last couple years.
Stock Down #1: Finn Balor
Finn Balor won the United States title from Damian Priest just under two months ago. At the time there appeared to be a chance for Finn to be a leading man on Monday nights, because Raw kissed the WWE championship goodbye during the build to WrestleMania 38.
But the big push never came to fruition. Finn was instead used as a guy for Austin Theory to humiliate en route to a WrestleMania match against Pat McAfee. Finn was left off the WrestleMania card and couldn’t even win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Balor’s first televised title defense finally occurred this week (Apr. 18) on Raw, and not surprisingly, he dropped the title to Theory.
Balor didn’t even get to successfully defend the United States title against low card heels, like Ricochet is currently doing with the Intercontinental title on SmackDown. At least that could have made his title loss to Theory a bit more meaningful. Instead, Finn’s reign as champ goes down as a complete waste of time. I’m not sure why WWE even put the title on him to begin with, considering they didn’t bother to do anything with him while he held it.
Now let’s see whose stock increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Theory
Finn’s bad booking is good news for
Austin Theory, who is now the United States champion. Theory might rank higher on this list if the US title wasn’t booked into the ground this year and he didn’t have a terrible ring name. Even so, his championship win was given a big in-ring celebration and included a selfie with Vince McMahon, so he’s already faring better as champ than Balor ever did.
Stock Up #2: Rhea Ripley
Rhea Ripley finally turned on Liv Morgan on Raw. Ripley has needed to escape the women’s tag division for a long time, and she finally has the chance to do so with this angle. Bianca Belair needs new championship challengers and Edge’s faction needs a new member; Rhea can fill both of those roles very well now that she rid herself of Morgan.
Stock Up #1: Ezekiel
After passing a lie detector test on Raw, Ezekiel proved without a shadow of a doubt that he has been telling the truth this entire time about being the younger brother of Elias. He even debuted a unique catchphrase in the process. Kevin Owens should find someone else to bother now that the case of Ezekiel’s identity is closed with 100% clarity.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think changed the most this weekend?