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 Bob Lashley running the gauntlet, Natalya dressing up as Ronda Rousey, and Becky Lynch failing to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Viking Raiders
The Viking Raiders returned to SmackDown as heels last night (June 24), attacking the New Day and Shanky while they were busy dancing and having a good time in the ring. What a bunch of jerks. Let’s see if Erik and Ivar’s upcoming push lasts for more than just a few weeks.
Stock Up #2: Sami Zayn
Zayn is an important fixture on SmackDown television thanks to the way he recently forced himself into the Bloodline’s business. The honorary Uce qualified for the Money in the Bank ladder match by defeating Shinsuke Nakamura last night. Given WWE’s tendency to never have Roman Reigns drop a championship, there’s a plausible scenario where Zayn actually wins the ladder match and chooses to protect Reigns for the next year by not cashing in the contract for a world title match.
Stock Up #1: Ezekiel & Elias
Elias returned to Raw this week (June 20) to perform a concert. Not only did he wow the audience with his musical expertise, but he also helped Ezekiel prove once and for all that they are not the same person. Kevin Owens was apoplectic after Elias blasted him with a guitar, and he challenged either of them (or their other brother Elrod) to a match next week on Raw.
WWE has done a great job with this entire story, which one can argue has been the most entertaining thing on their weekly television shows since WrestleMania 38.
Now let’s see whose stock decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Ciampa
Ciampa’s main roster gimmick seems to involve attacking babyfaces from behind, not cutting promos to explain his motivations, not getting a televised ring entrance for his matches, and doing the job in less than five minutes. Needless to say, he’s not getting over. At this point it looks like the best he can hope for is being a lackey for The Miz. Yikes.
Stock Down #2: The Judgment Day
It was a rough week for The Judgment Day. First, Rhea Ripley was replaced by Carmella in the Raw women’s championship match at Money in the Bank. Then Finn Balor followed up on his heel turn by losing a tag team match (with Damian Priest) via disqualification on Main Event.
Stock Down #1:
Riddle was hot coming out of last week’s WWE Universal championship match against Roman Reigns, and the very impressive ratings data indicated the title match was a huge success.
So how did WWE follow up on Riddle’s momentum this week? They booked him to be dominated and lose in about four minutes against Omos in a Money in the Bank qualifying match. Omos even hit his finishing move on Riddle one more time after the match was over, because why not? Seth Rollins then came out and beat up Riddle too.
I guess WWE thinks Riddle was protected because the commentators blamed his lackluster performance on injuries sustained in last week’s title match. And there are worse places to be than set up for a match with Seth Rollins at SummerSlam. But this was a critical week to capitalize on Riddle’s hot streak and push him harder towards that main event star level, and they instead beat him into the ground multiple times like a jabroni. This is the latest example of why WWE struggles to create new main event stars.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think changed the most this week?