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 beginning of the Women’s tag team championship tournament, Dexter Lumis appearing on Raw, and Ronda Rousey crashing SmackDown with a bag of money, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Hit Row
Three members of Hit Row were brought back to WWE as part of Triple H’s surprise returns of wrestlers who were released by Vince McMahon. The group is definitely missing something without Swerve Strickland, but the SmackDown tag team scene is wide open for a quick move up the ladder.
Stock Up #2: Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens showed up on Raw and quickly demolished Ezekiel with an apron powerbomb, sending him out on a stretcher. Owens then cut a promo saying he knows exactly who he is, and this is still the Kevin Owens show. It’s easy to read between the lines and see a big push coming for the Prize Fighter under WWE’s new regime.
Stock Up #1: Bobby Lashley & Gunther
Triple H’s creative vision for WWE wants to elevate the meaning of the mid-card titles. Both the Intercontinental title and the United States title have received video packages highlighting their history, and both titles were featured in important matches on WWE television this week. Intercontinental Champion Gunther main evented SmackDown with Shinsuke Nakamura, while Ciampa used his connection with Harley Race to make a serious run at Bob Lashley’s US title on Raw. Vince McMahon’s booking did a lot of damage to these titles over the years, but now it appears to be headed back in the other direction.
Now let’s see whose stock decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: The Usos
WWE likes to tell the audience that The Usos are the greatest tag team in history. It’s a little harder to buy into that message after they lost against the makeshift tag team of Drew McIntyre and Madcap Moss on last night’s (Aug. 12) SmackDown.
Stock Down #2: Ezekiel
Ezekiel has been losing relevance since Triple H was named head of WWE creative. The beating that Zeke took at the hands of Kevin Owens on this week’s (Aug. 8) Raw seemed to potentially write him off TV for a little while. Can anything else be done with the current Ezekiel gimmick, or is it already time to consider another repackage?
Stock Down #1: Lacey Evans
The rumor mill says there are currently no creative plans for Lacey Evans in WWE, and that has coincided with her disappearing from television. This includes her absence from the women’s tag team title tournament. Lacey’s return to WWE television this year was a total mess right from the beginning. She has been labeled a Vince McMahon favorite, and that’s bad news for her push now that Vince is gone.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think changed the most this week?