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 Raw XXX and Royal Rumble 2023, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Uncle Howdy
Royal Rumble 2023 was a very good show, with the only lackluster parts of the event being linked to Uncle Howdy. The surreal visual of Howdy diving into the abyss after a Mountain Dew Pitch Black match, missing his target, and then blowing up for no reason, perfectly encapsulates why this gimmick doesn’t make any sense and feels like a giant waste of everybody’s time.
Stock Down #2: Elias & Baron Corbin
Elias and Corbin had the two shortest survival times out of all 29 wrestlers who made it into the ring in the 2023 men’s Royal Rumble match. Corbin was just there to get chewed up and spit out by Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins, while the commentators openly wondered if babyface Elias even has any fans. These guys were quickly tossed out of the Rumble match like a couple of chumps.
Stock Down #1: Karrion Kross
Speaking of chumps, nobody had a worse week than Karrion Kross. Kross spent the last month or two threatening to retire Rey Mysterio, only to lose the match against him on SmackDown. Kross followed that up with a completely forgettable showing in the Royal Rumble match. The commentators talked him up as a harbinger of doom, but he lasted less than five minutes and was the second man eliminated in the match. He had no impact whatsoever on the Royal Rumble, and was indistinguishable from a low card jabroni.
Now let’s see whose stock increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: GUNTHER
GUNTHER is a made man after his extremely impressive performance in the Royal Rumble match, where he broke Rey Mysterio’s record for longest survival time in a 30-man Rumble. GUNTHER lasted from the very beginning to the very end, eliminated Drew McIntyre and Sheamus all by himself, had a confrontation with Brock Lesnar, and went toe-to-toe with Cody Rhodes for more than seven minutes to close out the match.
Stock Up #2: Cody Rhodes & Rhea Ripley
Rhodes and Ripley won their respective Royal Rumble matches, locking in their spots for title matches and potential main events at WrestleMania 39.
Ripley did it the hard way, lasting over an hour and joining the very small group of wrestlers who have won a Rumble match as the number one entrant. Cody had a much easier path due to his lucky draw as number 30.
Bianca Belair and Roman Reigns have dominated WWE for much of the last two years, but these Royal Rumble winners look like they might finally be the ones who can take out the current champs at WrestleMania.
Stock Up #1: Sami Zayn & The Bloodline
Sami Zayn betrayed Roman Reigns at Royal Rumble, smashing the Tribal Chief in the back with a steel chair after being put in an impossible position. This was all part of a show-closing angle that lasted more than 13 minutes and is receiving “best of all-time” level of praise due to tremendous long-term storytelling and performances from Zayn, Reigns, Jey Uso, and everyone else in the ring. Cody Rhodes might have the guaranteed title shot at WrestleMania 39, but the match that just about everyone wants to see on the big stage is Roman Reigns vs. Sami Zayn.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think changed the most this week?