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WWE Stock Report: CM Punk’s body can’t handle this anymore

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 all the Royal Rumble fallout, a lot of fortunes were changed.

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

Stock Down #3: Piper Niven & Chelsea Green

Piper and Chelsea were easily defeated on Raw this week in a tag match that only lasted two minutes and five seconds, pushing them further away from the WWE women’s tag team championship.

Stock Down #2: Cody Rhodes

Cody inexplicably stepped aside so that The Rock can take his spot in the main event of WrestleMania 40. Cody’s push doesn’t appear to be in danger, particularly because he still has the fallback option of challenging Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania. However, Cody’s decision to not pursue WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns goes against everything he has stated for the last two years about finishing his story, and there’s potential for that choice to severely damage his credibility as a character and performer going forward. In fact, I asked my 68-year-old mother today what she thought of Cody’s choice, and the first thing she said was, “He chickened out!”

Stock Down #1: CM Punk

Punk appeared on this week’s Raw to announce that he suffered a triceps tear at the Royal Rumble and will miss WrestleMania 40. Not only does this injury put CM on the shelf for a good chunk of 2024, but it reinforces the perception that his body can no longer handle the rigors of pro wrestling; going back to June 2022 when he was with AEW, Punk has spent much more time on the injured list than in the ring. Even when Punk returns to WWE later in the year, this recent injury history brings into question just how much WWE can rely on him at the top of the card as he approaches the age of 46.

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

Stock Up #3: Drew McIntyre

McIntyre has been one of the most entertaining mic guys in WWE of late, and he continued that pattern on this week’s Raw with his incredible “I prayed for this” promo in response to Punk’s injury. McIntyre then went on to defeat Sami Zayn in the main event of the show. Drew is doing some of the best work of his career right now, and it’s happening at the exact right time with both WrestleMania coming up and being in the middle of contract negotiations with WWE.

Stock Up #2: Bayley

Bayley essentially had her 2005 Batista moment on this week’s SmackDown, turning babyface and challenging IYO SKY to a WWE Women’s Championship match at WrestleMania. It looks to me like Bayley is on a trajectory to win the gold on the big stage and deliver on her promise of 2024 being her career-defining year.

Stock Up #1: The Rock & Roman Reigns

The show-closing angle on SmackDown made it clear that the main event of WrestleMania 40 will be The Rock vs. Roman Reigns. This is a much bigger match for Roman Reigns than a rematch with Cody Rhodes would have been, as he’s more likely to walk away with a win that cements him (at least in kayfabe) as perhaps the greatest wrestler of the modern era. As for The Rock, it pretty much shows that Endeavor is willing to give him whatever he wants, especially now that he is on the TKO Board of Directors.

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

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