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 crispy Randy Orton wearing a lucha mask, Sami Zayn handcuffing himself to a barricade in protest, and one of the very best Styles Clashes you’ll ever see, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Cesaro
The Swiss Superman followed up on last week’s surprising win over Daniel Bryan by issuing an open challenge on SmackDown and then kicking Dolph Ziggler’s ass. Cesaro has been beaten into the ground too much during his WWE career to take him seriously as a threat to win the Royal Rumble match on Jan. 31, but WWE is at least making an effort to give him some credibility. This could set him up nicely for a singles run post-Rumble, if WWE sticks with it.
Stock Up #2: Bianca Belair
Sometimes all it takes to have a great week is to fireman’s carry Otis across an obstacle course. Holy crap, that was impressive!
Stock Up #1: Kevin Owens & Roman Reigns
Everything these guys touch turns into gold right now. Just look at all of their segments from last night’s (Jan. 22) SmackDown. Owens cut an incredibly emotional babyface promo from his car, Reigns called “card subject to change” a loser strategy before then deploying it himself to trap five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce into a potentially catastrophic beatdown, and then Owens saved the day by powerbombing Reigns through a table. All of this made for must see television, as we’ve come to expect from this story and these performers.
Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Asuka
Asuka’s segments with Alexa Bliss on this week’s (Jan. 18) Raw brought back bad memories of how Seth Rollins’ babyface run in 2019 came to a crashing halt after his debacle of a feud with The Fiend. Who knew that all it really takes to get in Asuka’s head during a match is to change your outfit and lipstick? I’m simplifying things with that description, but the point remains that Asuka mostly looked like a chump on Raw. The Empress does need new challengers for her women’s championship, but there had to be a better way to get there than this.
Stock Down #2: Rey & Dominik Mysterio
It wasn’t that long ago when Dominik & Rey Mysterio were giving Seth Rollins & Murphy more than they could handle on a weekly basis. Dominik even wrestled Rollins to a 22+ minute match in his debut at SummerSlam 2020. I don’t know where those Mysterios have gone, but something seems to have changed with them in 2021.
When the Mysterios crossed paths with King Corbin in late November, Corbin figured he needed some new henchmen to deal with the Mysterio threat. But over the last two weeks, Corbin has handled both Mysterios with ease in separate singles matches, with no need for any ringside henchmen. And now the Mysterios are the ones talking about needing to bring in some help to defeat Corbin. After Dominik fell to Corbin in less than three minutes on SmackDown last night, it’s hard to disagree that the Mysterios just aren’t good enough to get the job done.
Stock Down #1: Goldberg & Drew McIntyre
When Vince McMahon came up with the idea of a WWE championship match between Goldberg and Drew McIntyre at Royal Rumble 2021, I imagine that he was hoping to present this one as a highly anticipated superfight, with two unstoppable badasses clashing for the first time ever for the biggest prize in the promotion.
Instead, the entire thing has been a giant dud. It began on the wrong note when Goldberg’s initial promo made no sense, partially due to time constraints. Things got worse when Drew McIntyre tested positive for COVID-19.
The story then devolved into a really bad joke when The Miz brought in Gillberg and David Krumholtz to impersonate the two men. This was one of the worst Raw segments in recent memory, and one of those times when I was relieved that nobody else was in the room with me while I was watching this embarrassing garbage.
The whole point of the segment was to remind us that The Miz has the Money in the Bank Briefcase and is a threat to crash the WWE championship match at Royal Rumble. That only makes things worse, because Miz has been dragging down the main event scene on Raw for way too long now.
As a result, Goldberg vs. McIntyre is nothing close to the superfight that it could be. WWE only has one episode of Raw left to try to turn this mess around.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?