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 Roman Reigns spearing Edge, Bad Bunny winning the 24/7 championship, and Lacey Evans announcing that she’s pregnant, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Sami Zayn
It’s not easy to keep all six competitors looking strong going into an Elimination Chamber match; Sami Zayn is the man who drew the short straw on the SmackDown side of the gimmick. He opened last night’s (Feb. 19) go-home episode of SmackDown being ignored by the actual top stars (Roman Reigns and Edge), and was then shut down with a superkick from Jey Uso. Later in the episode, Zayn tapped out to Daniel Bryan in a six-man tag match featuring all six chamber participants. If all six men in the chamber match are ranked from most likely to least likely to win, Zayn belongs at the very bottom of the list.
Stock Down #2: Keith Lee
After starting off 2021 with a main event WWE championship match against Drew McIntyre on Raw, Keith Lee’s momentum sputtered out by the end of January when he missed a couple weeks of television as well as the Royal Rumble event.
It looks like a similar thing might occur for Lee with Elimination Chamber 2021. After defeating
Matt Riddle on the Feb. 8 episode of Raw and inserting himself into the United States championship match at the pay-per-view, Lee was missing from the go-home episode this week (Feb. 15). His status for the pay-per-view is currently unknown.
Stock Down #1: Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott
The Riott Squad’s booking woes in 2021 continued on last night’s episode of SmackDown. This time, Ruby Riott was pinned by Tamina in a tag team match. As far as I can tell, there is no upside at all to this booking decision. It’s just all wrong. A Tamina push is never going to catch on. WWE tries it every so often, and it always fails. The best guess I can come up with is that Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks might win the women’s tag titles at Elimination Chamber, and WWE wants to set up a heel team of Tamina and Natalya to fight them soon after.
But that could be overthinking things. The Riott Squad have been turned into total jobbers in 2021, and there’s no apparent explanation for it. The Billie Kay comedy spots work fine for her, but it’s gone on long enough where it’s clearly hurting Riott and Morgan. They need a new development in this story, ASAP.
Now let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Kofi Kingston
One of the consequences of announcing an Elimination Chamber match of all former WWE champions is the high probability of getting a match that consists of six white dudes. One week after booking such a field for the Raw Elimination Chamber match, WWE decided to change things up a bit when The Miz lost his chamber spot to Kofi Kingston. Kofi now makes his long-awaited return to the WWE championship scene, and there are plenty of fans hoping to witness KofiMania part two.
Stock Up #2: Reginald
Carmella’s time in the spotlight faded after she lost against Sasha Banks at Royal Rumble 2021, but the same can’t be said for her sommelier, Reginald. Reginald appears to be smitten with Sasha Banks and is heavily involved in her business on SmackDown. He even teamed up with The Boss (and Bianca Belair) and pinned Nia Jax on last night’s episode.
Stock Up #1: Apollo Crews
Losing clean to Shinsuke Nakamura is not the typical path to having a great week, but in Apollo’s case, that defeat opened the door for him to completely snap and go full-blown heel. Crews took out his frustrations on Big E. He dumped the steel ring steps on the Intercontinental champion from a dangerous height, inducing a severe case of “temporary arm weakness” in the champ. As a result of his actions, Crews will likely get what he wants, which is one more shot at Big E and the gold.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?