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 first round action in the King of the Ring tournament, Rey Mysterio teasing retirement, and a Rowan lookalike being unveiled by Daniel Bryan, a lot of fortunes were changed.
With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:
Stock Up #3: Braun Strowman
Creative had nothing for Braun Strowman at SummerSlam, yet here he is two weeks later holding tag team gold and likely being positioned as the top contender for Seth Rollins’ Universal title at Clash of Champions. This could be the third consecutive September where Strowman is challenging for the Universal title on pay-per-view.
Stock Up #2: Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
In roughly two weeks, Bliss and Cross have successfully defended the Women’s tag titles against pretty much all the competition there is - Fire & Desire, The Kabuki Warriors, and The IIconics. When not defending the championships, Bliss and Cross are usually hosting A Moment of Bliss and using that platform to help out other storylines in WWE. Bliss gets a lot of flak for being consistently pushed in WWE, but it’s already clear that her star power and TV presence are exactly what’s needed to restore the viability of the Women’s tag team championships.
Stock Up #1: Buddy Murphy
Buddy Murphy followed up on last week’s great match against Roman Reigns by actually defeating Daniel Bryan clean this week (Aug. 20) on SmackDown. Murphy has benefited more than anyone else from the Roman Reigns’ mystery attack angle, as he quickly went from a guy who couldn’t get any TV time to a star who is hanging with the top names in WWE.
Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:
Stock Down #3: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
So much for a dominant stable that possesses all the gold. In classic Vince McMahon fashion, the tag champs were sacrificed this week (Aug. 19) on Raw in order to enhance the storyline for the top singles title. Gallows and Anderson now have the shortest Raw tag title reign of 2019 (excluding the current champs). There is simply no stability with the Raw tag team championship over the last year, as it seems that no team can hold the belts for more than a couple months at a time.
Stock Down #2: Chad Gable
Chad Gable was the butt of a joke about his height on SmackDown, and it looks like that could be his new thing going forward. In theory this sounds like an awful idea for Gable that will lead to frequent humiliation on television. It’s stunning that this is the best WWE can come up with for one of the most talented workers on the roster.
Stock Down #1: Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens has been the hottest babyface in WWE for the last 6 weeks, but all of that was thrown away this week thanks to some of the worst babyface booking imaginable. Owens got over by being a brash and defiant star who would nail Shane McMahon with stunners on almost a weekly basis. For some reason that version of Owens completely disappeared this week; Owens actually offered McMahon an apology and a handshake, and then naively trusted Shane’s word. This led to KO falling for Shane’s ruse and being ousted from the King of the Ring tournament in the first round.
The premise that Owens is so personally devastated by McMahon’s hefty fine doesn’t really add up considering that Owens’ actions from the previous six weeks were consistently those of a man who gave no shits about risking his job security. So the fact that he has done a complete 180 here makes him look like a feeble babyface who doesn’t have what it takes to stand up to the McMahons. The bottom line is that no top WWE babyface should ever be foolish enough to apologize to the McMahons and trust their word, especially a babyface who gives off vibes of Stone Cold Steve Austin.
There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?