2019 Superstar Shake-up: Stock Up or Stock Down

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Big Red Machine
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2019 Superstar Shake-up: Stock Up or Stock Down

Post by Big Red Machine » Apr 22nd, '19, 13:15


THE MIZ- While there is no question that Miz’s babyface turn for his feud with Shane McMahon has rejuvenated him, that feud will eventually come to an end, at which point it’s a crap shoot as to whether fans will still care about Miz as a babyface. If they do, he’s stuck as about number four or five male babyface singles wrestler on Raw (behind AJ, Rollins, Braun, and maybe Rey), and about the number seven or eight babyface on the show overall, also coming in behind Becky Lynch and likely behind Sasha Banks (if she comes back), probably about on par with the team of Aleister Black & Ricochet. That’s not the best spot to be in, but Miz is Miz so they could just turn him heel, though even if they do he would still be about number five on the male singles heel depth chart (behind Drew, Lashley, Corbin, and the returning Bray Wyatt, or maybe even dropping lower if Andrade or Roode gets pushed), and many of the babyfaces he’d have to feud with either feel stale for him (Rollins, Ziggler), like bad clashes of styles (Rey), or like a feud that would eventually turn into a retread of that babyface’s feud with others (Braun), so I’m doubtful The Miz will be the force he has been on WWE TV over the past two years.
I am by no means saying that Miz still can’t provide value to the WWE product or that he is going to be dead in the water once this Shane feud ends. I think the best thing to do with him once the Shane feud ends is to let a bunch of heels beat him cleanly then have him turn heel by getting desperate and cheating in a match against AJ resulting in a one-PPV cycle feud with Miz losing, then using him as a stepping stone heel for young babyfaces like Cedric Alexander or Ricochet. There is also definitely a fun undercard tag team story to be told with Miz trying to get B-Team to be the Miz-tourage again but them turning him down so he tries to recruit a tag team partner to best them, but the problem is that WWE never seems interested in putting enough thought into an undercard story like that to make it work. Sorry for going so far into fantasy booking. I promise the rest of these won’t be like that. The point is that while Miz can certainly play an important role on Raw, I don’t see him being pushed as the superstar he has been pushed as for the past few years. I’d be shocked to see him win a title, or even have too many titles matches. STOCK DOWN.

RICOCHET- A young, flippy babyface with lots of potential opponents. He'll be fine.

THE VIKING EXPERIENCE- I’ve never done one of these with a fresh NXT call-up before, and there are definitely arguments to be had about whether a main roster call-up is by definition a step up from where they were, or whether or being the tag champs in NXT with its super-hot fan base and only one set of titles and relatively stacked and well-pushed division is a better spot than on the main roster, and about how the name change will affect them, but for the purposes of this article I am just going to look at how well I think they will be used on the main roster, and the answer to that is that I think they have nothing to fear. They’ll get to mix it up with the Usos, Black & Ricochet, and the AoP (I don’t see Vince booking them vs. The Revival without a full babyface turn), and my guess is that they’ll be the tag champs before SummerSlam. STOCK UP.

REY MYSTERIO JR.- Looking at the Raw roster Rey now finds himself on, I see so much potential for tremendous matches. There is the possibility of great athletic babyface vs. babyface matches with the likes of Seth Rollins, Cedric Alexander, Lucha House Party, Ricochet, and fellow newcomer from Smackdown AJ Styles. There are heels he could tear the house down with in matches that would wonderfully mix workrate and personality such as Drew McIntyre, Lio Rush, and Sami Zayn. Or imagine a world where Rey finds a tag partner to mix it up with the Usos, or where he and Tyler Breeze engage in a feud that starts with Breeze telling everyone that Rey doesn’t care about Lucha Libre; he only uses it as an excuse to wear a mask to hide his uggo face. Yes, the possibility that they make the mistake of sticking him with Corbin or Bray Wyatt in some misguided effort to get one of those two over in a feud that goes horribly and yet very predictably wrong is very real, but I think the odds of them doing the right thing with Rey are more likely than them doing the wrong thing with him simply due to numbers, so I’m going STOCK UP.

THE USOS- There really isn’t much to say here other than that Jimmy & Jey are a top-level tag team who, after feeling like they’re run through the entire division on Smackdown have now been given a whole card of new dance partners. I expect them to stay pushed at the same high level of being at worst a 1b. babyface tag team, but now they’ll finally have someone who isn’t New Day or The Bar to have great matches with so they’ll feel more fresh. STOCK UP.

NAOMI- Like her husband and brother-in-law, Naomi has been on Smackdown since the beginning of this incarnation of the brand split (funny how that works… although at the moment it’s probably not so funny if you’re Alexa Bliss! or Buddy Murphy), but unlike them, she really never rose past the level of second-tier babyface, even when she had the title. She got pushed, sure, but there were always other babyfaces soaking up the fans’ appreciation. Raw’s women’s division is shockingly weak on the babyface side right now (although that could change if Sasha Banks comes back), which is bad news for people who don’t want to see Dana Brooke matches every week, but it’s good news for Naomi, who comes in with some babyface cache and a feeling of freshness provided by an entirely new roster. If Sasha doesn’t come back, I can easily see Naomi becoming the number two babyface (and therefore by default the number one babyface when Becky is feuding with someone on the other brand), which is a MUCH better spot than playing a distant fourth banana to Becky, Charlotte, and Asuka. STOCK UP.

ERIC YOUNG- It’s no secret that I’m really not a fan of EY’s, and though I know he is a good worker, I haven’t cared for his character since before Team Canada broke up. I found SAnitY to be the most tolerable package he has come in since that time, so their disbanding makes me sad, but I think it’s fair to say that WWE’s complete and total failure to use them in any useful manner after their call-up last year combined with their willingness to break them up now is a sign of a lack of confidence, and knowing Vince, my guess is that his thought process is to push the guy who is 6’4, 322lbs, let Hunter take the guy with the funny accent for his NXT UK thing, let the silly crazy lady be silly and crazy, and turn the short guy into a jobber. After all, they already have a crazy yelling guy in Mojo Rawley, so why would they try to do anything with a much shorter, older, crazy yelling guy, and doubly so one who comes from TNA. Any other booker would find a way to use Eric Young, but this company is run by Vince McMahon. STOCK DOWN (I mean for Eric, not WWE’s stock. That’s doing quite well from what I hear).

EC III- Yeah, I don’t know what Ethan did but he sure appears to have pissed somebody off and has been relegated to ultra-jobber status. I can see a world where he and Tyler Breeze form an odd-couple tag team, but based on the frequency with which Tyler even manages to get on TV, I’m not very optimistic. I don’t know if Ethan can possibly sink any lower than he has without being relegated to Main Event, but I can definitely see that happening by the end of the year. STOCK DOWN.

CEDRIC ALEXANDER- The former top guy on 205 Live has now been moved over to Raw… and I’m completely baffled as to why. There really just isn’t much of a spot for him. He’s the perfect guy to do a slow-build babyface push with where you start now and your goal is to have him ready to win a secondary title at Mania next year, but WWE simply has not shown the patience or inclination to tell such a story, so I don’t see it happening. If Cedric had to be moved off of 205 Live, I think the best place for him would have been Smackdown, to form a tag team with good buddy Mustafa Ali, but I think that moving him off of 205 Live at all was a mistake. STOCK DOWN.

LACEY EVANS- It’s no secret that Vince is very high on Lacey Evans, to the point of keeping her out of the Mania Battle Royale just so she wouldn’t have to be thrown over the top rope in a pointless match that no one will remember twenty minutes later, so I think this one is easy: STOCK UP.

AJ STYLES- I think the consensus is that AJ had done pretty much everything there was to do on Smackdown (though some sort of big singles match with Cesaro would have been nice), so it was definitely time for him to move over to Raw where there will be many fresh opponents for him like Rollins, Lashley, McIntyre, Ricochet, Aleister Black, Strowman, and Zayn. Hell, even the guys who came over from Smackdown with him like Rey and Andrade are still fresh opponents for him, as they rarely wrestled him when they were on Smackdown, either. AJ won’t necessarily be the tippy-top dog anymore like he was on Smackdown, but will definitely be one of them. I guess you could say that that’s technically a demotion, but because the change of scenery was so necessary, I’m willing to call this one a push.

CESARO- I want to believe that they wouldn't split The Bar up and move Cesaro over to Raw without a plan for him. He could easily be a top heel, but WWE seems quite set on using Lashley, Drew, and Corbin in the top three spots and Bray Wyatt will probably be number four, so that moves him down to fifth at best, which, unfortunately, makes him feel like a plug-in for Almas. Cesaro is good enough that I'm sure he'll be on TV having great matches, but at least as part of The Bar there was a chance of him winning some titles, so despite the possibilities for matches against the likes of Seth, AJ, Ricochet, Mysterio, etc., I'm going to have to rate Cesaro as STOCK DOWN.


FINN BALOR- Balor and his IC Title find themselves in what seems like a demotion going from arguably the number three babyface spot on Raw (behind Seth and Roman, and possibly Braun as well) to about the same spot on Smackdown, now behind Roman, Kofi, and Owens. But moving over to Smackdown provides him with both some excellent new playmates (Bryan, Owens, Danielson, Nakamura, Kofi, American Dragon, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, the planet’s champion… look I just want to see Balor vs. Bryan REALLY F*CKING BADLY, okay?) and the possibility of linking up with his old running buddies from a certain club, so I’ve got to go STOCK UP.

EMBER MOON- Assuming that Ember and Bayley being on a team was just a one-time thing (they both did come out to challenge Becky, and Bayley specifically said that she was a singles wrestler now), Ember Moon probably winds up as the number three female singles babyface on Smackdwon, which isn’t a great spot, but she does have two things going for her. The first is the speculated Bayley heel turn, which would bump her up to number two babyface, which is a better spot to be (and doubly so when Becky feuding with Bayley would leave Charlotte in need of an opponent), and the other is that she is a fresh match-up for pretty much everyone and is an extremely talented wrestler, so the moment they give her an opportunity to deliver, you can be sure she’s going to seize it. Factor in that she was pretty much always an afterthought on Raw, and Ember Moon is definitely STOCK UP.

BAYLEY- She’s stale, but a Becky feud would at least be fresh, and I’m definitely on the “Bayley is turning heel” train, and with a potentially very strong number two babyface in Ember Moon to give whichever one of her or Charlotte isn’t feuding with Becky something to do, I think Bayley is STOCK UP.

KAIRI SANE- Obviously Kairi needs to be evaluated in the context of her new team with Asuka, managed by Paige. I think it’s a good place for Asuka to be in so that she will actually be doing something instead of being off TV or being used as babyface enhancement talent, but while Paige cutting her promos for her will be helpful, not being on her own will make it harder for Kairi to establish any sort of personality of her own. Then again, considering that Vince is the guy running the show, maybe that’s a good thing because you know that if Vince puts more than a minute of thought into Kairi she’ll be wearing an eye patch and bringing a parrot to the ring with her. I want to take the rosy outlook and say that WWE will give them the Women’s Tag Team Titles soon and let them run with them, but that requires Vince McMahon to actually want to make a big deal out of 1) tag titles 2) foreign wrestlers who do not speak English very well and when they do, they have a strong accent, and 3) female wrestlers who aren’t related to Ric Flair and aren’t big mainstream stars, so I’m not optimistic. STOCK DOWN.

LARS SULLIVAN- The show with the smaller wrestlers for him to bully and feud with (Kofi, Balor, Woods, Ali, Gable… and even a potentially turned Daniel Bryan) is definitely the right place for Lars. He could even have some good matches with guys who are large but stocky rather than tall, like Rusev, Crews, Owens, or Big E. Yes, in the end I’m certain that his purpose is to be fed to Roman, but I think Lars will get a great run first and is enough of a personality to not be totally killed once he gets beaten like you’ll often see with monster heels in WWE. STOCK UP.

BUDDY MURPHY- Like with Cedric Alexander, I find the idea of moving Murphy off of 205 Live to be baffling. Also like with Cedric, I am excited by the many possible new opponents for Murphy to tear the house down with (Balor, Bryan, Kofi, Owens, Cesaro, Nakamura, Crews, Roman, plus more matches with Mustafa Ali). Unlike with Cedric, though, I am a bit more optimistic about Murphy’s chance of success, but before I explain why, I must warn you that it involves an attempt to venture into the twisted mind of Vince McMahon, so it’s possible that continuing on this journey might result in your going mad.
One thing I didn’t bring up while talking about Cedric- because it wasn’t particularly relevant to my analysis of his potential fortunes- was race. When I said I couldn’t fathom why they would want to move Cedric Alexander off of 205 Live and onto Raw, I wasn’t being entirely truthful. I can very much see Vince McMahon deciding that he needed a token African-American babyface on that show, and with Apollo Crews heading to Smackdown, Sasha Banks going home, and Titus O’Neil not appearing on TV very much (as well as being rather old by main roster standards), I can absolutely see Vince finding Cedric to be an appealing option. That’s not a very good reason to move someone to a different show, but it’s definitely a reason I can see Vince thinking of. Murphy, on the other hand, is a white guy from Australia and a heel, going to show that already has plenty of white guy heels (and babyfaces) and even has several Australian heels already, so ticking diversity boxes doesn’t explain his move.
Another- and this time much more reasonable- factor that often goes into WWE’s roster-swapping decisions is to keep significant others on the same show so that they can travel together. Murphy was moved to Smackdown, but his significant other, Alexa Bliss!, was left on Raw, so this, too, cannot explain why he was moved to Smackdown. Those two factors combined make me think- or at the very least give me some hope- that Murphy was taken from 205 Live and specifically put on Smackdown because they have some real plans for “WWE’s best-kept secret.” Tentatively, STOCK UP.

ELIAS- He’s pretty much feuded with everyone there is to feud with on Raw, so moving him over to Smackdown makes sense. That’s really all I have to say about the guy. Like with AJ, I think he’ll be used in exactly the same spot he was on Raw, so I’ll call this one a push.

LIV MORGAN- This one also baffles me. If you told me I had to pick one member of the Riott Squad to break off as a singles wrestler, she would have been my last choice. She’s not a particularly good worker, not a good promo, and doesn’t have any real character to speak of. Hell, she doesn’t even have a caricature to speak of, like Sarah Logan would if they broke her off instead. On a show with a rather stacked women’s singles division, and one that already has Mandy Rose- who is a better worker than Liv, a better promo, a bigger star, and has a better… aesthetic… than Liv does, and Mandy herself will probably wind up falling by the wayside due to everything else going on in that women’s division, I don’t see Liv filling any role on the card higher than designated jobber. STOCK DOWN.

CHAD GABLE- I love the guy, but I don’t even know what they do with him over here. The babyface spots are all filled up, there isn’t really anyone lying around for him to form a natural tag team with, and I don’t think he’s a very good heel. Going from being one half of a formidable tag team to getting lost in the shuffle is clearly STOCK DOWN.

APOLLO CREWS- Another guy who I love but WWE just doesn’t seem to want to do anything with, and this is a guy with lots of muscles and who can also do flips. Best case scenario for him seems to be that he and Gable form a babyface tag team, and slide into the number three babyface tag team spot behind the Hardys and New Day. And, sad as it is, considering how things have gone for Crews since his call-up three years ago, this would actually be an improvement for him. STOCK UP.

MICKIE JAMES- Another wrestler who I love who WWE seems to have no inclination to do anything with. At worst she’ll wind up as the number three heel, which I don’t think is terrible. It’s certainly better than she has been treated since her return to WWE, and simply getting away from Alexa Bliss! will freshen Mickie up by letting her be her own person instead of someone else’s lackey. STOCK UP.

HEAVY MACHINERY- I’m pretty sure Vince has already given up on these guys. At best they’re the number three babyface tag team, which isn’t a good spot to be. STOCK DOWN.

ALEISTER BLACK- He doesn't seem like a character that Vince understands. There is a small chance that they figure out how to use him well, but my best guess is that they'll f*ck him up by making him say ridiculous bullsh*t or taking the occult stuff too far. Nuanced characters are not WWE Creative's strong suit. STOCK DOWN.

ROMAN REIGNS- The rest of these names were mostly listed in the order they appeared in on Wikipedia, but I saved this one for last. The reason for that is that it feels like the criteria for Roman is different. With everyone else it’s a question of how will they be used relative to the way they have been used over the past year or so. With Roman, we know how Vince this going to use him. The “big dog” is going to dominate his yard and get pushed as the top babyface, just like he has always been. With Roman it feels like the definition of success is if he will be used in a way that results in him receiving the reaction from the crowd that Vince wants. And to that I think the answer is no. If you want to get Roman cheered, then putting him on the same show as Kofi Kingston, Kevin Owens, and Finn Balor- whose pushes his will swallow up- and Daniel Bryan- whose presence will be a constant reminder to the fans of their initial reasons for rejecting Roman- was absolutely the wrong move.


SAMOA JOE- I didn’t include Joe on the above lists because despite all logic and speculation indicating that he should be moved to Raw, it hasn’t been announced for crazy Vince reasons. Basically, any time I talk about the hierarchy of Raw heels above, you can just stick Joe in at either number one or two. He’s a killer. STOCK UP.

NIKKI CROSS- She, too, was not drafted last week even though all of the other call-ups from the past six months were. My guess is that she’ll wind up on Smackdown because her husband is on Smackdown, and while there are a ton of great wrestlers there for her to have completely fresh matches with (Becky, Charlotte, Bayley, Ember, Mickie James, Kairi Sane, Asuka), the fact that they seem to have completely forgotten to assign her to a brand does not bode well for her. STOCK DOWN.

Your thoughts?
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Re: 2019 Superstar Shake-up: Stock Up or Stock Down

Post by cero2k » Apr 22nd, '19, 17:29

Big Red Machine wrote:
Apr 22nd, '19, 13:15

THE MIZ- Can't disagree, but I feel they'll parade Maryse's pregnancy to help his babyface chances. I think Miz needs another heel run chasing the title, come close, and fail.

THE VIKING EXPERIENCE- This is the type of team that I feel is super hot at first, only to get fed to someone, they are the tag team equivalent to a monster and with the Usos in the roster, I think they'll have a great feud, but as a long term thing, idk how far they'll keep WWE's attention. They do however have a chance to get really over as a gimmick and stay as fan favorites.

REY MYSTERIO JR.- Stock up for sure when it comes to wrestling, especially as a veteran's final tours, but I fear that the imminent Dominick storyline is coming and it will be abysmal.

THE USOS- If there is an option for STOCK REMAINS THE SAME, i think this is it. Unless WWE thinks it's time for the inevitable brother vs brother feud. We know it will happen one day, don't kid yourselves.

NAOMI- Given how gutted the RAWs division is, she may get a good showing unless they decide to go full Okada with Becky and never remove her from the title. Heel Naomi didn't work before, don't think it'll work here either. .

ERIC YOUNG- Eric Young's only chance is if WWE actually does a TNA stable, if not, he may as well chip the idea of NXT Canada to Hunter.

EC III- I'm calling ECIII as 2019's unpushed internet darling. I think ECIII is an internet show/social media work away from rallying up the fans into a Zack Ryder following. People already think he's talented and being buried for no reason whatsoever. If he starts doing the American Guy type of stuff, he can get huge.

CEDRIC ALEXANDER- To answer your question red, and I'm sorry to break it to you, but it feels like they're slowly trying to move everyone into the main shows now. I think Cedric will be ok since he has a ton of people he can have awesome matches with, but that's about it.

LACEY EVANS- This one can easily be STOCK DOWN if she doesn't perform against Becky. They decided to put her on the main event feud right from the start and she can crash and burn as fast. She can be a Dana Brooke for all we know, Vince will always find another blonde to like.

AJ STYLES- I'd call this a stock up, especially because Reigns got moved too, I'd say he's 3rd from the top behind Rollins and Drew. Strowman's stock is down and Lesnar god knows whats up with him, so I think AJ can easily wiggle his way to the Universal title by the end of the year.

CESARO- I think we got ourselves a new jobber to the stars here, making sure that guys like Corbin and Lashley have amazing matches. I do hope that meas that Cesaro gets some good babyface feuds and a chance to try and sell his work once again. If not, there's always NXT UK.

FINN BALOR- Balor's stock is definitely rising, and if Gallows and Anderson end up staying, it's time for the heel turn.

EMBER MOON- Fans like her, i don't think the office cares. I can't see beyond a tag title chase.

BAYLEY- If she goes single, a feud with Charlotte, Carmella, Mandy, or the likes could be really good for Bayley. If she's only gonna be a tag chaser, may as well ask Sasha where to go.

KAIRI SANE- All i know is that next year's Wrestlemania has a huge ass pirate ship and Kairi HAS to find a way to make an entrance with it. I say stock up because fans will fall in LOVE with her beyond the wrestling aspect and she will be a great chaser. I think the tag thing is temporal and she'll leave both Paige and Asuka behind. Wait, actually. I'm calling Asuka vs Kairi for EVOLUTION 2.

LARS SULLIVAN- STOCK Up because he's the flavor of the month, but if he ends up being Snitsky/Otis/Babe chaser story like Dozer said, he's done. I really wish they'd just make him a Dr. Jekyl/Hyde thing, an intelligent monster.

BUDDY MURPHY- Talent is meaningless in the main roster. His best chances are Mustafa Ali's level, but i wouldn't be surprised if he becomes Tyler Breeze (who wasn't even featured in this piece mind you!!).

ELIAS- I think he's now one of the top heels in smackdown, especially if Dragon leaves for a while. But he's wrestling sucks and well, actually, i don't even remember what he's wrestling looks like anymore. A heel can only go so far without wrestling, at least if he's ever chasing a title.

LIV MORGAN- Liv has a lot of potential, she's like Kairi as she can get over by being cute and herself and an underdog, except, there's only space for one of those. in hindsight, Ruby should had moved to SD. Logan joined the Experience, and let Liv shine on RAW.

CHAD GABLE- I think Gable has a far better chance to shine on SD right now, I think with guys like Drago, Balor, Kofi, Joe and such around the title, he can become the shooter Angle played back in the day. If not, he has guys like Ali and Murphy to bring the house down. Just don't put him in a fucking tag team again for god's sake.


MICKIE JAMES- She'll be SD's Natalya, and I think that's ok. STOCK STAYS THE SAME for me.

HEAVY MACHINERY- Maybe the move means Otis stops being a dumbass and without Bludgeon Bros or Cesaro or Experience or even Sanity, they become the monster team of Smackdown.

ALEISTER BLACK- Completely agree with everything you said, and even then, I think he's more suited for RAW. At least he's not in a random tag team anymore.

ROMAN REIGNS- This is WWE, they'll commit the same mistakes they always do. They had something with his return from battling cancer, but they already started pushing him as 'the biggest singning in time' 'the future of wwe' and we're right back at the start, forcing this lingo down the throats of fans who don't mind him, but also don't care for him. Fine, they gave Rollins some breathing space, but do they not realize that fans are behind guys like Kofi and Dragon FAR more than they are of Rollins? Reigns stock up/down never really depends on what show he's on, but rather how he gets booked.


SAMOA JOE- Joe on RAW can be great if he goes and gets in brawls with the likes of Strowman/Drew/Lashley, but unfortunately, he'll never win such feuds, so i don't know if he's stock actually goes up or down.

NIKKI CROSS- Without Sanity, she is just a crazy chick. I think if Kilian ends up going to NXT UK too, Cross will follow behind.

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Re: 2019 Superstar Shake-up: Stock Up or Stock Down

Post by Serujuunin » Apr 22nd, '19, 17:56

If there is one silver lining I can see in splitting Aleister and Ricochet up this way is that now they don't have to turn someone (Aleister) heel to do it.

The rest of this... I'm going to give it some time to percolate and see what the landscape looks like in a little bit before I can really decide how I feel about it. There's a lot of fun new matchups that could happen, but I don't know about how things are actually going to go.

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