WWE Stock Watch: Ranking 10 Superstars Who Are Moving Up or Down (April 25)
All it takes is watching a couple of episodes of Monday Night Raw or Friday Night SmackDown to tell who's a priority for the creative team and who isn't.
Your favorite wrestler hasn't been on TV the last couple of weeks? That's probably not a good sign.
Your favorite wrestler just won the main event on Raw? Well, things are looking up for him.
Of course, there are exceptions to these rules, but bad booking is a generally a bad sign of something, well, bad.
So, today we're going to take a look at who's in the good graces of creative and who isn't.
Here is this week's WWE Stock Watch.
Note: Stock Watch takes into account last week's SmackDown and this Monday's Raw.
5. Stock Down: Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger
What a horrendously booked "stable."
Generally speaking, stables are supposed to be dominant, but Vickie Guerrero's clients, Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler, have been anything but, especially in recent weeks.
Want evidence? Ziggler and Swagger actually lost to Hornswoggle and Brodus Clay on this week's Raw.
Swagger's been completely lost in the shuffle since dropping the United States Championship, while Ziggler is arguably the worst-booked character on TV right now.
Having two guys with as much talent as them losing to a midget leprechaun is absolutely ridiculous.
5. Stock Up: Kofi Kingston
I know, I know—Kofi Kingston lost again this week.
But sometimes, a loss doesn't really hurt a superstar, and this is one of those times.
The WWE has shown a lot of faith in Kingston over the last two weeks, putting him in TV matches against Daniel Bryan and, most recently, Chris Jericho.
Much to the surprise of no one, Kingston delivered great performances in those matches (especially the Jericho one) and continues to prove that he's one of the best in-ring workers in the company.
While I get that Kingston was mainly used so that Bryan and Jericho could have someone to beat and put on a good match with, I have to commend him for being of the WWE's most consistent workers.
Hopefully, Kingston's recent stellar performances will catch the eye of someone in the WWE.
4. Stock Down: The Miz
Where was The Miz on this week's Raw?
Oh, that's right. He was left completely off the show for the second straight week.
While The Miz did somehow get a United States Championship match on the Extreme Rules pre-show (where did that come from?), something's gotta be going on that has prevented him from appearing on Raw for two straight weeks and from wrestling on the show for three.
I thought for sure that he would be in line for a big push following his win for Team Johnny at WrestleMania 28, but if anything, he's become even less of a priority for creative.
Maybe The Miz will turn that around by winning the U.S. title at Extreme Rules, but for now, he's become just another guy.
4. Stock Up: Randy Orton
Oh well. At least Orton has rebounded from a rough outing a couple of weeks ago over the course of the last two WWE shows.
On Friday's SmackDown, he got the win in that huge six-man tag team main event after hitting Mark Henry with an RKO. On Monday's Raw, he tried to kill Paul Bearer and attacked Kane with a lead pipe, causing Kane to flee from the arena.
Kane had gained the clear advantage in this feud not too long ago, but Orton is building up a lot of momentum as we near Extreme Rules.
That's a good sign for "The Viper."
3. Stock Down: Beth Phoenix
There has been a lot of speculation as to whether Beth Phoenix's injury on this week's Raw was legit or not.
It appears as if the injury angle was indeed a work, but regardless, it was a rough night for Beth on Monday.
She lost the Divas Championship just about a week shy of breaking the record for the longest Divas title reign in WWE history...and she lost it to Nikki Bella.
While the WWE apparently had Beth lose the belt as part of an angle, it's gotta be disheartening for her to drop the title when she was so close to etching her name in the history books.
Although Beth didn't have a great reign (because of the lack of competition), she's still a great wrestler who deserved to hold onto the Divas title much more than someone like Nikki Bella.
3. Stock Up: Titus O'Neil and Darren Young
The Primetime Players (I'm not sure how I feel about that name) had a big week last week.
Titus O'Neil and Darren Young were promoted to the main roster as the newest members of SmackDown, and they got a tag team victory over the Usos.
It was also revealed that they were brought to the show by John Laurinaitis, which means that big things could be in store for the duo as we move ahead.
It's no secret that the WWE needs to revamp its tag team division, and it appears as if the Primetime Players are going to be the first tag team to get a chance to help do that.
I've had some people tell me they're not sold on O'Neil and Young, but I'm willing to give them some time and see where they go.
2. Stock Down: Cody Rhodes
The booking of Cody Rhodes continues to flabbergast me.
While Rhodes did cost Big Show his match against Alberto Del Rio on last week's SmackDown, he was also on the losing side of the six-man tag team main event and was pinned by Show on this week's Raw.
Rhodes should be booked like one of the WWE's fastest-rising stars, but instead, he's being buried by Big Show.
I get that this may lead up to a big turnaround for Rhodes, but having someone consistently lose isn't a good way to get them over.
Although Rhodes built up a lot of momentum prior to WrestleMania 28, he's lost just about all of it as he's become Big Show's personal punching bag.
2. Stock Up: The Big Show
Speaking of Big Show, the WWE continues to book him strongly at all costs.
It took interference from Cody Rhodes for him to lose to Alberto Del Rio on SmackDown, and I guess the WWE didn't want Big Show to be associated with losing for too long, so they had him wrestle again in the main event and be on the winning side.
Then, Show competed against Rhodes in a tag team match on Raw and pinned Rhodes for the victory after hitting him with a big choke slam.
I think you all know about the disdain I have for The Big Show. Not for him personally (I actually like him), but for the ridiculous manner in which the WWE books him.
He destroys just about everyone in his path, as evidenced by what he's done to Rhodes lately.
Show's stock is certainly up in the eyes of the creative team, though.
1. Stock Down: Epico and Primo
I can't recall a champion, or set of champions, in recent memory that is booked as badly as WWE Tag Team Champions Primo and Epico.
They hardly ever even appear on TV, and when they do, it's just to lose in terrible fashion.
On last week's Raw, Epico and Primo were squashed by The Big Show and The Great Khali (because apparently, creative thinks it's a great idea to do something that stupid), and on this week's Raw, they lost a quick match to Santino Marella and Zack Ryder.
On what planet does this type of booking help the WWE Tag Team Champions?
Epico and Primo are supposed to be the faces of the tag team division, but they've become two of the biggest jokes in the WWE.
And for what? The pushes of two 40-year-old giants and a "comedy" tag team?
What a disgrace.
1. Stock Up: CM Punk
CM Punk didn't even have a match this week, but he managed to increase his stock in my eyes, anyway.
Why? Because of his great performance in that field sobriety test segment.
The segment itself was a bad idea and pretty lame overall, but Punk did an excellent job of fooling the crowd (well, the dumb people in the crowd) and looking/acting drunk, despite the fact that he's never actually drank before.
While I won't give Punk an Oscar or anything like that, I will give him major props for making the most of a segment that could have completely bombed.
Of course, what also helped Punk was the fact that he finally got his hands on Chris Jericho on Raw and chased him out of the arena.
The WWE Champion suddenly has the edge going into Extreme Rules, which should be one hell of a pay-per-view.