WWE TLC 2011 Stock Watch: Who's Rising and Who's Falling Heading into PPV?
We only have three days remaining before the next WWE pay-per-view.
TLC this year promises to have one type of each match in its name.
A Tables match between Randy Orton and Wade Barrett to find out how big the Barrett Barrage will grow.
A Ladder match to hopefully blow off a feud between two veterans in Triple H and Kevin Nash, who are far past their prime.
A Chairs match between WWE's two resident giants in Mark Henry and Big Show, in what should be the culmination of their rivalry.
And, last but not least, the TLC match where CM Punk will try to defend his new WWE reign in style against the two biggest heels on Raw in The Miz and Alberto Del Rio.
Beyond those matches, we will also see Zack Ryder and Dolph Ziggler face off in what will be their final match for the US Title, and we will watch the beginning of a mini-feud between Booker T and Cody Rhodes for Intercontinental Title.
In the end, it should be a night of surprises and importance, as it will be the final PPV of the year and lead us to the Big Four PPV, Royal Rumble.
The question though is: who is coming out of the event looking better and who will look worse?
Well, while I cannot answer that question confidently yet, I can say how good these stars look coming in. Who's future is looking great? Who's is looking ready to collapse? Or, more generally, what star should you "invest in" for this coming PPV?
Wait! That's not Zack Ryder!
No, it's not, but the picture tells more than any picture of Ryder could.
That is John Cena. Dressed up as Ryder and putting the young star over. It does not get much better than that.
The Ryder Revolution is in full swing. Ryder looks more ready than ever to hold his first singles title, and he has Cena helping him out.
When you think back to one year ago, Ryder was a jobber personified, as he was used as the butt of many jokes including in embarrassing angles with Edge and Sheamus.
Now, he looks ready to lead real feuds with many mid-card talent and elevate himself to whatever heights he can dream about.
Is Ryder's stock rising? Certainly.
Stock ZRLI: Rising quickly
Dolph Ziggler has had a rollercoaster ride of a 2011, but it has all come to a head over these past few months.
Very few people look better than Ziggler does right now. He is making history with his multiple performances on the last PPV.
There is still talk about Ziggler competing again twice, this time in both the US Title match, which he is scheduled for, and the WWE Title match, which at the moment is a triple threat match.
Regardless of if it happens or not, Ziggler is going straight to the main event lately.
He is one of the top in-ring workers and mic workers now, and he improves every night.
His rise is something that cannot be doubted.
Stock HEEL: Growing exponentially
I worried about Rhodes for a little while there.
I thought at first his feud with Orton seemed to take away some of his momentum.
I was completely wrong.
Rhodes has been at the top of his game now more than ever.
He has a main event look now with growing in-ring and mic skills to boot.
Right now, WWE is giving Rhodes the wins he needs to be credible over a legend like Booker T.
Look out though, Rhodes will be on the rise for a long time to come.
If there is one stock that is criminally underappreciated and will be rising steadily from now on, it is Cody Rhodes'.
Stock SMAD: Rising steadily
Randy Orton might just be the WWE's MVP of the year.
He can be given probably the most credit in not only keeping SmackDown afloat but leading it to becoming an even better show than Raw at times.
He has put over almost every star in or close to the main event. He lost cleanly twice to Mark Henry. He had a great feud with Christian. He put over Cody Rhodes and is in the process if helping out Wade Barrett. He even gave that minor rub to Daniel Bryan with a subtle nod of respect.
All that said, it has minorly affected the incredibly valuable stock of Orton in the company.
Sure, that is not saying much against a nine-time World Champion, but his wins are much less expected now.
Stock RKO: Falling, though still valuable
Wade Barrett has had a rocky career.
He began with one of the greatest debuts of all time to WWE after NXT ended by quite literally taking over the show. No one wanted to face Barrett and the Nexus.
Over time though, writing faltered, and we were all left with a collection of stars that just couldn't cut it. As the saying goes, you cut off the head, and the snake will die. Cena knew this so he helped to end the powerful reign of Barrett who would go on to lounge away on SmackDown.
Many counted him out. They were all worried that Barrett had simply been left out to dry. That was until the Barrett Barrage began.
Now, the Barrage is in full swing, and Barrett looks poised to take out Orton and rise to the top of the mountain on his own.
No one is better positioned to rise in the company than Barrett with his Barrage.
Stock BTBB: Rising without stop
Henry is at the pinnacle of his career.
World Heavyweight Title on his shoulder and his Hall of Pain in full swing, you would think he would be unstoppable.
However, Big Show has put a stop to much of that momentum.
Show has shown that Henry's Hall is not as devastating as it seemed, and he has made the once-powerful champion look the typical part of the scared heel.
Henry really needs a convincing win this Sunday to even look credible. Honestly, if he has to cheat, he will fall into the typical heel archetype of almost every other heel star in the company.
That is a shame because Henry looked like something new and interesting for a while on SmackDown.
Stock MHOP: Falling with a glimmer of hope for a turnaround
Alberto Del Rio
I am one of the few (or so it would seem) who like Alberto Del Rio for being a phenomenal wrestler, a charismatic performer and just a talented star.
However, I cannot discount how far his stock could quickly be falling.
Sure, he is still in title contention, but when that ends?
He will be left with hardly anything.
I wouldn't be surprised to see him fall through the cracks and start feuding in the mid-card with Ryder.
The facts are that Del Rio will not win on Sunday. He will not be contending for a WWE Title again any time soon.
Stock ADRD: Falling with no end in sight
This year has been quite the year for Miz.
He came into 2011 as WWE Champion, and he looks to end it as champion.
To think, he used to be the star we all thought didn't even deserve to be on the card.
Now, as far as his stock, it has been a bit variable lately.
He had to put over Alex Riley who has been more or less a bust as of late.
Now, he is back to the main event, and I don't see him falling nearly as far next time.
With his momentum in taking out R-Truth and Morrison, he really has all the momentum to be champion, but it probably won't happen. At least, not yet.
Stock AWES: Growing at an acceptable rate
CM Punk is on top of the world.
Ever since his phenomenal promo, Punk has been a constant figure in WWE's main event and the center of much controversy.
Now he is the WWE Champion going into his first pay-per-view title defense.
You can expect him to lead the contest and get far and away the biggest pop of the night.
No one is bigger right now.
Stock BITW: Growing larger than any other
Wait, John Cena isn't even booked on the card?
That's not possible. When is the last time that happened?
The last time Cena had no role on a PPV card was actually Cyber Sunday 2008, three years ago, which was only because he was injured.
In fact, injuries have been the only thing keeping Cena off any card since WWE stopped having brand exclusive PPVs.
Of course, I may be getting ahead of my self.
Perhaps Cena will still be put in an impromptu match against Kane or something along those lines which would be the first time since Bragging Rights 2010 (which was the first time after his return at Survivor Series 2008) that Cena had not been announced to be on the card ahead of time.
In the end though, it is showing that Cena may not be as important to WWE as he used to be, though he might just be taking off some time to rest up for the Rock.
Stock YCSM: Dropping at a small but noticeable rate
Thanks for reading!