Cody Rhodes is the biggest loser of the WWE Draft

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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 night one of the WWE Draft, The Usos failing to win back the WWE tag team titles, and multiple NXT champions being called up to the main roster, a lot of fortunes were changed.

With that in mind, let’s see whose stock increased the most this week:

Stock Up #3: Street Profits

Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins were selected surprisingly early during night one of the WWE Draft, going ahead of upper card mainstays like Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre, and GUNTHER, as well as WWE Hall of Famer Edge. The Street Profits followed this up with a win in a three way match against the LWO and Braun Strowman & Ricochet. Given the way this played out, it appears that WWE intends to feature Ford and Dawkins as important stars on SmackDown this summer.

Stock Up #2: The O.C.

AJ Styles has been out of action since he was injured at a house show on Dec. 29. Not surprisingly, the rest of his stablemates in The O.C. struggled to gain any traction on WWE television during these four months that Styles has been out. But the Phenomenal One returned last night on SmackDown, and The O.C. was immediately right back in the spotlight, beating up on the Viking Raiders and getting a match booked for next week. This looks like the start of an immediate push for Styles and his crew.

Stock Up #1: Bad Bunny

Bad Bunny was the big star of this week’s episode of Raw, coming out in the main event segment to get revenge on The Judgment Day and book himself into a Street Fight with Damian Priest at Backlash in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Bad Bunny Mania is running wild in WWE right now, at least for another week.

Now let’s see whose stock decreased the most this week:

Stock Down #3: Viking Raiders

After last week’s loss to Strowman and Ricochet, Erik and Ivar’s job this week was to get beat up by The O.C. The two groups will have an official match next week to settle this issue, but right now it looks like the Vikings will end their disappointing run on SmackDown by putting over Styles and company.

Stock Down #2: Omos

Even though he has a big match coming up with Seth Rollins at Backlash, Omos wasn’t drafted on TV during night one of the WWE Draft. He was later given the free agent label, which apparently means he can show up on either Raw or SmackDown.

WWE can try to paint this as a good thing for Omos and something MVP specifically negotiated for him, but the way it comes off is that the nameless decision-makers for Raw and SmackDown were not interested enough in Omos to make sure they got him on their show. Otherwise he would have been drafted on TV with the real stars of WWE, and not left in the supplemental round with the rest of the lower card fodder.

Stock Down #1: Cody Rhodes

When Cody Rhodes lost against Roman Reigns earlier this month at WrestleMania 39, a lot of people thought maybe WWE’s plan was for Cody to finish his story at SummerSlam. However, based on the results of night one of the WWE Draft, Cody’s story is going on hiatus for much longer than that.

Rhodes was separated from Reigns in the draft, which means he no longer has a path towards getting a rematch for the WWE Universal Championship. Cody will instead have to settle for chasing the consolation prize of the new World Heavyweight Championship on Raw. But Cody really shouldn’t be winning that title this soon after losing against Reigns, because the brand new belt will look like the clear runner up championship if Cody is the one holding it.

What this tells me more than anything else is that WWE has already decided that Roman Reigns is holding onto the WWE Universal Championship until at least WrestleMania 40, barring injury. That’s the one explanation that makes sense for separating Cody and Roman. If WWE has already made that decision, then Cody at least has a chance to be the top champion on one brand that he would never have the chance to be on the same show with Roman.

One thing to keep in mind here is that WWE rarely sticks by a hard brand split for long. If they do decide to revisit Cody vs. Roman for later this year, all it takes is a phantom trade or a wacky Wild Card rule change to make it happen. For now, though, WWE is telling us that Cody Rhodes will not get to finish his story, and will instead have to settle for maybe winning the consolation prize.

There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think changed the most this week?


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