A look at four potential replacements for Roman Reigns as the United States champion as he moves towards the Universal title picture.
Current United Stats champion Roman Reigns would defeat the Universal champion Kevin Owens this past week on Raw. The victory would earn Reigns the right to face the champion at WWE Roadblock: End of the line for the Universal title. It is clear once again that Reigns is back in the main event picture once more. The former powerhouse of the shield relegated to a mid-card feud over the US title with Rusev following his 30-day suspension.
Reigns came on top of Rusev and got crowned the new United States champion. However, his title run would become the polar opposite of John Cena’s. The belt has not been defended against anyone except Rusev or Chris Jericho. Moreover, the US champion eyeing the Universal title hurts the title’s credibility. While it could not be denied that Reigns does belong in the main event under the current landscape of the WWE, the United States title would most certainly need a new champion.
The mid-card title could easily be used to bring up someone else. There are a plethora of stars wandering around on Raw’s mid-card who could get a boost using the prestigious title. Considering Reigns would have to drop the title soon, there would not be ample time for a proper feud. Instead, creative can force Reigns into defending his title in a battle royale à la Dean Ambrose. Stephanie McMahon forcing Reigns to defend his title ahead of his match against KO would be a nice touch. If the Universal champion would interfere and take out Reigns, in the beginning, we would have a guaranteed new champion. That being said, here are four potential contenders for the United States title.
That being said, here are four potential contenders for the United States title.
The former NXT champion hasn’t had a lengthy feud or title reign since arriving on the main roster. Neville is an incredibly athletic performer. When the cruiser weight division came to Raw, a lot of people expected Neville would make the jump to the division. However, that hasn’t been the case. Moreover, the Cruiserweights now have their own signature show – 205 Live.
A lengthy run with the US title would be a great opportunity for him. Fans would get to see more of Neville. The rub from the title would easily transition Neville into a more familiar face on PPVs and WWE TV. However, in order for Neville’s run with the title to make sense, it has to kick off with a bang. Going into the battle royale, Neville would have zero chance of winning the title.
However, he would fight and crawl his way up the card with each passing elimination. The former NXT champion could show off his athleticism by escaping elimination each time. Fans would also witness him eliminate other established stars like Jericho. Finally, imagine the scene when Neville and Rusev become the final two. A gutsy babyface like Neville finally eliminating the monster heel that Rusev is would send shock waves through the WWE Universe. From there, Neville could build on his momentum as he holds his first title on the main roster.
The choice of Big Cass as the United States champion would be interesting, to say the least. Fans would witness what they could expect from a singles run out of Cass a few months back. The 7-foot man showed the world he was comfortable hanging with Raw’s main event talents. However, ever since then, Cass has remained with Enzo as a tag team.
Cass is a good talker but it would be foolish to separate him from Enzo. However, it would certainly be interesting to see Enzo take a more managerial approach to things. He could still talk trash to their opponents alongside Cass. But for the duo to reach their full potential, Cass has to do the wrestling and Enzo has to do the talking. Their stint in the tag division and the present angle with Rusev and Lana are examples of that.
It could be said that Enzo and Cass are like Heyman and Lesnar from another dimension. Except that Enzo could wrestle and Cass could comfortably cut a decent promo. Placing the mid card title on Big Cass would benefit the duo as a whole. An impressive showing in the battle royale eliminating the likes of Rusev and Strowman would give Cass a big start to his first title reign on the main roster.
WWE continues to build Strowman as an unstoppable monster on Raw. Week after week Strowman beats the living hell out of anyone who steps into the ring with him. This past week on Raw he would thrash R-Truth before taking the beating to Sami Zayn. It is still unknown whether Strowman would enter into an extended program with Sami.
The former black sheep of the Wyatt Family would also fare well during Survivor Series. He left a lasting image as he absolutely destroyed James Ellsworth. If Reigns were to defend his title in a battle royale, Braun Strowman would be a heavy favorite to win the title.
There have been rumors of Wrestlemania plans for Strowman and Reigns. If that is true, having Strowman win the US title from Reigns would give the feud some sense of continuity when the time eventually comes. Moreover, the company has been relentlessly pushing Strowman. He has been getting better with each passing week too. Perhaps, now is as good a time as any other to hand him his first title.
Having the prestigious mid-card title on the 46-year-old veteran might raise a few questions. However, Jericho deserves it more than anybody else. The fact that despite being in the business for nearly 22 years Jericho continues to add edges to his character is remarkable. On a roster filled with young stars, Jericho stands out as the most entertaining performer.
His ring work has slowed down a bit perhaps. But Jericho is the kind of guy who can work a great match at the thought of it. He has been entangled in a feud with Reigns and Rollins alongside his best friend Kevin Owens. That friendship however would end this past week on Raw. Perhaps Y2J has reasons to pick a fight with Owens as well. However, having the United States title on Jericho means a lot more.
The US title is something that Y2J has never held in his legendary career. One would be even more impressed once knowing that if Y2J wins the US title, he would be a Grand Slam champion in the WWE. The 46-year-old has won all other major titles in the WWE. The company would give a 49-year-old part-timer a win over Brock Lesnar. If that be the case, Jericho absolutely deserves a run with the United States title.