Running on the heels of WrestleMania, we are graced with a new United States Champion in John Cena. Rusev did a great job in making the title mean something again. I personally even considered the United States Championship to be more valuable than the Intercontinental Championship for a good portion of Rusev's reign. John Cena is now champion, and just by having the top face in the company holding the title, we see that the belt has a ton more meaning than ever before in recent memory. The direction creative has taken this is by having John Cena defend the title on a weekly basis to show pride and his will as a fighting champion. So let's dive into this new creative direction and see the good, the bad, and the result.
This new direction of how they are booking the title has now made the title a main stay on Raw. By having Cena defend it every week, it guarantees that not only will the title be highlighted, but it will be given a lot of screen time on top of that. It won't be just a prop, but a prize to fight for. No longer will the United States Champion be forgotten, or worst, we forget who the United States Champion even is. The title now becomes a top tier program, and not a match at risk of being kicked off the card or lost in the shuffle.
Another positive, is that the range of matches has deepened. The very first open challenge was between Dean Ambrose and John Cena. That is main event quality. These two were in a huge program together not that long ago, and now they are both fighting for one of the secondary titles on Raw. That has to show how important that belt has become in sucha short amount of time. Not only that, but superstars we thought would never face John Cena, like Stardust, get the chance to really prove themselves. In a way, this is like a proving ground for up and coming stars. Like a mystery game of who WWE thinks could be a big enough star to tackle their guy. It is all very intriguing, and fun to watch as a fan of the product.
One noticeable negative to this new arrangement has been building feuds. Sure, great matches and fighting champions build prestige, but that only gets you so far. the story told behind the title is what really carries on the legacy of the championship. With this current progress being made, it is almost impossible to build any substantial rivalry going forward. Rusev vs. Cena isn't getting nearly as much attention as before but that is okay. Their entire match at Extreme Rules is built around it being the tie breaker between the two. But where do we go after this. Who is deemed a worthy contender for the title at a pay per view, if anyone can get a title shot. How can you build a story around someone in this type of environment.
So let's say that you aren't worried about story telling and rivalries. How long does this direction with the title run. Eventually it will get to the point where John Cena has beaten every one on the card. What message does that send. How long before fans realize that these guys are just being fed to him at this point. If John Cena has a title match at a pay per view, then won't these matches become less important because we already know the outcome. Then these guys are just nothing but glorified jobbers to fall to Cena before the big day. It is a vicious cycle to be selected for that doesn't do too many superstars any favors.
On one hand we can see the value of rebuilding the title by making it a title that everyone wants to hold. Plus, having your top guy defend it with passion says a lot. On the other hand, this formula will get stale and leave creative with no direction for the title. The result of this situation should be the end of this weekly title defense, but not right now. Another month, maybe a month in a half at the most, of John Cena defending the title on a weekly basis. Maybe even mix it up and have him defend it on Smackdown instead of Raw some weeks. Eventually Cena needs to find a feud that gets so personal he only wants to fight that superstar. Then, that is when the title gets taken off Cena. This way we keep all the positives of Cena building back prestige, and switch to a worthy superstar afterwards, so we don't burn out the gimmick. After that, it is up to creative to keep the title and its champion relevant.
What do you think, is this the direction you think WWE creative is going? How do you feel about the title , and its current direction? Let me know in the comments below, and as always, have a good day.