It won’t be long before Big E. Langston loses the Intercontinental Championship. In all likelihood, Extreme Rules on May 4 will be his last day as champion.
Big E has held the IC strap since Nov. 18, when he defeated Curtis Axel on Monday Night Raw. Langston had been an NXT Champion, but this was his first championship as a member of the main roster.
Who will Langston defend his title against? That question will be answered tonight on Raw, when Rob Van Dam takes on Bad News Barrett in the finals of the tournament to decide the next number-one contender for the belt.
When the tournament was first announced, it appeared that Cesaro was destined to win it all. That wasn’t the case, and now it seems that Barrett will be the one who wins the tournament and the title.
There are a few reasons why Langston retaining makes no sense. For one thing, having Big E beat either Van Dam or Barrett will render the entire tournament meaningless. Why spend several weeks building up a tournament winner only to have them lose the most important match?
Secondly, Langston hasn’t exactly been great shakes as champion. He’s a decent enough worker with a great look, but he doesn’t have much charisma and he can’t cut a promo to save his life. When he first won the title it seemed that he was on his way to bigger and better things, but the fans never really got behind him on a meaningful level. A lot of that has to do with how he was booked, but his lack of personality hasn’t helped.
Barrett is a better worker than Langston and he has much more charisma. He’s also a great talker who knows how to play the role of the heel. Giving him a run with the IC belt could be a way to get the belt over and establish Barrett as a winner – something the company has never fully committed to.
On the other hand, the WWE‘s track record suggests they don’t care one iota about the IC title. Plainly speaking, there’s a good chance whoever wins it will wind up languishing in mid-card hell for the rest of eternity.
At the end of the day, any belt is meaningless for a performer unless the machine is behind you. As of right now, the machine is behind Bad News Barrett.