Assuming John Cena doesn’t take the WWE World Heavyweight Championship off of Brock Lesnar at Night of Champions next month, we may go a few Pay-Per-View events without the company’s biggest prize up for grabs. As some fans grumble over this possibility, I say make lemonade with the monstrous lemons Brock is giving us by being champion. The WWE should use this opportunity to revitalize the secondary titles. The United States and Intercontinental Championship are long overdue for an overhaul.
The Intercontinental title was won by fan favorite Dolph Ziggler at SummerSlam. It was a sudden change, but it made perfect sense. The Miz was not a true “champion” as he never pinned anyone to earn the title. Instead, he won a battle royal in an extremely cowardly fashion at Battleground. His spineless victory actually set up the match against Ziggler. It was a story! Story is something that the secondary titles need to become relevant again. The trend has been that the champion gets beat, the person who defeated them gets a title shot, rinse and repeat.
The lack of any creative input for the secondary titles makes it hard for fans to take them seriously. What’s worse is when the champion consistently gets beaten clean as a sheet on a week to week basis. That has been the booking strategy for the Intercontinental and U.S. titles for years. It’s as if the writers think having a title belt means the champion is immune from looking weak. This is an obviously false premise they can’t seem to escape. It makes the belt look as important as the Jakks Pacific replica you can buy at Toys R’ Us.
The undercard championships are in good hands to be revitalized. Ziggler is insanely over with the crowd despite not being used in any meaningful way in quite some time. It would be wise to make him a fighting champion so he can reestablish himself along with the title.
Sheamus holds the oft forgotten United States championship. He is solidified in the upper-midcard, so having the belt isn’t doing too much for his image. He can, however, add some significance to the lowly U.S. title by losing it in a heated program. Sheamus is a guy who rarely gets beaten clean, so when he does drop the title, it should turn some heads. Rusev is the perfect candidate for this. The U.S. title would be an instant heat magnet around the waist of the anti-American, Bulgarian brute. Rusev hasn’t lost via pin or submission yet, so a babyface underdog challenger trying to win back the U.S. title for America would the kind of story fines really like to sink their teeth into.
Just a couple of decades ago, holding the Intercontinental or United States championships meant you were on the right track — bigger and better things were on the horizon. Rebuilding the reputations of these championships would make it much easier to establish young superstars, and give everyone a much better product.