To say the United States Championship is in a rut is in a bit of an understatement. Since January this year, there have been four different champions. Two of those champions have never even successfully defended the title. It’s a shame, because the start of the year was really promising for the title. Bobby Roode won it, had a couple of solid defenses (his match against Rusev was really good) before dropping it to Randy Orton in a thrilling, underrated match.

Since then, though, the United States Championship has been in the doldrums. One could even say it’s been in a bad spot since 2016. Still, it’s not beyond saving. Here’s how it can be saved.

Good title defenses

Right now, Seth Rollins is Intercontinental Champion, and he’s had an absolutely fantastic reign. Strong, entertaining matches against the Miz, Finn Balor, Mojo Rawley, and Kevin Owens have solidified his reign as arguably the best in recent history. In fact, a lot of recent matches for the Intercontinental Championship (not just under Rollins’ reign) have been really good.


That’s not to say that the United States Championship doesn’t have any good matches to its name. There are a few in recent history that come to mind (Kevin Owens v. Chad Gable, AJ Styles v. Baron Corbin v. Tye Dillinger, Baron Corbin v. Bobby Roode v. Dolph Ziggler, Bobby Roode v. Rusev, Bobby Roode v. Randy Orton), but I feel that the Intercontinental Championship is a bit more consistent when it comes to quality matches.

I was actually really hoping for a Randy Orton United States Championship Open Challenge (because contrary to common belief, Randy Orton is good), but alas, we never got that. Still, if Jeff Hardy were to have some really good successful title defenses, he would boost the image of the title.

A long and strong reign

Since 2016, there have been 16 different United States Championship reigns. Of those 16, only three were longer than 100 days. Kalisto’s reign was fairly forgettable, Rusev’s was pretty good (his matches against Titus O’Neil and Zack Ryder were surprisingly good), and Roman Reigns was too bogged down with Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens to actually have a decent reign. It’s not been good.

A split roster kind of hampers this somewhat, but a long and strong reign is exactly what the United States Championship needs. Imagine Jeff Hardy successfully defending the United States Championship against Rusev, Aiden English, and Shelton Benjamin in really good matches. It will mean even more when he eventually drops the title to someone else, such as perhaps Andrade “Cien” Almas or one of the members of Sanity. The new champion will have succeeded where so many others have fallen short. That is a big boost in credibility.

It’s more impressive to beat someone who held the title for seven months and defended it successfully a number of times than to beat someone who held the title for like two weeks. In turn, it’s also more impressive to beat someone who beat the guy who was champion for seven months than it is to beat the guy who beat the guy who was champion for two weeks.

Passing the title around like a contagious disease does no favors for anyone. Everyone just ends up looking kind of lame.

make it important

We’re around a month from Money in the Bank. Right now, there’s no storyline going for the United States Championship, but hopefully we get one before Money in the Bank. The title cannot be overlooked.

Nowadays, the title, for the most part, has some sense of basic storytelling surrounding it. It was pretty bad back in 2016 to early 2017 when Roman Reigns and Chris Jericho held the title, as it was largely forgotten in favor of the Universal Championship.

The whole feud between Kevin Owens and AJ Styles over the United States Championship was a great idea, in theory. Two top superstars fighting for the title. The feud never really took off, though, as their matches ended up underwhelming everyone (their best matches only came at the end of the feud, such as the triple threat with Jericho and the one where Corbin was the special guest referee).

If even just a little bit of thought and care went into planning a story for the United States Championship, it would be great for the title.

We’re almost halfway through 2018, so hopefully things pick up for the United States Championship before the year ends.

Steve Carrier

Steve is the Founder of RingsideNews. He has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He first got into website development at the time and has been focusing on bringing his readers the best professional wrestling news at it's highest quality.

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