Almost a full year ago we witnessed John Cena give credibility to the US title. Before that, there was fans out there that didn’t see the title as anything important. In fact, I was waiting for them to eventually retire it through unification. Cena continued to make a name for the forgotten secondary title with the use of his open challenges. After that, he dropped it to Seth Rollins, who also showed pride in carrying it. Seth treated that title the same way he treated the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Once Cena won the title back, it was difficult to find the right opponent for him. However, I believe the WWE has found the right competitors to carry the strap, in both Alberto Del Rio and Kalisto. The only reason their reigns have floundered is due to the short sightedness of WWE creative team.
When Del Rio first captured the US Title, the internet was raving. He looked superior to Cena after his victory. The only flaw with his return was the “MexAmerica” gimmick he was given. I’m sure that took the wind out of his sails .While his story was bland, he consistently looked strong in all of his matches. I specifically remember him looking like a beast in his Survivor Series match against Roman Reigns. It wasn’t until the New Year that his program became short sighted.
Before winning the US title from Del Rio, Kalisto was riding the hype train all throughout WWE television. He’s an easy character to get behind and the WWE realized they had something unique. It can be said that the company doesn’t always know when to pull the trigger on certain pushes and I highly believe they pushed Kalisto too soon. They noticed he gained a lot of momentum and decided to have him go over Del Rio on an episode of Raw. At the time, I marked out like crazy. Who didn’t? It was a great moment because we witnessed Kalisto, someone that the crowd loves, win a meaningfull championship. In the long term, this was a terrible idea. We all know how the Kalisto-Del Rio feud turned out. The writers became lazy with the feud, and it took a back seat. After their meaningless feud, both men and the US Title have become lost in the shuffle.
In hindsight, that feud would have been best saved for Wrestlemania. Instead of pulling the trigger on Kalisto right away, they should have continued to build his momentum, along with Del Rio. Then they could have wrestled each other for the first time at Wrestlemania 32. Of course, this is where Kalisto should have gone over, and the pop from the crowd would have been overwhelming. Since they’ve done that feud, and completely butchered it, Kalisto needs a new contender for the title.
Who will it be?
With the roster being as thin as it is, there isn’t many options. Along with that, they’re slowly losing time. With Wrestlemania being four weeks away, it crucial they do something for the US title, and here’s some possibilities:
Unification (vs Kevin Owens)
This can be an easy feud for the fans to digest. They can boo Owens, while they cheer for Kalisto. Worst case scenario, they cheer for both men. What makes this feud interesting is that it wouldn’t have to rely on the typical “David vs Goliath” formula. Owens brings more to the table, other than just being larger than Kalisto. Even if they did follow that formula, it would only be a simple backdrop. At no point would Kalisto’s mic skills be exposed, as Owens would do most of the talking to further the program. The best part about these two feuding is that the WWE can’t screw up the finish. It doesn’t matter who wins, because the crowd would be happy with either wrestler.
People may be tired of seeing the Big Show compete, but I think this feud would work very well. This program would have to be a “David vs Goliath” story, because that’s the appeal. Similar to Kevin Owens, Big Show is able to carry a larger load on the mic. In this case, the crowd wants to go against the Big Show, so the booking aspect is fairly simple. Many casual fans are more familiar with Big Show, so watching him lose could give Kalisto some more credibility.
I believe this to be the least likely of the four scenarios I’ve presented. If they can keep booking Ryback as a ruthless competitor that continuously wins matches, I can see him wrestling Kalisto at Wrestlemania. Unfortuntely, Ryback’s current heel character has less charisma than drywall, so who would be the mic worker? This feud would have to rely on the announcers hyping it up week-to-week. Also, with the big guy’s current position on the food chain, I doubt he can give this program much credibility. He would actually be lucky to work with Kalisto.
Not Defended (In tag program)
The Lucha Dragons have been feuding with the League of Nations, and it can possibly continue. The League of Nations is in a semi-feud with the New Day, who also happen to be in a program with Y2AJ. This entire chain of feuds can easily culminate into a multi-tag team match at Wrestlemania. Out of all four scenarios, there’s no denying that this would be the worst. Not just for Kalisto, but for Styles, Jericho, New Day, & Del Rio.
Please feel free to leave your thought’s on the US title scene!