Sheamus is the WWE Champion after winning at WWE Fatal 4-Way. This much we know. What don’t we know though? Well, who’s going to challenge him at the next PPV? Usually, the WWE has been extremely predictable in whom they would pick to face off against the Champion at various pay-per-view events. Remember that stretch last year when the WWE Championship match featured some combination of John Cena, Randy Orton and/or Triple H? Yeah, I’m trying to block that out of my mind too.
For the first time in a long time, it feels like there are a ton of guys who could get the nod against Championship in the near future. Cena would seem like the most likely candidate going into the Money in the Bank event, but he’s been embroiled in the nXTWo sneak attacks. Randy Orton always makes sense as a contender, but he’s feuding with Edge, and Monday night, The Miz interjected himself in a Randy Orton promo, calling him out for having too many title shots and for him to get to the back of the line. Evan Bourne has a pinfall victory over Sheamus in a tag match and has been booked to look strong against Chris Jericho in the last couple of weeks. Then, there’s also always the specter of Triple H looming in the background. Sheamus put him out with an injury. Finally, on top of all those contenders, Wade Barrett, by virtue of winning NXT season 1, has a banked PPV title shot.
Of course, with the Money in the Bank PPV looming, there needs to be a ton of guys with aspirations for gold. Why else would they be competing in a MitB-ladder match? It makes sense not only to have the usual suspects like Orton, Cena and Edge in the mix, but given that the match has traditionally had at least six guys in it, more challengers need that build. That’s why it makes all the sense in the world to give godfather pushes to guys like Miz and Bourne on the RAW side and Christian, Kofi Kingston, Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes on the Smackdown side. The more wrestlers you can make people think have a chance at winning the match, the more intrigue it has, and theoretically, the more buys you get for the event itself.
Be that as it may though, the WWE ought to mix up the contenders’ fray more often. Monday’s RAW was refreshing, not only for the return of the nWo-type “mixed-cheer” faction, but also for the intrigue surrounding the WWE Championship. Regardless of what Vince Russo or the WWE braintrust tell us, the fans, Championships still matter. Even in a worked sport like wrestling, we want to see the titles be made to look important. We still want to believe that they’re fighting for something other than personal pride. That’s what kayfabe is all about. Great wrestling will make people forget that it’s all staged, even if it’s for one moment, and that’s what some wrestling promoters have forgotten in this rush to make everything “edgy”. Sometimes, the best edge comes from creating more than one deserving contender for the top title.
So if you’re straining to figure out who’s going to get the title shot at Sheamus at Money in the Bank, or trying to figure out to whom America’s favorite wrestling ginger will eventually drop the title, save yourself the trouble, sit back and just enjoy the ride. The WWE Title situation hasn’t been this good in a long time, and who knows when they’ll revert to the same main event for 8 PPVs in a row again.
Tom Holzerman is a lifelong wrestling fan and connoisseur of all things Chikara Pro, among other feds. When he’s not writing for the Camel Clutch Blog, you can find him on his own blog, The Wrestling Blog.
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