On January 1st, 1975, Harley Race defeated Johnny Weaver in Tallahassee, FL to become the first United States Champion. Although it began in WCW, it is the one championship in which WWE continues to use. Other great superstars have held the U.S. Championship including Ric Flair, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Sgt. Slaughter, Sting, Steve Austin, Eddie Guerrero, Goldberg, Bret Hart, John Cena and the list goes on.
[adinserter block=”2″]Fast-forward thirty-six years. On June 19th, 2011, Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston to win the U.S. Championship and held the title for almost exactly six months. During this reign, the entire WWE universe (including myself) felt that Dolph brought a lot of prestige to the championship. It was being treated similarly to the Intercontinental Championship – a mid level title that showed the superstar as up and coming and soon would be a main eventer (i.e. Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels). Look at Dolph Ziggler now – Money in the Bank winner and soon to be World Heavyweight champion.
However, things have changed as it relates to the United States Championship. After WWE showed us that Dolph Ziggler was ready to move up on the ladder, they gave what everyone was begging for – Zack Ryder! The Woo Woo kid earned the title by making himself popular through social media. As we all know, Vince McMahon likes to create superstars himself so this was to be short lived. The U.S. championship bounced to Jack Swagger and it fit him well as he is the All American American (get it?). So why did they push Jack Swagger down to jobber? To give it to who? An Italian? Santino Marella.
At this point in WWE storylines, Santino Marella was the comic relief of RAW and Smackdown. I really did enjoy his humor. I was not that upset about Marella becoming the new U.S. champion. In fact, for the first six to seven weeks of his title reign, Santino did defend the title often. Let us take a look at what Santino has done during that time:
March 5th, 2012 – Santino Marella wins U.S. champion from Jack Swagger (WIN)
March 9th, 2012 – Santino Marella defeats Jack Swagger in a steel cage match in a U.S. title match (WIN)
April 1st, 2012 – Santino Marella as team captain for Team Teddy loses (LOSS)
April 2nd, 2012 – Santino Marella defeats Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler in a triple threat match for the U.S. championship (WIN)
April 16th, 2012 – Santino Marella defeats David Otunga in a U.S. title match (WIN)
April 29th, 2012 – Santino Marella defeats the Miz in a U.S. title match in the pre-show for Extreme Rules (WIN)
Santino Marella did not defend the title again until June 25th on RAW, when he defeats Jack Swagger….again! During this time, he did, however, defeat Alberto Del Rio’s personal RING ANNOUNCER Ricardo Rodriguez in a non-title TUXEDO match at No Way Out. WHY!?!
Instead of defending his title, Santino has been downgraded to jobber for Alberto Del Rio, Antonio Cesaro and others. A JOBBER? The U.S. champion is a JOBBER? The WWE has many mid-card superstars who deserve the opportunity to be U.S. champion and more importantly, would bring a ton of prestige to the title just like the Hall of Famers of the past did. I do not understand why Santino Marella is still U.S. champion and why as champion, the WWE continues to use him as a jobber. If you are going to have a United States champion, make him look credible by winning matches and defending the championship.
[adinserter block=”1″]What happened to the rule where champions have to defend the title at least once every 30 days? What happened to bringing prestige to the WWE United States Championship? Do you agree?
Seth Guttenplan is the writer and editor of GuTTWrenchPowerBlog, a brand new WWE blog. When Seth is not writing about wrestling, he is a Special Education teacher in New Jersey. To read more from Seth, follow him on twitter ( @sethgutt ) or visit http://guttwrenchpowerblog.com
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