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[WNS Column] Why Sheamus vs. Rusev For The U.S. Title Is Best For Business
Posted By: Caylon Knox on Nov 02, 2014
"The Celtic Warrior" Sheamus is currently in his second reign as the WWE United States Champion. He has held the Title since May, meaning that he's been the Champion for around six months now. WWE seems to have a tendency to keep the U.S. Title on people for a long period of time, usually with very few Title defenses. I personally think Sheamus has been booked to be a halfway decent United States Champion though because I actually remember him defending it on more than one occasion over the past six months. A lot of U.S. Champions over the past number of years, Dean Ambrose in particular, seemed to hold onto the belt forever without defending it... ever.
WWE's booking of the United States Championship over the past four or five years has been pretty dreadful. To the average wrestling fan, it would only make sense that any kind of a Champion should defend their Title. Especially the secondary Champions like the U.S. or Intercontinental Champion. Why not use these Titles to help make new stars? Why not let a guy have some successful Title defenses to make him look good? Honestly, the last U.S. Title reign that I thoroughly enjoyed was when Kofi Kingston was the U.S. Champion on Raw back in 2009. It seemed like they had him defending it just about every single week on Raw and on all the pay-per-views. I thought Kofi had an amazing run with the U.S. Title back in 2009 and off the top of my head I really can't think of any U.S. Champions since then who have had a run like that.
But as I said before, it seems like Sheamus has actually had some Title defenses. They've made Sheamus look like somewhat of a fighting Champion and I've been fairly satisfied with his run so far. That's why I'm excited about the fact that his newest challenger is the undefeated "Bulgarian Brute" Rusev.
I'm a fan of Rusev and I honestly believe that he has the potential to be a big star for WWE down the road. His anti-American gimmick has drawn some legit heat from the fans and he's been on an impressive undefeated streak since making his debut. The only problem I have with how WWE has been booking Rusev is the fact that his feuds seem to end rather quickly. I would have liked to have seen his feud with Jack Swagger go on for a while. I would have liked to have seen his feud against Mark Henry go on for a while. I would have liked to have seen his feud against The Big Show go on for a while. And now he has challenged Sheamus for a future U.S. Title match. Again, I would like to see this feud go on for a while.
I think a good feud between Sheamus and Rusev over the United States Championship would be, pardon the pun, "best for business." It would make sense for Rusev to go over on Sheamus and win the U.S. Title of course, but a good feud with a lot of hard-hitting battles would make both Superstars look good, and it could also bring new life to the United States Title. It could make for some great storytelling as well.
On one hand you have Sheamus, the first-ever Irish-born WWE World Champion. He may not have been born and/or raised in the United States of America, but Sheamus has come to the States and made a name for himself. World Wrestling Entertainment, based out of Stamford, Connecticut right here in the U.S., has given Sheamus the platform to live out his dream and make a good living. WWE and America have been good to Sheamus, so of course he would take pride in being the WWE United States Champion.
And on the other hand you have the hostile foreigners in Rusev and his manager Lana. They despise everything that America represents. They pledge their allegiance to Mother Russia and the Russian President Vladimir Putin. They want to take the WWE United States Championship and offer it as a gift to President Putin.
We have the grateful foreigner in Sheamus defending America, and we have the hostile foreigner in Rusev who despises America. Two heavy hitters. Two brawlers. Two impressive physical specimens. Two different ideologies. One prestigious Championship.
Imagine if you will, a long-running feud between Sheamus and Rusev over the U.S. Title. As I mentioned before, I think Rusev's feuds have been booked to end far too soon. Let's say that Rusev does end up beating Sheamus for the U.S. Title in their very first match, it could be interesting to see how Sheamus reacts. One would think that Sheamus, who obviously takes a lot of pride in being the U.S. Champion, would fight like hell to try to get the belt back. How about instead of just a one or two-month feud, what if these two go at it for a good four, five, or even six months with a lot of hard-hitting fights for the Title? Rusev would look more and more impressive with every successful Title defense, and a passionate war against the anti-American could help revitalize Sheamus as well, even if he ends up losing the war in the end. Both Superstars would look good, and it would make the U.S. Title look important again.
This could also give Rusev a lot of momentum heading into WrestleMania 31. Let's say that Rusev goes into WrestleMania as the United States Champion with all of this momentum and heat with the fans, his match at WrestleMania could actually be one of the bigger matches on the card no matter who he goes against.
This is all just one fan's idea. Perhaps just a pipe dream. WWE seems to hate the idea of having the U.S. or Intercontinental Titles actually mean something. They seem to hate the idea of having either of those Champions actually look good during their Title reign. They seem to hate the idea of doing what would make sense to the average fan.
It does seem likely that Rusev will end up beating Sheamus for the United States Championship, but what will happen after that is anyone's guess. This could be a great opportunity to do something special with Rusev, Sheamus, and the U.S. Title, or they might just make it seem meaningless like nearly every other U.S. Title reign over the past five years. But if they put the U.S. Title on Rusev, this would draw a lot of attention to both Rusev and the Title itself, so I don't see how they couldn't have him be a fighting Champion. Rusev and Lana have the attention of the WWE Universe. They have the ability to draw heat from the fans. If Rusev wins the U.S. Championship, you would think they would almost have to do something with it. Why not try to let Rusev have a memorable U.S. Title reign?
WWE is always trying to build new stars. They're always looking for people who can draw ratings and revenue for them. They've done a good job of giving Rusev momentum. Why not have him go as far as he possibly can with the U.S. Title before eventually moving on to bigger and better things? If they want him to truly become a star, this could be a great way to accomplish that goal.
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