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Universal Championship Discussion

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So far, I am very disappointed in the oppenent department for Rollins, it was so good with AJ at first, but then it began with Corbin which already got boring very quickly, in my opinion after Stomping Ground, they need to find Seth a new oppenent and I feel Joe or Drew McIntyre is the best oppenents to face Rollins for the Title due to it actually sounding interesting for a start and you know both of them would be extremely good opponents to Seth due to them being Goliaths while Seth is David, it a good story to tell and it would be better for the Title and the product. 

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On 6/17/2019 at 6:44 PM, MARKER said:

So far, I am very disappointed in the oppenent department for Rollins, it was so good with AJ at first, but then it began with Corbin which already got boring very quickly, in my opinion after Stomping Ground, they need to find Seth a new oppenent and I feel Joe or Drew McIntyre is the best oppenents to face Rollins for the Title due to it actually sounding interesting for a start and you know both of them would be extremely good opponents to Seth due to them being Goliaths while Seth is David, it a good story to tell and it would be better for the Title and the product. 

I feel as though they are trying to play Corbin as Goliath, seeing as he is six foot eight (I thought he was like 6'1). However, the fanbase certainly does not appreciate Corbin's involvement in the main event scene, so somebody like a Samoa Joe could be a good opponent for Rollins. They are simply stalling for time, however, as Lesnar will likely cash in quite soon, SummerSlam to be precise. I don't know if he'll win, and I hope he doesn't but I think WWE will put the gold- er, red, strap on Lesnar's waist again. The number of people to have failed a cash in are quite slim, and I doubt they will put Lesnar among the list of Baron Corbin. I just hope Rollins gets a credible opponent, likely McIntyre, at SummerSlam or potentially after.

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I really dont understand why Corbin is in the title picture. There are so many other people that not only could make the matches better and more interesting. Corbin is nowhere near ready for the Universal Title and I feel like he is only in the scene for Rollins to get momentum off of him. But, because its Corbin, what momentum can Rollins gain.

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As Bob said, i really thought it was going to be time for Samoa Joe. A RAW superstar who has looked credible (even in loss) moving away from the United States Championship division and setting his sights on the main championship. It seems WWE agreed as well but decided to use Smackdown instead for the backdrop. This spot could've been filled with any of the wrestlers such as Lashley, Cesaro ect for a one off PPV event. Well now that they are using their Baron Corbin card again for Extreme Rules they must have a big plan up their sleeves for Summerslam i hope. Something that they need to hold off from until a month leading into the event. 

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I feel bad for Rollins, his reign has been underwhelming and it’s not his own fault, it’s because he gets handed Baron Corbin every month and there’s only so much you can do with that load of shit. Joe should’ve been in the picture now but no, he’s going to face the other brands World Champion because apparently Rollins vs Corbin is all we need for the rest of eternity. 

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I think non sleep deprived me put it best. "Whats he supposed to do pull a 5 star match out of Baron Corbin's asshole?" Having Becky Lynch and Lacey Evans (even if they are not competing for said belt) compete in the Universal title match is even more sad than Corbin getting chance after chance after chance. On a show with the Undertaker facing Shane McMahon, this match is the least excited I will likely ever get about a pay per view match.

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Image result for Universal Championship

Well, here we are, let's tackle the big red belt, the fruit roll up belt itself, the WWE Universal Championship. Ever since it's inception, the Universal Championship has held an aura of controversy, real-life issues and fan division about it. With the Inaugural Champion Finn Balor falling to a ferociously ill-timed injury, The thread-bare RAW main event in 2016, Goldberg's quick victory over Kevin Owens at Fastlane 2017, Brock Lesnar's part time status as champion, and Roman Reign's Leukemia. Needless to say, the Universal Championship hasn't had a good run in it's 3 years of being active.

Let's have a look at some of the RAW roster members (I will not indulge the Wild Card Rule and it's insanity) and weigh in on my thoughts about them regarding the Universal Championship.......oh, right.....

 

.....Baron Corbin....aka Big Banter Baron......aka Beezo Corbo.....aka Bazzer Corbs.....aka Barman Corbin...
....aka Sad Belly Button.

Image result for Baron Corbin resthold

Well, might as well get this out of the way quickly. Baron Corbin has been Universal Champion Seth Rollins' dance partner in the ring numerous times since Wrestlemania. Given Corbin's victory at the event, retiring Hall of Famer and Wrestling Legend, Kurt Angle, it was safe to assume that Corbin would be featured prominently on the show. But even from his role as RAW General Manager, and his constant 30-minute snoozefest matches in 2018, I don't think we predicted quite how high the company is on the former Lone Wolf.

Baron Corbin was unsuccessful at claiming the Universal Championship at Saudi Super ShowDown, falling to his achilles heel, the dreaded roll-up. We then saw him once again fail to claim the title at Stomping Grounds, despite drafting in someone with an equalling big push, Lacey Evans as Guest Referee......and as of the writing of this, both Corbin and Evans are slated to recieve yet another title shot at their respective champions at Extreme Rules in the form of a "Winner Take All Mixed Tag Team Match". 

With this constant artificial stretching of the feud, it only reduces the investment of fans in both Rollins, whose reign as of late has only been defined with beating Corbin. And Corbin has lost to the same man repeatedly, only to keep receiving championship matches. This dissonance only produces one thing....fan apathy.

Do I think Baron Corbin should be Universal Champion? Absolutely not, WWE have clearly forgotten what his strengths are, because believe it or not, Corbin can't go out there for 20-minutes and tear it up like Bret Hart. His in-ring skill is in quick sprints, not workrate marathons.

With Corbin being a former United States Champion, and Former Money in the Bank winner, he has some credibility to win further. Personally, I would put Corbin in a heel tag team, that way he isn't so exposed and forced to apply a Half Nelson Crossface resthold for 10 minutes. Perhaps with someone like Lashley, Cesaro or EC3.

 

AJ Styles

Image result for AJ Styles

Smackdown's Golden Boy, AJ Styles is now working Monday Nights, and it's a much needed change of scenery for the Phenomenal One. Having held the WWE Championship over on Smackdown on two occasions, one of which lasting over a year, as well as brief dabbles with the United States Championship, Styles was the top talent on the Blue Brand since the brand split. Having done all that he could over on Smackdown, AJ moved over to RAW and was thrust immediately into a program with the Universal Champion, Seth Rollins. Despite being unsuccessful in claiming the big red belt, it was a first time dream match at Money in the Bank. 

I think that Styles vs. Rollins II could very well main event or be a featured match on a larger show such as Summerslam or the Royal Rumble. At all costs, WWE should not run this pairing into the ground as they did with Styles/Nakamura and Styles/Joe. 

With Styles reportedly wanting to tone down his schedule slightly, it's unlikely that WWE would give him another year-ling reign as champion, however, AJ definitely has another main event run in him. Whether that's defeating Rollins for the title, or someone else later down the line, that remains to be seen. Personally, I think that Styles is too loved by the fans and too much of an asset to not utilise in a prominent role on the show, Universal Champion is likely to be in the cards.

 

Drew McIntyre

Image result for Drew McIntyre

Oh Drew, what have they done with you, mate? First reintroduced to the main roster as the Diesel to Dolph Ziggler's Shawn Michaels. Then a cup of coffee with the RAW Tag Titles (mercifully ending the B-Team's comedy run as champions), then onto feuding with Ziggler and tapping out Kurt Angle on RAW, to zero follow-up. Since then, McIntyre has been wallowing in midcard purgatory, achieving very little of note until his feud with Roman Reigns. Likewise with the Corbin/Rollins feud, the McIntyre/Reigns feud has been stretched out for far too long, across far, far too many matches. Furthermore, McIntyre is currently stuck as the lackey to the Shane McMahon 2019 push, leaving him little room or agency of his own.

Once Drew returned to the WWE in 2017, I wanted to see him pushed to the top, either as the redeemed, badass babyface he was in NXT, clawing his way back to the top. Or as the monster heel we have today. Unfortunately, WWE simply haven't capitalised on McIntyre at all since his return to the main roster. 

I would absolutely heat up McIntyre and have him run through the RAW roster, forget the Shane push, this is the man that should be getting those wins. McIntyre could provide a strong foil to Rollins. Both men are former prodigal sons of the McMahons, with Drew's former "Chosen One' gimmick and Seth "Buying in" when he betrayed the Shield. This similarity could provide some strong character dynamics and some very nice continuity stretching back to Drew's original run with the company. 

Out of all the RAW roster, Drew McIntyre is the man I would put the championship on. Create a real threat to both Seth, and the next man on this list.

 

Brock Lesnar

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The Beast and Mr. Money in the Bank, Brock Lesnar. Brock's history with Rollins is deep and long-lasting, all the way back to Wrestlemania 31. He is the only 2-Time Universal Champion as of writing, and held it for over a year in his first reign, much to the divided chagrin of the fans.

Once Brock's reign of terror was finally ended at Wrestlemania 35 in quick fashion at the hands (or should I say stomp) of Seth Rollins, we assumed that Brock would slink away into his usual part time status, only showing his face at the largest shows, or return to the UFC. However, at Money in the Bank, we saw Sami Zayn mysteriously pulled from the match, and Brock taking his place, winning the briefcase in the process.

In this moment, despite Brock being a right memelord with his Boombox Briefcase, the fear that RAW would return to the dark days of absentee champions still looms large over the red brand. I would honestly hate for Lesnar to reclaim the Universal Championship, we have had 2 years of him atop of the mountain, and hardly ever appearing on RAW as it's top champion. If there is only thing that WWE should avoid at all costs, is to regress. Brock winning the title back only pushes the show back into the purgatory that it has just escaped from.

He may have fun matches on PPV with the likes of Styles, Bryan and Balor, but we do not need the regular TV show lacking it's champion, not again.

Samoa Joe

Image result for Samoa Joe

Ah, Joe, what have they done to you, mate? After unsuccessfully challenging Brock for the title back in 2017, and after numerous failed challenges to AJ Styles' WWE Championship during his tenure on Smackdown, Samoa Joe hasn't had the best of runs with the company. Both marred with injuries and questionable booking, Joe is in danger of entering Bray Wyatt territory, where is talks a big game, but ever wins, so he can't back it up.

Thankfully, he did win the United States Championship in early 2019 (What I now lovingly refer to as the Rebound Championship). However, his reign would be sullied with a short length and a strange finish with his match against Rey Mysterio.

Samoa Joe is arguably the strongest promo in the company right now, evoking a forceful aura of legitimacy about himself purely with his words. If Joe's booking can begin to match his words, Samoa Joe can be a real monster threat to the RAW roster. However, with his history of injuries, and his 2018 run, WWE was likely very shy to pull the trigger on the Samoan Submission Machine.

He is currently challenging for the WWE Championship on Smackdown, likely to not be successful. Samoa Joe's future as a credible main eventer is still up in the air.

 

Ricochet

Image result for Ricochet US Champion

The current United States Champion, Ricochet. He is one of the hottest acts going on the main roster, and is thankfully being capitalised on as the US Champion. However, I can easily see him being pushed higher and higher up the card throughout the year. Once he drops the US Title, Ricochet is bound for the upper card/main event scene. A potential Ricochet vs. Rollins match for the Universal Championship is a huge and protected match up. 

If WWE stay high on Ricochet I could see him winning the Universal Title in the next couple of years. He provides a breath of fresh air to the main roster, doing things that the rest of the roster simply cannot do, carving out his own niche as RAW's resident flipparoo. With the main event scene being dominated by monsters like Lesnar, Strowman, Joe, Reigns and Corbin, transitioning to the faster, more athletic stars like Rollins and Ricochet feels new, and very welcome.

 

Sami Zayn

Image result for Sami Zayn 2019

Sami, mah boy! Aww they gotta do something with you at some point. Given a man of Zayn's talent both in the ring and on the mic, it's almost baffling how he hasn't won a championship on the main roster yet. Excelling as a pure underdog babyface, and surprisingly performing as an excellent heel allied with Kevin Owens, united in their hatred of Shane McMahon. 

Unfortunately, Sami was benched for just short of a year with double rotator cuff surgery, only returning the night after Wrestlemania 35. Another dampener on the Sami Train is being taken out of the Money in the Bank match to accommodate the addition of Brock Lesnar. 

Continuing the spiral of Sami Zayn, he hasn't gained many high profile wins while on the main roster, only recently ending the losing streak with a Tag Team victory over the New Day tagging with Kevin Owens.

Personally I would love for Sami Zayn to get a more prominent role on the show, I think his work is impeccable and has shown to be incredibly versatile in the character department. A program with him versus Seth Rollins would be some whopper matches, and after the Corbin matches, we need some high pace action in the main event.

 

Bray Wyatt

Image result for Bray Wyatt chainsaw

And finally, the true unknown factor in all of WWE right now, the repackaged Bray Wyatt. The Firefly Funhouse segments have really been the mysterious highlight of RAW in the fallout of Wrestlemania 35. And even more intriguingly, Wyatt hasn't made an in-ring appearance at all yet, it feels like they're saving him for something big. 

I think that could be a Universal Championship program for Summerslam against Seth Rollins. Wyatt has some white-hot momentum behind him with this reinvigorated gimmick, if WWE can truly get behind him and give him strong victories over credible names, Bray might actually feel like a legitimate contender for the first time in a very long time.

If there is anyone to run with and just see where it goes, Funhouse Bray Wyatt is the man to go with. He could be a legit threat to Rollins, and should be treated as such. WWE need to protect him this time around, they can't afford to make the same mistakes as they did in the past with this guy.

Edited by Gwynfro

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I think you are forgetting 2 major players @Gwynfro and that's Braun Strowman and Lashley. Sure, currently they are not the top tier of Raw, but neither is Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe, or Ricochet. After that feud is done, I could see either one of them (mainly Braun) going for Seth Rollins and the Universal Championship. And I could see either of them (again, mainly Braun) winning that title. About this time last year we were clamoring for a Braun Strowman Universal Title reign, that could easily happen now. And while we know new Raw Executive Producer Paul Heyman is not the greatest fan of Lashley, if he could return to the form he had in Impact, he could be an amazing Universal Champion.

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I agree that Rollins' reign so far has been less than average, especially when his big title victory came on the same night as Kofi's.  The hype was just never really there for Rollins.  Everyone knew that this was bound to happen eventually, whereas Kofi's title win was never supposed to have happened, ever.  Add on a feud with Baron Corbin that has overextended itself about a month too long and it's almost at the point of no return.  At this point, I'd like to see McIntyre hold the belt. I think that he's really the most viable person to do so.  Gwyn did make some good shouts though, Zayn, Joe, and Wyatt would all be people who I would like to see as champion and I feel would have success in the role.  Also, Yelich mentioned Strowman, and we're all still waiting for that day, he probably needs another big push to get it done though.

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