The Re- Emergence of United States and Intercontinental Titles
WWE’s United States championship and the Intercontinental championship are currently enjoying spikes in value after months of irrelevance. The titles which are often placed just below the topmost titles, were seeing a more or less lukewarm response. Both Big E and Dean Ambrose were not able to do justice to the two titles. This has changed by a good amount through the crowning of Sheamus and Bad News Barrett.
While Dean Ambrose was not able to compete in a lot of singles matches due to the Shield’s ongoing feud with the reunited Evolution, Big E has not been as dominant as he once was.
The Intercontinental Championship No. 1 contender tournament added a lot of value to the title. While WWE could have easily had Barrett win the title, the crowning of Barrett as the number one contender only added a lot of scope in Barrett’s new role. Similarly, Sheamus winning the Battle Royal, made him look a lot different from the Sheamus who once loved to fight. This may lead to some character changes on the part of the Irish superstar.
As WWE prepares for an overseas tour, Irishman Sheamus, Britain’s Bad News Barrett and Paige are all champions. This is hardly a coincidence, with WWE putting its best European foot forward in order to maximize ticket sales. The showcasing of European champions ahead of an overseas tour also adds value to secondary championships once thought to be dead.
Bad News Barrett can easily make a case for the fastest-rising WWE superstar of post-WrestleMania season. He figures to be even more popular competing in front of his countrymen during WWE’s aforementioned international tour.
Having the Intercontinental championship in tow during his hero’s welcome is reminiscent to the British Bulldog celebrating a career-defining Intercontinental title victory in a sold-out Wembley Stadium after defeating the great Bret Hart. This was a time where one may argue the Intercontinental title was never more valued.
Barrett vanquished Big E at Extreme Rules in the finals of an Intercontinental title tournament designed to restore said value. The Izod Center of New Jersey exploded in cheers as, for the first time in a long time, the Intercontinental title seemed to legitimize a performer. What really added a lot of depth to the victory was his winning the tournament preceding the match. He had got important victories over Sheamus and RVD, to get the match in the first place. Seeing so many world champions in the tournament, can only provide proof to the importance being given to the Intercontinental Championship by the creative Team of WWE.
The United States championship has a bit further to go in terms of prestige. The title was virtually dormant under Dean Ambrose’s watch, as he rarely defended it. After capturing the title in a Battle Royal, an uncharacteristically smug Sheamus sent a post-match message to former champion Dean Ambrose. His message? “No hard feelings, fella.”
This is the type of self-serving behavior that will build resentment toward Sheamus for cheaply winning the United States championship. Any emotional reaction fans have toward the title will enhance the title itself.
Where Sheamus goes from now on , would be intriguing to watch and should make for some very promising TV time. Though it may look like a step back to a top babyface like Sheamus, it might be the exact thing needed for Sheamus to progress ahead in his Career. Also, with the two top titles being held by a single person, United States title and Intercontinental count mostly for the number two title for the company.
Very rarely have two more promising stars carried secondary championships at the same time. Sheamus and Barrett are as close to the main event as an Intercontinental-United States championship tandem have ever been. Getting there will give WWE’s secondary titles a primary feel. With so much time being devoted to the secondary titles, the titles can only get more and more values as we progress ahead to SummerSlam.