The Jun. 17 edition of WWE Raw saw a new number one contender for the United States Championship crowned for the upcoming Stomping Grounds pay-per-view.
Last night’s WWE Raw was the final Raw before Sunday night’s Stomping Grounds pay-per-view. It was a show that saw Samoa Joe’s next United States Championship challenger come to light in the form of one of the most exciting competitors the WWE has seen in a while, Ricochet.
After Rey Mysterio was forced to relinquish the U.S. Championship due to injury, Joe got the title back and has since had nothing to do with it. That all changed last night when a Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match determined who would face Joe for the title at Stomping Grounds when Braun Strowman, Ricochet, Bobby Lashley, The Miz and Cesaro battled it out.
This was an entertaining match that featured a lot of great action, but it ultimately came down to Ricochet and The Miz after the dust cleared. These two left it all in the ring, but in the end, Ricochet picked up the biggest win of his main roster career thus far to become the number one contender for the U.S. Championship before Joe jumped him from behind and made his presence felt before Stomping Grounds.
Joe vs. Ricochet feels like the only fresh match-up on the entire card at Stomping Grounds, but it becomes even more enticing when thinking about the possibility of a new champion being crowned. It might be a little early considering this is his first singles championship match on the main roster, but Ricochet should win the U.S. Championship at Stomping Grounds or, at least, sometime in the near future.
The U.S. Championship scene has been pretty nonexistent over the past few months to the point where it’s easy to forget there even is a U.S. Championship. The Intercontinental Championship has been in a similar situation, but the WWE has a chance to help remedy that situation on the U.S. Championship side by crowning a new, fresh and exciting champion. Joe can be an elite, main event caliber heel as he has proven in the past.
However, he’s not being booked in that same light as the U.S. Champion. Breaking free from the U.S. Championship picture could be a great move for Joe and it could lead him eventually back into the Universal Championship picture. Ricochet is the perfect Superstar to capture the U.S. Championship so he could help pump new life into the mid-card title scene, which has been needed for some time now.
Very few Superstars in the world, let alone the WWE, are as exciting as Ricochet is in the ring. He pulls off feats that most competitors can only dream about, and that’s exactly the type of Superstar that would carry the U.S. Championship proudly. Not to mention, the possibilities are endless regarding who he could feud with as champion. The standard bearer for U.S. Championship reigns in recent years is John Cena’s run a few years ago.
However, if Ricochet captures the U.S. Championship, it could realistically end up being a reign on the same level as Cena’s run was. Of course, it all depends on if WWE Creative treat the situation appropriately, but putting the belt on a deserving Superstar who could not only benefit from it himself, but elevate the entire title scene as a whole. Giving Ricochet the win is a wise decision.
There is no other Superstar more deserving to capture the U.S. Championship than Ricochet, so it would be nice to see it happen at Stomping Grounds. Even if it doesn’t happen immediately, it feels like he’s destined to win the title sometime in the near future. Don’t be surprised to see some type of non-finish that lends itself to another match, but hopefully, the WWE gets out of its own way and lets Joe and Ricochet work their magic.
The time has come to shake up the U.S. Championship picture and the best way to get that shake up started would be to crown a new champion in one of the most exciting Superstars the WWE has seen in a long time.