On the back of Wrestlemania 31 we take a look at the various titles in the WWE and what the outcome of Sunday means for the respective title scenes.
It’s with trepidation that I write this post knowing that all good work by the WWE at Wrestlemania, and there was an abundance of it, could be undone on Raw and render this post obsolete.
Regardless, I will press on. We will likely cover Wrestlemania in more general terms in this week’s Sunday Sermon so I will focus on what Wrestlemania means for the World Heavyweight, the US, the Intercontinental and the tag team titles on the back of the event.
It’s probably easiest to do in the order the matches took place on Sunday, so let’s start with the tag belts.
The style of the match, featuring four teams, was always likely to lend itself better to a spot filled match or a comedy match. I think we got the former with a few comedy spots thrown in for good measure.
As is perpetually the case the WWE’s tag division looks rather threadbare when you remove teams that are, at best, a rung or two above jobbers. But Tyson Kidd and Cesaro are a really solid team and show that you can achieve success quite easily be throwing two guys together that lack a programme and giving them a ball to run with.
With regards to the other teams in the match: Los Matadores are a team that you can’t really take seriously, nor do the WWE, and were really filler in this one much like New Day, although Xavier Woods and co. to a lesser extent. I can’t help feel that New Day are on the verge of something with their gimmick but I can’t put my finger on exactly what they lack.
Elsewhere, it’s looking increasingly like the powers that be have already lost interest in The Ascension. Neither Konnor nor Vikor had a particularly impressive showing in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and have lost the momentum the pairing had when they debuted after solid hype.
In NXT the WWE have shown actual interest in the tag division and there’s much to enjoy about teams such as the Vaudevillains, the Lucha Dragons as well as current NXT tag champions Blake and Murphy.
As for the Intercontinental title, I’m still ever hopeful that the WWE will return it to its former glory. I think that they really missed a beat when Lesnar was off TV for long periods by not having a stronger IC champion. After his win on Sunday the WWE have a genuine uppercarder carrying the gold.
Even more importantly is that this match demonstrated how well the seven men involved work together. I think Daniel Bryan versus Dolph Ziggler is the logical next feud bar the face v face aspect. I’d not rule out another multi-man match at the end of this month at Extreme Rules. I’d hope for it being a five-man match with Stardust and R-Truth removed from the picture. That said, perhaps Dean Ambrose and Luke Harper have things to settle before then leaving Bryan, Ziggler and Barrett for Extreme Rules. It’s not a bad scenario at all and makes for a very interesting IC title scene and it’s not often you can say that.
The IC title has an uppercarder carrying it but the US title is carried by a genuine main event drawing talent and, again, it will be interesting to see what they do next. The rematch a sure fire thing owing to the circumstances that surrounded John Cena’s win and this is the programme between the pair is something I’m growing more and more interested in.
The one difference between this title and all of the others in this post is that it really is a two man division with only Rusev and Cena involved. Although seeing how much his loss to Cena on Raw meant, Dean Ambrose made the US belt appear like the sort of title superstars want to win.
The USA vs Russia angle doesn’t lend itself to having other characters added either but I still feel there’s still some gas left in the tank of this feud, certainly until Extreme Rules.
Now for the big one: the WWE title. It wasn’t much of a surprise seeing Seth Rollins cash-in his Money in the Bank contract on Sunday evening, it was a bit of a giveaway having him versus Randy Orton up second. But it makes for an interesting programme going forward.
Brock Lesnar has every right to be infuriated having lost his title without being pinned while Roman Reigns still has scores to settle after the break-up of The Shield. Add in Randy Orton who, much like Owen Hart did at Wrestlemania X, defeated the man who would later that evening win the WWE title.
Is there reason to be optimistic about each of the title scenes? For the first time in a while I genuinely believe there is. Genuinely talented champions, if not a bit babyface heavy, and a good mix of talent challenging for the gold means that the road to Wrestlemania 32 kicks-off in a health position. Let’s just hope that the WWE don’t make a mess of this.