Sad face emoji. Finn Balor is injured. He will be out for a prolonged period of time. So long, in fact, that the world’s favorite face-painted demon had to forfeit his title on Monday Night Raw. In turn, Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley set up a series of matches to setup a Fatal 4-Way for the title at the following episode’s airing.
What is left is four men competing to become the second ever WWE Universal Champion. Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Big Cass, all presented with an opportunity to carry the Raw main title into the future.
Obviously, this is a crucial time for the WWE. The company was ready to move forward with Balor as its champion, with only Vince McMahon and (your) god knowing how hard he was going to be pushed, but we have reached a point in storytelling where all ships have been abandoned, and the first order of business is righting this main event scene ship.
Nevertheless, each of these four guys bring something unique to the table. So much so that, we can envision all of them – well, maybe not Cass (yet) – winning the title on Monday night. Let’s make a case for all four of them, shall we?
Cass is the least likely to win the WWE Universal Championship. He is the most green out of the competitors, and is currently in a tag team. Forcing him out of that situation while that angle is still working out sweeter than a bag of glazed donuts would probably not be ideal.
Still, Cass as champion can work. He is stupid over, he is stupid big and he can do stupidly awesome things in the ring. All the positive-stupid things in the world, honestly.
A day is definitely going to come when Big Cass is walking around with a world championship, too. Make no bones about that, as he checks off every single one of Vince McMahon’s requirements to be a main event star in the WWE. He is huge, crowds love him and he has that extra bonus of being able to speak words on a microphone.
Should we expect him to win it all? Of course not. The WWE is fresh off putting a jet pack on the back of Balor, which resulted in needing this Fatal 4-Way in the first place. The company is more likely to want to go with a more “established” guy for right now.
All of that being said, I doubt there’s a human trotting about the planet who wouldn’t mind seeing Cass win simply for the shock and awe.
Listen, here is the deal with Reigns: If you’re still chanting “you can’t wrestle” at him, well, you are a bad critic of wrestling. He has vastly improved in the ring to the point where he’s regularly putting on 4- to 5-star quality matches. Reigns continues to implement more moves into his arsenal, and the fact that some smarks refuse to acknowledge that says far more about the latter than the former.
The issue with Reigns has forever been how he has been booked. In fact, it was highlighted on Monday night when the WWE decided to book him as “Super Roman” – a man, no matter the obstacles, who will beat up the entire continent of North America to get the victory. This isn’t his fault, but the WWE needs to realize this is why many fans loathe him.
There is some good news here, though: Reigns went “Full Metal Jacket” against Rusev at SummerSlam. He is inching further and further away from being the tool he has been since debuting as a singles competitor and more towards being the aggressive man of violence he should have always been.
Obviously, a full heel turn would go a long way in helping to justify a title run, but even without that, we need to acknowledge that the IWC is never happy (see: chanting stuff during “their dream match” of Rollins vs. Balor). So, if the WWE thinks Roman can still be the guy, let him be that. The company just needs to do so in a way that puts the wrestler in a better position to succeed.
Also, I’m totally here for trolling the IWC. If only because of that, Reigns can win on Monday.
Rollins is the most logical of all the choices. A former world champion, he is an already proven commodity who can carry the top of the main event scene. He has done it in the past, the crowd will accept him as champion, and there’s very little reason to be concerned if he were to walk out of Raw wearing that beautifully crafted WWE Universal Championship.
That’s about it, too. There’s no need to complicate the reason(s) Rollins would make a good champion. We already know what we are getting with him. Thing is, he also happens to be far better on the microphone now than he was before he got injured.
While his in-ring work is slightly less dynamic, this version of Rollins is actually better equipped to hold a world title than the one who already has.
Disclosure: This will be who I am rooting for.
Owens is everything. He is great in the ring, probably the best oral wordsmith the WWE has, and the fact he hasn’t had a title run at this point is kind of absurd.
There’s even more to it than that.
While we all love our favorites running around as champions, the company is usually best served when a swell talking heel is the champion. It just sets up far more possibilities for better stories, angles and feuds. Whenever a “good guy” is champion, it is usually more of the same of that champ “overcoming all odds.”
It is also worth noting that if the WWE originally put the belt on Balor to give Raw as fresh a feel possible, while acknowledging Big Cass still needs some work before getting a title run, Owens should be the company’s next logical choice, as the other two have already had their chances.