How to Save the WWE United States Championship
When John Cena held the US Open Challenge back in 2015, it did wonders for the title. It was now a championship many superstars were actively fighting or vying for. The Open Challenge also did wonders for superstars such as Cesaro, Sami Zayn, and Neville, while at the same time reminding audiences of the talent of often-overlooked stars such as Wade Barrett and Stardust. The matches of the Open Challenge were often seen as the best matches on Monday Night Raw. When Cena lost the title, the Open Challenge stopped.
Fast forward to the current day, and Roman Reigns is the reigning US Champion. While Reigns is a talented superstar, the title has lost its luster. Here are a few ways to fix that.
1. Bring Back the Open Challenge
This one seems like kind of a no-brainer. Reigns is a capable wrestler, so there's no reason for him not to bring the Open Challenge back to life. Frequent defenses show that people are gunning for the title, and if they want the title, it must be a big deal.
There are several competent-to-talented men who could fight Reigns for the title. Men like Goldust, Darren Young, Sin Cara, and Curtis Axel are all woefully underutilized. It's a win-win situation for everyone. Underutilized superstars get TV time and Reigns gets to look good defending the title. In fact, attaching an Open Challenge stipulation to the title (à la the WCW Television Championship) would do wonders for the title and the roster.
2. Host a Tournament for It
If the Open Challenge is not doable for whatever reason, perhaps a tournament would be a good alternative. Like with the Open Challenge, it shows people want to compete for it. However, instead of just demanding a shot at the gold, a tournament would require the challenger to prove himself by defeating the rest of the pack. Only by defeating the others will the challenger even get a sniff at the gold. Not everyone can be a champion after all.
Raw is three hours long, and they struggle to fill that time. Some tournament matches would be a great way to eat up time while giving undercard guys a time to shine. This also helps with the title's image, as one would have to crawl through hell to even get a chance of being champion.
3. Give It a Prominent Storyline
Let us look at the US Championship's counterpart on Smackdown Live: the Intercontinental Championship. Current Intercontinental champion The Miz has elevated the title. He wants to hold onto it forever, and he calls himself the greatest Intercontinental Champion. Dolph Ziggler put his whole career on the line just to have one more shot at the title. The Intercontinental championship has its own storyline.
Meanwhile, on Raw, Reigns is challenging Kevin Owens for the Universal Championship. There's nothing wrong with Champion vs. Champion matches, but as a result, no one is challenging for the US title. No one wants it, or no one wants to challenge for it. Have Reigns defend his title against challengers who are really gunning for the title (and not just Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens ad nauseam). Develop a story with a payoff.
4. Give the Champion a Long, Strong Reign
This can be applied to Reigns or to whoever will beat Reigns for the title, but the champion should be strong. A lengthy reign with a fighting champion will elevate the title. Think about it; if a really bad wrestler got a hold of the championship, it shows that it can be won by anybody and everybody when it should really be only the best competing for it. If the champion defends successfully several times and holds the belt for a long time, then it shows that to be the champion, you have to be on another level than everyone else. Whoever beats the strong champion will end up looking strong as well, because he succeeded where others had failed. He was worthy to hold the championship.