It may take a couple weeks until the dust of the WWE’s Superstar Swap completely settles. We’ll know where everybody stands in due time. However, after just one Smackdown under this new paradigm, one thing seems clear. At the moment, the United States title is more important than the World Heavyweight title.
Now, that doesn’t mean the US title is the “new” World title, that it will be considered the most prestigious belt on Smackdown. Right now, though, that certainly appears to be the case. Just think back to this week’s Smackdown. Randy Orton, the current world champ, fought Erick Rowan early in the show in a match that didn’t even really have a finish. It was as much an excuse for Bray Wyatt to pimp the “House of Horrors” match again. Meanwhile, the main event was a match simply to decide the number one contender for the US title, which is held by new Smackdown competitor Kevin Owens. Who competed in that match? Baron Corbin and newcomer Sami Zayn, yes, but also AJ Styles. It may be a bit of heelish bravado when Styles calls himself “the face that runs the place,” but it is also abundantly clear that Styles is the most-popular wrestler on Smackdown, and perhaps in the WWE. Styles won, so in the near future we will be seeing Owens fighting Styles for the US title.
Owens and Styles were both recently top champs on their respective shows, and they are both very popular wrestlers and big draws. From a fan perspective, people clearly seem more interested in Owens than Orton, and in Styles than Wyatt. However, it also seems like the WWE itself is more interested in what is going on with the US title picture right now, too. That didn’t feel like the case with Dean Ambrose and the Intercontinental title. Things will likely go “back to normal” in time, but right now, the world of Smackdown seems topsy-turvy. Maybe Superstar Swap really did shake things up.
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