Since Kevin Owens is going to be part of the Money in the Bank ladder match, it’s a sure bet that the current United States Heavyweight Champion is not going to win the golden briefcase. And in doing so, WWE must decide how to book its number two champion after the pay-per-view.
Owens’ run this year – as Universal Champion on Monday Night Raw and the current run on SmackDown Live – has been solid. While the company has made changes to its format concerning Brock Lesnar’s run as champion and putting the WWE World Championship on the shoulder of Jinder Mahal, Owens has been a model of consistency.
What he has done is prove to the masses that the Canadian is worthy of being one of the top villains in WWE for the foreseeable future.
Now WWE must figure out who is next in line to face him and his current title run.
We probably should end the speculation of a Owens-Sami Zayn rewind as that ship has sailed. While watching the two former friends compete has had its highs and lows over the course of the last 18 months, fans want something new and innovative. And I believe Zayn would be better booked in a feud with Majal with the World Title on the line.
WWE had something special when AJ Styles and Owens hooked up in the Backlash pay-per-view and have had their moments in the ring on television of late. That’s a feud that could continue after Money in the Bank, but I believer WWE will see to it that Styles gets another opportunity not only at the Main event, but he could fall into a feud with Randy Orton.
The one match that like to see, which was already teased over the past couple of weeks is a program with Shinsuke Nakamura. The Japanese superstar has looked solid first in his feud with Dolph Ziggler and in tag matches with Styles. Putting Nakamura in the main event picture right away could be detrimental to his rise in WWE. He still fairly green working live shows and is still learning the intricacies of working on camera and the WWE style.
A feud with Nakamura not only helps put Owens over as one bad ass heel, it shows Nakamura can work with wrestlers who are bigger than he is. And because of his unorthodox style, he plays perfectly into a format with the ever-agile Owens.
I like the idea of the international superstar walking around with the U.S. Title around his waist. John Cena figures to come back from his hiatus and immediately stay claim to the WWE Title and will challenge Mahal.
The modern day Maharajah is exactly what a throwback you should be, which plays right into Cen’s wheel house.
Should Nakamura claim the United States Title from Owens, I could see a feud with Mahal or ever a shot at Cena and the belt.
For now Nakamura and Owens are gold and present one of the best booking options for WWE and the SmackDown Live brand moving forward. And the potential of a confrontation with Cena or Mahal down the line.