Welcome another edition of the March to WrestleMania 36, breaking down the environment around all the championships heading into the biggest show of the year to set the tone for 1) recapping how we got to this point, 2) discussing possible plans for WrestleMania and 3) guessing where this all going to end up once WrestleMania has concluded.
This post will be covering everything I can think of surrounding the United States Championship.
Note: Obviously, the coronavirus has left WrestleMania up in the air. This series assumes that it will still happen (as WWE continues to advertise it) and exists to bring casual viewers up to speed with information they’ve missed out on by not watching recent events.
Let’s start with what we already know…
THE UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP
Who is the current champion?
Andrade won the championship from Rey Mysterio at a house show on December 26, 2019.
WWE very easily could have taken the title away from him when he violated the Wellness Policy and was suspended for 30 days after Royal Rumble, but chose not to. That was very telling in how they view Andrade, as was how he was booked to partake in the Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet Match at Super ShowDown before his suspension was even lifted.
Granted, he didn’t do so well in that match, but that whole thing was a vessel to push the feud between The Undertaker and AJ Styles, so none of it really mattered. WWE likely doesn’t want you to remember anything other than the final moments anyway. Keep in mind that you’re supposed to have a great memory when it’s useful for storytelling purposes, but also be willing to immediately forget things if that’s convenient, too. WWE likes to have it both ways.
That is applicable in how you’re supposed to view his recent feuds with Humberto Carrillo and Rey Mysterio. In WWE’s ideal world, you as the viewer remember that Andrade (and Angel Garza) have fought them a bunch of times, but not in a way that you’re tired of seeing it. Instead, you’re supposed to think of it as an epic rivalry that get better as time goes on so that their next encounters are even richer with lore.
I’m not WWE’s ideal fan in this scenario, as I have been wanting this storyline to end for quite some time.
Who will challenge for the title at WrestleMania?
Much to my dismay, it seems there aren’t any efforts being made to move away from this quartet.
Even without COVID-19 getting in the way, WWE has only 3 episodes of Raw to build something for Andrade that doesn’t involve Carrillo and/or Mysterio fighting for his title. That’s extremely unlikely.
If that does happen, by some chance, the only people I could see in the running to challenge Andrade are Ricochet or Aleister Black. Considering Ricochet’s recent burial, that’s doubtful, and with Black being more involved in the AJ Styles and The Undertaker storyline, I have my reservations about that, too.
More than likely, WWE’s game plan was to just do a Fatal 4-Way. As boring and bland as that is, it’s the easy way out and WWE likes to go in that direction more often than not.
If WrestleMania is postponed, this will be even more excruciating for me, as it probably means this feud would keep going an entire extra month or so, too. The longer this gets dragged out, the more infuriated I’ll be that I just want it all to end.
What happens at and after WrestleMania?
While I desperately want to be wrong about the Fatal 4-Way idea, I even more so want to be wrong about my prediction that this is all supposed to lead into Carrillo winning the United States Championship.
For the life of me, I don’t see the it-factor in him, nor can I understand why so much has been invested in pushing him the past year when some other people who connect much better to the crowd, can cut better promos and can arguably wrestle better are pushed aside.
To me, I’d take one Ricochet over 10 Carrillos. I’d take one Cedric Alexander in that trade, too. Hell, I’d be pushing Akira Tozawa over Carrillo and you damn sure know that’s not happening based on Tozawa’s position as enhancement talent this past year, unfortunately.
Whether WrestleMania is April 5th or a later date, I feel like Paul Heyman is invested in Carrillo. He probably wants to put the strap in his possession no matter what. Then, I think WWE will be in for one of those disappointing stretches of time where they’ve given a title to someone who fans have no interest in watching the reign for, so they have to pull the plug sooner than later.
There will be an inevitable stubborn refusal of this. Carrillo will be champion past Money in the Bank. But eventually, the hammer will drop and someone like Murphy will dethrone Carrillo and put on a much better showing with the belt.
First things first, though, this match has to happen and Andrade has to lose.
Keep the discussion going by leaving your comments below and telling us what you think about this title situation for WrestleMania 36!