Bobby Roode is your new United States Champion.
It wasn't a match that was supposed to happen this week, but after Bobby Roode made it through his semi-final match against Mojo Rawley and Jinder Mahal decided to have The Singh Brothers sneak attack Roode — likely in an effort to weaken him before next week's finals — Daniel Bryan pulled an audible and announced the finals match for the U.S. Title tournament later that evening.
Bryan and Shane McMahon watched from the ringside as the match became the show's main event and in the end, walking away from SmackDown Live as the new U.S. Champion was "The Glorious" Bobby Roode.
The match started as Mahal took it to a tired and worn down Roode, systematically taking apart Roode as the match progressed. It appeared, Roode had made a mistake asking for the match on the same evening as the semi-finals and the longer the match would go, the more it would favor Mahal.
But, as the match came to a close, Roode hit a spinebuster, reversed Mahal's finisher and ended the show with a Glorious DDT, to walk away from SmackDown Live as the new U.S. Champion.
The tournament went mostly as planned leading up to and through the finals. It wasn't a surprise to see either Mahal or Roode in the final contest as they were favorites to make it to the end. What was a surprise was the match itself being placed on this Tuesday's episode of SmackDown Live – an episode that outside of women's six-man tag match, was almost all about the U.S. Title.
Perhaps WWE didn't want to try and force fans to focus on the U.S. Title Finals during a week that would see Raw offer up its 25th Anniversary show and the Royal Rumble. Or, perhaps WWE wanted to find a way to pump up a relatively weak episode of SmackDown Live, but the company crowned a new U.S. Champion and Roode plans to make the title more glorious than it's ever been.
Both McMahon and Bryan stood in the ring with the new champion and Mahal will now have to move on without the title.
Does this now lead to a return of Dolph Ziggler who just weeks ago abandoned the title? The two have feuded in the past and while fans haven't been privy to why Ziggler ditched the title after winning it, he may not be done with the title or its new holder.