Seth Rollins is on a one-way train heading towards the Universal Championship. His reign as Intercontinental Title Champion, while memorable, was just temporary as he dropped the title on Monday night to Dolph Ziggler in what is undoubtedly both a push for Ziggler and a milestone for Rollins who is onto bigger and better things.
Without the Intercontinental Championship, WWE can find a way to work Rollins into a storyline with Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns, or whoever holds the Universal title the time The Kingslayer is ready to challenge for it. And, when he gets his shot at the title, there is a pretty good chance he wins it if you consider just how popular he is right now. But, perhaps lost in all of this is the fact that Ziggler is the new Intercontinental champion. A man who just a few months ago few people cared for, is now the working man's champion. A guy who is likely to be overshadowed by his new running-mate Drew McIntyre got the push. A guy who potentially hasn't renewed his contract is now the champion again.
Was it right that Ziggler, of all the potential options, was the man to take that belt off of Rollins' waist?
There are plenty of names we thought might be more worthy. From fellow members of the Raw roster to talents who are showcasing their skills on the blue brand, any one of the following names would have made for a worthy opponent and ultimately, worthy champion.
Our belief is that Kevin Owens should actually be in the heavyweight title scene and never got a fair chance to the represent Raw as the Universal champ but that doesn't appear to be in the cards right now. The Intercontinental title would have been the next best thing.
One thing that is required to be a good Intercontinental Champion is to be a workhorse in the ring. Ziggler has that. Another that helps is to be a good talker. Ziggler has that too. Still, Owens is both of those things, if not more and the fans have never quit on him. Throughout his tenure in WWE, Owens has proven time and time again, he's got what it takes to be the most hated or most loved Superstars in WWE. Ziggler cannot say that.
Sometimes, the best heels make the strongest Intercontinental Champions and Owens is the most conniving talent on either roster. By leaps and bounds, he makes you feel more emotion than Ziggler does.
Elias just took on Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank this past Sunday. Rumors were if Rollins was going to be placed into the Universal Title picture, that Elias was going to win the Intercontinental title and there are many who would have been OK with this happening. He's both a heel and a fan favorite.
The match between Elias and Rollins at Money in the Bank was great. The lead up to their match was also important, and while Rollins was the easy fan favorite, Elias had his supporters cheering his every move and yearning for him to upset the champion. The WWE clearly likes him, the fans clearly like him and both hope for big things in his future. Elias may be the kind of talent who eventually becomes Heavyweight Champion. If so, the Intercontinental Title was the step he needed to take first. He's yet to hold a title in WWE. That should have changed this past Sunday.
There will come a time when The Miz gets his chance to be the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion in WWE history. In fact, that day is going to come sooner than later. Why not know and instead of Ziggler?
The only reason not to have chosen The Miz to take Rollins' title is that he's on SmackDown Live and set to take on Daniel Bryan. But, those are really just technicalities in a world where technicalities don't mean all that much. It would be nothing for the company to move the Intercontinetnal title to SmackDown Live and the U.S Title to Raw. After all, with SmackDown Live potentially becoming the "A show" it might make sense to move the IC belt over anyway.
The Miz didn't win Money in the Bank as many thought he might have. Giving him a shot at Rollins in the open challenge format would have been a nice way to make up for that.
Bobby Roode has said he's a babyface on Raw because his character needed to adapt to the fact that the fans loved his theme music and his persona. That doesn't make him being a babyface on the WWE's flagship show a good decision. One way to turn things around would be to have him turn on Rollins, go heel and take the Intercontinental Title at the same time.
Fans would have absolutely despised Roode for cheating Rollins out of this championship and that would have made for the ideal scenario under which Roode could thrive. Given that Roode was relegated to taking on Curt Hawkins on Monday, clearly, WWE is not sure what to do with him.