WWE was planning on making Elias Intercontinental Champion until Roman Reigns' tragic news caused a roster reshuffle on Raw.
When a top star has to unexpectedly take some time off, it causes WWE to have to think on its feet. It isn't something the company can't handle, and the most recent example came about via Roman Reigns. When Reigns revealed that he had leukemia and will be gone from WWE for a while to battle it, it almost felt as if the wrestling world stopped turning.
As heartless as it sounds, as soon as Reigns told WWE about his situation, Vince McMahon and co will have gotten straight to work on how they were going to deal with his absence. First off, they needed to decide who would be the next Universal Champion. That would take Superstars from other angles, thus causing a domino effect that meant pretty much everything on Raw changed.
One of the biggest quickfire changes that needed to take place right away is what would happen with The Shield. By the end of the same night upon which Reigns made his announcement, Dean Ambrose had turned on Seth Rollins. While Ambrose was always going to turn, it obviously wasn't supposed to happen that night. WrestleVotes has shed some light on what WWE originally had planned.
Interesting tidbit for those who like this type of thing: prior to all of RAWs creative plans going up in flames last month, the original Ambrose heel turn angle was to see him cost Rollins the IC title. Who was scheduled to win the strap you ask? Elias.— WrestleVotes (@WrestleVotes) November 29, 2018
The Twitter account has reported that Ambrose was initially supposed to turn by costing Rollins the Intercontinental Title. The man who was supposed to benefit from that would have been Elias, and it would have been The Drifter's first ever title win in WWE. That also suggests Elias was not supposed to turn face, especially if he was going to capitalize on the actions of an interfering Ambrose.
Raw is a bit of a mess right now, as was showcased on Monday night. Team Red has lost two of its top heels in quick succession, although Braun Strowman hopefully won't be gone for long. Right now, the creative team needs to make Rollins the show's top guy, especially if he is going to be the one to take on Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 35. He does have to lose the title he currently has though, but it doesn't look like that loss will be at the hands of Elias any longer.