There are still five wrestlers that could potentially win the vacant United States Title but apparently Bobby Roode will be crowned the next champion.
At the final WWE pay per view of 2017, Clash Of Champions, Dolph Ziggler overcame Bobby Roode and Baron Corbin in triple threat action to become United States Champion. Then just 48 hours later his short reign took a strange turn. The Showoff gave a signature speech about how the fans don't appreciate him before leaving his newly won title in the ring.
What that meant exactly still remains unclear, but Daniel Bryan has assumed that the championship has indeed been vacated. On the back of that the SmackDown Live General Manager put together an eight man tournament to decide who will be the next champion which will culminate at Royal Rumble. So far Roode, Jinder Mahal and Xavier Woods are through to the final four with Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley battling it out for that final spot this coming Tuesday.
Even though a new champion will not be crowned for another three weeks it is already expected that The Glorious One will be emerging victorious. According to Cageside Seats, Roode and Mahal will meet in the final and the former NXT Champion will win the currently vacant championship. Maybe a surprising revelation to some considering the status of The Maharajah on the card right now compared to Roode.
There will likely be a twist in the tail of this one regardless of who is crowned the new champion. The whole angle has likely been left purposefully vague so that Ziggler can return and claim that he never vacated the title at all. All he did was leave it in the ring and walk off. How he will explain away exactly what he intended by that statement will be interesting but there is speculation that he and the new champion will have a WrestleMania X style ladder match at this year's Show Of Shows to decide who is the true champion.
While Mahal seems to be the most obvious choice to win the US Title tournament, there will likely not be many people complaining if the Roode rumors turn out to be true. The pro wrestling veteran hasn't exactly been booked well since arriving on SmackDown Live and a run as United States Champion during WrestleMania season will go a long way towards rectifying that.