How WWE Wasted Kalisto’s Momentum with SmackDown Loss


After winning the United States Championship, Kalisto quickly lost it again, we look at how WWE wasted the opportunity.

It’s been another strange week in the halls of WWE. We saw a title change on Raw and then the same title went back to the former champ on SmackDown. What exactly were they thinking?

When John Cena went down with a shoulder injury it looked like his quest for the United States title would be passed on to Kalisto. That theory was proved to be true when the masked man from the Lucha Dragons beat Alberto Del Rio to win his first singles title in WWE on last Monday night’s episode of Raw. Why then did Del Rio win the title back a few days later on SmackDown? The whole title change seems pointless when you counter in the fact that Kalisto only held the belt for 24 hours in real terms.

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WWE has been crying out for a new man to fill the Rey Mysterio sized gap since Mysterio left the company in Feb. 2015. Kalisto seemed to be the man to fill that gap, his ring style and charisma would make him a perfect role model for kids around the world, much the same way Mysterio did.

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Many people have called for the standout member of the Lucha Dragons to get a shot in the singles ranks. When his partner Sin Cara suffered a shoulder injury in a match it looks like he was finally set to be pushed as a singles star. Getting the backing of Cena on the previous episode of SmackDown, when Cena knew he was injured but the audience didn’t was a massive thing for Kalisto. Then we found out Cena would need surgery and be missing for 4 to 6 months and the reason behind Cena giving him that backing became clear.

It seemed like a safe bet that the two men would face each other at the Royal Rumble. When the match with Del Rio was announced on Raw it was far from a safe bet that Kalisto would get the win. Del Rio battered him for much of the match but then Kalisto got a quick roll up and found himself as the new U.S. Champion. The crowd gave him a great reaction and it looked like WWE was about to build themselves a new star. Then they had him lose in a rematch on SmackDown and the whole momentum of him winning the title a few days earlier was lost.

When Cena held the belt he brought some prestige back to it and made it exciting to see who would come out for the “United States Open Challenge” every week. Del Rio has done little with the title since he beat Cena on his first night back in the company. With the change to Kalisto it looked like we may have some excitement, and cruiserweight style matches, brought back to the belt. If WWE wanted to give Kalisto the belt they would probably have been better off waiting till the Rumble rolled around and then give him the biggest win of his career to date.

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  • With having a brand new champion, and someone who fans would more than likely get behind, it looked like WWE had done something special. Then they had him drop the belt and the whole episode became pointless. Kalisto becomes a guy on a list of “Shortest title reigns” and the belt head back to a boring Champion.

    Maybe there’s a method behind the madness and Kalisto may end up winning the belt again at the Rumble. Whilst I’d love to see that happen it really just makes it less important, and a bit of an anti-climax in truth. The past week for Kalisto should have been the launch pad to making him the next great Latin American Superstar (even though he was born in Chicago). Now he just becomes the guy who won the belt on Monday and lost it on Thursday (really Tuesday).

    All the momentum that could have been used to make fans buy into his story and his pursuit of the title has been lost because someone on the booking team got an itching trigger finger and thought it was a good idea to have him only hold the belt for a few days. How they bounce back from what was a disappointing few days is yet to be seen. The only real way would be to have Kalisto win the belt again at the Rumble, but that wouldn’t be a surprise and the whole thing has now been lost.

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    WWE had the perfect chance to push Kalisto to the moon with the United States title around his waist. A whole host of new challengers, the likes of Neville or Sami Zayn, could have been lined up to put on stellar matches with the new champ. Instead, we’ll probably just see the U.S. title in the background of the next Sheamus promo, that’s if the League of Nations is still a thing.