WWE Raw: The Universal Title Equation

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The WWE Universal Title is an integral part of Monday Night Raw. Owing to its sporadic appearances on the show lately, how can the Raw build a credible main event scene?

The WWE Universal Title is the top prize up for grabs on Raw. Or so, it is supposed to be. The red brand’s premier title has been missing on regular TV ever since the Raw after Mania. Neither the champion nor his advocate have made an appearance. Moreover, as it stands, there will not be a title match for the WWE Universal title at Payback. With one half of the singles titles available on Monday nights missing, how can the show build a credible main event scene?

Following the Superstar Shakeup, the Raw roster is filled to the brim with great performers. Every single one of these men can be solid Universal Champions. That statement hold true whether you are talking about Braun Strowman or Dean Ambrose. The Raw roster has such an abundance of talent at the moment that merely having two singles title won’t be enough sooner than later.

It is true that WWE’s way of selling a match is has never been based on in-ring action alone. Creative and the management would often put a great deal of attention to storyline elements and character details; at times to say the least. No feud is complete without a storyline purpose or motive. However, these elements can carry the show only up to a certain extent.

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To shed some perspective, Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman could very well be the main event of the night when Payback hits us. I am fine with that. But at what cost? Their personal animosity and rivalry can carry a show only so far. At some point, fans would want to see someone winning  a title out of the blue. People would want to witness Seth Rollins’s redemption story to its end.

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Personal rivalries dictate the center stage on Raw. However, if one would turn their attention to SmackDown Live, as much as there are storyline rivalries, the titles matter more. Ziggler and the Miz had an intense rivalry. However, it planted its narrative roots on the Intercontinental title. John Cena and AJ Styles’s historic conflicts concluded with a battle for the WWE title. Now, we are all set to see AJ Styles take on the United States champion, once Payback is over. It goes without saying that from the very beginning the blue brand has done a better job of highlighting its titles. One the flip side, Monday nights have been largely dictated by individuals rather than titles.

When Goldberg held the WWE Universal title, it was proposed as a way to bring prestige to the title. On the contrary, when Styles held the WWE title, it was advocated as Styles holding the prestigious title. It can be understood that the Universal title is still in its infancy. It is still many PPVs and main events away from creating a legacy of its own. However, such a legacy can never be created if the title isn’t being showcased regularly.

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Monday Night Raw could benefit from having one more secondary title on the show. However, that is unless creative has better ways to utilize the Universal title and the champion better. Brock Lesnar either has to be around more often with the title or he should just drop it. Dragging his reign till Summerslam at this rate would hurt the Universal title.