WWE: Grading each singles champion heading into 2021

WWE, Roman Reigns (Courtesy of MTV via Getty Images)
WWE, Roman Reigns (Courtesy of MTV via Getty Images) /
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Let’s evaluate each singles champion on WWE Raw and SmackDown heading into 2021.

At WWE TLC 2020, there were two tag title changes, but there were no changes to the three main titles that were defended on the show.

As such, it’s appropriate to take a look at how each singles champion is doing in their current reign before 2021 begins, with the caveat that Sami Zayn could very well drop the Intercontinental Title to Big E on SmackDown this week. (Though that does give us the opportunity to grade someone who has been champion for months and not a mere few days).

Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn

Let’s start with Sami Zayn, who was technically always the Intercontinental Champion but won the title officially at Clash of Champions in a hellacious ladder match with AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy. That match was seriously one of the best Pay Per View bouts we have seen in 2020.

Zayn has been a strong champion, all on the basis of his promo work. He is an exceptional heel who knows how to get under everyone’s skin, yet he makes a LOT of valid points. Zayn’s days may be numbered as champion, but that might be a good thing since he hasn’t exactly defended the title often. It’s part of his gimmick, but that’s not really what the IC Title needs either.

Grade: B+

United States Champion Bobby Lashley

Bobby Lashley is another mid-card champion who hasn’t defended the title frequently, and his only title defenses since the Hurt Business ended their feud with Apollo Crews at Clash of Champions have been against Slapjack and Titus O’Neil. That’s not exactly top-tier competition for a man who is on the caliber of a world champion.

On the one hand, that doesn’t help Raw, but, on the other hand, it’s great to have Lashley as an exclusive champion. He’s not overexposed, and, really, he shouldn’t be getting in the ring with anyone who isn’t built up as a credible opponent. WWE should do a better job of presenting rivals for Lashley, but the man himself has done a good job of carrying the title.

Grade: B-