WWE Raw: Austin Theory should take the title from Finn Balor

Apr 3, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; Austin Theory enters the arena during WrestleMania at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; Austin Theory enters the arena during WrestleMania at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

When Finn Balor and Ricochet picked up the WWE United States and Intercontinental titles respectively, there was a sigh of relief that perhaps the WWE was going to put more effort into the booking of the midcard championships. That sadly wasn’t the case, with both champions falling victim to multiple defeats and being left off the WrestleMania card entirely. As Finn Balor heads into Monday Night Raw to defend against Austin Theory, the best bet would be to take the title off Balor and put it around Theory’s waist. At least then the title will be on someone who has received consistent booking in recent months.

Theory finds himself in the rare position of being locked into a storyline with Vince McMahon. The Chairman and CEO of the WWE does not get directly involved in many angles during today’s era but has been directly linked to Theory during the last couple of months. As with many other angles in the promotion, the “why” has yet to be explained, but it is clear this is a positive step for Theory’s career. At 25-years old, he is one of the few young competitors in the men’s division on the main roster that is in such a position.

Balor is a beloved member of the WWE roster. Fans continue to push for immediate improvement in how he’s utilized on the main roster, but another run at the top of the card does not seem possible. For 49 days he’s held the United States Championship, but that hasn’t meant much of a boost for his placement on the show. Instead, Balor’s found himself on the losing side of multiple matches. It’s been nearly a month since he’s won a match on television, as he defeated Theory back on WWE Raw on March 21.

WWE’s booking practices usually fail babyface champions. Instead of making them look like a dominant force ready for all challengers, they are put in a position to look like idiots that are one-upped by their heel counterparts repeatedly. Theory and Balor have exchanged victories, but it is usually Balor that’s left lying on the mat at the end of the day.

Since Theory is perceived to have a higher ceiling in the company, putting the title on him now is the best bet. It’s hard to see any scenario where he doesn’t become a midcard champion sooner rather than later, so getting it done on WWE Raw would make sense.

Whenever Theory’s name is brought up, a large contingent of fans will groan in disapproval. Theory was accused of sexual misconduct during the Speaking Out movement and this will be pointed out as his career progresses. The WWE hasn’t taken any public steps to hold him accountable and their history does not show examples of them doing so. No one should expect Theory’s place on the card to be jeopardized at any point, as long as he remains in a positive position with those that have taken a liking to him.

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With such a dearth of young male talent on the main roster, Austin Theory is in a position to capitalize on his fortunes. WWE sees long-term value in the 25-year-old and now is the time to take that first step by putting the United States title around his waist.