The Money in the Bank briefcase was holding Austin Theory back, and now that he doesn’t have it anymore, everyone in WWE should take notice.
WWE has been doing a lot of great things since the regime change to the Head of Creative position now held by Triple H. The company’s been doing a good job creating new stars in a short time as of late. Karrion Kross, LA Knight, Dominick Mysterio, Liv Morgan, and more have risen to the occasion as they’re all in major programming.
One superstar who Vince McMahon tried to push in his last months at Head of Creative was Austin Theory. He made him his “right-hand man” on TV, and it felt like a rocket ship was attached to him for a push to the moon. The 25-year-old had a showcase match at Wrestlemania 38 in Dallas with Pat McAfee and was one of the highlights of the entire weekend. He then carried that momentum by winning the Money in the Bank briefcase.
However, since that point, Theory lost all of his momenta and went on an incredible losing streak while holding the briefcase. He was always a threat by holding the Money in the Bank contract, but his value seemingly diminished every week. After attempting cash in’s at Summerslam and Clash of the Castle, thanks to the combination of Brock Lesnar, The Bloodline, and Tyson Fury, the young superstar came up short.
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Although after all that, he still held onto the case. He then chose to finally cash in his contract on United States Champion Seth Rollins. The fans overwhelmingly were against the decision right out of the shoot, and with good reason. Theory dominated Rollins after a brutal beating by Bobby Lashley. Ironically, it was Lashley who cost Theory his chance at the United States title.
And honestly, this may be the best thing for the character of Austin Theory going forward.
Let’s think about this one for a second. Let’s face it, Theory was not going to beat Roman Reigns for the WWE Undisputed Universal Championship. The NXT Championship would’ve been a great option for Theory, but not having him on Raw most of the time would’ve taken a hit.
The cash-in on the United States Champion Seth Rollins was questionable, to say the least. Theory’s explanation on Monday’s episode of Raw as to why he cashed in Seth Rollins instead of Reigns is indeed valid. There’s no question he nailed this backstage promo, and his explanation actually made some sense.
He then had a match with Ziggler later on in the night and they both had such great chemistry in the ring, and it was an incredible match. Theory had Ziggler beat but didn’t care about getting the win because all he wanted to do was take out his frustrations on Ziggler. This felt like a massive character change for Theory because usually, he takes a selfie over his fallen opponent. That did not happen this time around.
In the closing moments of Monday Night Raw, Theory came out and destroyed a battered Seth Rollins as well. We’ve never seen this aggressive behavior from Theory in his entire tenure with the WWE. This was a breath of fresh air for the character of Austin Theory.
The McDonough, Georgia native has targeted the United States Champion Seth Rollins clearly and we look like we’re on a collision course for that match at Survivor Series War Games in Boston, although nothing has been confirmed. Theory will look to become a two-time United States Champion, while Rollins looks for another title defense in his new fun babyface role.
Austin Theory is no doubt the future of the business. At the age of 25, he accomplished so much with World Wrestling Entertainment. What do you think of Austin Theory’s recent change in character? Let me know your thoughts by tweeting at me @Rich_Cardinale on Twitter!