Bobby Roode captured the WWE United States championship during the Jan. 16 episode of Smackdown Live – possibly ushering a new era for the title – a glorious era.
Roode defeated former WWE champion Jinder Mahal in the finals of the United States title tournament. During the match, Roode hit a spinebuster and countering Mahal’s Khallas with a Glorious DDT.
— WWE (@WWE) January 17, 2018
Prior to facing Mahal, Roode won his semifinal match against Mojo Rawley. After the match, he was attacked by was later attacked by Samir and Sunil Singh. After the attack, Mahal taunted him, resulting in Roode requesting their U.S. title match taking place the same evening. Mahal refused, but Smackdown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan ordered the finals to take place in the main event.
He began the tournament with a victory against former United State champion Baron Corbin. After the match, Roode posted a tweet of his reaction to winning the championship.
— Bobby Roode (@REALBobbyRoode) January 17, 2018
This is the first singles title for Roode since he made his main roster debut back in August.
The Glorious One was widely known for his run in NXT, which included a 203-day reign with the NXT Championship that ended at NXT Takeover Brooklyn III. Anyone who has followed Roode’s professional wrestling career knows the WWE United States title is another piece of hardware for his large trophy case.
Fans were excited when Roode made his Smackdown Live debut, but there have been concerns from fans about his lackluster feud with Dolph Ziggler in the beginning weeks of his run.
Roode’s first championship feud saw him challenging Corbin for the U.S. title in what would be a triple threat match with Ziggler, who went on to win the title. Ziggler would later relinquish the championship, resulting in the tournament.
Now that Roode has the title, he’ll have a big target on his back. Potential feuds for his first few months for his title reign include Mahal and Corbin. Xavier Woods, who lost to Mahal in their semifinal match, may throw his name in the hat. There is also a chance Ziggler could return to Smackdown Live and challenge Roode for the title.
2018 is shaping up to be a big year for Roode. Not only has he captured his first taste of WWE gold, he is also set to tag with Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair in WWE’s Mixed Match Challenge. The two will have title belts to along with their robes.
Flair was one of many superstars who congratulated Roode on his title win.
— Charlotte Flair (@MsCharlotteWWE) January 17, 2018
In all seriousness, the United States title is akin to the WWE Intercontinental Championship on Raw in that it is the midcard championship, but it can be used in high profile storylines. It also carries a long history with many WWE Hall of Famers holding onto it at some point during their careers.
A who’s who of wrestlers have also held the U.S. title on their way to winning a WWE world title.
Will Roode be one of the superstars who captures a world title after holding on to the U.S. championship? Only time will tell, but the fact that he has the United States championship is a good first step.
NXT’s Adam Cole Discusses Creative Freedom
NXT Champion Adam Cole is at the height of his success with the promotion, recently defeating Johnny Gargano in another instant classic to capture his first NXT Championship, and he is talking about how things go down in NXT.
Unlike much of the main roster, where promos are often scripted and comedy-acts are more common, Cole says that superstars in NXT get a bit more creative freedom, as he had with Gargano for their match.
“One of the coolest things about NXT is we have a ton of creative liberties to come up with the story and the vision we have for the match” Cole said, during an interview with TalkSport. “Of course, there’s input and advice given and there’s suggestions or, you know ‘we need something this way’ (but) we do have a lot of freedom, which is great.”
Cole added that he and Gargano came up with the format for their two out of three falls classic at NXT Takeover: New York.
Rey Mysterio Praises Andrade
WWE superstar Rey Mysterio believes that the company has a big star on their hands in Andrade .
“This kid is awesome” Mysterio said, during an appearance on the WINCLY podcast. “I mentioned it before, in previous interviews, but, every time I’m in the ring with him, there’s an affiliation to how I would move with Eddie [Guerrero],” Mysterio said.
“This is how good he is! He’s thinking a step ahead before you even move. He already knows the positioning, and knows exactly what to do and how to do it. My hat goes off to Andrade, as he’s definitely the future of WWE.”
Mysterio sees all the tools necessary to succeed in WWE.
“Just like anybody else, once you can dominate the mic skills and English, then he is bound to become a star,” Mysterio continued. “I’ve seen him work on his English, and it’s a slow process, but he’s moving forward. Once he dominates his English language, he’s on his way to stardom.”
Fandango, Apollo Crews, Killain Dain Make Returns to NXT
WWE is starting to allow superstars on their main rosters to transition back to NXT, much like they did with Tyler Breeze, who recently returned to NXT, where he had his most success, following around 2 years of meandering on the main roster following his callup.
Fandango, Apollo Crews, and Killian Dain made their returns to NXT tv at Winter Park, FL at Full Sail University for Thursday’s NXT TV tapings.
Fandango, also making his return from injury, made the save for his Breezango partner, Tyler Breeze, who was on the receiving end of an attack at the hands of the Forgotten Sons. Crews made his return to take on Kushida in singles competition, and Dain made a brutal attack on Matt Riddle following Riddle’s win over Arture Rass.
Fandango had been out of action after suffering a shoulder injury back in July 2018.
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