It has been announced last night on Raw that United States Champion Santino Marella will defend his title against former WWE Champion, The Miz, who is a two-time former U.S. Champ himself.
This will be a pre-show bonus match featured exclusively on the YouTube channel and should prepare the WWE Universe well for the Extreme Rules pay-per-view.
Since winning the general manager's battle at WrestleMania XXVIII, The Miz is now destined for more greatness in this company but he must make it happen step by step. His title match on Sunday is step one in a long project I have foreseen for years.
First, regaining the United States championship will clearly take in out of no-man's land and put him back in the spotlight, mid-card or not. He did well enough the first two times (despite not defending often) and it was during those times he came into possession of a certain MITB briefcase which in turn, led his to capturing the biggest prize in all of pro wrestling.
Second, the U.S. belt serves little purpose on the WWE grand scheme of things, and it is clearly a WCW relic that needs to be laid to rest (like its older brother the World Heavyweight championship). Santino is a well-loved character by many–including myself–but he brings absolutely nothing to the title he carries. The Miz however, would make such a big deal about having it, it would drive people crazy.
Could the Big Show be one of them? This is the third point I wish to address.
While the red belt is rather useless, the blue one isn't. It is a WWE legitimate child and dear to millions of people. Someone will have to beat Big Show for it someday and I have predicted in various other articles that the Awesome One, The Miz, will in fact be the one to score a pin on either Show or Sheamus himself.
A unification match for both the United States and Intercontinental Championships is what I see happening down the road in 2012. It simply must happen. The upper mid-card talent can't all fit in the World title scene and some lack a certain "je ne sais quoi" necessary to be over in the main event.
This is a perfect opportunity to mold the future into something wonderful and successful.
The Miz makes a great US Champion, why else would they put him of all people so suddenly in a match vs. Santino on Sunday? Call it simple WWE booking once again.
Making the Intercontinental title relevant once more is an important step to follow. Guys like Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, The Miz etc are all main-event familiar characters but it's getting crowded up there now that Brock Lesnar is back so why not gun for an equally historical championship and make your own reign superb?
Everything happens for a reason in life. Nikki Bella as Divas Champion makes sense only because Kharma is coming back to destroy her and that twin of hers.
The Miz regaining the United States Championship will be seen as a partial payback from John Laurinaitis and perhaps even transfer over to Smackdown soon enough where his new destiny can unfold.
He is going to have an "awesome" year. You have only begun to be annoyed by this amazing Superstar. He would make a great Intercontinental Champion too.
Watch for him to cross paths with guys like Chris Jericho and The Rock this year but first things first, it is time to get "Extreme" with Santino Marella's head on Sunday.