Hell in a Cell is now in the books and for WWE fans, it's on to the company's next big event. Survivor Series will emanate from Boston on Sunday, November 24, and anticipation among fans is already beginning to build.
As WWE begins to lay the groundwork for this one, it's time to consider what championships could be on the line. And that means it's time to ask the question of just which belts should change hands on that night.
Of course, WWE fans know that the championships are the cornerstones of the company and that many of their main event matches are centered on them. The same could be true for Survivor Series. But which ones are in jeopardy?
The Intercontinental Championship
Hell in a Cell saw the downfall of CM Punk's former best friend and advocate Paul Heyman. The attack on Paul happened on top of the cell after Heyman and Ryback were unsuccessful in defeating Punk in a 2-on-1 handicap match.
For Punk, it was sweet revenge. His problems with Heyman date back to Money in the Bank, when Paul stopped him from winning the guaranteed WWE title contract. Since then, fans have witnessed some of the best TV and heard some of the best promos that Punk and Heyman have done in a very long time.
For fans, it was a feud filled with many high spots. Following the feud's apparent conclusion at Hell in a Cell, Heyman disappeared from WWE programming.
And does that mean that Curtis Axel's intercontinental title is not far behind him?
The fact is that when Michael McGillicutty became Curtis Axel, there was only one man who anchored him into that new role. Paul Heyman was the glue that held Axel's title run together. It was due to the evil genius' influence that Axel had any real credibility in the first place.
This is not to criticize Axel, though. I believe that he has done the best he can with what he has. His ring work is coming along nicely, and while he may not be the most charismatic Superstar in WWE, Axel is a believable heel.
But without Heyman by his side, Curtis Axel may very well become lost in the shuffle.
Axel has been WWE Intercontinental champion since June 16 of this year. While he has defeated every challenger placed before him, Heyman's disappearance could signal a change. Some fans feel that Axel's title run has not exactly been a great one. This is likely due in part to WWE's habit of not focusing very much on the secondary championships.
But again, Axel's perceived lack of charisma plays a part in this as well. So if the company chooses to take the belt off him at Survivor Series, who could be the man to receive it?
The first name that came to mind was Big E Langston, who has had a face turn recently. Langston was set to face Axel at Hell in a Cell until Axel was injured. While this particular budding rivalry may come back around at some point, it's uncertain when that could happen.
For me, there are any number of WWE Superstars who could step up to challenge Axel for the belt, and that includes Christian, Kofi Kingston, The Miz and R-Truth. Or, it could be that WWE will throw a heel challenger into the mix to provide an unexpected twist to the storyline.
Despite what the company decides to do here, it could possibly be over for Curtis Axel as WWE Intercontinental champion.
The United States Championship
Dean Ambrose has been United States champion since he won the belt from Kofi at Extreme Rules on May 9. Currently, he is WWE's longest reigning champion, and that could change at Survivor Series. And for me, this is a title change that should take place not because of the man holding it but because of the storyline he's involved in.
The Shield gimmick is coming to an end. The group's demise was subtly hinted at on the October 28 edition of Monday Night Raw when Ambrose distanced himself from the others in a promo. And I believe that will lead to a big split for The Shield in the very near future.
What better way to add some real intrigue to that developing storyline than by eliminating the last championship that The Shield has left?
A Dean Ambrose loss at Survivor Series would provide some drama for WWE's No. 1 faction. Depending on how it happened, it could also split the Shield right down the middle. Imagine Dean defending the belt in a rematch against Langston, and just when the champ needed his teammates to be there for him, they chose to stand down.
Seeing Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns shake their heads "no" and turn their backs on Ambrose would be a huge moment for this angle. It would mean the end of The Shield as a trio and would likely set Dean on the path to a singles career in the company.
Some may argue that giving the United States title to Langston would not be the right move at this time, but I believe that this has more to do with The Shield itself. Losing the strap to a man who has not been a contender until very recently would only add to the heat among the already established Shield members.
The Shield has been dominant over every nearly every challenge that has come its way, and dropping its last title could be the last nail in its coffin.
Langston would have the opportunity to prove himself with a hunk of gold around his waist, and The Shield members would be busy with a storyline that could conceivably keep them busy well into 2014. For me, this is a win-win situation, and it's a title change that should happen at Survivor Series.
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