For the first time in 351 days, we have a new United States champion. Also, we have a reminder that there is still a United States championship.
The belt had harmlessly been sitting on Dean Ambrose's shoulder ever since last year's Extreme Rules pay-per-view, but on Monday night, Sheamus won a 20-man battle royal to crown himself as the new champ:
As far as Ambrose losing, there's no real harm done there.
How would you grade this move by WWE?
He was hardly ever involved in feuds that centered around his title, and it was a foregone conclusion that he was going to lose it soon. He was still made out to look strong, knocking out guys like Curtis Axel, Ryback and Jack Swagger, and now he can concentrate on bigger and better things with The Shield, who can continue to gain momentum with every passing pay-per-view.
Immediately after Ambrose lost, Triple H scheduled The Shield vs. the Wyatt Family for later in the night, so if that's the kind of development that comes from this, don't expect anyone to care the 28-year-old is no longer champion.
The new champion, on the other hand, will bring quite a bit more criticism.
Sheamus, although impressively strong, has been pretty stale as of late. Perhaps the former WWE champion will bring some legitimacy back to the low-tier belt, but many will wonder why this wasn't used as an opportunity to push a younger talent.
However, with the WWE's European Tour set to begin in a little more than a week, giving a belt to the Irishman starts to make a little more sense.
Going forward, Sheamus teased a potential feud with Alexander Rusev before Raw got started:
Another potential route would be to use this as a way to turn Sheamus heel, a development that would certainly spark some necessary life into his character.
Either way, hopefully this will help make the United States championship relevant on the mid-card once again.