WWE's United States championship and the Intercontinental championship are currently enjoying spikes in value after months of irrelevance.
As WWE prepares for an overseas tour, Irishman Sheamus, Britain's Bad News Barrett and Paige are all champions. This is hardly a coincidence, with WWE putting its best European foot forward in order to maximize ticket sales.
The showcasing of European champions ahead of an overseas tour also adds value to secondary championships once thought to be dead.
Bad News Barrett can easily make a case for the fastest-rising WWE superstar of post-WrestleMania season. He figures to be even more popular competing in front of his countrymen during WWE's aforementioned international tour.
Having the Intercontinental championship in tow during his hero's welcome is reminiscent to the British Bulldog celebrating a career-defining Intercontinental title victory in a sold-out Wembley Stadium after defeating the great Bret Hart. This was a time where one may argue the Intercontinental title was never more valued.
Barrett vanquished Big E at Extreme Rules in the finals of an Intercontinental title tournament designed to restore said value. The Izod Center of New Jersey exploded in cheers as, for the first time in a long time, the Intercontinental title seemed to legitimize a performer.
The United States championship has a bit further to go in terms of prestige. The title was virtually dormant under Dean Ambrose's watch, as he rarely defended it.
All signs point to new champion Sheamus embarking on a heel run—possibly joining Evolution according to Prowrestling.net (via WrestlingInc). If so, the United States championship would serve as a great source of pride for the new villain.
After capturing the title in a Battle Royal, an uncharacteristically smug Sheamus sent a post-match message to former champion Dean Ambrose. His message? "No hard feelings, fella."
This is the type of self-serving behavior that will build resentment toward Sheamus for cheaply winning the United States championship. Any emotional reaction fans have toward the title will enhance the title itself.
Very rarely have two more promising stars carried secondary championships at the same time. Sheamus and Barrett are as close to the main event as an Intercontinental-United States championship tandem have ever been.
Getting there will give WWE's secondary titles a primary feel.