Jack Swagger is on what could arguably be considered the biggest run of his WWE career. The man who will be facing Rusev at SummerSlam on August 17 is enjoying a great spotlight and huge fan support like he never has before.
While his heat with Rusev is keeping Swagger relevant right now, the fact is that his career could benefit from another element: the United States Championship.
Many fans likely never expected Swagger's career to take the turn that it recently did. After all, he had been a heel for his entire time in WWE, and there had never been any reason to believe that would ever change.
In fact, he had been heel for so long that the crowd likely couldn't even think of him as anything else.
But the unforeseen change came on the June 30 edition of Monday Night Raw. It was on that night Swagger and his manager Zeb Colter interrupted Rusev and Lana in the ring. The Real American duo's defiance of the Russian pair surprised fans everywhere, and a new babyface was suddenly born.
Despite never having seen him as anything other than a heel, the fans immediately accepted Swagger as a babyface. Finally, the crowd had someone on its side to counteract the verbal attacks laid down by Rusev and Lana. Finally, there was an American hero ready to carry the mantle of the country that was being vilified for several weeks.
Swagger became Captain America and the mantle more than suited him.
The truth is that Rusev and Lana deserve a lot of the credit for allowing Swagger to successfully turn face. The heat they generated from the live WWE audiences was palpable and more intense than any that fans had seen from a new star in quite some time.
So by the time that Swagger openly defied them, the crowd was more than ready for it. They were also more than ready to support him through it all.
There is no denying that this feud has gained some serious traction with the WWE faithful, and Swagger has arguably never looked better. Their match at SummerSlam may be the second in their rivalry since Battleground but this one is perhaps being anticipated even more than the first.
However, there is room for a little more in Swagger's career; more specifically, a championship belt.
Fans have rallied behind Swagger; they have supported him like no one thought they ever would. But add the United States Championship to his waist and his popularity would surely increase overnight. The fact is that the belt would be a perfect fit for him.
Like Magnum TA back in the days of the NWA, Swagger is the big, good-looking, all-American man. And he is representing the country against the foreign heel who is verbally attacking the United States on TV. There is no doubt about it: Rusev is Swagger's Nikita Koloff.
The prize in the feud between Magnum and Koloff was the United States Championship, and that belt only heightened the drama in their feud. It was a perfect addition for them, and that would definitely be the case now with Swagger and Rusev.
Swagger is waving the American flag; he's crossing his heart along with Colter and swearing allegiance to the country. And he is the first line of defense to Rusev's constant attacks. If the red-white-and-blue championship belt was around his waist, his patriotic character would be elevated even higher than it is now.
And his rivalry with Rusev would mean even more than it already does.
Of course, Sheamus is the current United States champion and has had no real interaction with Swagger as of late. The likelihood of the two men having any issue anytime soon could be very slim, and Swagger perhaps will not wear that title in the near future.
However, if WWE wanted to make the move, then it could bode well for Swagger's character. The patriotic gimmick would be complete, and he would have even more spotlight than he does now. It would also be good for Rusev, whose heat with the crowd would be amplified like never before if he indeed won the title.
WWE fans have surely debated both the positives and negatives of championship titles in the company before. Much of those debates center on the issue of the secondary belts and their apparent lack of focus.
Swagger has the kind of character that would only improve the United States title's standing in the company and create a renewed interest in it. He could help the championship, and the championship in turn could help him as well.
Putting the belt around his waist right now would perhaps be the best move for everyone involved.
The decision to turn Swagger's Real American gimmick into the real thing has worked very well thus far. He is over with the crowd as a babyface, and he is doing some good work in his rivalry with Rusev. But if the United States Championship was in the mix, it would certainly add to the drama of Swagger's character and to the storylines he's involved in.