"I dedicate this moment to anyone who still believes the biggest dreams can still come true." - Bret Hart after defeating Ric Flair for his first WWE Championship
A major problem that the WWE has had throughout the years is their absolute disdain for featuring their undercard titles in major programs.
There was a time when the Intercontinental and United States Championships were a huge part of WWE and WCW respectively throughout the 80's and 90's. Many past World Champions have held one or both titles at some point in their careers.
Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Steve Austin, Sting, The Rock, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and the list goes on. These championships serve as stepping stones towards the ultimate goal of becoming World Champion.
They also serve as a way for promoters and bookers to see if their wrestler has what it takes to carry the promotion on their shoulders with the World Championship. Throughout the years, both belts have become less prominent in World Wrestling Entertainment.
Since the WWE has had both titles under their banner, the importance of them both has slowly diminished. Wrestlers seem to wallow in the large pool of mid-card wrestlers for much longer than years past.
The Miz looks like a guy that is on the verge of breaking away from the pack of the mid-card level WWE talent. Although he lost the United States Championship to Bret Hart on this past Monday's RAW, The Miz and the championship have been elevated by "The Hitman."
Although Chris Jericho was pretty much dead on when he stated that "Bret is a shell of his former self", there is no denying what The Hitman has accomplished throughout his storied career. The Miz being associated with an all-time great like Bret Hart makes him look that much more important.
The Miz can now possibly take that jump into World Championship contention that he is nearly ready to take.
The WWE has put the spotlight back on the United State Championship by putting it on Bret Hart. The awareness of the title is larger than it has been in a long time.
The question is, what is next for The United States Championship? It is obvious that Bret is in no condition to defend the belt. A long, King of The Ring style tournament could work wonders to crown a new champion. Maybe The Miz will evoke a rematch clause against The Hitman and we can see where that takes the storyline.
Since The Miz has held the United States Championship, there has been a handful of title defenses. The championship was put on the back burner for his run with The Unified Tag Team Championships. This is an opportunity to get the belt away from The Miz and onto another up and coming talent that needs the push.
Either way, The Miz and The United State Championship will benefit from the first Monday Night RAW victory from Bret Hart since 1997.