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Austin Theory Defeats Finn Balor to Win U.S. Championship on WWE Raw

Doric SamApril 19, 2022

Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

In a surprising turn of events, Austin Theory defeated Finn Balor in a title match for Balor's United States Championship on Monday Night Raw.

The victory gives Theory his first title in his young WWE career after the 24-year-old was called up to the main roster in October's WWE draft.

WWE @WWE

HE DID IT. HE DID IT. HE ACTUALLY DID IT!<br>THEORY WINS! THEORY WINS! THEORY WINS!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AndNew?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AndNew</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USChampion?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USChampion</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/austintheory1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@austintheory1</a>!!!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WWERaw?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WWERaw</a> <a href="https://t.co/tkBoXLEll7">pic.twitter.com/tkBoXLEll7</a>

Theory has been involved in a substantial push since being drafted to the Raw brand. He was named to the men's Survivor Series a little over a month after joining the main roster. Shortly after that, Theory was paired with WWE chairman Vince McMahon in a long-term storyline.

At WrestleMania 38 earlier this month, Pat McAfee defeated Theory, but afterward Theory assisted McMahon in defeating McAfee in an impromptu match.

Theory had signed with WWE in 2019 and made his debut in NXT that December. He had a brief stint on Raw starting in March 2020 before being sent back to NXT that August.

Balor had won the U.S. title on February 28, his reign ending after just 49 days. Despite being a champion, he was left off the WrestleMania 38 card and instead took part in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal on SmackDown Live that weekend.

WWE has devalued its mid-card titles in recent months, as intercontinental champion Ricochet also didn't have a match at WrestleMania 38. In fact, the last time the intercontinental title was defended on a pay-per-view was WrestleMania 37 last year.

With Theory winning the U.S. title, perhaps it represents a shift in WWE giving more attention to its secondary championships.


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