Theory's surprise entry into the Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match and subsequent victory were not a total surprise to the WWE Universe. The young uber-athlete who was shoved directly into an on-screen union with Mr. McMahon and instantly pushed as the next big thing in the industry has enjoyed his fair share of opportunities early on in his run.
He competed at WrestleMania against mainstream media star and SmackDown commentator Pat McAfee, ate a Stone Cold Stunner from Steve freaking Austin, won the United States Championship by beating Finn Balor clean in the middle of the ring, then feuded with former WWE champion Bobby Lashley leading into Saturday's show.
Expectations were high entering the event and skyrocketed following his retrieval of the coveted briefcase. Now, two questions linger overhead like pregnant clouds: What should fans expect of Theory in the coming weeks and months, and just when will he cash in his newly obtained Money in the Bank?
In the immediate future? More of the same. Theory is already in a prime spot on Raw, appearing in key segments and enjoying the benefits of being connected to Mr. McMahon in an on-screen role.
He just lost the United States Championship to Lashley, but barring an in-ring return from John Cena and a much-discussed match between the two of them, it would not be much of a surprise whatsoever for him to re-engage The All-Mighty in time for a SummerSlam rematch.
If the Cena match that has been heavily teased by Theory across his social media platforms does occur, things change significantly. The selfie-taking Atlanta kid's already fast-tracked push becomes so exponentially.
The 24-year-old goes from being a star of the future to being a pretty damn big one now. He instantly gets the Cena rub, win or lose, and will be in an infinitely better position than he was even coming out of Saturday night's premium live event.
Cena is a major Hollywood star and pro wrestling royalty. Working him in a high-profile bout is already impressive. If he was to beat the 16-time world champion, any questions regarding his path in WWE would be erased.
Saturday's win eases the need for that dream match with Cena, at least for now. He can (and should) coast by, evolving his character and growing into the role rather than having it thrust upon him by management eager to create the next big thing in the event Roman Reigns takes his rightful and deserved place in Hollywood alongside Cena and The Rock.
After all, the first real opportunity for Theory to cash in will not come until the company has begun the march to the Royal Rumble premium live event in late December or January.
When Will He Cash In?
When Cody Rhodes returns from the torn pectoral muscle that cost him an opportunity to hold the briefcase overhead as Saturday's extravaganza left the Peacock airwaves, he will instantaneously be inserted into the world-title picture, presumably against Reigns.
The biggest babyface in the world will win said title, and from there, Theory will cash in and ruin The American Nightmare's lifelong dream.
Imagine the heel hate for that moment. Here you have Rhodes, who has busted his ass his entire life, including going to Japan and starting a rival promotion for WWE, then returned home to maintain his father's legacy and win the WWE Championship that eluded him.
He wins the title upon his return and is ready to embark on this legacy-defining run when Theory, the hand-picked spoiled brat of Vincent K. McMahon himself cashes in on a celebratory Rhodes and ruins the moment.
𝘏𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘮𝘢𝘥 𝘤𝘶𝘻 𝘐’𝘮 𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨🚀 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/alldaytheory?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#alldaytheory</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ATownDown?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ATownDown</a> <a href="https://t.co/mA35lbhXId">pic.twitter.com/mA35lbhXId</a>
It would create a massively personal, theoretically hot storyline while simultaneously elevating the heel to the level Vince McMahon and other key figures in the company certainly hope he consistently achieves.
Of course, that scenario cannot play out until January at the earliest based on the expected recovery timeline for the second-generation star's injury. That gives management the time to get Theory ready in all facets: develop the character, book some big wins against credible opponents and let the fans choose to boo him rather than forcing him on them.
Accomplish that, book the Rhodes angle and the rest will fall into place. Theory will be a bona fide top heel, Rhodes the babyface chasing the heel champion who ruined his comeback and the fans will find all of it much easier to invest in.