Quick Takes on Theory as Mr. MITB, WWE Raw's Top Babyface, Kingston vs. Jericho, More

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured Columnist IVJuly 10, 2022

Quick Takes on Theory as Mr. MITB, WWE Raw's Top Babyface, Kingston vs. Jericho, More

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    Last week's Money in the Bank event gave WWE fans a clear idea of not only what to expect at SummerSlam later this month, but also what the company intends to focus on in the foreseeable future.

    Among those up-and-coming stars with a high ceiling for success is Theory, who was successful in the men's Money in the Bank Ladder match as a last-minute entrant. Although he has teased cashing in imminently, it would be wise for WWE to hold off on having him trade in the contract for a title shot anytime soon.

    In the meantime, WWE has a handful of Superstars who can be positioned as the focal point of Raw and SmackDown, but few are more popular than Bobby Lashley. The All Mighty captured his third United States Championship at Money in the Bank and already feels like one of WWE's biggest babyfaces.

    Speaking of beloved brawlers, Eddie Kingston continues to kill every time he steps inside the AEW ring. That said, it's high time his rivalry with Chris Jericho comes to an end so he can finally move on to something more meaningful.

    This installment of Quick Takes will tackle the upcoming conclusion to Kingston vs. Jericho, why AEW should also capitalize on The Acclaimed as fan favorites, booking Liv Morgan as SmackDown women's champion and more.

WWE Shouldn't Risk Rushing Theory's Ascent with Quick MITB Cash-In

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    A majority of WWE's men's Money in the Bank winners in recent years have cashed in their contract fairly quickly, whether it be successfully or unsuccessfully. Theory should be among the minority who holds on to the guaranteed title shot for the long haul in an attempt to boost his stock even more.

    Theory has everything the company would want out of a top star. In less than nine months, he's had an incredible ascent from NXT upstart to the next big thing, but at only 24 years old, WWE must ensure that it isn't pushing him too aggressively too soon.

    At the rate he's progressing, Theory can absolutely be a world championship-caliber competitor in WWE. Rushing him into any top title picture, however, would hurt him more than it would help him at this point.

    It wasn't that long ago he was being booked as the cowardly midcard heel, and to an extent, that's still exactly what he is. That's perfectly acceptable for now, but it isn't befitting of a main event-level heel. Thus, it would be premature to promote him to such a spot before the year is through.

    Theory can have a fun run as Mr. Money in the Bank if booked properly and could make for a fine Undisputed WWE Universal champion when the time is right, which shouldn't be imminent.

The Acclaimed Have Massive Potential as Breakout Babyfaces

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    The alliance between The Acclaimed and Gunn Club may not have lasted long, but it did serve it purpose as far as cementing Max Caster and Anthony Bowens as AEW's next breakout babyface duo.

    It was on Wednesday's Dynamite that Gunn Club severed ties with The Acclaimed following a win in eight-man tag team action. The way the angle was executed with Caster being cut off before doing his usual rap and Billy Gunn attacking both members of the popular tandem all but confirmed that they'll be babyfaces moving forward.

    Truth be told, it was a move that should have been made a while ago.

    The Acclaimed found their footing in AEW almost immediately upon being signed in late 2020 and have established their act exceptionally well since then. The only issue is that they've lost on TV far more than they've won, and that needs to change now that they're going to be embracing the audience.

    All signs point to FTR being the ones to dethrone The Young Bucks as AEW world tag team champions eventually, and rightfully so, but The Acclaimed shouldn't be far behind. They undoubtedly deserve to have gold in their future.

Bobby Lashley Is the Perfect Top Babyface for Raw Right Now

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    Bobby Lashley has been quietly built up as one of the best babyfaces in all of WWE this year.

    Although it wasn't completely clear at the time, he was positioned as the babyface in his feud with Brock Lesnar heading into the Royal Rumble in retrospect. He then lost the WWE Championship after never being pinned for it because of an injury and went on to get the better of Omos and MVP on multiple occasions.

    He also received a raucous reaction from the Las Vegas crowd when he beat Theory for the United States Championship at Money in the Bank.

    Lashley's surge in popularity couldn't have come at a better time. With Undisputed WWE Universal champion Roman Reigns making infrequent appearances and Raw being without a world champion for now, Lashley is the perfect person to fill that void as United States champion.

    It also gives a major boost to the star-spangled prize, which had largely been booked as a prop prior to Theory's reign. Lashley having a prominent presence on Raw will in turn make the title feel more important.

    The longer Lashley can maintain this dominance admiration from the audience, the more appealing an eventual match with Reigns for the top title will be.

Liv Morgan Deserves Chance to Shine as Credible SmackDown Women's Champion

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    With how often she was being pushed toward title contention only to lose whenever it mattered most, Liv Morgan finally winning the big one in the form of the SmackDown Women's Championship was quite the pleasant surprise.

    WWE booked a swerve fans actually wanted to see when Morgan reigned supreme in the women's Money in the Bank Ladder match before having her cash in and capture the SmackDown Women's title later in the evening.

    The former Riott Squad member has long been over with the audience and has proved on multiple occasions over the last year that she has what it takes to be a champion. Now that her long-awaited reign is underway, it would be foolish to cut it short anytime soon.

    There's nothing guaranteeing that she'll be a mainstay in the title picture from this point forward, but she should at least be afforded the chance to run with the belt for the next few months. Having her lose it right back to Ronda Rousey at SummerSlam would render her reign irrelevant.

    WWE could use more fresh female faces in the title mix, especially with Sasha Banks and Naomi seemingly gone. The decision to have her become champ was the right one, but now it's imperative that they follow it up accordingly and not give up on her before she can really get going and establish herself as a credible champion.

Eddie Kingston Must Emerge From Chris Jericho Feud on Winning End

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    Eddie Kingston and Chris Jericho have been at odds for far longer than they should have been.

    The program has had its fair share of highlights, and their most recent encounter inside Blood and Guts was great television. However, Kingston doesn't gain much from continuing to feud with the same person for almost eight months, even if it's someone as high up on the ladder as Jericho.

    AEW has announced that the two will meet in one final Barbed Wire Death match on the July 20 edition of Dynamite where Jericho Appreciation Society will be locked in a shark cage hanging above the ring. Kingston decisively defeating Jericho is the only outcome that makes sense.

    As is the case with several other aforementioned athletes, the reactions Kingston receives are on another level. AEW should be doing as much with that as possible, and that includes contending for more championship gold.

    Kingston has received several title shots during his time in AEW and has fallen short every time, but he's more beloved now than ever before. He's overdue for a push up the card, free of the Jericho Appreciation Society silliness, and should be rewarded for his efforts in becoming such an entertaining staple of Dynamite over the past year.


    Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.

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