Buying or Selling Big E Winning Another WWE Championship in the Next Year

Philip LindseyContributor IIJanuary 7, 2022

Photo credit: WWE.com

At WWE's first pay-per-view of 2022, Day 1, Brock Lesnar joined the Fatal Five-Way match for the company's top prize and walked away as the new WWE champion.

In the process, The Beast Incarnate ended Big E's first reign with the title, leaving many fans wondering what's next for the 2021 men's Money in the Bank winner.

The New Day's resident powerhouse made history last year as the first Black man to win the annual ladder match and earn the titular contract. Then, he went on to cash in his briefcase on the Sept. 13 episode of Raw and defeat Bobby Lashley to win the WWE Championship.

It was a landmark moment for a company that has only crowned four African American flagbearers to date and a career highlight for the fan favorite.

Lashley will be Lesnar's first challenger at Royal Rumble, but Big E should continue to be a fixture in Raw's main event scene. 


Big E Was Just Getting Started

Although Big E enjoyed success as a tag team wrestler, it took him eight years to ascend to the top of the mountain and secure one of the most prestigious titles in professional wrestling.

Yes, the second NXT champion already had the charisma, experience and skill set to do so years ago, but it took as long to prove to the powers-that-be that he was ready.

As such, it's a little discouraging that WWE cut his reign short and went with a conservative option in Lesnar. Yes, the nine-time champion is a proven draw and a certified special attraction, but the move seemed a bit premature. Still, it wasn't that surprising. The company seems to have a habit of prioritizing established stars like The Beast over newer names.

However, one has to wonder what this means for Big E. WWE has named three Black world champions over the past three years, including his stablemate, Kofi Kingston. However, the storied underdog controversially lost the title to Lesnar in seconds on the Fox premiere of SmackDown in 2019. Even worse, he never got a rematch or a chance to redeem himself after his first and only run with the title.

It's way too soon to assume Big E will suffer the same fate, but his loss at Day 1 evoked some of the same feelings. History isn't exactly on his side, but there is a precedent for Superstars who went on to have a better reign the second time around. For example, AJ Styles is a two-time WWE champion, but his 371-day run with the title is more noteworthy than his initial push.


An Unmatched Brand Ambassador

Considering his win-loss record and lack of notable PPV matches, Big E's 100-day reign may have seemed uneventful. However, the Tampa, Florida native arguably did more to make WWE's main title more present outside of weekly programming than anyone else who held it for the last few years.

Over the last three months, the award-winning powerlifter took the belt onto the popular hip hop radio show, The Breakfast Club. On Oct. 9, he represented his alma mater, the University of Iowa, on Fox's Big Noon Kickoff. On the same day, he appeared on a video package to introduce Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder before their third matchup at the T-Mobile Arena.

A month later, the 35-year-old accompanied Shawn Porter to the ring for his fight with Terence Crawford at the Michelob Ultra Arena. His fiery intro and unmistakable high-energy presence helped to create a memorable entrance ahead of Survivor Series.

With Big E, WWE has an avid rap and sports fan with connections and influence outside of the pro wrestling bubble. In a short amount of time, he made the WWE Championship appear more relevant in a time when wrestlers aren't as visible as they were during the Attitude Era.

It would be foolish not to see him as a ready-made star with mainstream crossover appeal.


The Verdict

We're all in on Big E's chances of winning the WWE title again within the next year and frankly, the company should be fully invested in him as well. If his impassioned promo from this week's Raw is anything to go on, the 35-year-old still has the makings of a strong contender.

It's a shame he didn't get a chance to prove he could be a consistent draw or compete in the main event of a major PPV. The two-time intercontinental champion clearly has the star power and all the tools needed to be the face of the red brand. Even more, he can reach a younger and diverse audience.

Unfortunately, Money in the Bank winners routinely don't fare well in the ring because of the nature of the cash-in. They spend most of their time attempting to prove their title win was more than just a fluke or an opportunistic ploy. So, there's still a story to tell about Big E's journey back into the title picture, but it's up to WWE to see value in it.

If his first reign was a litmus test, the third member of The New Day showed he has so much untapped potential. He could be on the shortlist of realistic picks to win the 2022 men's Royal Rumble match.

It may be too optimistic to predict he will become the No. 1 contender by the end of the month, but it's certainly possible.

Regardless, there is so much time left to create a suitable payoff to the run Big E went on last year.