Samoa Joe is a champion without a challenger, but that is destined to change on WWE Raw. Who will emerge to challenge the Samoan Submission Machine?
On last week’s Monday Night Raw, The Miz hosted another entertaining edition of Miz TV, with guests “The Best in the World” Shane McMahon and “The Scottish Psychopath” Drew McIntyre. Things took an intriguing twist as The Miz commented on the heinous Samoa Joe assault on Rey Mysterio, the former United States Champion who had to relinquish the title due to injury one week prior.
As The Miz rolled the footage of his attack; Joe marched down to the ring quite amused, he couldn’t care less about the past he was only concerned about his future challenges. Outcomes Braun Strowman to shut the US champ up, followed by Bobby Lashley, then Ricochet, and finally Cesaro who sucker-punched him.
Chaos engaged and all hell broke loose, which carried over into a predictable six-man tag-team match. All six competitors battled it out with the babyfaces getting the upper hand, leaving Cesaro to eat a Skull- Crushing Finale into a magnificent 630 splash to give Ricochet a big win!
Earlier today WWE made a Huge announcement that on this week’s Raw there will a Fatal-5-Way Match where The Miz, Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman, Cesaro, and Ricochet will battle it out to who will be Joe’s next challenger for the United States Championship at Stomping Grounds. Below I will be Ranking who I believe is the best challenger.
Ranking The Best-Suited Challenger For WWE United States Champion Samoa Joe
5. Bobby Lashley
Let me start by saying that Bobby Lashley left WWE in 2008 due to injury, he went to TNA and became a four-time Heavyweight Champion. He also competed in MMA and gain victories in 15 out of 17 contests. Lashley made his shocking return to WWE on the Post-Mania-Raw in 2018, he interrupted Elias and decimated him with ease. Prior to his return and even afterward; Lashley made his intentions crystal clear that he wanted to fight the current Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, with both men sharing similar paths in MMA, however that did not happen.
Instead, Lashley made a heel-turn after an exhausting run as a smiling babyface and has only held the Intercontinental Championship twice. Typically this would be the opportunity for me to present evidence in why he should be the United States champion, on the contrary, let’s face facts folks Corbin ain’t winning the Universal Championship next Sunday, that means Seth Rollins will need a new challenger…enter Lashley. He should at least be given the chance to mix it up with Rollins and prove he’s worthy of being a dominant champion. That takes him out of contention–at least for now–for Samoa Joe.
4. The Miz
The self-proclaimed A-Lister cannot catch a break…At WrestleMania, he lost to “The Best in the World” Shane McMahon…excuse me while I hurl. Miz went against everything his fifteen-year career as an antagonizing heel has exemplified when he turned into a sympathetic babyface who finally found some morality.
After losing to Shane again at Money in the Bank; it’s fair to say that WWE has no clue what to do with him…Typically the heel picks up the first victory, followed by the babyface overcoming the odds and securing the second. The only logical explanation would be, there’s a Miz/Shane III happening at SummerSlam, otherwise what the hell was all of this for? I predict Miz will get the win at SummerSlam and then revert back to his conniving heel antics shortly after to make his way to the Universal Championship scene.
“The Swiss Superman” Cesaro has been with WWE since 2011 under Florida Championship Wrestling, which morphed into the juggernaut known as NXT. He’s a former United States Champion, the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner, and a multiple-time Raw and SmackDown Live Tag-team Champion, alongside his partner Sheamus in “The Bar”. Cesaro creates magic with any opponent he shares the ring with; which is why I’m perplexed on how Vince McMahon has repeatedly said: “he misses the brass ring”.
I don’t think Cesaro needs another run with the United States Championship; however, he would make an incredible challenger for the Universal Championship, with both competitors former Indy darlings they would steal any show they are showcased on. For the time being though I do see Cesaro feuding with the next United States Champion, I’ll get to that in a minute!
2. Braun Strowman
Several months ago I would have chosen Braun Strowman in a heartbeat, on the Post-Mania SmackDown Live Strowman confronted Samoa Joe and left him scurrying out of the ring. I was so confident this was the direction they were going that I had an article of mine published on the topic.
If there is any superstar on the current roster that has been criminally misused its Strowman. He’s has several opportunities to win the Universal Championship and all of them have squandered, thanks to absurd creative decisions. In my opinion; Strowman is way past the time where winning the United States Championship would gain him credibility and will catapult him back to “The Monster Among Men” he was back in 2017. I said this in the article and I’ll keep saying it until WWE listens…STROWMAN DESERVES THE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP….For turning him into Big Show 2.0.
This year was Rollins’ to “Slay The Beast” and bring the Universal title back to Monday nights; and with McIntyre playing corporate stooge for Shane, that leaves Strowman’s chances wide open after a heel defeats “The Kingslayer.”
Time to pick up a new Chairshot shirt!
1. Ricochet is the top choice for Samoa Joe
“The One and Only” Ricochet is fascinating to watch; he is so precise in his execution of maneuvers, and that’s the reason him and Cesaro have been putting on wrestling clinics the past few weeks. He was rushed to the main-roster earlier this year alongside his former tag-team partner Aleister Black, in hopes of increasing weekly ratings. It didn’t matter though; Ricochet made the most of his opportunity, and under the bright lights of WrestleMania he dazzled in front of 80,000+ WWE fans.
As I mentioned earlier Cesaro will be challenging for the United States Championship–just not Samoa Joe; as soon as Mysterio was sidelined with an injury and had to relinquish the title, I said to myself who’s the best babyface that Joe can bully? Ricochet not only will he benefit from just being in the same ring with Joe; he exemplifies the perfect sympathetic babyface that will defeat the “Submission Specialist”, and he can have “Epic” contests with Cesaro.
Now I want to add one more thing; I don’t see Ricochet claiming the US title until SummerSlam which means I expect his match with Joe ending in submission by way of passing out, not tapping. Then at Extreme Rules has a much more impressive showing; but coming up a little short, followed by getting granted one final shot not by Joe but by the “McMahon’s”. At SummerSlam, he will dethrone Joe and start his first singles championship title reign, in one of the biggest platforms aside from WrestleMania!