bobby roode us champion

A lot happened on the January 16th episode of SmackDown Live. First, it was announced that the final of the United States Championship tournament would not take place at the Royal Rumble as initially planned, but would instead happen on the January 23rd episode of SmackDown.

However, after Jinder Mahal defeated Xavier Woods and Bobby Roode defeated Mojo Rawley to advance to the final, Roode challenged Mahal to have their match the same night – and SmackDown General manager Daniel Bryan agreed.

Unfortunately for Mahal, the audible did not work in his favor – and Roode was crowned the new United States Champion.

Roode’s tag team partner in the Mixed Match Challenge, SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair, also expressed her congratulations to the new champ – noting that they won’t just have matching robes now.

GLORIOUS!

What’s Next For Roode?

Following the impromptu match, Roode told WWE’s Dasha Fuentes that his win still hadn’t quite sunk in yet and that he was “going to take this moment to sit back and really enjoy it.”

And perhaps Roode should enjoy it while it lasts – because all signs seem to indicate that he’ll defend the title against Dolph Ziggler at the Royal Rumble.

First, there’s the fact that the tournament final was suddenly moved without explanation from the Rumble to last night’s episode of SmackDown. The card for the Royal Rumble PPV is already pretty stacked, so maybe WWE just decided there wasn’t time for a tournament final match. But they could very well make room for another title match – especially if it involves a returning Ziggler.

When Ziggler left SmackDown after winning the U.S. title at Clash of Champions, he never outright stated that he was relinquishing the title. Instead, Daniel Bryan claimed that he couldn’t get in touch with Ziggler and therefore made the decision to declare the title vacant. So Ziggler definitely has reason to return and demand a shot at the title that he never lost nor officially gave up. Furthermore, Roode is conveniently the same person Ziggler was feuding with over the U.S. title before his leave of absence.

My Take On Roode’s Win

I’m extremely happy that Roode won the U.S. Championship, especially considering that the other option was Mahal. I also think that Roode having the championship will add a lot to his already fantastic Mixed Match Challenge pairing with Charlotte – with their matching gold and grandeur they’re definitely going to be portrayed as the team to beat.

However, another Roode vs. Ziggler match for the championship seems pretty lackluster, especially considering that Ziggler’s WWE career seems stalled-out. I’d much rather see Roode reinstate a proper U.S. Open Challenge, which thanks to Baron Corbin never got off the ground when AJ Styles held the championship.

Nevertheless, I’m excited to see what the glorious one will bring to the U.S. Championship.

Are you excited that Bobby Roode is the new United States Champion? Would you like to see him face Dolph Ziggler at the Royal Rumble or not? Share your thoughts and comments below!

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