Welcome back to our spotlight on the United States Championship
In 2003, Stephanie McMahon reactivated the Championship with a band new design. The title was brought in as a secondary title for SmackDown as a counterpart to Raw’s Intercontinental Championship. A tournament was formed, with Eddie Guerrero defeating Chris Benoit at Vengeance. During his first reign, John Cena had a custom spinner belt design to fit in with his rapper gimmick.
Throughout the years, the Championship changed brands through drafts, brand splits ending, and cross brand matches. Between 2003 and 2020, the Championship design remained the same (outside the one off spinner design), only having the logo updated in that time (from the scratch WWE logo to the WWE Network logo, which was adopted company wide). The overall design was overhauled and unveiled on July 6th by Montel Vontavious Porter.
In 2015, WWE updated its Grand Slam Championship by adding the United States Championship. All past holders of the necessary titles were retrospectively honoured as Grand Slam Champion, starting with Kurt Angle.
The current champion is Rey Mysterio, who is in his third reign. He defeated Austin Theory on the August 11th episode of SmackDown. He replaced the injured Santos Escobar, who has won a mini tournament to gain #1 Contendership.
In summation, the United States Championship has played an important part in the careers of many wrestlers for the better part of 50 years and 2 promotions. From big names like Harley Race, Ric Flair, and John Cena, to mid card mainstay’s like Dustin Rhodes, Konan, Rusev. Many former champions have gone on to win World Championships, while others have squandered.