Theoretically, WWE set things up perfectly to take the United States Championship off of Austin Theory at Backlash. They booked a pair of supersized opponents in Bronson Reed and Bobby Lashley, who really don’t like each other, and could have had one pin the other to take the strap without Theory having to take the 1-2-3.

…then again, Paul “Triple H” Levesque freakin’ loves Austin Theory, so none of that really mattered; Austin Theory was going to take the United States Championship to Smackdown, the question simply became how it would happen. Taking part in a hoss fight seemingly designed to make Reed look like a star, even if the audience really didn’t get behind him, Lashley and “Mr. Nice Guy” hit each other with all they had while Theory looked for any easy pinning predicament he could find. Finding it when, after Reed attempted a moonsault, Theory pushed Lashley out of the ring and secured the pin.

Did the fans like it? No. Will the fans like it on Smackdown? No. But do you know what? In a way, the match accomplished what it was supposed to; Reed and Lashley looked like they got cheated as opposed to beated, and both can parlay that snub into bigger things down the road. And as for Theory? Well, he looks as heelish as ever, which, in a way, is sort of the point of having a heel champion.

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While only time will tell what Triple H has planned for Theory, it’s clear “A-Town’s Finest” is still heavily featured in the promotion’s plans moving forward after Backlash.