Harley Race, Terry Funk, Blackjack Mulligan, Bobo Brazil, Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, "Superfly" Snuka, Greg Valentine, Roddy Piper, Wahoo McDaniel, Sgt. Slaughter, "Dirty" Dick Slater, Magnum TA, Lex Luger, Dusty Rhodes, Barry Windham, Michael "PS" Hayes, Sting, Rick Rude, Dustin Rhodes, "Stunning" Steve Austin, Jim Duggan, Big Van Vader, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, Jeff Jarrett, Curt Hennig, Diamond Dallas Page, Raven, Goldberg, Bret Hart, Scott Hall, Big Poppa Pump, Chris Benoit, Sid, Lance Storm, Shane Douglas, Rick Steiner, Booker T, Chris Kanyon, Kurt Angle, and Edge.
What do all these sportsmen have in common, besides being some of the greatest in the history of wrestling, if not all of competitive athletics? They are among the greats that have held the prestigious United States Championship before it was unified with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) Intercontinental Championship belt in 2001. This championship title has been coveted and bled for by the greatest wrestlers to ever grace the squared circle, and that makes it sacred. It's the physical manifestation of a link between the present and the illustrious history of the world's purest form of sport.
This being the case, what in the hell is Jack Swagger doing with a title shot at the reinstated version of the belt in 2012? Look, I don't think Swagger is a poor wrestler and I believe he can rebound from his current rough patch, but that doesn't erase the fact that the single Wrankings point he earned for losing this title bout equals his total for the entire rest of the wrestling season. The special guest referee for "The Match Made in Hell" is tied in the Wrankings with our All American-American-American-American-American right now. I'm as nostalgic as the next guy (more so, really), but this is freaking ridiculous.
Luckily, the fighting champion Santino Marella took care of business and defeated his unworthy challenger. And truly, that's what's so great about sports. An ill-granted opportunity may arise, but you still have to beat "The Man."
This particular title shot was granted by Vicki Guerrero, as was her right as the temporary General Manager of Raw, but if horrible matchmaking such as this is a function of her tenure, then perhaps the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Board of Directors needs to take a harder look at who they put in charge, even on a short term basis. I don't blame Swagger for taking the title shot, but he had no business having it bestowed upon him.
Excuse me, indeed.
Scores and updated Wrestler Wrankings are after the jump.