Austin Theory still has a major lesson to learn in the WWE Universe

One of the more interesting developments of the Paul “Triple H” Levesque era was the way WWE handled Austin Theory.

Once the handpicked heir to Vince McMahon, who had a rocket strapped to his back on his way to one of the most blistering six-month runs in WWE recent memory which included a run with the Championship from the United States and a place in Money in the Bank, Theory’s push was immediately called into question when his mentor was forced into retirement due to an extensive record of salacious behavior. Theory made its expected appearance at Slam summer where he cleanly lost his rematch with Bobby Lashley, then saw his Money in the Bank cash-in attempt swept away by a huge F5 on Brock Lesnar’s briefcase.

From there, Theory took a few weeks off before eventually returning to the ring in preparation for Showdown at the castlewhere he wrestled a pre-show match with Alpha Academy against Madcap Moss and the Street Profits before trying again and failing to cash in his briefcase due to a perfectly placed punch from Tyson Fury.

Is this all that’s left for Theory in WWE? Will he forever be stuck in the mid-card, cursed to a life of 50-50 bookings and the occasional comedy on a Pay-Per-View? Will Theory attempt to cash in his briefcase in Philadelphia at Extreme Rules only to eat trash in the face or take a kendo stick to the back of the head of an ECW legend like The Blue Meanie?

Thankfully, Theory’s current schedule with Kevin Owens might actually show a glimpse of the complexity that might be lurking just below the surface of a player just 25 who still has plenty of important games to play.

Austin Theory continues to be defiant in the face of Kevin Owens’ WWE wisdom.

After being completely broken down in the ring by Owens, who was called one in a million when his enemy was nothing more than a penny a dozen, accused Theory of being the kind of brawny, fresh-faced kid who doesn’t want to work for what he wants. Although Theory tried to play it off and act like Owens’ words didn’t affect her, the look on the 25-year-old artist’s face said otherwise.

Was it… character growth? Would Theory finally break the facade he built on sheer arrogance and finally become a true superstar like Johnny Gargano, Dolph Ziggler and even Owens wanted to? That day could possibly come, but when WWE sent a camera crew behind the scenes to try and figure out where Theory was coming from, he remained defiant as ever.:

And Owens? It’s so funny because he wants to expose that I only have opportunities, but let me take you back to the past. The Elimination Chamber, I beat Kevin Owens to get into the Elimination Chamber, then what happened there? I was the only man left in that room with Brock Lesnar. And then when I became the youngest champion in the United States, I defended myself against the man who did so many things, so many championships, Finn Balor. I beat him straight up. And then I go to Money in the bank Pay per view. From the start, I’ve been defending the United States Championship and waging all-out war against Bobby Lashley. He got the best of me. So what? I was what, an opportunity to go in the Money in the Bank match? Less than 50% I get in there, I’m in there with former WWE champions like Drew McIntyre, Seth Rollins, Sheamus, to name a few, all these guys at the top of their game art, and me? I just had a United States Championship game, but what happened? That was no excuse, I walked in and did what I always do, and that’s all day. I’ve become the youngest Mr. Money in the bank, and I’m sick of people trying to downplay my accomplishments like I haven’t been kicked out by a–. I am the future, and the future is right in front of you. It’s A-Town down.

Oh Theory, you don’t have to rip out your resume every time you talk to someone within WWE; Kevin Egan knows you’re the youngest United States Champion in WWE history and you’re still Mr. Money in the Bank. A true sign of emotional maturity is not having to throw away your accomplishments to justify your place; a lesson that Owens will continue to try to teach one way or another.

Sharon D. Cole