A new WWE United States Champion was crowned on SmackDown but it’s not who you might think.
Austin Theory had held the US Title since he defeated Bobby Lashley and Seth Rollins in a triple threat match for the gold back at Survivor Series WarGames in November 2022. But on SmackDown in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, that reign came crashing to a halt.
Theory had been due to defend his title against the LWO’s Santos Escobar after Escobar won an invitational tournament to become the new number one contender. On SmackDown, Escobar was on his way to the ring when he was jumped backstage by the champion, leaving him injured and unable to compete.
Rather than have the night off, WWE official Adam Pearce stepped in to inform Theory that he’d instead be defending his title against WWE Hall of Famer and Escobar’s LWO partner, Rey Mysterio.
By the end of the night, a 619 and a splash from the top rope was enough for Rey Mysterio to pick up the win and be crowned WWE US Champion. Mysterio was greeted by the rest of the LWO – including Santos Escobar on a crutch – to celebrate his win.
How much gold has Rey Mysterio held in WWE?
In two runs with WWE, Rey Mysterio has snared his fair share of titles. His first run in the company saw him capture the Cruiserweight Title three times, hold tag team gold with Edge, Rob Van Dam, Eddie Guerrero, and Batista, win the Intercontinental Title twice, carry the WWE Title – albeit for less than a day – and win the World Heavyweight Championship twice – most famously at WrestleMania 22.
In his second run with the company, Rey Mysterio has held tag team gold with his son Dominik Mysterio and has now captured the US Title for the third time.