Baron Corbin has lost the very thing that keeps him a staple at the top of the card, the Money in the Bank briefcase. Though he won't be cashing in on any world champions soon, this is his third chance (after also being handily defeated by John Cena) to stay relevant as the United States Championship could be considered the third most important title in the WWE right now.
In order to stay on top of SmackDown Live's food chain, he must not only win the United States Championship from AJ Styles at Hell in a Cell, but also have a strong run as champion.
A loss at Hell in a Cell would mean a lot for Corbin as he might be heading into Sami Zayn's direction soon after. A win would mean a lot though as this proves that WWE officials still have faith in Corbin as one of their rising stars despite his backstage and social media behavior.
The company's top heel
Although The Miz definitely holds that undisputed distinction at the moment (sorry Kevin Owens), Baron Corbin can possibly cement himself as the company's top heel if he has a strong run as US Champion. Corbin's engagement with the fans on social media totally depicts his heelish persona and his real life attitude matches with his kayfabe role.
Putting a championship belt around a superstar is what separates regular heels from top heels. Jinder Mahal was just another regular heel on the roster until the WWE decided to put its top prize on his waist thus solidifying him as one of the company's top heels (regardless of what ratings depict).
It would mean the same for Baron Corbin should he win the US Title at Hell In A Cell. An effective run at the company's third most important title would definitely mean future world title bids for The Lone Wolf.
The consolation prize
When Baron Corbin lost his Money in the Bank briefcase, there wasn't that much buzz after as fans hadn't really been given time to get invested in Corbin's potential for cashing in. He lost the briefcase way before a storyline was even made around it.
Money in the Bank cash-ins usually occur when you least expect it, be it after a grueling main event when people usually find their way to the arena or in by insertion into a match like what Seth Rollins did at WrestleMania 31.
With Corbin however, fans saw it coming once his entrance theme played after a match between John Cena and Jinder Mahal. Everybody knew he was going to lose that briefcase given how the cash in happened just a few days before SummerSlam.
Whether it was backstage heat or Corbin just not being ready, he now has a second chance to prove his worth, but first he has to win the United States Title from AJ Styles at Hell in a Cell. The past is all behind and Corbin must think more of the title he must win rather than the briefcase that he had lost.
So how important is a win for Baron Corbin?
Right now, Corbin is teasing Sami Zayn territory as he falls down the card. With him not being booked as strong as he once was, he needs to deliver badly.
Corbin can hold his own in the ring despite the athletic advantage of his opponents and there is no doubt about that. The question is his mic work and how he carries himself outside the ring which WWE officials don't seem to be high on.
A win at Hell in a Cell would only mean that WWE officials still see hope in The Lone Wolf. Holding the United States Title is a smaller task than the Money In The Bank briefcase (as it usually constitutes to a world title run, eventually) and Corbin needs to prove first that he is capable of handling a smaller responsibility before being pushed to the top of the card once more.
A win over AJ Styles, title or not, is definitely a big deal as well given Styles' star power and good standing with the WWE. If John Cena said Corbin isn't ready, AJ Styles definitely also has the same power to tell WWE officials if Corbin finally ready at this point.
Do you think Corbin must win tonight at Hell in a Cell? Let us know in the comments below!