So why is this a good thing you ask? Well for my first example, cast your mind back to Wrestlemania 31. John Cena beat none other than Rusev for the US title and went on a lengthy run with the belt. Now, beating Rusev at Wrestlemania aside, having the US title around the waist of a name like John Cena allowed the belt to become more of a prize to hold for everybody. It helped not only the title but Cena himself.
With his "US Open Challenge" Cena defended the title against anyone and everyone. In the process he put on some classic matches with the likes of Cesaro and Sami Zayn. Despite losing the belt to Seth Rollins at Summerslam, his run from Wrestlemania helped Cena prove many doubters of his ability wrong. He earned a newfound respect from the WWE universe. This is what Reigns needs. Respect.
If we take a look back in the past, the majority of stars have had runs in the mid-card before becoming main event stars. John Cena had a solid, if unspectacular run with the US title before he ascended to the top of the WWE throne. Stone Cold Steve Austin carried the Intercontinental Championship before transitioning into his famous feud with Vince McMahon but perhaps the greatest example is Roman's cousin, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
The Rock started out as Rocky Maivia. A white bread babyface. How did that go down? Well I think we all know the answer to that one. Fans hated him. They hated him more than Reigns, so much that we got "Die, Rocky, Die" chants. So what happened? WWE turned him heel. He insulted the crowd, Thought far too highly of himself and most of all he was Intercontinental champion. He proved to the people that he had what it took. Granted the Intercontinental title meant a lot back then but still, it wasn't the WWF title.
A run with the US title now helps Reigns accomplish a number of things, mainly that he can wrestle. Despite what the audience chanting "You can't wrestle" believe, Roman Reigns can actually wrestle. He has come on massive strides as a singles competitor and while his move set does tend to run the risk of being over-exposed in longer matches, he's one of the safest and best in ring workers WWE have. Putting on matches for the US title against the likes of Rusev, Kevin Owens, Cesaro and Sami Zayn would only benefit Reigns. It also helps make the US title more prestigious because, whatever your view of Reigns is, he's a big name now.
The biggest plus for me is that it helps prove that Reigns is indeed mortal. The major issue I've had with Reigns recently isn't his ability, rather the inevitability of the match. His matches against AJ Styles for example. They were excellent but I personally couldn't get fully invested because I knew what the end result was going to be. After losing to Ambrose, Rollins and Balor, I no longer have that feeling and it allows me to appreciate Reigns' ability more.
But who knows. Maybe this is all filler. Maybe this is a temporary punishment for Reigns and after Summerslam he'll be in the picture for the newly created WWE Universal title. Whatever happens though, Reigns will give his all and we'll get a great match at Summerslam.