Sunset Flip Presents: World Titles Are Worthless
By Jim Boy Star
This week’s column is going to take a look at World titles in World Wrestling Entertainment and Total Nonstop Action wrestling.
If 2009 has taught me anything, it taught me the World titles do not mean much in today’s pro wrestling world. I started watching pro wrestling in the mid 90′s, the era of WWF’s “The New Generation”. Days when Bret Hart would fight different wrestlers as a fighting champion. Everyone from the 1-2-3 Kid to Diesel to Yokozuna to his brother Owen Hart. Hart fought all comers. After one of those wrestlers lost, they almost never received an immediate rematch, mostly because there was no reason for them to get one. Most of the time they had to work their way back up the contention ladder and that is the way it should be.
The 80′s era was mostly dominated by Hulk Hogan and through a number of years there were not many titles reigns. Some may question why Hogan would fight guys like Bad News Brown, but I look at that as, like Hart, Hogan would take on different guys even if we all knew they had no chance of winning. The title was worth fighting for. Many have tried, but many have also failed.
Titles changes were more frequent as The Attitude Era rolled around. However, the stories behind some of the changes is what made that forgivable. The Attitude Era was built around great stories and even some things that seemed really stupid during that era was okay, because the writing was so good.
Giving a wrestler a couple months for a reign built up the title. The champion would fight a variety of people, even lower card guys (but not jobbers). It made the belt worth that much more.
Stats in 2009:
The WWE Championship has changed hands 8 times (in 10 months) in 2009
The World Heavyweight Championship has changed hands 8 times (in 10 months) in 2009
The TNA World Championship has changed hands 3 times (in 10 months) in 2009
The numbers do not lie. WWE World title reigns are lucky if they last more than 2 months. Most of these reigns also make no sense. TNA’s championship actually seems like the better championship minus some of the bad booking in TNA. At least it does not seem like TNA main eventers are playing hot potato with the title.
I would understand if WWE was on a streak where 6 of their World Champions this year failed the Wellness Policy so they had to take the title off that person, but this is not the case. The reason is pure stupidity. Let’s take a look at one of the recent Randy Orton reigns. It was reported that Batista was injured and would have to take some time off. One would think that this would be a good strong win for Orton. Hell, its a steel cage match, have Orton “injure” Batista and Orton looks like a strong champion. This is what a promotion with common sense would do, but don’t forget that logic is thrown out the window in the WWE Universe. Batista won, he wound up forfeiting the title 24 hours later, and right there you have 2 very meaningless title changes within 24 hours.
I would not mind if that is the only situation but most leave me scratching my head. WWE also chooses to have the same matches. As mentioned earlier, when Hart would defend against Bob Backlund, he would then go on to fight maybe Owen Hart for the title. Variety also does not exist in the WWE Universe’s World title picture on either show. We see the same World Title match for three straight times with nothing added to the feud.
Don’t get me wrong, the other eras were not golden or “holier than thou”. There were some problems with some reigns in the past. Of course, the huge difference is that back then, the problems were about 2 out 10 times. With today’s pro wrestling, the problem is about 8 times out of 10.
So the next time your friend asks you “which title has the biggest worth right now”, I would not be so quick to say either of WWE’s World titles. In fact, the answer you should probably give is the answer of “neither”, and that may be the saddest part of it all.
This week, Sunset Flip Wrestling Show is on a break, which is lucky for WWE because I went to Hell In A Cell and in some ways I feel unfortunate that I did. Join us on myspace.com/sunsetflipshow and when we come back we’re having a Bound For Glory special. Personally, with Monster’s Ball and Ultimate X, this will be a PPV worth $40 and definitely better than WWE’s latest offering so I encourage everyone to check it out. Stay safe everyone.
Jim Boy Star