The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
Revamping the WWE Championship Structure
The Kingfish Arnie Katz examines the forthcoming big changes for WWE championship belts – and offers some suggestions of his own.
It’s pretty obvious that WWE is ready to implement a new strategy for its championship belts. Unification matches and rumors of retiring certain titles abound.
It’s certainly a good time to make the move. Business will be down this spring and summer, so they can fine-tune things before the big-money fall and winter pay per views.
It’s also easier to make the changes now than at any time of the year. WWE has WrestleMania and Backlash for big title contests and the so-called Draft Lottery to reassign the talent among its four shows. (If WWE forgets Superstars, the WGN series will fail.)
In framing a new title structure, it’s crucial to consider long-term consequences as well as short-term benefits. Whatever WWE does along these lines will create plenty of excitement, but the revision also needs to generate arena ticket sales, TV ratings and PPV subscriptions.
The Kingfish’s Plan
I have no specifics on what WWE actually plans to do. It’s likely that they won’t formalize plans until after WM. At this point, it looks like the promotion will combine the RAW and Smackdown main event groups and re-structure the titles.
That’s why this proposal is based on these two basic ideas. Here’s what I think WWE should do:
The Top Titles
Ever since the brand split, fans have complained that they have trouble connecting a title with its show. That’s particularly true of the World Heavyweight Championship and WWE Championship.
I’d start with a unification match to combine the WWE and World belts. The person holding that strap would reign, unambiguously, as the top guy. That would end the current confusion about the relative status of the two honors.
The Tag Team Titles
The confusion here is even worse than with the World and WWE singles titles.
The two belts will be combined into one when The Miz and John Morrison defeat the Colon Brothers at WM 25.
The Secondary Singles Titles
I’d combine them in a unification match. With that accomplished, the winner would put up the strap in a gimmick that resul5s in the strap being retired.
WWE hasn’t done much worthwhile with the US and Intercontinental championships, so they’ll hardly be missed.
The Other Existing Titles
The new structure has no room for two women’s singles titles, so these two should be combined.
The ECW Championship is part of the solution and will be continued.
The New Titles & Structure
Each program needs a champion who is closely associated with that program, someone who can work the main event on TV or help lead a house show tour when the World Champion is involved in an angle on one of the other shows.
The answer is to extend a concept that is already working well: create a “show title” for each program. In other words, there would be a RAW Champion on RAW, a Smackdown champion on Smackdown and so forth. The show champions would be picked using tournaments, which would guarantee good matches on the free TV shows and marquee match-ups for the post-WM pay per views.
The New Structure
The holders of the World Championship and World Tag Team Championship would go from show to show, depending on the storyline. They would be joined, in this floating group, by the women involved in the Women’s Championship storyline.
Each show would have its own champion and attendant plotline.
I’d advocate WWE add a title for the lighter weights, but I don’t think they will do that at this time. It’s a shame, because they have the guys – Mysterio, Kingston, Bourne – to make it fly.
That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column. I hope you’ll return to join me and, please, bring your friends.
— Arnie Katz