Being a world champion is an honor

Buddy Rogers

If you are a professional wrestler than your goal should be to become the world heavyweight champion. To be the top guy in our business, the person that is putting asses every 18 inches. However not everyone can be “The Man”, not everyone can be the champ, not everyone can be that guy. So in today’s wrestling, unfortunately, if you aren’t ever the world heavyweight champion you are almost looked at as a failure. If everyone got their turn as world champion then it would diminish the championship but somewhere along the way we’ve tried to determine that being the champion is our only measure of success. Give me a roster full of Roddy Pipers, Jimmy Snukas, Arn Andersons, Ted Dibiases over any of the 20 somethings that were world champions but you forget they held that distinction until someone casually reminds you.

Being a world champion is an honor. It should be held in the highest regard. In the yesteryear of pro wrestling champions like Lou Thesz, Bruno Sammertino and Buddy Rogers were put on a pedestal for good reason. If you weren’t these men, then your honor came in working on top with them. Selling out Madison Square Garden and other arenas across the country. That honor held true up until recently in our business were our microwave society ,who always wants something fast and new, changed that course of action.

Hulk Hogan drew money, unquestionably. In his first run, he was the WWF Champion for 1984 to 1988. Is that to say that no one else that worked for the WWF during those years were deserving of being champion? That’s ridiculous when you consider the roster they had at that time. The fact was people were paying to see Hulk Hogan and guys lined up to work with Hogan on top. Everyone from Harley Race to Terry Funk, Andre The Giant to King Kong Bundy. Any of those men you could make a case for being suitable as WWF Champion.

If you have a championship that is passed around like a hot potato then at the end of the day an actual potato would be worth more than your gold and leather. By the same token if you tell the fans that a wrestler’s worth is calculated by whether they have held this championship then you are devaluing your own commodity. Not everyone can be world heavyweight champion but everyone can be a wrestling star on your show. Everyone can be viable piece to a much larger puzzle that in the end will have fans lining up to cheer or boo to their heart’s desire.

— Greg Anthony