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Saturday, August 16, 2014

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Should the WWE World Heavyweight Title Be Defended Even Less?

Should the WWE World Heavyweight Title be defended less? Even in the view of the casual fan, the top belts in the WWE have lost their luster. Once a prestigious accomplishment a symbol of excellence in the business of pro wrestling is viewed as a prop more than a career accomplishment.  

This Sunday at Summer Slam, there is a distinct possibility that Brock Lesnar will beat John Cena and become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Brock is a legit bad ass, take one look at the guy and most men would be seriously intimidated. Add his amateur wrestling background with the fact that he has been both UFC and WWE heavyweight champion and he brings instant credibility to any championship or company.  The problem is Brock isn’t a weekly member of the roster, his last match was at WrestleMania and wasn’t on television until 3 weeks ago when he came out to be chosen as John Cena’s opponent. Many fans have a problem with his schedule it seems to be an “I will show up when I want” type of deal.  We are used to seeing the champion on Monday Night Raw every week. Most likely that trend will not continue, if Brock succeeds in destroying the master of the 5 Knuckle shuffle.  
It’s an unwritten rule in the business that a championship has to be defended at least one in a 30 day time period. Too add to this unwritten rule if the title was not defended the champion would be stripped of the belt. Recently we have seen the WWE become very relaxed when it comes to this rule. Daniel Bryan was only stripped of the title because of a serious neck injury.  This injury prevented the title from being defended in a match at the Payback pay per view. Prior to this the championship was held in abeyance for much of the latter part of 2013 which no one was champion. The last superstar to have a real run with the titles was Randy Orton. While his title run involved very crappy writing which led to the majority of the WWE Universe clamoring for Daniel Bryan to eventual win the titles at WrestleMania.  It seems recent history of the title has did a lot of damage to the prestige of the title.  

Four title defenses a year could make the title feel a little more “special”, but that should be a last resort. Putting an intense amount of importance on the #1 contender spot would be a much better path for the WWE to take. No more handpicked opponents by the champion or “The Authority” let the win loss records and quality of matches decide who deserves the right to challenge for the title no matter who is the Champion. Fans know who are the main event players (sorry Brodus Clay) or those who one the cusp of it.  A storyline can be crafted between challenger and champion based upon the challengers rise through the ranks adding a personal touch to fit a superstar’s character. No longer will the creative seem forced or generic like the typical underdog story WWE likes to tell. Getting fans interested in the product can only help with the sales of the WWE Network, which is only $9.99 a month.  

It doesn’t matter how many times the championship is defended if there is a lack of credible threats to take the belt. What makes this Sunday’s match between Brock and Cena interesting is that there is real chance that Cena won’t kick out at 2 as usual. Also the distinct possibility that Cena can do what THE UNDERTAKER couldn’t and beat Brock. No matter the outcome of the match the rest of the roster needs to step their game up and become a realistic challenge to the throne. While Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt are well on their way to become this era’s top stars there needs to be more guys who can take their place on the card as they move forward. Some of the greatest wrestlers of all time never had the chance to hold that title and that adds to its allure. Everyone can’t grab the brass ring but that doesn’t meant anyone shouldn’t keep on trying to obtain it. 



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