The Value of a Title
by, 03-21-2012 at 07:43 AM (3935 Views)
I wanted to steer slightly away from the usual Mania build up discussions this week and pose the question - just what is a title worth these days?
There has been some commentary on the lack of focus on titles in this years Wrestlemania. The SD match is way down the pecking order, the Punk/Jericho match is more about the ’Best in the World’ moniker, no tag team title match, no divas title match (no loss there though) and no US title match. So is it the case that holding a title doesn’t mean as much as it used to?
Let’s start by comparing the title reigns of the wrestling stars of yester year compared to modern day Superstars
Now I could list stats all day but here’s a few examples for you (I have included both the World and WWE Championship in these stats)
Rock – 7
Stone Cold – 6
Hogan – 6
Taker – 6
Bret Hart – 5
HBK – 4
Flair – 2 (Yes the 16 time champion only won 2 of them with the WWE)
And let’s compare that to the current and recent main eventers over the past few years
Triple H - 13
Cena – 12
Edge - 11
Orton - 9
Batista – 6
CM Punk – 5
I admit there’s a 101 different arguments that can be put forward like HBK was out for 4 years, if Flair hadn’t moved to WCW, and of course the what if Stone Cold and The Rock had continued in WWE but the facts are clear that the WWE are more liberal with the main titles than they were in previous eras. Granted Trips is coming to the end of his run so maybe one more if he’s lucky but the likes of Cena and Orton if they remain healthy have more than a decade left so we could be talking title counts in their 20’s. Again I pose the question, does this devalue the title?
Viewing styles could be to blame. The business is less reluctant to give someone a long run with a title as it generates such criticism and we long for continual shake ups to the status quo. Look at the lengthy runs by Cena, HHH and The Wrestling God himself JBL, all were heavily condemned by the IWC for holding back talent and not giving other people a chance to shine. On the flip side when the likes of Del Rio, Miz and Bryan get a title the same people scream for them to lose it pronto.
To give a title reign kudos, it has to have some longevity to it in fact at the moment of the 4 main WWE titles only the US title is being poorly booked at the moment. Both RAW and SD champions have held the titles for getting on for 4 months now which is a good healthy run and I actually expect both to retain at Mania. The real ‘title winner’ at the moment is Cody Rhodes. Being allowed to retain the title since August last year has enabled him to grow in stature and has brought respect and value back to the IC title. Making a champion hard to beat not only elevates the holder but also the competitor who finally beats them for the title.
So my conclusion is that a title is worth everything it used to be, it’s still a reward for had work and a recognition of ability to represent and promote the business positively But exciting and headline stealing as title changes may be, the longer the reign the bigger the final payoff for both the business and the wrestler.
As usual, all comments counter opinions and abuse welcome.
Also feel free to follow me on Twitter @dmayerl