How to Regain a Loyal Fan
by, 04-18-2012 at 10:59 PM (2766 Views)
2) Bring back HONOR to my championships.
As I sit here and think about how to bring honor to my championships, all I can think of is 18 seconds. The World Heavyweight Championship match at this year’s WrestleMania. This very match was the OPENING match for WM 29. Forget the story lines that the writers were concerned about. Forget creating a sense of automatic investment into the Pay per View. This was an Insult. Flat out; intended or not intended. They accomplished their desired results, but in a negative way at the expense of two sound superstars and the #2 title. The only plus is that it did not damage Danielson, but rather made fans more passionate to show how much they appreciate him and his character. Honestly to me, this “record breaking” idea was on the same level as the David Arquette incident in my eyes. Technically it should be worse due to the fact that it opened the “Grand Daddy of them all”, but at least Sheamus is a wrestler and they didn’t give the title to Machine Gun Kelly or something.
So much has gone into the destruction of what championships once meant. Title switches almost quarter or Bi-annually like clockwork. If you get longer than 180 days, it is probably because they forgot you had the belt in the first place. Let’s look at the current format of how championships rank in the ‘E Universe’, shall we?
WWE Championship is the top belt, but it looks hideous. Seriously, the spinner worked when Edge held it and turned it sideways to reflect the “E”. It worked with Miz at the top and the W was upside down. With Punk holding the title; it looks stupid. Yes WWE, your top title looks almost as bad as the one TNA had for Jeff Hardy not too long ago. TNA fixed this issue in less than 2 years of its existence… Your moronic looking belt has looked inane for how long now?
World Heavyweight Championship is second best… Oh wait, 18 seconds plus David Arquette equals less value than the HardCore Championship. No I am not knocking the HardCore division. I loved watching the matches because the idea of titles changing at any given moment in the show was kind of fun to me. However, Raven held the belt 27 times, Crash Holly 22 times, Stevie Richards 21 times, Bradshaw 17 times, Shawn Stasiak 15 times, Tommy Dreamer 14 times, Bubba Ray 10 times… Come on now class; let’s proceed to the next topic.
So what’s next? I would have to say the InterContinental Title since Rhodes held it for several months and defended it all of 4 times. Plus, it is Raws second belt and we ALL know Raw is better than SmackDown! Yes, that was a Company Man statement. With seriousness, I love the IC belt. So many greats have held it. But those greats were being focused on when they had the belt. Now, we see this belt as more of a prop someone carries to the ring, rather than the strap that signifies greatness.
Next, my personal favorite and the most undervalued belt on the roster. This belt is the very same belt that Ric Flair used in order to get “Big Gold”; The United States Championship. Truth be told, I love Santino. His comedy makes me laugh every time I see him… But he is not the one to bring prestige back to the belt. Dolph Ziggler, Tyson Kidd, Jack Swagger, Miz, Ryder, Alex Riley, Wade FRIGGIN Barrett. Don’t get me wrong, I think Santino plays an important role in the Mid Card title picture. Everyone loves the underdog. Added bonus is that the guy knows how to make you feel for his character, which I love about him. But credibility doesn’t come from the Class Clown.
Now it’s time for the pathetic excuse of World Tag Team Championship Belts. Epico & Primo… Man do I feel bad for these two. There is so much potential to be an awesome heel tag team for them. But without any “competition” the talent and value of these two, and the belts is completely lost. With a roster full of so much talent, the fact that these guys are not being paired together to formulate great tags is ridiculous. We all know that HBK started with the Rockers; Bret Hart with the Foundation. But not all tag teams are a birth to only one great singles wrestler. The Hollywood Blondes were comprised of two men who made names for themselves after their team was abused. The Blue Bloods showed us two really special heels that went on to bigger and better. Then for the die hard, there are teams like Axe & Smash, Hawk & Animal, Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson who transcended the need to be a singles wrestler. They were tag wrestlers who are still recognizable without the need to win the “top belt” because wearing the tag belts was an honor in itself.
So if those are but a few minor issues I have with the championships, the question is as follows; How do we return strength, honor, and prestige to these belts? I hate to point this out to the “E Universe” but TNA is already doing it with their titles. Example; X Division. When the outlandish angle came about to “Kill the X Division”, I rolled my eyes and said, “That’s smart… Kill what makes you live.” They proceeded to carry and drag and undermine everything that AJ, Jerry Lynn, LowKi, Daniels, Sabin… Everything these pure talents did to bring this company to national attention was being treated as a female freshman in college after their first Frat Party. This in essence was the equivalent of the X Championship having to suffer through the morning after “Walk of Shame.”
Abyss carried the belt as best he could, but I feel as if you could see in his eyes that even he knew it was wrong. The angle could have been redeemed had AJ been the one to retake the belt, but instead we were left with a “guru” whose poems were the best thing about the angle as a whole… But we all knew Kendrick wasn’t the savior of the X Division. Not ripping on Spanky’s talent, but he was no longer Spanky. He was the chewed up and spit out remains that the “E” left and we were given a “redemption” of the X Division that didn’t seem credible.
At last, TNA ran an angle to bring in a new X star. We saw Jack Evans return and the entire spectacle that is his insane offense. Kid Kash made his return to Impact Television looking far too top heavy in comparison to what I remember. Shima Xion… No wait, Zema Ion was introduced with mixed reviews from me. But the highlight was seeing Austin Aries back. You finally have back a man that was the definition of the X Division Champion. Without hesitation, Kendrick was overthrown… Hail SABIN! Wait, I mean Aries!
What is it that brought prestige back to the title? Giving it to a guy who can carry the belt, should have the belt, and not taking it off the man the moment that Zema or Jesse Sorensen showed promise. Letting the guy be himself and own his character. Now, allow the man time in the ring to outshine all others on the card, including Bobby Roode at times. Aries’ reign is what was needed to give that belt back what the fans had felt it lost; Credibility.
This is why the Honor has remained in the promotion Ring of Honor. There has seldom been an instance in which the newly crowned champion was considered “unbelievable”. Even in the early days of the X, the belt was being passed around A LOT. However, the majority of these guys who got the belt were credible as wrestlers. Yes, there were a few (take Alex Shelley for example) who had me questioning at first, but once I saw the guys truly show their overall skill set, rarely was I let down. The essence of credibility in a champion is that he must be believable. The acceptable views of a fan that garner such plausibility are that the wrestler is deserving of the title due to three key things; His in ring work, his ability to get people to invest into his character (mic work), or having possessed longevity in the business. These things are what qualify a superstar as being worth to hold these titles. They might not have to possess all three at once, but they must shine in one of the three and be solid in another.
As always, feel free to comment and I will reply as I can. If your opinion differs, feel free to make your valid points as I always enjoy hearing them. If you feel like you’ve missed out on the direction of this blog, check out the previous blog archives and catch up a bit on where my opinions are based from and what the goal of this series truly is; How to regain loyal fans.