WWE Can Return Prestige and Meaning to Each of its Titles
by, 05-31-2012 at 04:38 AM (5124 Views)
I am here to present you with a very very original idea. WWE's title belts mean almost nothing anymore! I'll give you time to let that completely and totally unique idea sink in.
Kidding, of course. Many people have realized the same thing and have talked about it in passing in blogs and comments so it got me thinking of ideas how WWE can restore the luster to each and every one of those shiny golden belts.
Disclaimer: To some of this you should respond with,"Well, no crap everyone knows that," but hopefully certain ideas come off as new.
So let's get started!
The women's division in WWE is a complete mess. It's so frustrating to think how talented many of the women in wrestling are today or tuning in to TNA to see former WWE employees Mickie James, Gail Kim, Winter (Katie Lea) and Tara (Victoria) putting on highly entertaining matches, sometimes even two a show, and then watch other highly talented women in WWE get TWO minutes for a match TWO more minutes to further a storyline and boom that's it for the show.
How do you expect the Divas championship to mean anything??
Two easy fixes for this one.
1. Give the women more time! I don't want to keep going back to TNA but they have shown that women's matches can be just as good as men's matches without needing some kind of sexy gimmick to fuel interest and that they can keep or even increase ratings.
2. Storyline. The most common error wrestling companies make with women's wrestling is they don't give us reasons why the women feud. The challenger wanting to win the championship is the blandest form of storytelling. The WWE has been inconsistent with this one but usually they come up with some sexist story for the gals. "I'm hotter than you so I deserve the title." "You shouldn't have been around my man so I want to fight you."
There's plenty of ground to cover. Have the women refuse to wrestle doing a promo together over equal rights treatment or interfere in men's matches until they get kicked out of Raw or even sent to prison. That leads into some kind of feud with Johnny Ace's women enforcers like a Beth Phoenix or Eve Torres. Have Kharma get into feuds with someone who keeps calling her fat and ugly and that she doesn't fit the role of what a Diva means. Then, rather than making her squash them like an angry heel make her question herself causing her to lose some matches and after some months of this she finds how to be happy with just how she is and comes out with a confident and even slightly self centered gimmick (think like a female spin on Mark Henry's sexual chocolate but less about sex). It would be completely different and unexpected while reflecting real life issues like bullying.
Tag Team Championship
This is one I know the WWE is trying hard to work on but I feel they are overlooking a couple big problems that they unintentionally created for themselves. Shame because the tag team division used to be so deep.
1. Branded Tag Teams-This is the one they know about and are trying to change...I think. Think about the best tag teams you remember. I come up with names like The Steiner Brothers, Hardy Boys, Dudley Boyz, Edge and Christian, New Age Outlaws, Legion of Doom (Road Warriors), The Hart Foundation, Harlem Heat, Motor City Machine Guns, and there's plenty of other great ones which I was too young or not alive to remember. Look at the teams closer. Almost all of them have a connection whether they have the same clothing like Legion of Doom and the New Age Outlaws or are relatives like the Steiners or Hart Foundation or like the Motor City Machine Guns share a common hometown.
Why this works I have no idea but maybe it helps fans recognize hey these guys wear the same clothes they must be on the same team! WWE at some point got into the very bad habit of pairing together random competitors and pushing them as a tag team. WWE is starting to rebuild the division (and therefore the title) with teams like the Uso's or Primo and Epico but they are a long way away right now.
2. Established Tag Teams are Better than Singles Competitors Who Form a Tag Team-WWE is very guilty of violating this and putting over the singles competitors. If you want to make the tag team titles mean something treat tag team wrestling like a special skill and have the announcers sell that fact, which was something I remember WCW being very good at getting across. Say stuff like "Oh these men know each other so well they have an instinct of where the other is going to be at all times" and compare it to new teams inexperience together. John Cena and Randy Orton may be great singles competitors but if they ever team up they shouldn't be able to beat a team like the Uso's. The psychology of the matches should also play up that fact with the established tag teams using unique double team moves and the typical singles competitor guys looking a little more lost in the ring or getting into more trouble by not tagging. Make it extremely rare that a tag team loses to guys like this. If you want the titles to have prestige make it seem like something not everyone can accomplish.
Intercontinental Championship/United States Championship
I am lumping these in together because to me they are equalish titles and have the same problems and possible solutions.
1. Demote one of the Belts or Combine the Titles-This is tough because it's really difficult to not bury a title when you are trying to establish a clearer hierarchy of belts but one of these needs to be better than the other and the WWE needs to decide or one of them needs to go. You should never have two belts that mean exactly the same thing. I associate the U.S. title with WCW more than WWE and so I'd go with the Intercontinental belt as the number two belt in the company.
2. Give the IC Title Holder an Auto WWE Title Shot if they Hold it Long Enough-If you are going to keep both belts around make having them be something special. Something like if you hold the Intercontinental title for more than 100 days you automatically get a WWE Title shot. This is a good way to put over the WWE title while at the same time giving the Intercontinental belt more meaning. It also creates some interest in the length of a title reign and drama with matches like at a PPV when a guy has held the IC title for 95 days and needs to hold out for a week to get his WWE title shot. It's not like that means you have to put the WWE title on him if he gets the shot but it's a good way to get a high midcarder into the main event scene or at least test the waters to see if they can handle it.
3. Do Something Different for the U.S. Title-I haven't intended to talk so much about what other companies are doing or have done in the past but TNA just brought back a great stipulation for their TV Title. It has to be defended on Impact every week. It's an excellent way for the belt to stand apart from the others and would work even better for the WWE since they can have it defended on Smackdown one week and Raw the next and switch whenever they want to. That's really the only idea I can think of at the moment.
World Heavyweight Championship
Man The Big Gold Belt is a beautiful thing to look at. I only have one fix for this one.
1. Get Rid of It!-If anyone ever bought the idea that Smackdown and Raw were two separate entities that idea has been lost for a long time. It is the dumbest idea for there to be two top belts in a company and most of the fans know and the wrestlers know that the real deal is the WWE Championship. So what is this belt? It's considered a top belt but it isn't the top belt and it has no weight minimum so it isn't a real Heavyweight title, and it isn't a secondary belt because that's the IC and U.S. titles. This has got to go if we want to bring back meaning to belts.
Ignoring the stupid design of the belt, this is the big one in WWE and possibly the one with the least amount of problems...possibly. Still, nothing is perfect so here is a suggestion or two to keep the belt's prestige in tact.
1. Give the Champion an Aura of Control-A great way to enhance what the belt means is to act like because that person won the title they are now in charge of more aspects of the company. I thought this was never better when Triple H held the belt in 2000 as the leader of the Corporation. You felt each show that they had control because they had the title in their group and that the group would be weakened if he lost it. It needs to be that way with a lot more WWE title holders. Pretend they get more control over booking matches especially if it's a heel champion booking for a face. Have some champs able to partially influence the refs to favor them instead of their opponent or able to be very picky when they want to defend their title in the month.
2. Long Uninterrupted Reigns-Not EVERY reign can be this way but man is there some garbage in the history of this title. Most recently, CM Punk defeats Cena for the title and "leaves the company" so they hold a tourney on Raw and crown Rey Mysterio champion 8 days later. The same night John Cena wins the title from Mysterio (less than one day title holder) and CM Punk comes back to defeat Cena AGAIN 20 days later at Summerslam to have rightful claim of the title where Alberto Del Rio instantly becomes the champion by cashing in his Money in the Bank contract then in 35 days loses the belt to John Cena who holds the title for only 14 days before losing it back to Del Rio. What. A. Mess.
Long reigns are good for the stability of the belt and pushing a guy. It's okay to have short reigns once in a while to keep the fans guessing but do not make that the norm especially if it's like the mess in the paragraph above.
Final General Ideas
1. Long reigns are good for ANY belt
2. The Cruiserweight Championship is probably a good title to bring back and a lot of people are talking about it lately. It gives some wrestlers who have no direction currently a place to go to build the division
3. If you got rid of the Heavyweight and U.S. Titles you could replace them with a new title that was like a Specialist Title where every match the champion defended the belt in has to be some kind of gimmick match-Submission match, 2 out of 3 Falls match, No DQ match, I Quit Match, Street Fight, Steel Cage match, Ladder match, Tables match, Chairs match, Falls Count Anywhere match, etc etc. It'd be defended only once a month to keep those kinds of matches fresh but it would make that title interesting. Of course, there's always the Hardcore or European championships too but I can't see either of those coming back anytime soon.
4. Announcers have the important job of hyping up the belt and making it seem like a very big deal. Some of that happens now but it's nowhere near where it should be. They need to talk about getting into the WWE Hall of Fame one day and how the person they are talking about will be judged on how long and how many times they held the title.
So that's my suggestions thanks for reading let me know what you think and tell me what you would do for the titles. Thanks!