Agreeing with @SESAfro here.
The title is a prop, but its also recognition. It's the top of the mountatin in the industry. You mention the journey, well the WWE Title is the destination. Don't get me wrong, I understand it has been devalued at times over the years, and there have been COUNTLESS awesome feuds that didn't involve a strap. BUT, I imagine that 99% of those strapless feuds involved characters who had held important titles, thus establishing themselves as people we should really care about, and view as legitimate. That's what a title is, validation, legitimacy.
Also, pushing for your favorite wrestler to win the title, is exactly like cheering for a team you love. The avid fans, like us, follow a guy - say Dolph - from the ground up. You watch him evolve from gimmick to gimmick, from jobber to mid-card, from mid-card to main event. You see as he grows on the mic, introduces new moves, new managers, new style, new swagger. Dolph Ziggler is just the OKC Thunder. You watched them grow from the Seattle Supersonics, a struggling franchise. They drafted new players, changed cities, got new coaches, and gradually - year to year- they become contenders. And OKC, just like Dolph, will always be remembered as VERY ENTERTAINING, VERY awesome at what they do - but until they WIN that championship, they won't be considered among the greats. Scripted or not, as long as you are invested in something, you want to see it reach the pinnacle of its sport/industry. That's what the title is.