What does a title mean?
By Ryan Wilson
A title is a championship; it is something you can hold in your hands with the right of being called the champion. Whether the title a country festival burger eating competition, or in the case of WWE; is one of the championship belts. A title is looked upon by either little, or loads as a goal or achievement.
For a while now in WWE there have been 5 championships:
-The WWE championship (recently called the Undisputed championship)
-The World Heavyweight championship
-The United States championship
-The Intercontinental championship
-The Divas championship.
My primary focus is going to be on one championship: the US title, because this championships USED to mean something, and when I say USED to mean something I really do mean it.
The United States Championship
I can’t even begin to explain how much I love this belt, I love the look off it, and I love the history of it. Let’s start from the beginning and work our way up. When NWA was one of the top wrestling promotions in the United States, they formed a championship called NWA United States Heavyweight Championship in 1975. The first champion to hold this title was one of the biggest names in this industry; Harley Race. Fast forward some years and now we’re at 1986 when Jim Crockett took control of the NWA World Heavyweight championship; this is when the U.S title went from being the top championship in the business to playing second fiddle behind the World Heavyweight title. In 1988 Ted Turner came in and bought NWA and it was renamed the infamous W-C-W; World Championship Wrestling, the U.S title was still second base, it was renamed WCW United States Heavyweight Championship, not much of a change, just a change of company. Fast forward again, here we are! 2001 and Vincent Kennedy McMahon has successfully purchased WCW and all its belongings, of which were the championship belts. The Invasion storyline came to light and the WCW United States title was included; there was going to be a unification of the WWF Intercontinental title and the WCW United States title. Edge defeated Test and won the Intercontinental title allowing Vince and his ego to drop the U.S title like a bag of sour sh*t. Fast forward 2 years, and Stephanie McMahon brought back the title, after this point it was kept as a secondary belt, and has been ever since. To me, all that I’ve said about the U.S title seems like a whole lot of history and I barely skimmed the surface. Great title holders like Harley Race, Bret Hart, Lex Luger, Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Jimmy Snuka, Sgt. Slaughter and the name now never mentioned in WWE; Chris Benoit have all held this title, even more top stars like Stone Cold, Edge, John Cena and my personal favourite Sheamus have held it. All these names must say that this title is somewhat prestigious, so why is WWE refusing to give it the full attention it deserves?
We’re 4 days removed from SummerSlam and did we see anything of the United States title? Not even a peep! Want to know why? Because the champion Dolph Ziggler went up against Alex Riley in a DARK match. The United States title that was once the biggest title in this industry is not even worthy of making the match card of a PPV. Which leaves me to question; why start a feud between two guys if it isn’t going to be on live TV at a PPV? Isn’t this the point of WWE? A feud leads to a match at the next PPV? I get that John Morrison and R-Truth want a fight, I get that Rey wants to get back at The Miz, and I get that Kofi and Del Rio have something brewing, but REALLY I’d rather see a U.S title match than some 6-man tag match thrown together at the last minute. I want matches that mean something, something to fight over. I want two or more guys to fight over one title, because it’s all about the right to call yourself a champion, not the right to call yourself 1/3 of a winning team in a 6-man tag. A title is prestigious, a 6-man tag isn’t. Dolph and Alex were on RAW before SummerSlam verbally insulting each other so it would have made sense for them to have a match at SummerSlam, and I’m not talking about a dark match! I’d like to see the days where the title meant that much that two men where having best-of-five series to determine the champion. Right now, the U.S belt is only good for short rivalries that finish on RAW, do we like title matches on RAW? Yeah, but we love them that much more when there’s a decent feud and build up to a title match at the next PPV. I know that there are occasions where the U.S title makes the PPV match card, let’s take a look at the PPVs this year that we HAVE seen a U.S title match:
-Extreme Rules -Tables match between Sheamus and Kofi Kingston. Let’s face it; the only point in this match was to keep the U.S title on RAW seeing as the champion Sheamus had been drafted to SmackDown.
-Capitol Punishment -Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston. New champion crowned.
Two small PPVs this year so far.
Royal Rumble -nope.
Elimination Chamber -dark match.
WRESTLEMANIA -dark match.
Over The Limit -nope.
Money In The Bank -nope.
I guess what annoys me the most is that this belt that was once held in such regard as being the biggest accolade in the industry is nothing more than a title that has no real meaning other than being a toy tossed around on RAW. The PPV that REALLY should have had a U.S title match was WrestleMania; the biggest event in sports entertainment doesn’t even have all its titles on the line that night (side note: it didn’t have a Divas or Intercontinental either!). There are four main PPVs throughout the calendar year; Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Survivor Series and so far the U.S title hasn’t made the match card on three of those PPVs.
Now what happened to titles actually meaning something?