World Heavyweight Championships: Are They Now Meaningless?

'Rowdy' Ross RutherfordSenior Analyst IJuly 21, 2010

This topic has been widely discussed for years here on the Bleacher Report and all over the Internet by all sorts of wrestling journalists.

They feel that due to the excessive title changes that happen in today's world of professional wrestling, World Championships are becoming less valuable and therefore they care less about the title.

I can agree, but often in this day and age we see frequent title changes in the WWE, TNA, and elsewhere to keep the viewer interested.

The American pro wrestling companies seem to think that if we get a new champion every few months that we will stay interested in the product.

They also seem to think it makes their content feel "fresh" when they crown a new World Champion every 8 to 12 weeks.

I suppose in some cases it works. This is not a new concept as the rapid transferring of championships has been around since the "Attitude Era."

It must be doing something for them. All of the wrestling companies tried to do this as an effort to keep people watching and sway the viewership in their favor.

Of course I am referring to the Monday Night Wars.

Even Paul Heyman's ECW was guilty of throwing the ECW World Championship from one wrestler to another within a span of several weeks or even the same day.

The issue is that I sometimes begin to stop caring about the World Championships because after someone wins a world title I get the thought in my head that "oh well they will just take the title off him in two months before he can do anything worthwhile with his reign."

Case in point; Jack Swagger.

Okay so WWE put their World Heavyweight Championship on Swagger five days after Wrestlemania 26 and everyone shit their pants.

I on the other hand could not get excited about his Championship win as I knew that WWE would take the title off him before he could do anything with his title reign. I was right, by the way.

This is why the title means nothing. If the WWE can't get me to care about a new World Heavyweight Champion because the people who write for them take the title off a champion every two months because they think that keeps the people watching from changing the channel, then how do they intend to make new stars and establish people as credible wrestling champions?

CM Punk. He is a decent wrestler and a fantastic character on Smackdown, right? I would say yes, but he is a horrible World Champion in my opinion. It isn’t really his fault, because his longest title reign was barely three months long.

Guys like Triple H and Batista were given nearly yearlong title reigns several years ago and these reigns are often remembered because the two of them got plenty of time to become credible World Champions and the fans actually cared if they won or lost.

However, now fewer people seem to care if a wrestler wins or loses a company’s World Championship. So while playing “hot potato” with the Championship may keep some people interested, a majority of the wrestling fans who respect sports entertainment will stop caring about title changes, the company's World Champions, and the product overall.

Being a fan for almost my entire life, I know this has been a problem for a long time and many feel it is one of those things that should just be accepted and that I should overlook it.

Some say it is “part of the business.” Why? I tend to watch more wrestling when someone has held the title for a long time. That has always been the way I am.

I remember when Batista was the World Heavyweight Champion on Smackdown in 2005. I never missed an episode during his nearly nine-month title reign.

While holding the title for a long time does not always make a good champion, it does tend to keep me more interested in the product.

This is mainly because it builds my suspense.

After someone has had the title for a year are so, or just several months, I become very interested in seeing who the next champion will be, but this only after a great deal of time has passed and the Champion has beaten a dozen or so challengers.

The last time I remember this happening was 2007 when John Cena was WWE Champion for over a year. Unfortunately he had to surrender the title after suffering an injury.

So my point is that when a wrestling company has the guts to give someone a long title reign, people tend to care more about title matches and the champion as a whole.

When I say care, I mean they give the champion a strong reaction, whether it is good or bad.

In the heyday of Pro Wrestling, World Champions would reign for years, not months. I don’t expect this to ever happen again; however, I would like to see champions reign for more than two to three months, which has become the “norm” here recently in WWE.

All in all, I find myself not caring about World Champions because wrestling companies, and I am referring to WWE mostly (mainly because they are the most prominent wrestling company in the world right now), don’t put time and effort into making the champion credible and putting them "over."

They only seem to be interested in keeping the viewer interested with title changes, when in reality, they are making their titles worthless and becoming predictable as they try desperately to be “unpredictable.”

I have not been surprised or shocked that a title reign ended in a matter of weeks in a very long time.

This is becoming a big problem as the next generation is having trouble becoming credible champions while all of the former credible champions begin to retire. Examples include Jack Swagger, Sheamus, CM Punk, and even Jeff Hardy.

So tell me what you think in the comment section.

Do you think that the fact that the World Championships change hands so frequently is making them worthless?

Do you find yourself not caring about the titles like I do?

Be sure to let me know your thoughts, fellow writers, and, as always, thanks for reading.