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October 7, 2009

Looking at the frequent world title changes in WWE

With the WWE and world heavyweight titles both changing hands at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view Sunday night, the trend of having world champions in WWE whose reigns are measured in weeks not months continued.

John Cena had only been WWE champion for three weeks before dropping the title to Randy Orton, while CM Punk had held the world heavyweight title for six weeks – almost an eternity by today’s standards – when he lost to The Undertaker.

WWE really needs to slow things down a bit. So far in 2009, the world heavyweight title has changed hands eight times, while the WWE title has changed hands seven. No one has had a reign last more than three months. To give that some perspective, during WWE’s first 21 years in existence (1963-1984), the title changed hands just nine times.

I understand that it’s a different era now and the days of Bruno Sammartino defending the title for more than seven and a half years straight are over. And I’m not suggesting that something like that would work today. However, I do think world title programs would mean a lot more if the champion held the belt for six months to a year, maybe even two years.

It’s true that the WWE title changed hands a lot during the Attitude Era (12 times in 1999), but the company was just so hot because it was pushing the envelope and had stars such as Steve Austin, The Rock, Mankind, The Undertaker and Triple H – as well as the McMahons – that the frequent title changes did not take away from the product. Those days are over, too.

It stands to reason that if you establish a credible champion who wracks up a number of successful title defenses, then it becomes a big deal when he is dethroned. Wins and losses and titles become more meaningful, thus creating more interest and, theoretically, more pay-per-view buys. When you just keep trading the titles back and forth every few weeks, fans become numb to it. It’s like, “Hey, so-and-so just won the belt, but who really cares? He’ll probably lose it at the next pay-per-view and then get it back again at the one after that. Then the next challenger in line will win it from him.”

These days it seems as if every challenger involved in a world title program ends up winning the championship. To me, the title became more prestigious during Cena’s 13-month title reign in 2006-2007,when he turned back challenges from Shawn Michaels, Umaga, The Great Khali, Bobby Lashley and, in a five-way match, Booker T. and Mick Foley.

Why not give guys such as MVP, Mark Henry, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, John Morrison, R-Truth, Mike Knox and Matt Hardy title shots on pay-per-view? If booked the right way, fans could be convinced that they at least have a chance, and everyone likes to root for the underdog. In the case of potential future champions such as Swagger and Morrison, a good showing in a world title program would elevate them and help prepare them for a title run if and when they’re ready for it.

Another drawback to all the quickie title reigns is that it becomes impossible to build anticipation for a major showdown between an established champion and the guy who is looked at as the potential heir apparent. Here’s how it works: Once you create a buzz around the challenger, you set up roadblocks to keep him away from the champion for as long as possible. When the fans are really dying to see it, you wait a little longer – and then you finally give it to them.

Remember when WCW teased Hulk Hogan versus Sting for a whole year before finally pulling the trigger? Guess what? It resulted in the biggest buy rate in company history. It seems that the decision makers in WWE lack the patience to execute anything like that.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 1:38 AM | | Comments (52)


True as fact!

Personally, I am a fan of "The Champ" John Cena but not a fan of John Cena. I don't think his character is strong enough to develop a meaningful feud without defending the championship (just look at his matches with Big Show and The Miz earlier this year). But the same could have been said of Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold until after they held the championship belt for a number of years (not a number of times), except WWE didn't try it until each man was fully established and fully developed.

I've always said WWE should alternate which title is on the line at pay-per-view events to leave the treat of having both major championships defended at WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Royal Rumble, and Survivor Series at most. But your idea of giving a mid-carder such a "golden opportunity" makes as much sense if it were done on alternating months.

I think one of the problems is that the WWE does not seem to have any faith in their heels to draw the PG rated crowd. We all know the best workers in the business today are the heels (Edge, Jericho, Orton, Punk) and in another era, the promotion would have kept the title on them for a long duration. But in this PG rated climate, I think the WWE feels that their younger audience needs to see their clean cut babyface heroes winning the titles back often or they might lose interest.

completeley right

I have to disagree with some of your coments Kev. That long title reign of Cena's turned a lot of the fans against him because they got bored with his long title reign. I agree that the title changing hands every 3 weeks is silly but I reckon that 6 months is long enough for somebody to hold the title .Back in the 60s and 70s and even in to the 80s wrestling was still been touted as real and that's why they were able to get away with long title reigns, where the majority of fans today know that it is not and that is why there is a lot more pressure to share the titles around a bit more.

Totally agree Kev - the problem is that WWE is car crash TV and they feel the need to rush through feuds and seem to think that changing titles is the way to keep the excitement.
For example, the Hardy feud could have been awesome if they had slowburned it over months and months, kept them apart, built a really decent storyline and had one big blow off match. But they won't, because they want to keep the attention of the casual viewer more than actual wrestling fans.

The last decent title feud (in terms of building up a challenger) was when Jeff Hardy kept losing to HHH but he got over and over so that when he did win, it was a big deal.

Having said that, I dont think I would have cared anymore about Orton/Cena if the title hadn't been changing hands every week...

Back in the 70's and 80's champions would lose their belts regularly. house shows. They would win it back at some point during a tour. ..At a non televised house show. They would work around the tv tapings to do this. The magazines kayfabed this phenomenon most of the time. (some of Flairs title changes are the exception )
Now the situation is reversed. The media often knows/speculates about a hire or fire / title gain or loss practically before the participants do. When Tripple H and John Cena held the title for multiple months the media and the bloggers screamed bloody murder about them. They were unworthy. The pen in the form of a keyboard is a powerful thing. The wrestling media is as destructive as the frequent title changes it demands. The loss of kayfabe should be morned not the damage of the aftershocks such as title changes and last minute swerve rewriting because someone murdered the surprise by blabbing to outsiders. Part of the art was the mystery. Part of the mystery is te code of silence.

I dont understand why the WWE isnt more patient without any real competition. This isnt 1998 so whats the rush?

I really hope at next years Wrestlemania that we see someone like John Morrison win the big one. He's the one who seems closest of all the up and comers to finally win his first world title and they shouldny just waste it on a non WM PPV like they did last year with Jeff Hardy.

And I agree it doesnt hurt to just feed guys like MVP Mark Henry Kofi Kingston and such for next few months and give them a rub while building Orton's cred back up and then build it up towards Mania where when hes finally beaten by whomever its a big deal. I agree with you 100%!

"Remember when WCW teased Hulk Hogan versus Sting for a whole year before finally pulling the trigger? Guess what? It resulted in the biggest buy rate in company history. It seems that the decision makers in WWE lack the patience to execute anything like that"

I remember those days fondly and miss them... I also miss having comcast where I was recording all the Monday Night War episodes..ah the good ol' days

First off lemme tell you that since ive stumbled on to this blogg 3 months ago ive been hooked thank you so much for your hard work...... i would love to see someone hold the title for longer than 3 months but in todays prozac world and with everyone having adhd it wont happen and whos gonna hold it for that long hopefully not John Cena the only reason hes still around women and children love him... orton is good but a heel isnt going to continue to hold it for too long because no one wants to watch someone they hate always win but hes the best heel in the business heads and shoulders above the rest ... cm punk is a great heel and should not switch to a face again as a face hes a low to mid card as a heel hes a main eventer but id hate him always being a champ ... baustista is awful on the mic and always hurt he could never hold it ... undertaker is played out but hes one of the few who hasnt changed his gimmick which is cool but its tired now ... triple H hes entertaining but being married to the boss's daughter hes always gonna be looked at as the getting special treatment which is probally fair to say ... hbk im as big a show stopper mark as ne but we know hes not gonna get a huge push ... i dont feel like there is anyone that they can hang the belt on that has potential maybe when they stop punishing christen for leaving and put him on a real show i think hed be good or if edge comes back and they have him do a face push thanks for letting me say my opinion kevin oh and im not a baltimore fan unless they are playing the steelers man i hate the steelers

Maybe, those decision makers just haven't heard of Ring Posts... yet. Hopefully, they do in the very near future.

Couple of thoughts: 1. There are too damn many PPVs. Back in the day, a year-long feud would cross over 4, now it's like 13. They can't have the same challenger lose every 3 weeks and still be credible. 2. After the Attitude Era, I guess people got used to the short reigns. No matter how much people complain about the short reigns now, think about the last two long ones. John Cena, who was getting booed out of every arena by the time it was over because everyone had "Cena 'nough". And he was your top babyface at the time, not good. The other was Triple H, and how many times did you hear "oh Triple H just wants to keep the belt forever, he's abusing his power, blah blah blah". But bottom line, they need fewer PPVs. Maybe go back to the brand-exclusive ones, but make them 2 hours long and a little cheaper.

Kev, great points about the number of title changes, but i was wondering when was the last time the time titles changed hands on their respective programs? And i am not counting MITB- That was a great hook during the Attitude ERA for BOTH promotions. See Tony Schiavone's infamous Mick Foley spoiler.

I agree 110% they need to last longer and build a match for a while just like hogan sting. Personally I think A Cena/HHH feud would work!!!

Ric Flair held the NWA title for the better part of the 80's. From '82 til when he left, with the title, to the WWE.

I like that, why not strap it on somebody for the better part of a decade and let other people win it every once in a while to elevate them. ala, Dusty, Steamboat, Sting, Windham...

oh wait, that would never work, todays fickle, "moth to flame" viewers, couldn't handle that. They'd just switch over to Lost or something...

one other reason, even a 2 year title reign wouldn't really work. who, of the top tier stars, was healthy for even a year? Orton is the only seemingly constant throughout. Batista, HHH, Edge, even Cena have all had times on the shelf.

While I would LOVE a decently long title reign from somebody, Cena & Orton are the logical choices. I just don't see it happening these days...

I completely agreeing with your thoughts at the end. WWE and TNA are too quick to pull the trigger on a lot of things these days.

You've mentioned it before, the Mick Foley/Abyss thing is just so overly rushed, it's not even fun.

I think ROH is the best in this regard. Look at what they have done with Tyler Black. He was in the title picture, but then found himself getting sidetracked by the fallout of Age of the Fall and a personal mission to beat Bryan Danielson. They Austin Aries "injured" him and took him out of action (really a neck injury). Now that's he back, ROH is booking him against Aries' allies making him earn his retribution against the champ.

Great post, I think this is the problem with all titles, as a kid at points I pretended I was the Intercontinental Champ instead of the world title because that too was coveted and meant a lot (WWF Dork). The IC belt used to be a huge part of every show. Rock HHH feud for the IC title was unreal because it had two main event guys on the cusp fighting for a title, I looked forward to the ladder match at "SummerFest" in the late 90s more than the Taker Austin main event match. I think the weakness of the world titles is directly related to how they treat the IC belt. We should have seen a Cena/Orton IC run when they were young and getting to be main eventers, but instead, they just keep breaking the "youngest world champion" record with any star that they think could have an impact, put the belt on them and they get stale.

The same should go for all belts...the IC & US Belts change almost as often. Why was it ok back in the day when certain people never had a belt? Some of the best never had ANY gold...Jake Roberts, Superfly Snuka, The Million Dollar Man...and even the most popular guys never had gold, like Hacksaw Jim Duggan and The Rockers. Hell, even Piper never had gold until very late in his WWF career. I hate when they give someone the belt just to give them a push...Carlito got it in his first match, Kofi got gold way too soon...even Morrison I believe got gold too soon. There are no longer any fueds to build up guys, it is always "Give them a belt" mentality...and I hate it. I watch old Superstars and Raws...and I long for those days...

Kev you know those days are over thats why i won't put stock in when HHH takes flair record next year and is also the reason why it will probably never go back to the way things use to be.

Has there been any word on the internet about Edge's rehab from injury? When he went out for surgery, I guess January was the guesstimated time frame for his return?

RESPONSE FROM KE: Haven't heard any updates.

Kevin, this is your blog post of the year. The WWE has become totally boring with these ridiculous amount of title changes. I can't even watch RAW and Smackdown anymore because those shows lack drama and fail to build up anticipation. It is the handling of the titles.
I can easily rattle off all of the WWE title changes in the 80s, but have a hard time remembering the heavyweight title changes this year -- or even this month.
That's because title changes before the mid-90s were significant -- even historic -- events.
And a belt hardly -- if ever -- changes hands anymore at a house show anymore. Why bother even attending. Nothing significant is going to happen.
This upcoming PPV will be a disaster in terms of buy rates. Who wants to watch Cena and Orton wrestle again? We have received a decades worth of title changes just between these two. (My pick is that Orton wins, Cena moves to Smackdown and starts building toward a Cena-Undertaker match at Wrestlemania. Even with that possibility, I'm not interested at all).
If Cena loses, he'll be on RAW as frequently as he is now. Don't get me started on the constant crossovers, which demonstrate the shortsighted nature of the WWE operation right now.
The WWE needs to recapture its discipline in handling of the titles and keeping specific wrestlers on their respective shows.
Then it will be worth watching again.

Great work Kevin. Instead of having Cena go on a long title run they should keep the belt on Orton for like 2 to 3 years years and have baby face after baby face challenge him but lose. And while this happening have Cena or someone like Jack Swagger or MVP move to Smackdown and never quite get to the title. Orton will be getting so much heat because he is a really good heel and because every other title defense he cheats to win that people will be chomping at the bit for him to lose.

Immediately after wrestlemania ends have the new baby face come in and attack orton after another cheap win and have them fued for a year and then at wrestlemania have the baby face win clean. As soon as they put the glory of the world title back on the world title they will have easier time getting over new guys. The 'oh hey here is a muscular guy who has limited ring ability with supposedly good mic skill! Lets give him the title!' isn't working.

Maybe the idea of a "title program" is itself, flawed. Title matches would mean more if the challenger would have go to the back of the line should he lose, and work his way back up through the midcard. Also, a dethroned champion should get no more than one rematch. Of course, I can think of two reasons why this format won't see the light of day: 1) frequent pay-per-veiws; 2) the philosophy of Monday Night Raw.

"Why not give guys such as MVP, Mark Henry, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, John Morrison, R-Truth, Mike Knox and Matt Hardy title shots on pay-per-view? If booked the right way, fans could be convinced that they at least have a chance, and everyone likes to root for the underdog"

They did this with Cena back when Lesnar was champion, and Cena was still doing the heel rapper gimmick. They had Cena come out of nowhere to win a #1 contender tournament and challenge Brock, He lost the match but the strong showing elevated his career.

When hardcore Holly came back from neck surgery they did the same thing and had him challenge Brock for the title. You knew Holly wasn't going to win but they made it appear like he could.

Giving us Morrison, Kingtson, MVP etc... in a short title program would be much more refreshing.

Great Article Kev. Btw , speaking of betls , wanted your views on the LOSER RIC FLAIR , whose NWA Title belt. The Article is here

Totally agree.
It's not just belts though.
Looking back to when I was a kid, I recall all of the stuff around Hulk and Andre, leading up to their legendary Wrestlemania match.
Wasn't it that Andre was undefeated for years in a row? You thought, "there's no way Hogan can beat Andre, he can't pick him up". Then he did both!
The background to both fighters set expectations about what was possible, then the main event broke those expectations, resulting in powerful feelings.
I agree that with so much action per week, you just can't have a guy go undefeated for years now.
But somehow, storyline and booking decisions seem too often to undermine the potential for a Hogan-Andre effect.
Example, when John Cena won the title from Orton at Breaking Point, it could have been a really awesome moment, with Cena overcoming this adversity with the dangerous Orton.
Not saying that it wasn't a great moment, but it could have been more. You just can't get over Orton, who is about my age, getting mauled by a man of about my Dad's age. Doesn't seem such an achievement. Well done Cena. You've only just barely beaten a man who was successfully pulped by a pensioner.
I love Flair, but he is as old as my dad, as I say.
It's the equivalent of Andre getting pinned by Little Beaver before the Wrestlemania 3 Main Event.
Had this happened, would we remember that match as a classic?
Still a good match, but it is the feelings evoked by such a match that is more well remembered than what actually happened between the ropes.


Awesome analyse...


good post Kev. And doesn't it make more sense to have the IC & US title be the one that can change hands more often and try to at the most have the world titles change hands only 4-5 times a year?

Also I hate seeing the tag titles wasted on Big Show & Jericho simply because WWE doesn't know what to do with them. Kind of ironic considering how much wwe wanted them to come back respectively. This is a title that if defended universally on all 3 brands could really help elevate the young stars not quite ready for the IC & US title stage.

I think what makes the frequent title changes worse today is that WWE title has changed back and forth between the same people.
They should try do what they did with Kofi Kingston holding the US title for months and then losing clean to the Miz. It makes Miz look strong in beating a guy that people couldnt beat for months and still looks good because he looked almost unbeatable in big matches.

My God Eck, I couldn't agree with you more. I loved the Attitude Era simply for the fact that there were so many guys that were capable of carrying the company which is why when guys like Chris Benoit or Eddie Guerrero finally became champion, it was a big deal.

I recall when Chris Jericho won his first WWF championship, he recieved such a huge reaction because he defeated guys like The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin to become the first ever Undisputed Champion and held it until Wrestlemania X8 where he lost to Triple H.

You are so right that WWE needs to slow down the 2 main titles changing hands so quickly. They also need to start establishing the young guys as a threat to the champion because RKO vs Cena is growing stale, even if those two guys can put on a show. It just seems that it's always the same guys challenging the champion and that gets old quick.

Kevin, How many of those titles, in recent years, have been dropped due to an injury? Did Sammartino go 7+ years without any injury, or did they just shelve him for a month or two along with the title?

RESPONSE FROM KE: That's a valid point about the injuries derailing title reigns, but that doesn't explain all of the quckie changes. Interesting question about Bruno. His reign was from 1963 to 1971, which is a few years before I started wfollowing wrestling, so I don't know if he ever took time off for injury. I do know that after he had regained the title, he took time off in 1976 because he legitimately suffered a broken neck. He kept the title, however.

I'm a fan who will buy and watch a wwe produced documentary the day it comes out, will read this blog, will WANT to follow whats going on.....but I also haven't watched raw 2 weeks in a row or bought a PPV in about 7 years because of the de-valuing of titles. It's not just the frequent changes, its the fact the champions consistently lose matches on free TV in non title matches.

This article is true.

Sadly, however, the WWE will probably keep doing the same crap. I think they have writers' meetings, and they say to themselves "WOW!!! That didn't work???? HEY!!! Let's try it again!!!!!!"

It's sad that the viewing pleasures of tens of thousands in the arenas, and millions watching around the world via television and internet, are controlled by a handful of idiots who don't know jack about the wrestling business!!!

Hey did you notice? john morrison is going to get his own dvd! IF that is not the making of a future mega star, then I don't know what is!


Could the answer to why the belt changes hands so often be as simple as WWE pays their top stars a lot more money than the others and they feel that bouncing the title around among them is required to both get their moneys worth out of them as well as to satisfy the huge egos that usually also go along with champions (even though it is sports entertainment and not a real sport where champonships really mean something)?

Both titles are probably going to change again at the next PPV. Undertaker can barely walk and Cena isn't going to Smackdown.

I think it sucks that they don't let good guys win a lot of matches I also think the wwe is trying push John Cena out. Plus i think Randy Orton is the most boring wrestler ever.

don't think it has anything to do with WWE being "PG". i think too much is blamed on being PG.

You're right, Kevin. These title programs mean nothing today. And it's not just the world titles, it's the Intercontinental, U.S. and tag titles too (remember when Randy Savage and the Honky Tonk Man had the IC belt for over a year?). But there are several key contributors to this problem. One, THERE ARE TOO MANY PPVS. Back in the 80s when wrestling was hot and PPV was just getting started, you had only a few PPVs from each company a year. A PPV MEANT something. There was anticipation, build-up. With a PPV each month now you don't have that. So part of the solution is to have the world title defended at nearly every PPV, and a lot of the time it has to change hands so PPVs feel like "can't miss" events.

Another problem is the "brand split", or so it's called. Because of this concept, WWE has two world titles and the chances of a world title changing hands doubles. If they insist on having this brand split, they should go back to how it originally started with one undisputed champion, and let him defend the title on both Raw and Smackdown. They ruined everything when they had Stephanie McMahon sign Brock Lesnar to an exclusive Smackdown deal.

But this whole world title change problem is just a result of an even bigger problem: the WWE can't make new stars and there are no new stars today that have the "it" factor like Hogan, Randy Savage, the Warrior, the Undertaker, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, The Rock, Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, etc. WWE is trying desperately to make stars by giving these new guys with no charisma the title to try to get them over and make them appear to be stars to the fans. They just don't know how to build stars like they did in the 80s. Remember how Sting got built into a star from '86 to 1990? At first he couldn't win any titles. Then like you said about building future world champions, they put him in a program with Flair where he took him to the limit without winning the world title. Then he had to struggle to win the TV title. Then after FOUR years of building him and making him a legit challenger, he beat Flair for the title in Baltimore. THAT'S how you build a star, and it's evident by Sting's popularity still today. WWE can't give MVP, Mark Henry, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, John Morrison, R-Truth, Mike Knox and Matt Hardy title shots on PPVs because no one buys them as legit challengers and the buyrates will drop even worst than they are now.

The old NWA shows throughout the territories saw Ric Flair or Harley Race defending against the local guy, so you always got your A game on for the title. Serious heat happened when Falir would cheat or miraculously win when the title was in the grasp of the fan favorite. The Dusty finish, while greatly and justly maligned, built up the anticipation when our guy would stick it to Flair and his shennanigans, so to speak, and finally win. But then, he didn't, so we'd get pumped up one more time, thinking OK, this time he'll lose the title.Those places went berzerk! Flair would have long title reigns, but you just believed in your heart that THIS TIME, he'd lose, only to see him slink out with the title. Maybe I was gullible then, but I believed that Flair just had to lose this time. Flair was such a good worker, he made you believe your guy had a chance. And he made our guy look good in the process! Today the build up is just not there. Perhaps the worst thing that ever happened to pro wrestling was when the suspension of disbelief was taken away, and we all learned it was fake. To me, that's when the titles lost their meaning. Up till then, I was riveted to see if THIS TIME was the time the title would change.

Kevin, I completely agree. I remember as a young wrestling fan in the mid-80's, Ric Flair was champion for a long time and withstood many different challenges. When he briefly lost the title to Ronnie Garvin, that was a big deal because it was so strange to see Flair NOT being the champion. To me, that kept the interest fresh.

Please email above blog post to WWE, along with 10 reasons why the PG rating is ruining the product and a plea for Hornswoggle to be released.

I've agreed with the general consensus that the main event scene is thin and stale, for a long time. But thinking about things for some time I've actually flipped my opinion slightly, or atleast flipped my opinion on a plan of attack. Instead of demoting, so to speak, the HHH's and Shawn Michaels, and Undertakers to make way for the younger stars to main event, the WWE should expand upon it's tri-brand idea and spread it's main eventer's out more.

It's not that Shawn and Co. are no longer main event material, believe me they most certainly are, but there's tons of talent that needs the time and exposure to grow that they are not getting with the clout at the top of the brands.

Eliminate Superstars and make ECW two hours long, divide the brands up a little more evenly and voila, problem solved.

The WWE will still have the veterans main eventing, the IWC gets The MVP's and Jack Swagger's and Shelton Benjamin's main eventing on a consistent basis, and the new arrangement will also create weekly TV exposure for the Evan Bourne's and Jimmy Wang Yang's and other underrated performers that we only see sporadically.

I think 3-6 months is a good timeframe for a title reign these days. One of the problems now is every month there's a PPV and with the WWE having four nights of programming every week things are almost oversaturated.

Gone are the days where Wrestlemania was the only PPV, or they only had the main ones like WM, Summerslam and Survivor Series. Back then most of what we saw on TV was just on Saturdays and that made it easier to leave the belt on someone for a longer time - to the fans and viewers, they didn't get to see the champion wrestle all the time. I remember back when Superstars was the only TV show, much of the time the champion didn't even wrestle and sometimes just cut a promo.

Top wrestlers are seen all the time and attention spans are shorter, so I think that's a big part of all this on top of what you already said, Kevin. It does seem to detract from the prestige of the title and title holders when they often lose within a couple months of winning the belt. Long winning streaks are a thing of the past, along with long title reigns. Now, aside from rare occasions, winning the title just doesn't seem like a big deal any more. If you're one of the top guys, it's pretty much inevitable you're going to win it at some point. It's just like taking turns.

I aggree with what you are saying the changes in the wwe champion and world heavyweight titles are far too much. Also I am sick of the same old people such as Cena and Orton and CM Punk being constant winners. I think it is about time they had some fresh. Stop pushing stars that have already been pushed. Start pushing the ones who need to be pushed

What might be interesting and possibly reinvigorating to the titles is for a champion to work his way through the rosters, kind of like "Am I really the best on Raw/Smackdown, etc.?" Each week the champ comes out, issues a "Who's Next?", then the anticipation of wondering, and the wrestler's music hits, the crowd pops, then the match is on. By the time the champ has worked his way through some or most of the roster, you would have seens lots of the new talent getting screen time and the rub of being in a world title match. I remember a match during the McMahon-Helmsley Era where HHH went backstage and issued a challenge to the roster in a world title match; the one who stepped up was (unexpectedly) Rikishi. How many years ago was that? I still remember it as one of my favorites, because Rikishi was not in the typical rogues gallery of HHH at that time.

Hi Kevin, I have been thinking about the future of the WWE and some rising superstars. The one that really stood out for me this year is John Morrison who has really improved his in-ring skills. I consider him as one of the top performers of the WWE at the moment however his is still lacking some CHARISMA and his connection to the WWE universe is still weak. This is what is preventing him from becoming the Superstar he should be. One possible simple way the WWE can fix this is by making Morrison host of a new show on SMACKDOWN which could be dubbed "The Friday night delight with John Morrison". In that show Morrison should be allowed to invite all the top Mike performers such as your Jericho, Edge, CM Punk, Rey Misterio and even some DIVAS to spice it up a bit with his looks in mind. This will bring a lot of interest in his character. The show could be used to start feuds which may or not involve him. He will always have to back it up with in-ring performances on a regular basis. By using his cocky personality and focusing on his looks and in-ring skills. Morrison will become the new Heart Break Kid. He will have to improve his mike skills to host the show successfully and if that show is run successfully then the "Friday night delight" nickname will be justified hence Morrison will shoot up to the top of Smackdown and possibly the WWE. We all know he has got a great potential. I can even see an angle where Shawn Michaels could turn Heel out of Jealousy of Morrison'success which could end up with a classic clash between the two at SUMMERSLAM 2010 with a Morrison victory which will solidify him as one of the best in the business. I'm interested in your thoughts Kev about this cool idea...please respond.

My one issue with the # of times the title is changing here recently is how certain people like Randy Orton can claim he is 6 time World Champ or HHH 13 time World Champ ... that also means they have been beat 5/12 times respectfully... at least with Flair it was long title runs and they seemed to mean something more than they do now

I also think is what they should is get rid of the brand concept and have an just have the wwe champion . I mean the world heavy wait champion is the old wcw title. And and also they need to stop having big guys fight little guys those matches end like 3 sec. They need to bring back the light wait division.

I think the problem is the oversaturation of PPV's. YES 12 plus PPV's a year brings in money but there is no time build meaningful storylines. Hell in Cell is over and now were going straight into Bragging Rights. I know today's population is an instant gratification society but WWE needs to slow things down a bit even though all three brands have slim rosters like JR said in your interview with him a few days ago.

Hell, at least when the WWE title changed hands 12 times in 1999, there weren't seperate brands. Now you have TWO world titles changing hands constantly. And there's less challengers for both titles since different guys are exclusive to different shows. The world titles are like the paper money we use; it's completely worthless. A combining of the brands would fix a lot of things, especially the world title situation. Personally, while I do think that the WHC is a prestigious world title, there should only be one world title, and that's the title with the company's name on. Having two world titles risks the WWE Championship looking less prestigious, and we've seen that happen. Having a World Heavyweight Championship without having "WWE" attached to the name is stupid. One day, one day, things will get better...

I think 6 PPVs a year is pretty good. Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series, and then two other PPVs that could change each year, kind of like the old In Your House PPVs where each one had a different theme, like "Beware of Dog" (Parts 1 and 2) and "It's Time" and "No Way Out of Texas" and "Mind Games" and... man, some of those names were stupid. Nowadays they have cool names like "Extreme Rules" and "Bragging Rights" and...hmm, those names are kind of dumb, too. Wait a sec. Is WWE returning to its mid-90s days? Oh god. Does that mean the plumber is gonna wrestle the dump truck man in a "Home Improvement" match again? Is Aldo Montoya coming back to be booed out of the building louder than John Cena was at One Night Stand? Oh jeez, remember that one guy with the long blonde hair and the fake blueblood accent who wore riding chaps? Ug. I'd rather watch some fake country singer lip sync the words to a country song that, get this, his roadie actually sang. Anyway, my point is that 6 PPVs are better than 14. Peace.

One of the things that WWE fails to capitalize on is the fact that there are two world title matches on the pay per views.

That means that they can have one of the matches be somewhat of an undercard match.

For example, CM Punk could have defend the title against Matt Hardy (fresh matchup) while the PPV was headlined by a Raw main event title match with two or more big names.

Then, they can switch it for the following PPV. Have Cena or Orton defend against a midcard guy like Swagger, Kingston, Miz, etc. on the undercard while Smackdown puts up a major main event title match.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
E-mail Kevin.

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