I've been reading a lot of threads on this message board. In one of them, it was mentioned in passing that the WWE is holding it's title matches far too often. It wasn't elaborated on by the person in any sort of meaningful way, so I propose that we do that here. The argument against frequent title defenses (and the proliferation of title belts overall, although this seems to be addressed by removing the WCW belts as well as the European belt) is that it lessens the effectiveness of the title in terms of getting the wrestler who is holding it over with the fans. There may be other facets to this argument, but that is the main aspect of it.
Do you feel that the WWE holds title matches too frequently? If so, why?
Isn't there big a difference between title MATCHES and title CHANGES?
Theoretically, the world title should be defended on every show (house show, not necessarily TV). Because it's "The biggest prize in wrestling." I mean, at the height of the touring champion, Flair (or Race or Brisco) probably defended the belt 250+ times a year.
You don't need title changes every PPV. THAT is what cheapens the title.
I think that they do hold them too much on TV, as you generally can figure out who will win simply by any "conditions" of the match. Heck you can tell when a title holder will lose a match on RAW and SmackDown because most of the time they will be in a non-title match, and will end up losing said match. I think they could do it on house shows more often, as they could actually have the belts change and then change back before the next TV show, so the TV veiwing public would be none the wiser, but it would make it much more enjoyable for the house show crowds.
Odessa, it's possible that you are correct in this. However, I literally meant the question as it was asked, "Do you feel that the WWE holds title matches too frequently?"
I am interested in what other people think about this and was trying to avoid answering my own question, in order to get discussion generated on this by other people. However, in the interest of clarity, I'll proceed to give my opinion on the subject.
First off, let me say that I'm old. Old enough to have at one time believed that wrestling was not scripted. That old. There was a time during televised wrestling, predating PPVs and the like, where the heavyweight title for an organization would be defended maybe once a month. That didn't mean that the champion didn't wrestle but once a month, simply that the belt wasn't on the line during most of their matches.
When Rock v. Flair happened on RAW, it reminded me of the days when champions regularly held matches against opponents that weren't necessarily main-event contenders, for various purposes. All the time, you'd see Hogan against some jobber on a Saturday night. Sometimes, he'd be against a mid-carder, in a minor feud where the belt didn't enter the picture at all. He was active, but not actively defending the belt during every television show. Hell, Hogan defended that thing on television maybe once every other month. The match had a special announced presentation (like Fink entering the ring, giving the wrestler's hometowns, weights and heights, etc) and it had an air of legitimacy. It wasn't automatically assumed that the champion would emerge victorious because it didn't feel like a given that he would retain.
We're at a point now with the WWF that we only expect title changes with minor titles, like the Hardcore belt, to happen on free television. I should have been awestruck and on the edge of my seat when Benoit took the belt off of RVD this last Monday. I wasn't. I couldn't get excited over the match because it was simply another title defense, another week. There are so many defenses of the belt that the defenses stop having any real meaning.
I propose that if you kept the title defenses of the major titles down to once a month on free television and once a month on a PPV, you would add value to the matches. By major belts, I'm referring to the Undisputed, the IC and the tag belts. The suspense that would be added to the matches would increase their value to the wrestlers involved. You could build up to a title defense and give the match itself some meaning.
You aren't necessarily depriving the public of title defenses overall. There is still the Hardcore belt to defend weekly on Raw. There is still the Cruiserweight belt to defend on Smackdown. You could run shorter storylines with those titles while maintaining slower builds on the other titles. A slower build, assuming it's properly scripted, would give that title match a whole lot more meaning that the weekly RVD v. person who will lose and then beat RVD down (ala the Brock feud).
I think "big" title matches are held too frequently.
Back in the day, Barry Horowitz would get a title match on Hogan or Savage or Warrior (or whoever) on USA. But you knew, even though old Barry (Or Steve Lombardi or Iron Mike Sharpe or SD Jones) didn't have a snowball's chance, that he'd get some offense in. Then, Leg Drop/Elbow drop (for the life of me I can't remember the Warror's finisher - clotheslines all I remember right now....) and it's over.
But the big matches, where there's really a question of who is going to win were on the house shows or the big shows (SNME or the later PPVs).
The titles just dobn't seem to be too valuable today.
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As I remember correctly, Austin didn't defend his title that much in his last 2 reigns as champ. In fact, I'm pretty sure he didn't defend the title once between King of the Ring and Summerslam last year. Nor did he defend it between No Mercy and Vengeance.
"It is a strange fate that we suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing...such a little thing." -Boromir
And it was during that time that the WWE experienced one of their greatest popularity spurts, not that popularity should necessarily be strived for. I agree that non-title matches with the champ for no good reason are pretty useless, letting someone (like Eddy) cut a promo beforehand can often generate the requisite interest required to make it a good match.
I know that every title match can't be "big". It seems like these days, almost none of them are big. Brock/Rock has the chance to be huge, but did UT/Angle/Rock really have that same chance?
Kinda on the same lines as Todd's last post, thinking about the biggest matches from the past six months, very few of them have been heavyweight championship matches. That's not saying there haven't been some good top belt matches, but there have been non-top belt matches that have been more exciting.
"Oh, it's too late to get high now." - Adam Duritz