Upon the demise of the IC title last year, we of the IWC lamented its loss, and debated the worth and legitimacy of so-called "secondary" titles. When the IC Title was brought back, along with its cousin on SMACKDOWN, the US Title, we rejoiced, eager to see what manner of storyline possibilities and elevation of fresh talent would result.
So what of it? Given our enormous hopefulness, has the resurrection of the two titles been a success or a letdown, and which of the two titles has better accomplished what it is meant to do, and benefited its brand as a whole?
Well, the US Title is automatically above the Intercontinental title, because Eddie Guerrero held it for three months. On top of that, it's been treated with more respect and hasn't been thrown around like a friggin' hot potato.
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I always liked secondary titles for two reasons: they give midcarders their own hierarchy, and they elevated said midcarders. It's too early to see if Eddy will benefit from being the US champ.
The IC belt, however, hasn't elevated anyone since May 2000, when Jericho won it a year before winning the heavyweight belt. Of the subsequent 38 IC reigns, only one guy has won the IC belt and then won the big belt -- Triple H -- and he already wore the world belt before that. I'm getting my numbers from solie.org.
While Edge, Val, Regal, Christian, Booker, RVD and others have made for entertaining title feuds, they ain't any closer to being main eventers. They might as well be feuding over the cruiserweight or hardcore belts.
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The IC title has been handled horribly since its return. The Book/Christian feud was awful, and made each guy look bad. Book's title run got aborted since he was hurt, which isn't anybody's fault. But they put it back on Christian without any plans for it. Now RVD has it, and again there's no feud in place.
The US Title has fared a bit better, but not by much. Eddy had a (too short) feud w/ Cena, and then went on to a feud w/ Show based on excrement. Show has it now, but has he even defended it? He hasn't been in any feuds over the belt since winning it. Hopefully after SurSer, he'll feud w/ someone (Cena?), because (nothing against Show) it's not really doing anyone any good around Show's waist.
Some fresh faces need to be wearing the respective straps ...
With all due respect to RVD, he doesn't the need the IC title ... I'd love to see Matt Hardy get his mitts on the title when (and if) he debuts on the RAW brand. Orton needs an IC title reign before he's thrust into the World title picture.
I still wonder why they gave Big Show the US title ... I mean, I was kinda surprised when he won it, but I'd much rather see Cena, Noble or someone along those lines wear it ... I know would be asking too much for O'Haire to get it.
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Try looking at it another way: would the feuds that involved the IC or US titles have been better or worse were the belts not there to justify the rivalries?
I agree, the Booker/Christian feud was an abomination. It was stale, repetitive, made neither guy look good, and I was glad when they finally gave up on it. At the same time, would that angle have been more entertaining if they didn't have the IC title to fight over? Since there was no other justification behind their constant matches, I'm going to say no. Clearly these were two guys they had no ideas for, but they were able to stay on TV with a purpose because the title was there.
As for the US title, if you asked this question a month ago I'd have given you a much more resounding "success" endorsement. Eddie Guerrero did wonders for the title, and the belt made him look like a legitimate star. Of course, now that Big Show is dragging the belt around things aren' looking nearly as good, but ask the same question of Eddie's programs since July. All other things being equal, were they better and more meaningful because the US title was in the mix? I would say yes. It gave a justification to include Benoit and Rhyno in his feud with Tajiri when the Tajiri feud was more an obligation than a good idea. It gave Cena a reason to chase Eddie, and let's be honest, it was nice that there was something more than burritos and sewage behind the Big Show match at No Mercy. Currently, the loss of US title, while I really don't think it was a wise decision, did add a little more fuel to the split with Chavo.
I don't think anyone would say that, start to finish, the IC or US titles have been handled in an ideal manner. Some questionable changes and suspect storylines have hurt. That said, the absence of the belts wasn't likely to give rise to a bunch of great ideas for Christian, Booker T., RVD, Eddie Guerrero, or Tajiri that titles prevented from happening. The gains haven't been as great as they could have been, but they have been gains rather than losses.
Originally posted by oldschoolheroWell, the US Title is automatically above the Intercontinental title, because Eddie Guerrero held it for three months. On top of that, it's been treated with more respect and hasn't been thrown around like a friggin' hot potato.
So the US title is less contested by equally balanced wrestlers, your point? :)
(edited by Lexus on 15.11.03 1108)
Kane gets flustered that he didn't get to do something silly this week. Ho hum.
When they focused on one singles belt per show last year, it didn't seem like a big loss at first. That was probably because we had just lived through the InVasion angle, which gave us an average of one title per four wrestlers. So they waited, and I think they've handled it well.
Sure, RVD hasn't been helped by the I-C title, but it sure helped establish a new character for Christian. Plus, the RVD-Y2J double-title switch a few weeks ago was more interesting because there was a title on the line.
Same thing with the U.S. belt. I'm not crazy about Big Show having it (that and he never defends the title), but at least it gives some hope for the lesser-known guys on the roster who are too heavy for a cruiserweight belt.
As long as they don't bring the Hardcore, European and whatever other belts back, it should be fine...
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On SmackDown, I'm surprised I'm saying this, as much of a fan of the division as I am, but they should get rid of the Cruiserweight Title. Guys like Tajiri, Noble, Rey, etc. should be fighting for the US Title. Guys like Big Show, Cena, Eddie, etc. really don't need it.
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Problem: if you get rid of the CW title, that's not going to elevate Rey or Noble or Tajiri or anyone else you mentioned to the US title. The US title will always be for secondary heavyweights. It's never been clearer that Vince doesn't see CW talent as being worthy of a spot higher up than the CW division. The way I see it, the belt is the only thing reminding the writing staff that they need to include these guys in the show every week. As it stands, now we get Rey, Tajiri, and Noble on Smackdown fighting over one belt. Take the belt away and you probably bump the latter two down to Velocity with the rest of the cruisers.
I agree with you Kaz, I see CW champs like Tajiri, Mysterio, Hardy these guys are the best upper mid-carders on the roster why have a CW title when you can join it with the US title and make is a super-secondary title. If they actually book the US title correctly as a hierarchy for mid-carders(great word for it Tracker) a secondary title can be used for great use... Too bad WWE knows sh*t all about booking.
Case in point. Giving the US Title to the BigShow. The US title became nothing more then a conciliation prize to a guy who couldn't win the World title a month before. It just totally cheapens it purpose. Has to be top 2 or 3 dumbest title switch of the year... What does the BigShow do for the title and what does the title do for someone like BigShow? Why give a monster/giant a title. Is it to give him credibility? He's a freakin giant he doesn't need a title to be given credibility. Him destroying people should be his selling point, his size is his selling point. Lugging around a secondary title doesn't do anything for him or the title. Now he's getting "Subway" and "You fat phuck" chants. He really needed to be put over Eddie. He's becoming a glorified Big Sal.
The IC title was a mess from the beginning. You bring back the title as a one off Battle Royal? Talk about bringing in back with a whimper. Do a tournament with former IC champs and make the title mean something. They started off behind the 8 ball. Christian and Booker are two of my favorites but man did those two just didn't connect in the ring at all in their feud and the whole Christian-HTM200 didn't really work... Christian second title reign even if he won it at a houseshow was leap years better then his first. I was really getting into Christian the disrespected champion "Excuse me IC champion over here!". You could have really played that up and have in walk in on peoples in ring and backstage interviews. But before it got kick started they title was off him
I'm happy there are secondary titles, it's good to have mid-carder able to focus and go for something. But the majority of it the booking has been awful... Man I still can't get over why the hell do you give The BigShow the US title!
The Big Show is just as good at what he as does as Eddie is at being a technical wrestler-he's one of the best big men operating today, especially when compared to the likes of Bradshaw, Morgan, Heidenreich and Jones. Why shouldn't he have the secondary title? Because he's big? That's like saying "Well, Benoit's selling point is his great wrestling, so HE doesn't deserve it, and nor does Cena, because he's got his power arsenal". So Show's a giant. How does that make his title reign meaningless? If anything, it'll make the guy who beats him the most legit US Champion so far because he managed to pin a behemoth for the belt. And I think, when it boils down to it, that most are annoyed at Show beating Eddie to get the belt, rather than the idea of Show as US Champion. Think about it: If Show'd pinned Billy Gunn-who at one time was a serious contender for winning the belt-then would we all be kicking up such a stink? I agree that Eddie should've gone over Show when the opportunity arose, but that ship has sailed, and I'd rather have a legitimate threat like Show with the belt in it's early stages rather than an unproven commodity like, say, O'Haire.
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It's not so much Show having the belt, it's Show having the belt and not defending it. They had to know Show would be involved in the 10-man tag, so putting the belt on him effectively means the title would be dormant for at least a month. Unless the plans are for Cena and Show to feud over the belt after SurSer, putting the belt on Show was a bad idea, IMO.
Originally posted by oldschoolheroThe Big Show is just as good at what he as does as Eddie is at being a technical wrestler-he's one of the best big men operating today, especially when compared to the likes of Bradshaw, Morgan, Heidenreich and Jones. Why shouldn't he have the secondary title? Because he's big? That's like saying "Well, Benoit's selling point is his great wrestling, so HE doesn't deserve it, and nor does Cena, because he's got his power arsenal". So Show's a giant. How does that make his title reign meaningless? If anything, it'll make the guy who beats him the most legit US Champion so far because he managed to pin a behemoth for the belt. And I think, when it boils down to it, that most are annoyed at Show beating Eddie to get the belt, rather than the idea of Show as US Champion. Think about it: If Show'd pinned Billy Gunn-who at one time was a serious contender for winning the belt-then would we all be kicking up such a stink? I agree that Eddie should've gone over Show when the opportunity arose, but that ship has sailed, and I'd rather have a legitimate threat like Show with the belt in it's early stages rather than an unproven commodity like, say, O'Haire.
When Benoit and Cena can get an instant WWETitle feud(And Win) at a drop of a hat like BigShow is allowed to on a many occasion THEN we can put them in the same category. The WWE feels all Big Show has to do is do a couple of chokeslames, growl and slober on himself and he's an instant World Title credibility no matter where on the card he was before. Guys like Benoit, Cena and Eddie have to work up the mid-card to get considered legit and a good US title reign does give them favors. WWE wants The BigShow to have his cake and eat it too... Allows him a bypass straight to the world title scene, but now wants him to hold the US title
OSH you think I'm dissing and it's not even that. I'm not saying a US title on him is bad because he's got a power style. It's because he has a monster gimmick, and wasting the US Title on him does nothing for the title and also does nothing for him. Prestiges secondary title doesn't make a monster more over. Him destroying people makes him over. Which they allow him to do at a snap of a finger when they want the lardass in a World title scene... I like Kane, I want him to advance up the ladder. Does the IC Title make sense on him. Not for me? Again he's a monster a secondary title means little to him right now
But I'm just blabbering here, the proof is in the pudding. The US Title has been all but forgotten on BigShow's shoulder. And it's no coincidence, it's just doesn't fit him literally and figurally.
As far as the Ic belt is concerned, since there is so much talent on RAW to compete for it, as there is with the world title, you need to build a group of guys for the belts to go to so that the titles will keep lineage and look strong instead of "maybe he'll be a good champ, we'll see..." Christian, RVD, Y2J, Hardy V1.5, Booker T, Test, Randy Orton, Storm, and build up another babyface or two and you have your IC pyramid of guys to work around. Keeping guys like Jericho, Booker, and RVD in there give it more of a mainevent feel. As for the World title on RAW the pyramid of thier title needs to be built on Flair, Jericho, Michaels, HHH, Goldberg, Booker, RVD, and maybe even Orton given the right push. Matt Hardy could be putt in their too, but they need to make him more dominant than smackdown did. Batista can go either way, but I think they need to wait to give him the world title like they did with Brockberg to make him look dominating. The US and WWE championships are being handled well considering that they finally get the Big Show from behind the gold. Heres the deal with the pig slow, hes over enough that you can have someone beat him and fans go, "wow he beat the show," and he doesn't loose too much credibility. However putting him as the Champ never works wheather its WWE or US just keep the belt off of him cause it makes the title look weak. To make the belts on Smackdown look more important, keep the same people in the hunt for both belts. Angle and Lesnar making a US champ Cena look good isn't bad for business, its good for a future WWE champ john Cena, as is putting beniot over with a good mouthpiece behind him.
At this point, they should try and get rid of every single "name" they have to see if it would significantly effect ratings and buys. It certainly hasn't seemed to help regardless of who they have brought in.