Title matches are supposed to be something special. At the largely forgettable WrestleMania XII, WWE Champion Bret Hart and challenger Shawn Michaels engaged in an Iron Man match for the title that ended in a tie and forced a couple minutes of overtime to determine the winner. Just last month, Daniel Bryan wrestled a combined 45-plus minutes to earn a shot and then win the world title at WrestleMania XXX. But not all champions are created equally, and not all title matches are treated with the same mindset of giving the combatants time to tell a story. Sometimes, fans blink and a title match is over. And sometimes, those squashes serve the purpose of establishing the champ as a dangerous competitor. Those who watched Superstars and Wrestling Challenge growing up know that champions used to show up on the programs to squash some jobber in less than two minutes. The champ would lay out the jabroni with his finishing move barely breaking a sweat in the process. There are, however, several instances where the champion found himself or herself on the receiving end of the squash, stirring after being pinned and realizing that his or her prized possession had been taken in rapid succession. Losing your title in a match that went quicker than it took for the ring introductions is an embarrassing end to your reign, and in many of these cases, the title change squash marked a major turning point for the title or the new title-holder. We see this phenomenon more often these days due to the Money in the Bank briefcase being used to trigger a title match while a champ is all-but incapacitated. Thats not exactly a fair comparison, and MITB cash-ins would dominate the list if they were included, so theyre out.
Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.