Championships are an integral part of everything that makes professional wrestling great. Without them, the whole ‘pretend fighting’ thing loses value. Pro wrestling is a soap opera that uses combat sports as its central focus, entertainment cloaked in competition. What is competition without an aim, without a prize, without a goal?
WWE has done a fairly wretched job of booking its own titles over the years, reducing the belts to little more than aesthetic props and creative crutches. Men and women get lumbered with titles that lack meaning, a meaningless that is accentuated with every pointless reign and even more pointless title change.
Even when the company has done a good job of booking a champion, that final act remains difficult. Wrestling is a story, and the difference between a good and a great championship reign is often the way it ends, the full stop on a lengthy sentence. Injuries have forced the promotion’s hand on a number of occasions, but WWE has also shot itself in the foot on plenty of occasions.
A championship reign is only as valuable as its final act. For every memorable WrestleMania moment and iconic briefcase cash-in (or both at the same time), there is a dinosaur transitional champion, a TV personality interference or a seven-second slap in the face.
Born in the middle of Wales in the middle of the 1980's, John can't quite remember when he started watching wrestling but he has a terrible feeling that Dino Bravo was involved. Now living in Prague, John spends most of his time trying to work out how Tomohiro Ishii still stands upright. His favourite wrestler of all time is Dean Malenko, but really it is Repo Man. He is the author of 'An Illustrated History of Slavic Misery', the best book about the Slavic people that you haven't yet read. You can get that and others from www.poshlostbooks.com.