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  #1  
Old 02-15-2017, 11:00 AM
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Default Experiment: Take the big belts off of TV

I have been reading several posts, most recently one about putting the Universal Title on Jericho, where people are arguing who needs/doesn't need the title and who should have the title and who shouldn't.

As I have said before, I am not a full-time fan anymore. I haven't been a diehard fan since 1986-1992. I was very interested and very entertained on Mondays during the Wars, but only watched SmackDown/Thunder if I had nothing else to do. I also never bought into the monthly PPVs--I was a Rumble/Mania/sometimes SummerSlam fan, which I continue to be to this day for the most part. I also usually check out Raw for a segment or two, and was VERY LUCKY to stumble upon the Festival of Friendship this past Monday--which was extremely entertaining and seemed like an exceptionally done turn for Owens. I only mention what kind of fan I am because my idea below is admittedly unorthodox for today's product, as it stems from the Hulkamania Era. But, I am wondering if you guys see any value to it.

When Hulkamania was red hot in the mid 80's, Hogan hardly ever defended his title. These were the days of between 1 and 4 PPVs a year and Saturday morning shows like Superstars of Wrestling and Wrestling Challenge. On these shows, almost all of the matches were superstars squashing jobbers, while the commentators and taped/live interviews furthered feuds and storylines. Occasionally, you would get superstar vs. superstar, but almost never was Hogan one of those superstars competing. The IC title and Tag Team titles would sometimes be defended and even change hands on Saturday mornings, but not the big belt. Hogan's title matches were, for the most part, saved for the big shows--either Saturday Night's Main Event or a PPV. (The only example I remember right now was a title defense against Cowboy Bob Orton that had instilled NO fear into a kid who wanted Hulk to retain)

Afterwards, with the addition of monthly PPVs and Raw/SmackDown, the champion(s) would defend the title more often. I understand the business end and realize monthly PPVs, though watering down and rushing storylines, mean more revenue. I also see how a 2- or 3-hour Raw requires more than just jobber squashes. I get all of that. And I am not speaking to the IC, US or Tag belts, or whatever else they have now.. Cruiserweight, Women's, etc.

I am only talking about the WWE Championship and the WWE Universal Championship.

Why don't they leave these titles, for the most part, off of Raw and SmackDown? I am not saying leave the champions off of the shows, but leave the title defenses off of TV. Hulk Hogan (and, again, I am in no way comparing today's product to that of the Golden Era, logistically) would be on TV either on the interview podium with Mean Gene, or on a show like The Snake Pit, Brother Love Show or Funeral Parlor. That was enough to fuel his storylines and programs. Meanwhile, other storylines (Martel blinding Jake, Boss Man/Mountie, Rhodes/Savage, etc.) were able to grow and gain heat without having titles on the line. Yes, there were also IC and Tag Title vendettas, which is why I say to leave the lower belts on TV. But many programs were successful, entertaining and had nice payoffs without a title match. It was easier to focus on these non-title angles because Hogan was not defending his belt every week.

I seem to be in the minority, but I do not think most angles/wrestlers need a belt to make their storyline interesting. Granted, I dismissed the value of belts during the hot potato portion of the Attitude Era. But, even today, I think the major belts should not be defended each week.

I am proposing the idea of keeping the two main championship titles off of TV and saving them for PPVs. Ideally, it would be major PPVs only, but I am willing to settle for all PPVs. The feeling of an underdog chasing a belt that he won't have a chance to win week after week would add to the championship matches, in my opinion. The feeling of "He can try again tomorrow on Raw" or "He'll have a shot to regain it in 3 weeks at whatever lower-level PPV is due next." takes away from the immediacy of winning the belt in the match you are watching right then. A championship match loss should feel like a lost opportunity. A championship win should come with a big exhale, knowing that person will have the belt for a few weeks. Any title win, while some are big moments on their own (like Bryan at Mania XXX), needs a bit of finality to it--not ultimately, but at least for a while. Having the chance to lose it right back the next night and the week after that and the week after that...it stops people from investing their fandom and passion into a champion. Kind of like "If this guy might only be champ for a night or a week, why should I care if he wins or loses this main event I am watching right now?"

Bring back the days of the champ being unreachable, especially in the case of a heel champ. Build the heat! This nonsense of the main event wrestlers of Mania facing each other as part of a tag team match on Raw 6 days earlier is NOT the way to go. Keep the title and the champ out of matches and make fans crave that the face finally gets their hands on the heel or use the time to build doubt that a face champ can retain. The face/heel part isn't as vital as the championship. Keep it special.
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  #2  
Old 02-15-2017, 12:05 PM
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I agree... It used to be special back when Hogan and the likes were champions and it were only defended at PPV's. Heck, I would be ok with even the big PPV's Only. But with one PPV a month for each brand now, it is all about the money with them and I guess they don't think people want to watch a PPV without THE championship defended. The caveat to that is the major selling point of a lot of faces now days is that they want to be "fighting champions" defend the title every week, compete against all comers, etc. But there has to be a medium to it because especially now with 2 different brands and each having their own title then the championships seem to lose legitimacy
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  #3  
Old 02-15-2017, 12:36 PM
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i completely agree with you on this. But i would also do that for the women's division especially on raw which have seem to be completely lost as far as creative is concern. How much greater would the feud between Charlotte and sasha banks would have been if they did trade the championship back and forth like they did. If Charlotte would have been the chicken shit heel that don'T want to defend the title and decide when she going to defend it like it was back in the hogan era, everytime a heel had a title.

I get that in this current era of wrestling you have to have the wrestlers wrestle each other multiple times before the big PPV or now network special match, but their other way to advance storyline that seem to be lost with the current guys working in creative.

Also let's look at another current example, kevin owens universal title run. Personally, i really like kevin owens as far as a performer especially what he did as a heel, but the way he got booked felt like he was just another mid card guy holding a title. His title run wasn't that great and it did hurt the credibility of the universal title because the title felt like just another title and not a big world championship. That's we're the old school booking comes in. Make Owens fell like a big star, i know he was part of a team with jericho before they we're forced to change plan after balor's injury but plans can be drop in my opinion. To make him fell like a big Heel, have him barely wrestles on TV. Make him feel like the biggest dick in the world by refusing to wrestle on Raw. you can have him cut promo's or have backstage attack on his opponent and maybe sometimes have him wrestle a squash match here and there but never put him in a big match on tv. So that when he defends the title on PPV, it feel like something special and you're hoping that the babyface will beat him. That way the title fell like a big deal and not just like another title which it is right now.

That's why, i really hope that goldberg wins the belt at fastlane and then lesnar get it a mania, because it will make the belt feel special and feel like a world title mostly because the belt will be on a part timer which is a good thing for everybody.
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Old 02-15-2017, 02:34 PM
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They took the WWE Championship off the air for a good period of time when Brock Lesnar won it a few years back and if things ultimately go down like many are thinking they will, it'll happen with the Universal Championship as well.

There were weeks and even months at a time in which the WWE Championship wasn't on TV, nor was it defended at house shows. Lesnar's last run as WWE Champion lasted 224 days and he appeared on WWE television a total of maybe 6 times or so during his run and a LOT of fans didn't like it. I was against Lesnar winning the title because I knew, based on how his deal was structured, that he wouldn't be around very much. For a lot of people, it was during Lesnar's title run that their enjoyment of the novelty and formula for booking Lesnar went away.

I remember reading some posts from posters who said that they wanted Lesnar to win the title because of how dominant he was but turned around and bashed WWE for putting the title on a guy who showed up once every 8 to 12 weeks. If that happens with Lesnar winning the Universal Championship, expect more of the same because I think most fans want to and expect to see the main event champions on TV often. Keeping the title off TV for months at a time won't jack up the ratings, it might pop a rating the first time when the champ comes back to make an appearance a few months after winning it, but that's as far as it'll go.
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  #5  
Old 02-15-2017, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack-Hammer View Post
They took the WWE Championship off the air for a good period of time when Brock Lesnar won it a few years back and if things ultimately go down like many are thinking they will, it'll happen with the Universal Championship as well.

There were weeks and even months at a time in which the WWE Championship wasn't on TV, nor was it defended at house shows. Lesnar's last run as WWE Champion lasted 224 days and he appeared on WWE television a total of maybe 6 times or so during his run and a LOT of fans didn't like it. I was against Lesnar winning the title because I knew, based on how his deal was structured, that he wouldn't be around very much. For a lot of people, it was during Lesnar's title run that their enjoyment of the novelty and formula for booking Lesnar went away.

I remember reading some posts from posters who said that they wanted Lesnar to win the title because of how dominant he was but turned around and bashed WWE for putting the title on a guy who showed up once every 8 to 12 weeks. If that happens with Lesnar winning the Universal Championship, expect more of the same because I think most fans want to and expect to see the main event champions on TV often. Keeping the title off TV for months at a time won't jack up the ratings, it might pop a rating the first time when the champ comes back to make an appearance a few months after winning it, but that's as far as it'll go.
That's fair, but a major difference would be the champ would be on TV. He just wouldn't be defending the belt. He wouldn't disappear, he just wouldn't defend. Those same people may still dislike the new approach. But, it would be much different than the champ AND the belt being gone for an extended period.
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:07 PM
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I'd be fine with it as long as the champion appeared on TV and maintained a consistent presence. That was my biggest complaint during Lesnar's run. He never maintained a consistent presence. And because of that I found myself caring less and less about his title defenses. WWE is entertainment; not a real sport. The champion has to maintain a presence with the audience. Otherwise what's the point in investing in story lines and being emotionally connected to someone who will disappear the next week?

The difference between then and now is that there are two world titles. The RAW champion could effectively disappear like Brock did and we'd still have the SD world champion to watch every week.
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:04 PM
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Unlike many I was completely fine with Lesnar not being around very often with the title. The stupid rematch clause is one of the most annoying things in WWE (wrestling? not sure if it's used anywhere else) for me because like we saw just recently with Sasha Banks and Charlotte, it's a cop out for creative to take a break and just let one feud continue forever. Usually that's what we get in WWE 90 percent of the time is rematches for months on end because of the title in that someone loses it, or is screwed so we sit through the same match again.

I was fed up with Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns around September and that stuff carried on for another 5 months or so. Having the champion defend at every single pay per view gets annoying for me because it's usually the same guy he/she is defending against. At least with taking the world championship off TV for a while it creates some fresh match ups and actually makes creative get off their ass and come up with something. Hell even if the World champion is feuding with someone and then leaves for months on end it's still better than watching the two of them fight time after time.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernkastel View Post
I'd be fine with it as long as the champion appeared on TV and maintained a consistent presence. That was my biggest complaint during Lesnar's run. He never maintained a consistent presence. And because of that I found myself caring less and less about his title defenses. WWE is entertainment; not a real sport. The champion has to maintain a presence with the audience. Otherwise what's the point in investing in story lines and being emotionally connected to someone who will disappear the next week?

The difference between then and now is that there are two world titles. The RAW champion could effectively disappear like Brock did and we'd still have the SD world champion to watch every week.
This and then some.

For the record I was one of the most vocal about Lesnar not being around and sitting at home with the belt. What is the point of having a title when it isn't being defended for months on end. Unfortunately the WWE is either, let it go missing or balls to the walls with a title defense every week.

I'm fine with the champ being around and having matches, every week DOES NOT have to be a title defense. That is lazy booking on the part of the creative team. What they should do more of is build other wrestlers up to actually have a good feud with the current champion. I get the feeling though their meetings are in reality naptime. Once a wrester has been in a feud with said champion that person should maybe just drop back down a step or two and give someone else a chance.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:16 PM
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I'd be fine with the Universal Championship and World Heavyweight Championship not being defended on Raw and Smackdown, but only if they were still defended monthly on PPV. The whole point of being a wrestler within kayfabe is to become a World Champion so the belts need to 100% absolutely be up for grabs at PPV events. I detested it when Lesnar held the title hostage a couple of years ago rarely defending it. It was like.... What was the point of anyone being there when they couldn't win the title? Having the Universal Champion only defend his belt at Raw PPV's and the Big 4 events is fine. So is having the World Heavyweight Champion only defend his belt on Smackdown PPV's and the Big 4 events. Defending them less than that would NOT be sufficient. The WWE is in a different place than it was during the Hogan era. Today's fans are not as patient and want to see opportunities given to their favorite wrestlers. Doing it only about once a month on PPV provides the title shots but also makes it more special by not doing random world title matches on TV. My bigger pet peeve is when wrestlers who have an upcoming PPV match face each other in some capacity on a Raw or Smackdown beforehand. If they are PPV opponents they should NEVER wrestle each other during that PPV cycle until the PPV, and this goes across the board whether it is a World Championship feud or two guys lower on the card. It's hard to care about a World Championship match on the PPV if they already faced each other on the last two Raw's before the PPV, so I to an extent see where the threadstarter is coming from.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:24 PM
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I'd go a step further, don't even have the champions compete on Raw or Smackdown or only very rarely. As long as they show up in some capacity and make themselves known, that's all that's really needed. That'll never happen in this day and age but it would make their matches, and especially their title matches seem much bigger than they seem currently. Also, it would make the champion seem more important.
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