For a long time I have had a hard time with how WWE creative has been handling their championships, especially the singles titles: WWE, Heavyweight, IC and US titles.
Let's start with the individual titles we currently have. The World Heavyweight and WWE titles have, for the most part, gone to your, well, heavyweights. Your Cena's, Punk's, Orton's and so forth. That Daniel Bryan has the World Heavywieght strap is a nice change and he is a character I love to hate. But these two titles have been the most prestigious and have been used to identify your top two talents at any one particular moment in time. This works okay for the most part.
The problem is with the IC and US titles. Creative has been inconsistent in treating these titles. It has fluctuated between making it a mid-carder's strap, a de facto cruiser weight strap, or a stopover on the way to one of the world heavyweight straps.
This inconsistency only serves to cheapen these two titles and those who hold them. You have a few MVP's JBL's, Tito Santana's and Honkey Tonk men that held these titles and gave them legitimacy, but too often you have the strap put on a guy like Santino Marella, who I love by the way. But instead of having Santino rise to meet a champion's standards, they use him to job. Very aggravating and a waste of talent and of a championship.
The US, IC, WWE and World Heavyweight titles should denote your top four Heavyweights with US being No. 4 and World Heavy Weight being No. 1. The only people who should hold these titles should be individuals that could conceivably work their way up to the World Heavy Weight Title. These titles should not change so often and champions should no job to anyone (or at least losses should be screw job, count out or DQ finishes), even the IC and US titles until such time when the title changes hands.
Would you like to see the return of the Cruiserwieight title?
This might not change much for the Heavyweight straps, but it will definitely boost the status and value of the US and IC titles, make them something worth having and making 'champion vs champion' matches less of the joke they currently are.
CM Punk vs. Santino Marella? Please.
CM Punk vs. maybe Randy Orton or Wade Barrett as IC champ? Different story. It will also allow Heavyweights that are being groomed for but are not yet ready for the World strap a championship that means something and marks them for greater things, while allowing them to work their way into the role. This way, a character like Alberto Del Rio could have gotten his champion's feet wet while not jumping straight away and in the opinion of many, too soon.
What about the mid-carders you might and should be asking about. The smaller but incredibly talented wrestlers lost in the shuffle?
Well, we need to bring back the cruiser weight division, but actually treat it like it means something. As there are many great wrestlers that fit here, this belt could change hands a bit more often than the heavyweight straps.
But again, the holders of this strap should be treated and booked like champions. Only the best should hold the strap at any one time. At the cruiser level (I am thinking anything less than 230 lbs.) there are many great talents that deserve their spot in the sun.
To supplement the cruiser weight strap and the tag team strap (traditionally a mid card belt) there should be another strap like the Television championship or something similar. This should be a solid mid-card belt open to talented wrestlers that might not be ready or have the size for the Heavyweight straps but still have the skill to add quality matches to an event and deserve to have a big following.
I think that these new directions and handling of the belts will allow for new prestige to old favorites and allow talented wrestlers that might not be heavyweight material to get into the spotlight and main event and give them something worth picking their game up for.
If nothing else, we need to see some new, exciting faces and styles in the mid-card and main event. This is one case where more is more.
For more thoughts on the mid-card, please check out my article, Brodus, Kofi, Santino and the Case for a Renaissance for the Mid Card. I would love your comments!
Keep watching, keep reading, keep commenting!