I am a huge fan of championship belts in professional wrestling. My favorite title has always been the WWE Intercontinental Championship, as it has usually been held by people who would go on to become the future of the company (Notable exceptions: John Cena, Undertaker).
With the acquisition of WCW, the WWE also gained the prestigious United States Championship, which is the other secondary/midcard championship in the company.
Midcard championships have historically been the platforms to showcase developing talent to the audience. They have also created the beginnings of feuds that would later become representative of their eras (Flair/Steamboat, Savage/Steamboat, Michaels/Bret Hart, Austin/Rock etc.) and have entertained the fans throughout their history.
Currently, the WWE has two world championships, which somewhat reduces the glory of the midcard titles. It has led to the midcard titles either being passed around like a hot potato, or being put on one man for a long time, but without actually being defended regularly. Since both Raw and SmackDown have one each of a world title and a midcard title, the spotlight has to be shared, which naturally means the midcard titles would be put in the shadows.
The most obvious solution would be to unify titles, but that has its own hazards. And since it has been suggested too many times, I am not going down that road. Instead, I am proposing a different solution to making the midcard championships more relevant in an era where there are two world championships and multiple big stars.
Proposed Solution: World Title Opportunity Clause
How it Would Work
Any midcard champion (Intercontinental or United States Champion) who can maintain his championship reign for a period equal to or longer than five months (150 days) can "cash in" his championship for a world title (WWE or World Heavyweight Title, depending on brand and/or ongoing feuds) at the next pay-per-view event.
What Happens to the Midcard Title
Upon activation of this clause, the midcard title that is "cashed in" is immediately vacated. An eight-man tournament for the vacant title is announced, with the final of the tournament taking place at the same PPV where the former champion gets his world title opportunity.
Alternately, the vacated title may also be contested for in a ladder match (akin to Money in the Bank) or in a battle royal.
What This Clause Does
It makes the midcard championship relevant, as the champion has a realistic opportunity to become a world champion in the near future.
It makes the midcard championships valuable to both the true midcarders as well as the "fallen main-eventers." It removes the senseless multiple rematches that former midcard champions often languish in, before being pushed to the main-event scene.
It creates the possibility of tournaments, multiple challenger ladder matches and battle royal matches, that the fans are usually interested in.
It creates unexpected and dynamic changes in feuds, that can become a welcome change for fans.
The person who wins the title after it has been vacated gains instant credibility as a champion as he has already defeated multiple opponents in the process. Credible champions make the championship more relevant.
This is a simple idea that can go a long way in making the midcard titles and the champions more relevant and credible, especially when they move forward into the main-event scene. It would also make for more interesting feuds and storylines and provide multiple challenger matches/tournaments to engage the fans.
I hope you enjoyed the idea presented in this article. Please leave your comments and opinions on this concept below. Thank you for reading!
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