WWE: Which Is More Valuable, the World Title or WWE Title?
The WWE and World Heavyweight Championships are the two most prestigious titles in all of pro wrestling.
They’ve been held by dozens upon dozens of Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers, and they have traditionally been the most coveted championships in the WWE.
The list of former World Heavyweight Champions reads like a “Who’s Who?” of pro wrestling. Ditto for the WWE Championship.
When you hear “World Heavyweight Championship,” logic says that you would think that whoever has that title is holding the most prestigious title in the world. After all, the world is technically bigger than the WWE.
But the WWE is indeed a world of its own, which has led to an age-old debate: Which is the more valuable title, the World Heavyweight or WWE Championship?
Many fans trace the origin of the World Heavyweight title back to WCW in 1991, when Ric Flair became the first WCW World Heavyweight Champion. Others trace it even further back to 1948, when Orville Brown won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
The WWE’s lineage of the World Heavyweight title, however, only goes back to 2002, when Triple H was awarded the strap by Eric Bischoff to become the first official World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history.
That, of course, means that the WHC has only been in existence in its current form for 10 years, while the WWE title’s lineage generally is traced all the way back to 1963 when Buddy Rodgers won the belt that was then known as the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship.
In that sense, the WWE title has a much longer history—at least in the WWE’s record books—than the World Heavyweight title.
Since both belts have existed beginning in 2002, though, the value of each title has changed more times than I care to count.
There have been times when the World Heavyweight Championship meant more, times when the WWE Championship meant more and times when they both meant about the same.
Naturally, this has depended largely on who’s holding what title, how long he’s holding it for and the quality of the matches during that title reign and of the title reign in general.
As far as the WWE brass is concerned, though, I think it’s safe to say that—in their current forms—the WWE Championship takes priority over the World Heavyweight Championship.
It’s no secret that, whether the fans agree with this or not, the WWE views Raw as its flagship brand, and since the brand split began 10 years ago, Monday night has typically been the home for the WWE title.
Although the WWE Championship was on SmackDown from 2002 to 2005, it has been a part of the WWE’s No. 1 brand for all but one year since 2006. The only time that it switched over to the blue brand was for a roughly one-year period between the 2008 and 2009 WWE drafts.
The WWE title went back to Raw in 2009 and has been on that brand since then.
Especially in recent years, the WWE has made it clear that its WWE-created title, the WWE Championship, is going to be treated like the top prize in the company.
While this isn’t always the case (especially with the way that John Cena consistently main events all PPVs nowadays), the WWE’s recent trend has been to give the WWE Championship Match the final spot on PPVs.
Since January 2009, the World Heavyweight Championship Match has only main evented nine WWE PPVs.
But the WWE Championship? A whopping 21 WWE title matches have main evented PPVs during that very same span.
Given that the WWE title has been on the company’s flagship show, Raw, throughout most of that span, this really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Even though the WWE title picture doesn’t always produce better matches or feuds, the creative team has—likely on purpose—given the WWE Championship more value than the World Heavyweight Championship simply by the way it is portrayed.
Which title is more valuable?
The WWE title is the one that headlines the company’s most-watched show, and it is the one that generally gets top billing on most of its pay-per-views.
There are, of course, times when that isn’t the case, but the WWE Championship has recently proven to be the company’s most important title for those very two reasons.
Like with anything, this could change over time.
But SmackDown is now the land of opportunity, a place where stars who have rarely been given a chance to main event and compete for World titles are actually given the chance to do so. Thus, the World Heavyweight title, SmackDown’s top prize, has almost become the WWE’s No. 2 title by default.
Raw is the WWE’s No. 1 show, SmackDown is its No. 2 show, and even though the blue brand is often more entertaining than what we see on Monday nights, Raw’s title is always going to be deemed as more valuable and more important than SmackDown’s.
And right now, Raw’s title just so happens to be the WWE Championship.
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