Why WWE's 'Title Reigns' Debate Is an Insult to Shawn Michaels
One of the front-page articles on WWE.com is entitled, "How Should A Champion's Greatness Be Measured?"
The article asks the question, "What's more impressive: Title reign length or reign count?" The first paragraph of the article reads,
What is the barometer of greatness for a champion in WWE? Some argue that it's how many title reigns you can rack up, which proves your staying power in the championship picture for a long period of time.
Others say it's the quality, not the quantity of a reign that matters; that keeping the title around your waist for months upon months (or possibly years) is the way to be remembered as a dominant champion.
It is very interesting that title reigns are often used as a barometer of greatness in WWE and the pro-wrestling business in general. What is this, the NBA?
We often hear about 16-time World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair, or 10-time WWE Champion John Cena, or the five-time, five-time, five-time, five-time, five-time World Heavyweight Champion Booker T.
Why do we hear about title reigns so much? Do title reigns even matter when it comes to determining the greatness of wrestlers?
Two of the greatest WWE wrestlers of all-time, Mr. Perfect and Razor Ramon, never won the WWE Championship. But do you know who has? Mr. McMahon.
Does this mean Mr. McMahon is a greater wrestler than Mr. Perfect or Razor Ramon? I didn't think so, either.
What determines whether a Champion is great?
"Top" means "greatest," doesn't it?
I thought that the barometer of greatness revolves around titles? If that's true, Ric Flair should've been No. 1 on the list with 16 title reigns. How is it possible that Ric Flair is ranked No. 17?
It's possible because title reigns don't matter nearly as much as the superstar behind the title. What makes a superstar great is his in-ring talent and charisma.
Shawn Michaels is often considered the greatest superstar because he is a hybrid superstar. While some wrestlers have terrific mat skills, they aren't charismatic or entertaining. On the other side, some wrestlers are highly charismatic and entertaining but can't wrestle worth a dime.
Shawn Michaels was both highly entertaining and highly skilled.
Yes, titles are important, especially when they're held by the best superstars. However, title reign length isn't the barometer of greatness and neither is title reign count.
Titles don't make the wrestler. Wrestlers make the titles. What makes a champion great is his talent.
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