This week it was leaked that an apparent change to the WWE Championship belt is coming.
It all began from CM Punk talking at a convention about a change coming to the title soon. This prompted leaked photos and tons of speculation. While I personally hate the current title belt, rumors of change should only be believed when they are shown to be true.
Does anyone recall this image that was supposed to be the new WWE logo?
What about the changes to the Intercontinental Championship that were made last year but were never reported? Where were the news sources with that breaking news?
The point is that nothing is truly known until it actually happens. Still, if Punk is interviewed and says that another championship belt is waiting in the wings, let's take a look at the WWE title and compare it to what I think is the most attractive belt—the World Heavyweight Championship.
There are three categories I will dive into: Prestige, look and holders of the championship.
These three things cement the legacy of a specific title. All three were talked about by Cody Rhodes in his rant about changing the Intercontinental Championship. It was the new look of the belt and the long reign by Rhodes that tried to erase some of the previous holders of the title and take the title back to the days of the high prestige.
Let's compare both of these belts with the same three categories.
The World Heavyweight Championship has seen 24 different men hold the title since it was brought in to WWE in September 2002 by Eric Bischoff.
The belt is heavily inspired by the world championship of the defunct WCW that Bischoff was a part of. Still, none of that prestige will be talked about in this article for the purposes of keeping it all WWE-related.
Forty-three different men have held the WWE Championship, which first came into existence in 1963.
To try and keep this argument fair, the World Heavyweight Championship has had different title reigns with 24 different title holders since it came into existence in 2002.
Meanwhile, in the same time frame, the WWE Championship has had 42 different title reigns with 17 different title holders. Not only is the WWE Championship widely considered more prestigious for existing that much longer, but it has also been more exclusive over the years.
This round goes to the WWE Championship.
Winner: WWE Championship
The look of the World Heavyweight Championship is so simple, yet so beautiful. It is nicknamed the Big Gold Belt for a good reason—because that is exactly what it is.
It's obviously mirroring the WCW title belt, which brings back memories of it being held by many great competitors. Of the men who have held it in WWE, it really looks great on anyone and everyone. The small Rey Mysterio did well holding it, while the large Mark Henry also wore the title well.
The WWE Championship has had many looks over the years, and a change in appearance is the entire reason for this discussion.
From the Winged Eagle look to the Smoking Skull title, the belt has evolved as the champions have gone on. The current look of the belt first came when John Cena was champion. It originally was a spinner with the WWE logo spinning around in the center but has since been made to stay put on the belt.
It still doesn't make the belt look any more cheesy. It looks like a toy, and it doesn't look great on everyone. While The Miz, Punk, Cena and Edge can all pull it off, does anyone recall how awkward it looked on Triple H?
The World Heavyweight Championship looks like it could be a belt in MMA or boxing, while the WWE Championship looks like something Flava Flav would hatch up.
The entire reason the WWE Championship may be looking for a makeover, while the World Heavyweight Championship has been unchanged in a decade, gives this one to the Big Gold Belt.
Even with the imagined change to the WWE belt, this still goes to the WHC.
Holders of the Championship
We have to be fair and compare only the champions in the last 10 years, since the World Heavyweight Championship never had the likes of Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan holding onto it.
The heavy hitters of the World Heavyweight Championship seem to be toward the top of the list of most reigns with the belt. Seven men have held the title at least three times: Triple H, Batista, Edge, The Undertaker, CM Punk, Randy Orton and Chris Jericho.
For a list of champions in the last decade, that's a pretty nice list. The fact that guys like Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Big Show and Kurt Angle don't even have to come into play makes it rather powerful for the title.
However, there are some reigns that are questionable at best.
While we love Dolph Ziggler, if he never wins another championship, does he really belong here? Did anyone think Mark Henry would ever get here? Was Jack Swagger's reign a mistake? What in the world were they thinking with The Great Khali?
For every couple of great choices for a champion, there's one man holding the title who makes you scratch your head.
Let's look at WWE Champions during the same time. Headlining the list in number of reigns is obviously John Cena, who has held the title 10 times in 10 years.
Following him is Randy Orton with six, Edge with four and Brock Lesnar, who held the title when the World Heavyweight Championship first existed, with three. Everyone else has two or less.
Outside of saying current stars like The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus did not deserve to hold the title, this list is pretty solid. There aren't too many complaints for the names but more so when it comes to the number of reigns that some of these guys had.
The WWE Championship is the defining title in WWE history. It bears the name of the promotion and has been used to mark the face of the company in that time period.
Handicapping its history or not—that title tells the story.
Winner: WWE Championship
The championship is going to need a makeover to go with the change in eras that the company is going through.
A fresh look to the evolving title fits with the evolving WWE landscape. If any title needs a change in look, it is the WWE Championship. It is that much more valuable to the company that a good look is important to the rest of WWE.
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