Why The Rock Devalues the WWE Title as a Part-Time Champion

Bryan HaasFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2013

courtesy of wwe.com
courtesy of wwe.com

Several weeks ago, WWE champion Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson debuted a newly designed title belt, replacing the old “spinner” design that had become somewhat stale and boring.


Since then however, the WWE Universe has barely seen that gold belt or even The Rock, leading to the question of whether or not the title can remain relevant if the champion is never on WWE programming.


Frankly, the company has done a very poor job of keeping the proposed title match between The Rock and challenger John Cena on the minds of fans, with very little mention of the April 7 WrestleMania 29 showdown at all on WWE programming.


For a match with title and personal implications for both competitors, one would think that WWE would be attempting to make every effort to promote it to the nth degree.


Instead, there has not been a personal promo between the two in several weeks, nor even an appearance by The Rock during that time.


And of course, we all see what the company is trying to do. A matchup between The Rock and Cena is absolutely going to draw interest. It will sell tickets and it will generate pay-per-view buys, but without significant buildup, it becomes just another match.


There has been very little interaction between the two in the months that this match has been proposed. They have had only a couple of face-to-face promo spots, and even when they did, they failed to sincerely set up any real emotion heading into the encounter.


We all know that Cena desires the title and he wants to make up for his loss to The Rock at last year's WrestleMania. One would think that with all of the time that he’s been spending promoting his movie career, The Rock has been spending a lot less time in the gym and will be ill-prepared for this matchup.


Of course this is not the case, but it begs the question that if The Rock is spending a majority of his time promoting something other than his wrestling career or even the fact that he is in possession of one of the most coveted wrestling prizes in the world, why is he never around to flaunt that?


From the beginning of his feud with former champion CM Punk, it became apparent that The Rock would win the title. It was unclear, however, that he would only defend it once in the time between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.


Not for nothing, but if that title were around the waist of anyone else, it would have defended week in and week out, just as it was by Punk for well over a year.


Say what you will about Punk, but the man always worked hard and gave his all when he was champion. Sure, his star power isn’t quite as large as The Rock’s, but he always put wrestling first and other things after that.


He was a hard-working and gritty champion who defended the title several times each week for well over a year.


Cena will likely end up winning the title at WrestleMania, but will it take a great deal of work for him to again legitimize the title?


Can the company expect to thrive when its flagship champion only competes a handful of times per year? Has The Rock’s title reign lessened the prestige of the company’s most important prize?

Bear in mind that the WWE championship that has been defended less regularly than the WWE Divas title. And when was the last time that you saw Divas champion Kaitlyn defend that belt?