WWE Should Hold More No. 1 Contender Matches on Pay-Per-View
Two of the biggest and most anticipated WWE matches of the year so far were No. 1 contender matches: The Royal Rumble in January and the following month's Elimination Chamber match produced respective contenders for the company's two world championships at WrestleMania 29.
December's pay-per-view, Tables Ladders and Chairs, hosted a Tag Team Championship No. 1 contenders match, but this was largely to keep members of the tag division on the card while champions Team Hell No joined forces with Ryback to take on The Shield.
Although it would undoubtedly be out of the question to ask for more frequent midcard title No. 1 contender matches to be held on pay-per-view events, interesting stories, feuds and matches could come from an increased focus on the contenders to the world title picture, and not just the championship match itself.
All too often in recent years, wrestlers seem to be able to walk into title bouts without actually deserving the match by beating other top end superstars. Of course, the example that comes first to everybody's mind is The Rock's announcement of his Royal Rumble title match on the 1000th episode of Monday Night Raw.
A similar occurrence, like it or not, was Chris Jericho's announcement of his Extreme Rules rematch with CM Punk, despite tapping out to him at WrestleMania, citing that he'd "pulled some strings", rather than face somebody for a chance to once again be a top contender.
I understand that this is a somewhat pedantic outlook, but the fact remains that on-screen authority figures now all too often play second fiddle to superstars who simply insert themselves into the world title picture (see Ryback in the build towards Hell In a Cell).
This is not an argument for every single pay-per-view of the year to hold a No. 1 contenders match of some description, but increasing the frequency of contendership matches could add, or at least maintain, prestige of the two world titles.
The last time we saw a pay-per-view with a one-on-one world championship No. 1 contenders feud and match was back at Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2010, when John Morrison defeated Sheamus in a ladder match to become the top contender for The Miz's WWE Championship.
Of course, events such as Beat The Clock, Royal Rumble and Money In The Bank provide innovative ways to create contenders for world titles, but now and then producing fully blown singles feuds over the contender spots would arguably add a depth to the two respective world title scenes and reinstate the age-old idea that title shots have to be earned.
Ultimately, greater emphasis on contenders means greater emphasis on champions and championship belts. After all, isn't that what professional wrestling is all about?
What are your thoughts on No. 1 contender matches? Should they appear as legitimate feuds on pay-per-views or be kept exclusively for free television?
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