WWE Titles: Re-Thinking the Use of the World Heavyweight Championship
Since its inception in 2002, WWE's incarnation of the "Big Gold Belt" has, alongside the WWE Title, been considered one of the company's two world championships.
There have been times in the comparatively short history of WWE's World Heavyweight Championship where it seemed to be the most contested and important title in the business. WrestleManias 20, 21 and 24 saw the World Heavyweight Championship match close the show, highlighting the importance the title was once deemed to have.
Over the past few years however, the World Heavyweight Championship has paled and faded from true significance, with no doubt that it is indeed secondary to the WWE Championship. The fact that it opened WrestleManias 27 and 28 are indicators of its gradual decline in prestige—but even being featured fourth to last at this year's 'Mania failed to make the match feel any more important.
Although I am a fan of the talents of all three, the upcoming triple threat match at Extreme Rules would not look out of place if it was instead the Intercontinental Championship being contested.
Perhaps a way for the World Heavyweight Championship to regain some importance would be for WWE to make it a focus for upper-mid card and main-event heavyweights and super-heavyweights, while leaving the WWE Championship picture open to the most over talents, regardless of size.
This way, we would not constantly have the question of why somebody like Ryback cannot put away a much smaller competitor such as CM Punk with the title on the line. By making bigger superstars a focus in the World Heavyweight Championship picture, WWE would be acknowledging (outside of kayfabe) that it is a secondary title whilst keeping it strong within kayfabe by having monsters compete over the strap, even if those monsters are not as over as the guys competing for the WWE Championship.
For example, the World Heavyweight Championship picture could feature the likes of Big Show, Mark Henry, Sheamus, Ryback and Brock Lesnar whereas the WWE Title scene could involve wrestlers like Randy Orton, John Cena, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Chris Jericho and even Dolph Ziggler.
Ultimately, by having a blurry but still prominent heavyweight division, WWE gives the World Heavyweight Championship a purpose other than being a step down from their top prize. This is not to say that smaller superstars should not challenge for the belt every once in a while, but it should remain primarily as a strap for the beasts and monsters of the company.
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