I put this profile pic as the headline for a purpose (as most B/R writers do). This is a significant photo right here. This is Chris Jericho as the first ever Undisputed Champion ever.
Think about back in December 2001, when Jericho beat both Austin and The Rock in the same night at Armageddon. That really elevated him to the top of the business, even if it was only for a few months.
What if he hadn't won the title that night? What if Austin beat Angle like he did but Jericho would have lost to the Rock and we would have an Austin vs. Rock battle—which are always saved for WrestleMania—do you feel Jericho would still be looked at as the legend that many people consider him today? Do you believe that when Jericho return to the WWE back in late 2007 and didn't win those two heavyweight titles that he would still be praised as a legend?
I truly doubt he would. As great as Jericho is as a wrestler, he winning those numerous titles helped people see him as an established star who has had a very successful professional wrestling career. Without his three short world title reigns, he would be nothing more than a Razor Ramon, or even a Kane. Yes I went there with Kane.
You have to understand that winning world titles establishes you more of a true star within the WWE. That Batista versus John Cena match back in Summerslam 2008 would have been crap if those two didn't have numerous title reigns under their belt.
Not crap as if their match wasn't good but crap as in the hype wouldn't be anything more than a John Morrison/Sheldon Benjamin fued. No disrespect to thsoe two future greats.
Vince is a smart man and he knows that he needs to have well-established stars in order for his company to succeed. He did it with Hulk Hogan with his American gimmick and had him win titles in a heroic way. Even Bischoff established Hogan with the numerous titles he held with the NWO.
No matter how bad a wrestler may perform those world title victories give them so much credibility to their name. Austin would not be who he is. The Rock would still be great because he was so damn funny. Even HHH would be nothing more than a DX has been without his 10 plus title reigns. Then again, Austin would still be great without the titles.
I think of Edge and his current stature in the WWE. He has become a nine time world champion in the course of three years. Edge has had a great career with his classic rivalries with Kurt Angle and Christian and the classic TLC matches that really put him over the top—even the incident with him, Lita, and Matt Hardy. Those moments with Edge have one thing in common, that was before his world title reigns.
He then became the ultimate opportunist and takes advantage of a beated up John Cena and wins his first world title. That moment has ignited a three year rivalry between Cena and Edge. Even though WWE is scripted, you start to believe those two really don't like each other. They are the new Austin-Rock. Yes I went there too.
Nine world titles later, Edge is the show of Smackdown and has carried that show for a couple of years now with his classic rivalries with Undertaker/Batista/Jeff Hardy, even Cena still—and he's on Raw.
I may have gone off topic with Edge, but it states my point to this article: These current world champions (and the historical past champions) brought prestige to the title and the companies that they fought in.
Even the Intercontinetal and the United States Title have established stars. You think if Sheldon Benjamin didn't hold the US title that long over this past year he will still be getting recognition? Actually, that's Benjamin so he will always get a chance to shine. But his name wouldn't be of such significance as it is now.
CM Punk, with his triple crown championship victories over the last year with two money in the bank victories, he could be considered a superstar. I got much love for CM Punk. He has a good theme song, great charisma, and a great GTS finishing move. Say what you want about him but he's an established star, and his time is coming soon as well. His time may be now.
You have to win championships to be considered great. Most of the WWE hall of famers were world championships at some point. And if they didn't win a world title they held some type of gold within their reign as a professional wrestler.
I know I'm going long with this article but this article can go for days.
Now another good example is a stable which I adore to watch even though I don't watch the program that much. The Main Event Mafia in TNA. I wish I was home Thursdays to watch them in action. Bischoff would have made this stable shine.
Booker T, Big Poppa Pump, Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle, and Sting have numerous world title victories...around 30 world title reigns between the five (too lazy to recount history). Whenever they fight in TNA, the crowd are always against them. They are like Galiats and everyone else is Davids.
They draw though for TNA. I bet if they came into WWE as a stable that would draw big money. Main Event Mafia in a Survivor Series match with Cena/HHH/Edge/HBK/Undertaker. That would be a HUGE match. Probably the best Survivor Series matchup ever.
I would pay to see this match. I got my money on MEM. Angle and Sting are the two best to ever wrestle, along with Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair.
So to sum this all up, we need the same wrestlers to continue to win world titles. Batista/Cena/Orton/HHH/Edge/Jericho/Taker, they have shown they can carry the company so Vince trusts the title in their hands...even CM Punk.
The more titles they win the more credibility they gain amongst the fans that grow to love them. No matter who you are, EVERYONE always remember a champion. If you're entertaining that makes you a true superstar. The Rock's charisma made him a huger star than you will ever get these days.
A true testament to the mark you make in professional wrestling history with the heavyweight title victories and special moments that fans will always cherish...that's what makes you a legend.