Analyzing Pros and Cons of Potential Title vs. Title Match at WrestleMania
As much as fans have begged for WWE to unify the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship going back all the way to the latter title's introduction 11 years ago, there was never really any indication that it could actually happen. Until now.
According to PWInsider.com (h/t WrestlingInc.com), WWE is actually considering a title vs. title match at WrestleMania XXX, especially if the World Heavyweight Championship is re-elevated by John Cena holding it. While it's not clear whether or not this would be a unification match if it went down (WWE did non-unification double title matches in 2001 during the WCW invasion angle), I'm not sure if there's much of a point to it not if they're not merging the titles back together.
WWE, like all other sane wrestling promotions, only recognized one world heavyweight champion for decades, although they generally simplified it to "WWWF/WWF/WWE Champion" for branding purposes. The introduction of the WCW Championship during the invasion changed that, and while they were unified at the first pay-per-view event after that feud was blown off, the new "Undisputed Championship" was split again less than a year later.
It all grew out of the "brand extension" split of Raw and SmackDown in spring 2002. Originally planned for separate "WWE" and "WCW" brands to handle the newly inflated roster a year earlier, it was cancelled when the first "WCW" match on Raw bombed. The idea was that, especially with increased international touring, it would be easier to market the two different house show tours.
To avoid any perceived disparity between the two brands/tours, they split up the Undisputed Championship into the current titles.
Of course, it wasn't long before whichever title was on Raw and/or held by Triple H was pushed as the "real" title, so they weren't seen as equal anyway. Not as bad as it's been the last couple years, but it still defeated the purpose of having the two titles.
To make matters worse, the first several months of the brand split saw the Undisputed Champion as the only male wrestler who floated between shows, elevating the importance of the title. Also, since the champion would mostly appear on one brand during a given feud, he'd be fresh when he returned to the other brand. So not only were both world titles devalued, but they were devalued after a period where the main title had meant more than it had in several years.
Is a second world title needed to help the secondary house show draw in 2013?
Still, as much as the World Heavyweight Championship had been branded as secondary, making the reason for its creation moot. If you're going to have Alberto Del Rio as the key headliner, what he's going to draw is based on him being Alberto Del Rio, not him being champion. Same goes for John Cena on the other side of the spectrum, especially since the house shows draw so many more kids and families than TV tapings and PPV events.
They could also just do what they did for years before: Make the Intercontinental Championship important enough to headline house shows. It would take some time, but it's doable, and you don't have the cognitive dissonance of there being two world titles.
The only real negative I can think of that can't easily be rectified is that it's what younger fans are used to. Then again, as I said, how much do they care as long as their favorites are advertised? I don't think "the world champion" means that much to them the way things are now, but "the world champion" could mean something if there was only one of them.
And if they're not unifying the titles? Someone could tell Vince McMahon that WCW had two world champions 20 years ago. I bet they'd get through to Vince...
What does everyone else think?
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