When the WWE unified their two major championships back in December last year, it was a move that was immediately considered controversial. It is almost two months since the unification was confirmed via Randy Orton's victory at Tables, Ladders & Chairs, but the experiment is already struggling.
In fact, it is almost time for the plan to have a line drawn underneath it. Move on, and forget it ever happened. This may seem rash given that is still incredibly early in the lifespan of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship—less than two months, in fact. But it is close to being confirmed as a massive failure.
That is not to say Randy Orton isn't a good champion. Far from it, in fact—he has played a very good role as a heel champion, something he does better than most.
However, a persistently dull rivalry with John Cena has stagnated the tenure and almost doomed it to failure. That is, in essence, the problem. John Cena is never going to be away from a championship picture for long. Sure, he may feud with someone else at WrestleMania XXX—but come the completion of that pay-per-view, you'd imagine he will be shot back into the frame.
That wasn't so much of a problem when there were two championship belts. It ensured that fresh guys were still getting a chance to mix it up for the belts. Would Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler and even Daniel Bryan have had their big breaks under the current one-championship system? It is certainly debatable.
The current roster is almost packed to the rafters with talent waiting for a big opportunity at the top. That includes a plethora of established wrestlers—Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Cena and even CM Punk—who are all expected to be in a championship picture.
Then you scratch below the surface. Throw names like Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Big E Langston and Antonio Cesaro into the hat. How are they ever expected to be pushed to championship level without the belts to aim for?
In fact, it is appropriate Big E Langston's name is mentioned above, because that was the one softening blow when the WWE unified their championship belts. It meant that the Intercontinental Championship should have been elevated to the true secondary belt that it was back in the Attitude Era, when guys like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Bret Hart had their hands on the belt.
Langston is somewhat of a diamond in the rough—he has massive potential, that is for certain. The unification should have worked in his favor and seen he and his belt pushed to new heights. However, it quite simply has not happened. Langston has almost gone stale—as has the Intercontinental Championship.
There is no doubting that it was a bold and novel idea to unify the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship. However, the move has quite simply failed and looks set to have a negative impact on the WWE.
After WrestleMania XXX, there should be a pathway for the WWE to reinstate both championships in their own right. The company—and the roster—need it desperately.