Why WWE's New Era Will Elevate Secondary Championship Belts

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2016

Sami Zayn holds up the Intercontinental Championship
Sami Zayn holds up the Intercontinental Championshipcredit: wwe.com

WWE's new era has been the topic of conversation among fans for nearly a month now. Shane McMahon's rise to power on Monday Night Raw has coincided with the influx of NXT talent, and that has made for some exciting weeks indeed.

But this is just the start. Shane's continued involvement on Raw, combined with the company's fresh feel, is affecting every aspect of the WWE product. A notable impact is being felt on WWE's secondary titles, which will be elevated as a result.

This is what many fans have been waiting on.

John Cena versus Randy Orton had taken its toll. The Authority's reign of terror had become painfully routine. Brock Lesnar's superhuman booking was all too predictable. There seemed to be no end in sight, as many WWE fans were just going through the motions every week.

They wanted something else and now they have it.

Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn at Payback
Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn at Paybackcredit: wwe.com

The new era is so much more than that. This is WWE's first real attempt at moving forward, at finally utilizing the newer talents that have been working hard to get over in NXT. The company has had the tools to build for tomorrow but had always seemed content to just let things be the way they were.

But now, it's obvious that the future is now.

So as long as WWE is doing some good work here, why not address the major issue of the secondary championships? That is exactly what seems to be happening, and fans surely could not be happier about it.

One of the chief complaints about WWE has always been its treatment of the titles. 

Unless it was the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, it never seemed to matter. Pat Patterson was always mentioned in regards to the historic Intercontinental Championship, while Harley Race was mentioned for the United States Championship, but it meant nothing.

Kalisto is the United States champion
Kalisto is the United States championcredit: wwe.com

Recognizing how important those titles used to be only shed a light on how unimportant they had become. So as WWE continued to hype those belts, fans were very aware that it was nothing but hype.

But now Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Cesaro and The Miz are lighting a fire under the Intercontinental Championship. The belt that should be second only to the world title is finally getting the attention it deserves. 

This is an angle deserving of the company's primary championship. The intensity, the action and the respect that is being shown by the guys involved toward the belt itself, is bringing a new focus for fans. This is not a belt that the company has to throw on TV in order to fill time; it's now becoming an important part of WWE again.

This should have happened a long time ago.

But now that it has, it's obvious that the new era is responsible for it all. It has opened the door for the Intercontinental Championship to be great again, and that is a very good thing. Not everyone can immediately challenge for the WWE world title, so strengthening the IC title is the perfect way to give rising talents a trophy to fight for.

Of course, it's not the only trophy available.

The United States Championship is still very much alive and well, and that is thanks to Kalisto. The luchador may not look like the typical U.S. champion, but he has done an admirable job of defending the title in his feud with Ryback.

Their match at Payback was arguably the best one yet, and that has brought another new focus for fans.

The United States Championship is indeed important, and it deserves as much attention as the IC title is getting. The cast of characters going for this belt may not be the same that the Intercontinental title has, but there are plenty of talents to go around.

WWE has to boost this belt, and give fans a reason to care about it again. Kalisto is a fine champion, and his reign could lead to the title becoming more of a cruiserweight style belt. If that happens, then it could very well become the most dynamic of the secondary championships.

That is a far cry from the days when the belt was barely seen on TV.

Then there's the brand new Women's Championship. The belt now inhabits the space where the Divas Championship used to exist, and this move alone has perhaps been the most important change of the company's new era.

The revolution that Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks brought to the forefront has become the norm. It's no longer about mindless Diva matches with no lasting impact; it's about the women becoming Superstars, and taking their rightful place among their male counterparts.

Fans wanted great things for the women, and that's exactly what's happening now.

The WWE World Tag Team Championships are in the perfect hands right now thanks to The New Day. Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston and Big E comprise the hottest act in the company, as fans just can't get enough of them. 

Competition for the tag belts is heating up as well. Enzo and Big Cass, The Dudley Boyz, The Usos, The Vaudevillains, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows are all in the mix. This is further proof that some real attention is being given, and it's evident that WWE is investing in this division as well. 

The fact is that while the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is the most important trophy in the company, it's the other titles that also need to be elevated. They're stepping stones to the big prize, and as such, they should be given their fair share of spotlight. 

It's clear that WWE has seen the need for this to happen, and it's also clear that without the advent of the new era, it may not have happened at all.

 

Tom Clark can regularly be found on Bleacher Report. His podcast, Tom Clark's Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online here