Wrestling Championships: Is Less Actually More?

Cec Van GaliniAnalyst IIIMarch 14, 2010

NEW YORK - MARCH 11:  (L-R) Wrestler Eddie Guerrero, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and Wrestler Triple H attend a press conference to promote Wrestlemania XX at Planet Hollywood March 11, 2004 in New York City.  (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
Peter Kramer/Getty Images

In all sports, champions are renowned for the number of championships they win

Jack Nicklaus - 18 Golf Majors

Roger Federer - 16 Grand Slams

Real Madrid - 9 time European Champions 

Michael Schumacher 7 Grand Prix Championships

In the 'cartoon world' of wrestling, however championships are not so much about skill as it is about the person who actually wins them. 

The example of WCW Stunning Steve as compared to WWF/E's Stone Cold is a perfect example of how different a person's career can be if they prove to be marketable.

It is therefore quite surprising that I heard recently that the Game, the cerebral assassin, the King of Kings, Triple H was a Thirteen time World Champion .

I must admit, I have never been a fan of Triple H. Perhaps it is because I still remember his run as a blueblood heel in 1996, or perhaps as Bret Hart fan, I came to hate DX or maybe its simply that I hate his ability as part of the clique to book his own matches, but I still genuinely believe that he does not deserve to be known as a 13-time World Champion.

I understand that this statement is likely to garner some disagreement to the point that I may receive a glowstick to the back of the head at my next wrestling event but I honestly feel that he is over-rated when we compare his record to others in the wrestling world.

When we consider that the likes of Roddy Piper , the British Bulldog, or Curt Hennig, were unable to have even one title reign, the Game's 13 titles looks relatively unfair.

In my opinion and it seems to be one that is found elsewhere in the wrestling world, the perception of Championships is one of diminished value. For me, there are two moments in relatively recent history that marks how important the title can be.

The first comes in 1996 with Wrestlemania 12 when Shawn Michaels realises his dream and captures the title for the first time.

Everything about that win, be it his entrance, the nature of his victory or simply the iconic picture of him celebrating on his knees with the belt, meant something to him and to the wrestling world.

The second moment comes one year later. Hart and Michaels had momentarily gone from the Title chase and in their place, two giants in the form of Sid and the Undertaker . As a creature of the night, I sat up until 3 a.m. waiting for this match. Following after the bloody epic between Hart and Austin, this match had to be special and in my opinion it was.

The Undertaker had not possessed the title for over five years and indeed even that reign was only brief given Hogan's phenomenal success. So for the Undertaker, once again dressed in grey for the night, to win a World Title, was a truly magical moment.

Just as we had shared in Michaels' success one year earlier, now we could sit back and acknowledge the efforts of another superstar who had worked so hard and achieved the ultimate prize.

It seems that these days, a superstar only has to enter the ring to be given a World Title, with Sheamus the obvious example.

However if we also consider that Edge has held 9 titles, John Cena 8, and Randy Orton 6 , it begs the question whether or not the WWE can make the World Title special again?

I for one think that when the history books are written the likes of Bret Hart (5), Shawn Michaels (4), Randy Savage (2), Eddie Guerrero (1) will be regarded as more meaningful champions than the likes of HHH, Cena, Edge or Orton.

In the wrestling world, the champion is appointed not crowned, so let's hope that the next generation are afforded special moments when their time comes .