The Rebirth of Regional Champs Could Bring Credibility to Live Events

Slam HoustonCorrespondent IJune 3, 2010

Have you ever been to a non-televised wrestling event that featured a championship title defense? I’m guessing that many of you have. But when was the last time a title changed hands at a non-televised event?

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a TNA Live event. The card featured six bouts with three of those being championship title defenses. So in all honesty, the results for half of these matches were undeniably obvious.

I can say I’ve attended several non-televised events that featured championship title defenses. I’ve seen Hulk Hogan retain his World Championship against the likes of Terry Funk, Paul Orndorff (twice), and One Man Gang. Ric Flair also successfully defended his title, even versus Sting, inside a steel cage.

Of course, these outcomes were never unexpected.

It’s time for the top tier wrestling organizations to inject some unpredictability into the non-televised “House Show” product. This can be accomplished in two ways.

First, the current title matches should be advertised and conducted as non-title matches. When titles are at stake, everyone knows the conclusion must result with the champion remaining as champion. However, a non-title bout leaves a greater option for variable conclusions. The champion will still inevitably leave with the belt, but he could have just tapped out, too.

Also, creating a regional, state, or local champion would bring integrity to the event.

There are certain stars who receive more favorable reactions in various cities. Edge, Christian, and Chris Jericho are treated like wrestling royalty any time they appear in Canada. Mark Henry and Chavo Guerrero are more popular when they perform in Texas.  

Wrestling organizations, most notably WWE and TNA, could capitalize on the territorial relationships through the introduction of a local champion. Having a hometown hero battle for his region’s championship, with the possibility of actually winning and defending said championship, would do nothing but further the entertainment value of the event.

It would also give an organization the opportunity to evaluate its talent in championship situations instead of thrusting them into the television spotlight without fully knowing how they will fare.

Of course, these local champions should be kept entirely separate from the television product. They don’t even necessarily need to carry an actual championship belt, even though a Texas belt would undoubtedly be awesome.

One last note for any of you that enjoy quizzes. I created a Wrestling Word Ladder quiz earlier today if you want to test your skills. Enjoy.