WWE Internet Championship, Zack Ryder's Genius Idea
With the WWE's acquisition of Mistico, their current use of Hunico, as well as the presence of several high caliber light heavyweight/cruiserweight wrestlers including Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, Justin Gabriel and Evan Bourne, many fans and the IWC are expecting the Cruiserweight title to soon return.
I personally would love to see cruiserweight wrestling be promoted in the WWE, as there is a distinct lack of prestige given to arguably the more talented side of the roster.
However for me, I associate cruiserweight wrestling with high-flying and lucha libre styles rather than mat-based wrestling. Whilst I would welcome the return of the title, Zack Ryder of all people has got me thinking, why not move with the times and initiate an Internet Championship?
The possibilities are perhaps broader, and it also would give superstars like Ryder who aren't credible enough even for the Intercontinental or US titles, the opportunity to hold a belt and develop their careers.
In the Attitude Era, the European Championship was a stepping stone title to becoming a solid mid-carder, and there were some great feuds and matches over the belt. X-Pac, Owen Hart, William Regal, HBK, HHH, Eddie Guerrero, Y2J, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy and RVD are names that stand out as previous European champions.
Perhaps X-Pac and Regal are the lesser of that list, however the rest of the list (other than Owen Hart) have risen through the ranks and eventually won a world championship in the WWE. This type of title helps a superstar to stand prominent amongst the filler end of the roster, and gives them a platform to at least appear in PPV's with a reason, and to have something to defend or wrestle a match for.
I liken the notion of an Internet Championship and respective division as being the WWE's version of TNA's X Division. The X Division is arguably the high point of a below par competitor to the WWE. TNA's World Title division is bloated with Sting, Kurt Angle and Co., whose legacies and drawing power keep them at the top.
The X Division, however, consists of cruiserweight/light heavyweight wrestlers, many who are experienced and have honed their craft on the indy circuit. The X Division represents the opportunity for the smaller and arguably more exciting wrestlers to perform. An Internet Championship could be the same for the WWE.
And as an Internet Championship, why not offer the champion perks that are relatively low-cost to the WWE? The Dirt Sheet put The Miz and John Morrison on the WWE radar and made the fans pay attention to them. Giving the Internet Champion a virtual space to define themselves would not eat into Smackdown or Raw's allotted schedules, yet the audience get to have a glimpse of the wrestler.
First choice WWE Internet Champion (will defeat Zack Ryder)?
The bonus of this would be that the wrestler gets used to addressing an audience, being on camera and develop their promo abilities.
One criticism that I have of the current WWE product is that superstars are not encouraged enough to engage with fans via the Internet. Twitter and Facebook are one level, but regular video blogging with an effort to produce something of a reasonable quality and strong gimmick would put a lot more wrestlers over.
Zack Ryder, to his credit, has consistently produced "Z! True Long Island Story" and worked hard and put the time in to make himself known without WWE wasting time developing his onscreen character.
In the WWE, there are over a dozen wrestlers who need to get over with the audience, and having their own slot on WWE.com whilst they are the title-holder, even for four weeks would give them a platform that no amount of squash matches and weak feuds could compete with.
The E is for entertainment, and with all due respect to the talented wrestlers like Tyson Kidd, Yoshi Tatsu etc, as good a wrestler as you are, you are not entertaining. The audience expects feuds that are developed on promos and matches, and that means promos need to be honed.
WWE has not utilised the Internet much since the Comic-Con incident with CM Punk, which blew up via social networking, so why not promote an Internet Championship over the Internet?
Webcast matches, take it to FCW to cross the brands over and push the top FCW talent into the WWE limelight, and just invest a little time to strengthen the bottom end of the roster.
The Internet is the cheapest and most financially sustainable medium for promoting the low card, and in turn, adding definition to the roster, because the bottom end are not competing for anything.
By adding an Internet Championship to the WWE scene, the scope for competition for the cruiserweights and lower end of the roster is immediately expanded and potentially exciting. In my personal opinion, competition is the key to success in the WWE.
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