While perusing an article here on Bleacher Report I realized something. I find it sickening that Randy Orton can call himself a nine-time World Champion. I also find it preposterous that John Cena is now a 12-time World Champion. Even Edge (as big a fan as I am of him) had his 11 title reigns over a short five-year period.
Randy Orton won his first world title on July 26th, 2004. At the time of writing of this article it is September 20th, 2011 meaning Orton has held the title an average of more than once a year in the past seven years. Cena is even worse being that he won his first world title on April 3rd 2005. So over the past six years he has been champion an average of once every six months!
Now let's take a look at some legendary figures in the annals of WWE history and their amount of title reigns over time (Note for this article I will be listing WWF/WWE and World/WCW Heavyweight title reigns as well as citing dates where they had more recently competed for said titles):
Shawn Michaels - four times over 23 years (1988 - 2011)
The Undertaker - seven times over 21 years (1990 - 2011)
Bret Hart - seven times over 16 years (1984 - 2000)
Hulk Hogan - 12 times over 19 years (1983 - 2002)
Looking at these statistics I am fully in support of longer title reigns.
When you look back at when these guys were champions, the wrestlers would hold the titles for long periods of time. It was a special thing when a title would change hands, not just something that was pretty much expected at a pay-per-view if your name wasn't John Cena or Randy Orton.
It has been said quite a few times amongst us in the IWC that the belts are nothing more than props to be passed around now. The mid-card titles have lost so much prestige that no one cares who the champions even are at this point.
I just think the collective consciousness of the WWE Universe won't allow for long title reigns. People have short attention spans and want instant gratification. That might be why the championships change hands so frequently.
Rey Mysterio was WWE Champion for less than two hours! Hell, Dolph Zigger was World Heavyweight champion for less than two minutes!!!
It means something to the credibility of a performer when they can topple a giant. Not necessarily someone who is the size of say, The Big Show, but someone who has held a title for a long period. An unstoppable popular force like a Hulk Hogan. A tough man whom no one could beat for five consecutive years like Bruno Sammartino.
Like the old saying goes, "it's not the quantity, but the quality."
So what do you guys think? Are you in favor of longer title reigns that can establish great fueds and clashes, or are you in favor of seeing a new face with the title every month or so to keep things fresh?
Until next time, I'm Merlot Williams, and that's my opinion.
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