What is going on everyone? It seems the big talk this week has been the start of the unification of all the titles inside of the WWE. Now those who know me know that this is something I have pushed long and hard for, for a very long time. It already started with the new WWE Tag Team Championships and now we will soon have a unified women’s champion in WWE as well leaving us two more titles to unify. Why is this going down? How should this go down? I will tell you because you are reading “Wrestling Rumblings.”
Let’s face it people the fact that WWE is moving Smackdown to SyFy and for the first time since before the Attitude Era went underway will no longer be on free TV. It seems with every station move Smackdown’s audience seems to whittle away and it’s very hard to say how eager Sy Fy will be to keep the wrestling show on the air when the next contract renewal period arrives and for that matter how eager WWE will be to maintain the show when the rights fees and audience for the show continue to decline. The unification of titles shows me that WWE is preparing for the day when they may just have to end the brand split. Think I am wrong? OK, well how do you explain the sudden boom of Supershows as of late? Smackdown shows by themselves just aren’t that much of a sell and why should they be? We have been groomed for years to believe that Raw is the flagship and well the talent on Smackdown hasn’t been promoted as anything but B squad talent. WWE realizes that the initial idea of the brand extension has failed. You remember what that plan was right? Brand exclusive PPV’s which by the way didn’t last all that long and separate touring schedules which still exist but continue to dwindle and have sort of just become the A and B shows of the 80’s which is what WWE wanted to eliminate the stigma of. WWE was supposed to double their revenues under this business plan and it just really hasn’t happened.
With the rise of UFC as a PPV juggernaut, as well as attempts at competition within its own industry WWE is preparing for the day when they have to make that one big stand. Ending the brand extension is really the only card they can play. I am not pushing for them to end Smackdown because I think the show does serve a purpose but with the brand extension over the rosters can be realigned in a way where WWE’s combined roster will blow anything that TNA puts together out of the water. It’s the smart move to make and WWE will make that move within the next 6 years I am sure. However I just went off on a rant and it’s time to get back to the subject of unified champions.
We already have unified the tag team championships and it was about time since there are only 4 tag teams inside of WWE anyway and all 4 are really joke tag teams if you stop and think about it. The Uso’s have yet to win a match, Santino and Koslov are comedy relief, no one still knows who Vance Archer and Kurt Hawkins are and the Hart Dynasty have been relegated to being flunkies for Bret Hart. I’m actually scared WWE may go the route of WCW in the late 90’s and just eradicate tag teams altogether although I’m thinking with all the influx of NXT talent and WWE’s latest signing blitz there has to be the potential for a couple of decent tag teams. Needless to say until WWE can create some tag teams and some tag team feuds that do not involve those titles that people care about to build interest in those tag teams those titles will continue to be meaningless.
That brings us to the women’s championships which even though the talent isn’t there they have plenty of depth in and imaginably would have more depth once they add the 3 or 4 divas I expect them to add from the next season of NXT. Melina obviously would be the prime candidate to win that unified title and well with a roster of 16 to 20 females you could do a lot with that division. Think about it that’s twice what TNA has in its promotion and TNA’s women’s division has been applauded for years even though when you think about it only a third of that group can work a decent match. With a unified women’s title and some good writing the WWE women’s title can surpass the interest it generated in the attitude era.
So now we have the titles that have yet to be unified what about the Intercontinental and United States championships? Those titles have been devalued for so long that it would be in the best interests of WWE to unify those titles and make them open for both brands. Can you imagine a mid card that consists of John Morrisson, Dolph Ziggler, R Truth, Christian, Drew McIntyre, Cody Rhodes, Ted Dibiase Jr, Alberto Del Rio, MVP, and Jack Swagger amongst others going for that title? You also have to figure that with a unified world title and not everyone being in the mix that it would bring some main eventers back into the mid card from time to time bringing a boost to not just the Intercontinental title but those who hold it as well. It’s been one of my criticisms for years that WWE has not used the mid card titles to elevate guys in a better fashion as was the case throughout its history. TNA has not used their mid card titles to elevate anyone at all other than Samoa Joe and AJ Styles who somehow were elevated with the X Division title in that titles heyday and well the lack of main event interest in that promotion shows. Not everyone is a Sheamus who can just burst onto the main event scene. Wrestlers are like plants and need to sometimes to be nurtured and a good mid card title run with the right amount of challengers and credible victories can make that mid card competitor into a John Cena or HHH. As for who I would have that first unified champion be in that division I would probably like to go with John Morrison or the Miz simply because I feel the Miz is just not ready to be world champion just yet but he will be and this will be the latest feather in his cap and well John Morrisson seems to need a bit of a rehabilitation to his image and what better way to start that then a run as a strong mid card champion?
That brings us to the world title which probably needs this more than any other. The Smackdown world title scene isn’t really much of a scene at all and has revolved around a battered and aged Undertaker for years and well it really says a lot when your star player is a guy that does not do the house show loop and is active for maybe 6 months of the year. The Raw scene is not that much better as it has revolved around HHH, John Cena and Randy Orton and could probably benefit from an influx of guys like Rey Misterio, CM Punk, Big Show and the Undertaker. Plus you would have to figure with that Intercontinental title being used to create new potential main eventers you could really do a lot with the top of the card. I think WWE really missed the boat when it was promoting the Undisputed Championship years back as it sort of harkened me back to the NWA days of a champion going from territory to territory and made that title seem so special. Granted it was only 2 brands but at the time WWE was talking of global expansion (it still is) and it just seemed that one champion for a bunch of divisions was the way to go. Whether it is for the brand extension or one unified WWE I think it makes more sense to have one WWE champion as having 2 has just diluted those titles throughout the years.
One other thing that has really piqued my interest with this proposal is the potential of bringing back other championships. Let’s face it there are some guys that just shouldn’t be in that mid card mix for the Intercontinental Championship right away WCW and WWE had the Cruiswerweight Championships and I think it was the best thing as that title was also used to groom a lot of future world champions such as Chris Benoit (who while he never won it was always a top contender), Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, and Rey Misterio. Maybe with a Cruiserweight title you can have guys such as Evan Bourne, Daniel Bryan and Kaval really get the exposure that they need to ascend to the next level. It’s an idea that certainly needs to be thought about once the other titles are subtracted.
So there you have it folks my thoughts on the unification of WWE titles, let me just say one thing and then I will wrap this column up for the week I don’t think Wrestlemania should be a main event for the undisputed WWE title simply because that is a PPV that does a strong buyrate no matter what it does and it would just seem like a waste of an angle. I think if there is going to be any kind of world title unification John Cena vs. The Undertaker would be the way to go just because there aren’t that many other strong candidates on Smackdown and John Cena like him or hate him deserves to be in that match but if you book it at Wrestlemania you not only are not going to get any extra buy rates for the unification but you also sort of give away the finish since Undertaker would be going in with the streak and I would imagine coming out with the streak as well. I say the best way to go is if you are going to unify the world title do it after Wrestlemania on a “B” show type PPV so that maybe that show can get a bump, in other words rather than trying to do one monster buy rate how about we do two really good buy rates?
OK time to go home and like always it is time to give the people something to do. In addition to write Eric Bischoff and ask him how is it the same week I called him out to do an interview with me he instead went for another cushy interview with Monday Night Mayhem I’m going to suggest reading the Gorgeous George book by John Capouya. I’ve had the book in my collection since it first came out but finally had the chance to read it and you know what? I am really looking forward to seeing what WWE can do with a Gorgeous George movie based on this book, so go ahead and check it out. Of course if you want to email me you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org and well don’t forget to check out the Wrestleview VIP blogs where I imagine I will be doing at least one “Outside Interference” blog over the weekend and well that’s it for this week, until next week I will try to do better, until then I am out.