by Zak Fellows
Champion Vs Champion? Not on my watch
As many of you no doubt know, mainly because I am British and therefore am going to cheer non Americans over Americans in matches you stereotype calling bastard, I was looking forward to the two secondary title matches last Sunday at TLC featuring Antonio Cesaro defending the United States Champion and Wade Barrett potentially winning the Intercontinental Champion and you know a half result is ok isn’t it? It was good that Antonio and Kofi Kingston both successfully defended their titles my extreme love for Wade Barrett notwithstanding? Ha Ha Ha…WRONG!
Now Antonio Cesaro retaining his title was practically expected because WWE are currently backing him up like mad determined not to give up on the guy which is very uncharacteristic of the company that has left a lifeboat of wrestlers to sink this year alone. They would also be idiots to have R Truth as a babyface win the US Title (calling it likes I sees it which means that there is a lot of truth).
However, I was hoping, praying, offering sheep to Cthulhu and meeting up with Allah that Kofi would lose the title to Barrett at the PPV for weeks and even more so after a specific Raw.
In WWE’s continuing bid to get Cesaro over enough to get something other than foreign heat/USA chants, which is something all foreigners wrestlers aim to avoid by the way unless they are content with any reaction at all and are desperately seeking approval types, WWE unknowingly shot themselves in the foot.
Antonio Cesaro (the United States Champion) faced Kofi Kingston (the Intercontinental Champion) and while it was a great match and I am glad Cesaro won mainly because I am sick of Kofi to a degree, it was a stupid move on the part of WWE as they buried one champion in favour of another champion.
This to me represents a problem and mistake that WWE keeps persistently making for the last couple of years since introducing more than one title on the same tier as in WWE Championship to World Heavyweight Championship.
While I realize the whole appeal of seeing one champion face another champion, I don’t get suckered into the hype because experience has taught me to be as cynical and pessimistic with wrestling these days as I can.
I feel as if WWE keeps cocking it up. In another attempt to try and steer wrestling in the right direction once again so they can turn into the direction of an entirely different pitfall and despite the fact that I believe champion vs. champion matches should just flat out not happen unless a company feels like shooting themselves in the limbs (like making Sheamus a babyface world champion) here is how I feel Wrestling can improve its champion vs. champions matches (or they can stop doing them altogether either will do).
1. Promote the Matches in Advance
Champion vs. Champion matches are big deals since they should be rare and few and far between. To their credit, I will reluctantly say that WWE doesn’t exactly hold the matches every single goddamn week. There are some people who are really into the whole concept and are genuinely intrigued as to who would win if say the Divas Champion faced the World Heavyweight Champion (bad example I know but please just go with it and don’t pretend you wouldn’t be turned on by the thought of Big Show taking on Eve Torres in a ‘who can prostitute themselves more’ match).
If you are going to book a champion vs. champion match, give it at least a week or two build up for it because it could end up being the deciding factor on whether viewers will or will not watch the show.
Say for example you booked CM Punk vs. The Big Show in two weeks on a live Smackdown (a live show would mean that you would have to wait until the show day to know the outcome therefore no spoilers and no going to those shit wrestling spoiler sites that says the same fucking thing and posts bullshit WrestleMania plans) it gives at most fourteen days for word to spread around that ‘Holy Shit Punk and Show are going to face each other on Smackdown! I wonder what is going to go down. Punk is obviously going to win because he is the Best of the World and Big Show is fat’ (let it be known that a percentage of that example of NOT my actual opinion).
NEVER book a champion vs. champion without build up because if a company was to book the match in a regular way during a show, people who are not watching the show wouldn’t know otherwise and since wrestling fans are generally selfish pricks, they won’t let you know when a match that you are interested in is currently happening on TV right now when you are NOT watching (again totally not bitter or anything).
2. Only Have Same Tier Champions Face Each Other*
By same tier champions I mean to say if the Intercontinental Champion is in the match have him face the champion that is supposed to be on the same level as him which in the case of the IC Title would be the United States Champion just like Cesaro/Kingston.
This is more of a precaution more than anything else and even though I am fully aware that wrestling is known for taking risks much like any other business and by all means they should especially if that risk involves murdering Hornswoggle, but sometimes in business it is better to play it safe and now let us quickly turn this back into a champion vs. champion writing as opposed to a WWE business model pissing off IWC members writing even though them pissing off IWC members makes them endearing to me.
It is a safe move to pit champions of the same tier against each other because the intention of the match should be used to show both wrestlers differing uniqueness and what makes them a champion compared to the other which in the case of the current IC and US champion would be Cesaro being an awesome foreigner and Kofi being a guy that WWE constantly pities into giving titles.
If you were to pit the WWE champion against the Intercontinental champion and then have the WWE champion win, then you are really pretty much telling the audience and IC champion that they have no chance of beating the WWE champion and they will be stuck in the hell of never gonna go anywhere which is still hell I know.
3. Have it be a Close Match
The reason there is an asterisk next to the second reason is because it is still possible to have champions of a different tiers face each other, but it is in relation to this one so I am not an idiot thank you very much, Mr Self Proclaimed intelligent asshole and I am getting to it.
Champions of the top and secondary tiers are very integral to the development and future of a wrestling company: the World Champions are supposed to represent the present faces of the business while the secondary champions are meant to be the rising future of the business…well used to be until they became the ‘Your never going to be in the main event so here’s this title instead’ which some people aren’t prepared to complain about, right wildcat?
Although I would rather not have a world champion face a secondary champion and just have the secondary champion build themselves up separately to the champion, sometimes just having the two champions face each other is less time consuming for those who just want to try and get to the fucking point and go and hire their regular hookers.
Timing for pulling the trigger to take wrestlers to the next level is something very difficult to pinpoint and pitting the secondary champion against the world champion can help the process. If they faced the world champion and put on a good effort, the people will start to pay attention to them and they will believe that they have the potential to become the next world champion.
Sometimes the effort that a wrestler puts against the champion can negate the end result, but that’s not to say that the secondary champion losing to the world champion despite great effort will always result in people looking more towards to the effort as opposed to the result.
4. NEVER Have a Decisive Result
This goes hand in hand skipping with the third one, but bear with me. You see most champion vs. champion matches end up with a decisive winner including Cesaro and Kingston and this is the mean complaint I have with that match. Because there was a decisive winner with that match and it was pitting two champions that should technically be of equal status one title ends up getting buried over another which should never happen especially when you factor in that the match itself doesn’t mean a thing in the grand scheme.
By having it so there is no definitive winner of a match between two champions, it means that both will remain level with each other in the eyes of the fans and if it is just a TV match with no intention aside from drawing in morons who like flashing objects, then it doesn’t kill the future of a champions reign.
WWE did this in the build-up to WrestleMania this past year with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan by not only portraying the two as fairly equal, but also by having it so neither man getting the win in favour of screwy finishes. It made it so it didn’t deplete interest and hype of either champion leading up to the big PPV: YOU were still interested in seeing Daniel Bryan defend against Sheamus which WWE ended up taking for granted and it backfiring on them big time and you were still interested in Chris Jericho dragging up real life events in futile events to make his match with Punk ‘personal’ and not a match between two guys that I hate.
Actually having no definite winners in champion vs. champion matches would be better executed with the revival of time limits as it reminds me of a match between Christopher Daniels and Desmond Wolfe on Impact in 2009.
Both men were in two main events at the next PPV (Daniels challenging AJ Styles for the TNA title and Wolfe against Kurt Angle) and their Impact match ended up a draw because of the time limit which I greatly appreciated because it meant that neither guy lost and the importance and hype for both matches weren’t diminished in favour of another. It also meant that Desmond Wolfe would be viewed as the next potential contender (Yeah…let’s just ignore that last part).
If champion vs. champion matches used end results like these along with screwy finishes then it would benefit the people involved even more and neither would get buried in favour of another one.
While I believe that these methods can make champion vs. champion more tolerable and beneficial, I would much rather not have them at all. Yeah, I know they can be interesting at times, but overall short-term enjoyment won’t overcome long term shitty business strategy.
I guess those matches are really beneficial and necessary if the company intends to…ugh…unify the titles. Now, for the record, I couldn’t care less about title unifications, but really if a company wants to unify titles champion vs. champion matches are practically a given and sometimes they can be good like The Colon’s vs. John Morrison & The Miz for Wrestlemania XXV which ended up being executed well…by being in the pre-show to accommodate some drug addicted rock star who believes that he is a kid, but in reality is a tosser.
[Zak Fellows knows Kid Rock is a tosser because he himself is a tosser]
You want the Intercontinental and United States titles unified? Moron meet the WWE Tag Team and Divas Championship!!!
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