Champions Defining Championships

The brilliance of a champion in today’s day and age of wrestling is a rarity. Disregarding the frequent criticisms of the championships for a moment — think of what holding a championship really means. Hasn’t a championship title always been, as people like to refer to them, a prop? Perhaps the essential component to constructing a champion isn’t the belt, but rather the wrestlers themselves.

Holding a championship title is an honor, there is no disputing that. The journey of attaining an illustrious title is something of inspiration, regardless of who it is. Being one to capture a championship, of any form or shape, is absolutely a representation of one’s hardwork, dedication, ambition, and so on and so forth. Nonetheless, a championship should never define the performer. In fact, the opposite should reign true. For example: CM Punk’s reign was wildly successful because of CM Punk, not the WWE Championship. Punk’s position ascended from becoming WWE Champion, that’s no lie, but think where he would be should that reign have failed. Each one of the 434 days as WWE Champion added legitimacy and prestige to the championship, not because of the duration of the reign, but rather because Punk flourished as a character. As a result, his 14 months as champion will be regarded as one of the best.

Take Mick Foley as another example. In 3 reigns as WWE Champion, the overall days only culminate to a staggering 47 days. Although reigns longer than that would have been nice, Foley defined himself as a champion after obtaining the belts on three separate occasions.

Now don’t get the wrong idea with getting caught up in days and reigns. I believe as long as the wrestler is given the ability to carve their mark into the history of the title, they have been a successful champion. Now that’s not to say they can’t go above and beyond, as one should always strive for their full potential. Sometimes though, one should question the purpose of giving a championship to someone.

Remember Alberto Del Rio as WWE Champion or Jack Swagger as World Heavyweight Champion? Probably not, but I digress. These are just two of many examples where the gun was jumped, and an unproven Superstar was given too much responsibility. You aren’t invested in them at that point, making the victory less illustrious. In fact, I doubt many even remembered the two aforementioned wrestlers even had the respective belts until now. Not that they are to blame, however a forgettable reign for transitional purposes is.

What I’m trying to get at, if anything at all — allow a champion to prosper. Those who are worthy of the championship will flourish, creating history in the process. They will define their character, bringing a seeming prestige to the title. Others who don’t will crack from the pressure, being a name that will be listed as a forgettable champion in a future article to come.

  • Thumpa

    Totally disagree on Swagger, I thought his run was golden in 2010, his awards presentation when he brought his trophies in and his promos were amazing, comedy but amazing!

  • JPJ

    I disagree with Del Rio… he is a great wrestler and he is doing great matches…. now is really a big superstar cause he is one of the best in the industry today… Your better example could be John Cena… John Cena's character,, John Cena's matches, the worst wrestler i ever seen before… and yes!, he hold the WWE title today and a lot of times… and he is nothing… he has no memorable moments, no great matches, and is the worst character ever.

    • Chris

      Don't come and hate on someone and just lie to try and back yourself up. I'm not a huge Cena fan, but no memorable moments?? Please…..

    • Van Hammer

      Great article, clearly stated as well. So there was no need for the troll comment. I was entertained though.