Within the past few years the WWE has been heavily criticized for how they’ve treated the prestige of their championships. I think it’s fair to say that starting sometime in 2013, this all changed. More recently, I believe the titles were with competitors that were the most deserving based on work rate and mic skill, but more importantly, relevance. Right before Hell in a Cell, our list of champions consisted of Rollins, Cena, Owens, The New Day, and Charlotte (possibly the only exception). Four of the five champions could be considered staples of WWE programming. Fast forward a few weeks later, I believe only two of the five champions are considered credible title holders. In the span of a month, the WWE has managed to go from four properly booked champions to two, and I do believe this could have been avoided.
Charlotte – Divas Champion
Charlotte is definitely a phenomenal athlete, and if you’ve seen her in NXT, you know that she’s capable of stealing the show. We’ve even seen her pull out some decent promos during her heel run down at Full Sail.
Ever since young Flair has debuted on the main roster, she’s completely floundered. While she’s put on good matches so far, she has yet to captivate the audience. This isn’t a knock on her, but mainly the people that have booked her this way. In fact, this same creative team had more luck generating interest from Nikki’s reign, but it baffles me they can’t replicate it with the current champ. I’m sure it’s not as easy as myself and other bloggers say it is, but they have failed to play to her strengths. Charlotte herself is very similar to Roman Reigns, as in she’s best used when kicking ass and speaking less. I mentioned that her promos in NXT were decent, but many of those promos are given a lot of rehearsal time. On the main roster, things move faster, and these performers don’t have the time they received in NXT to learn their lines. By having her cut sob promos full of tears, it takes away all appeal from what her character once was. By using her the way they have, she’s heavily relied on Paige carrying her most recent feud. In hindsight, it might have been a better idea for Paige to dethrone Bella, while the division rookies marinated a bit longer. While the division is growing, the title itself has taken a fall since it was given a new holder.
Alberto Del Rio- US Champion
Like I mentioned in the Raw Rollup, I’ve enjoyed most stories Del Rio has done in his WWE career. Not only is he extremely capable in the ring, he knows how to be intriguing when put in a good story line. He also proved how great of a talent he is when he became a free agent and performed well on the independent circuit.
I don’t think Del Rio is a champion without credibility, but he’s fallen victim to a weak story line. The US title was given quite the boost ever since Cena and Rollins held it this past year, but it’s now taken a backseat. On television, Alberto is still booked as a strong competitor, and his only clean loss has been against Roman Reigns, however his championship looks like an accessory. Instead of hearing about the fictitious country that is “Mexamerica”, Del Rio should be booked as a fighting champion, similar to Cena. I’m not saying he should be hosting open challenges on every Raw, but his programs should be solely based on him defending his title. The alliance with Zeb Colter isn’t even a bad idea, and I believe their partnership could have been done better than creating an overly complicated story. A feud with Swagger could be interesting, but even he looks like an idiot for criticizing Del Rio and Colter for promoting unity between two nations.
Sheamus – WWE World Heavyweight Champion
At one point in his career, I viewed Sheamus as a legitimate top star that could actually carry the main title. He had beaten Cena for his first WWE Championship, and he looked pretty good for the two years that followed.
Fast forward to today, and he’s one of the worst choices to capture the strap. After a strong run by both Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins, this one feels incredibly underwhelming. Before Rollins was injured, the championship felt like it meant something; that only the best in the company were capable of carrying it. It’s safe to say that started at Punk’s 434 days as champion, and carried on. What also helped was how the reigns after Punk were long. I don’t think we can predict the same for the Irsih native. Similar to Charlotte, Sheamus is not to blame for his terrible placement on the card, it’s the WWE. They gave him the briefcase for no good reason, and they backed themselves into a corner when they knew he had to eventually cash it in. Even after Sheamus won his contract, he was never given the proper build for fans to care about him. I think his win this past Sunday could have been more meaningful had he been in a few significant feuds. Now without any build up, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship has taken quite the fall from where it was earlier in the year.
There you have it, folks. I consider myself an optimistic wrestling fan, but I couldn’t help but notice how the WWE managed to ruin such an amazing foundation they built this year.