Feature: Steve Anderson on WWE Championships/Props


Was Vince Russo right?

Are championship titles just props?

Lately, it would seem so.

Letâ<80><99>s look back at this past Monday Night Raw. We witnessed:

The World tag team champions, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, get beat in a handicap match with John Cena.

World heavyweight champion CM Punk was pinned by Chris Jericho in a non-title match up.

A Championship Scramble main event for Unforgiven was announced where the title could theoretically change hands multiple times within the twenty-minute time limit.

Before I rant about this trifecta of trifle, allow me to make one thing clear. I make it a habit of not being an armchair booker. Itâ<80><99>s not an easy job and you couldnâ<80><99>t pay me enough to be on a creative team. But what was done in one night was staggering, even to me.

Regarding the tag team straps. Get rid of them. Burn â<80>~em. Lose â<80>~em. I love good tag team wrestling as much as the next fan. One problem. There is no good tag team wrestling anymore. A tag team division does not exist. Storylines are nowhere to be seen. Tag teams are created, gain success and are split into singles stars.

And while they do gain that success in the form of winning the gold, they end up playing supporting parts in bigger feuds. They are fodder for the more high-profile feuds and are often looking up at the lights at the end of a match.

CM Punk comes home to Chicago to face Chris Jericho in a non-title bout. Yeah, I could see this coming down Wacker Drive, but jeez. The guy is home, wrestling in front of his loyal fans and loving family members. Oh, and did I mention heâ<80><99>s the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION.

Punk beating JBL the night before was a seminal moment. It wasnâ<80><99>t an accidental, aw shucks win. It was a victory on pay-per-view. His character was elevated to another level and got some much-needed championship cred. Y2J could have continued that elevation.

Finally, the Championship Scramble. I didnâ<80><99>t find the rules so much hard to follow as I did staying awake for Mike Adamleâ<80><99>s recitation of the main event. Sheesh. The one thing I could say about this guy as an announcer is that he wasnâ<80><99>t boring. Now? Iâ<80><99>m prying my eyes open like Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange to keep from dozing off.

Twenty minutes. Several champions. Now, they have since modified Adamleâ<80><99>s so-called â<80><9c>Originalâ<80> to state that those who win the title during the match are temporary champions and will not be recognized in the official title history. So, the point of this match isâ<80>¦what? The â<80><9c>Adamle (zzzzz) Originalâ<80> went from innovative (albeit annoying and only serving to cheapen the title) to a pseudo Royal Rumble.

Maybe if just one of the above atrocities occurred, I wouldnâ<80><99>t take such umbrage. I know titles arenâ<80><99>t actually won or lost in the ring. I get that. But the memories of a title meaning something are starting to fade for this forty-something wrestling fan/columnist.

And theyâ<80><99>re making Russo right.

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