Since 2003, we've been seeing double when it comes to WWE titles. Two world titles, two midcard titles, two tag team titles and eventually two Women's titles (little known fact: if you type the word "titles" enough, it begins to look like the word "titties," which in fact makes the phrase "two Women's titties" pretty funny to me). But, as the reason for the initial brand split eventually lost it's original meaning of why they needed it in the first place (having too many wrestlers employed after absorbing WCW and ECW), the WWE began coming to it's senses.
At WrestleMania 25, the World Tag Team Titles and the WWE Tag Team Titles were unified when Primo and Carlito defeated the team of John Morrison and The Miz. Coming up at Night of Champions, the Women's Championship and the prestigious Divas Championship (coined the "tramp stamp" belt by Paul London) will be unified when Melina faces either Michelle McCool or Layla (or whatever who cares). And finally, the going rumour on the internet (great place, check it out) is that at WrestleMania XXVII, we will see both the world titles and midcard titles unified.
That's right. Only one world and midcard titty. I mean title.
When I first heard this idea, I was (and still am) excited. It's been long enough with two sets of titles. The brand extension doesn't have anything to do with belts anymore really, the extension is more about making sure everyone gets on TV and that you can save certain feuds/pairings so it feels special. Same goes for when someone appears on a show they aren't supposed to be on - I like that idea, cool with me. But it is now time to make the belts themselves feel special too.
Stinger put it perfectly in his column when he said that it gets almost tiresome when you watch a PPV and every match is a title bout. It's true. Why should I care about the midcard titles when there's TWO WORLD titles to be worried about? And when they change left, right and center anyway, why should I care about them-- that's a whole other story and now my rants are starting to leak into one another. Kind of like the way my brain leaks out my ears when I watch Impact--SORRY IT'S HAPPENING AGAIN.
Bottom line is this: the WWE needs to restore prestige to their championships. They've tried in the past by centering certain feuds around incredible matches for a belt (i.e. Jericho v. Mysterio of last year), and that is half the battle, but when there's so much other gold out there, it's hard to fully get behind this idea.
If you just had the one world title, the one midcard title, the one pair of tag team straps and one women's title - then the focus is simple and clear. There's a belt for each division and only one man/woman/tag team/leprechaun can be the best.
So now the conversation shifts to this - who should unify the belts? Stinger's suggestions made me wet in the crotch, so I'll include those, along with the other possibilities that I think are out there. BEGIN.
UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP
The last time this match happened was when Edge and Test squared off at the InVasion PPV. It was a good match. But this match needs to be better, especially if it's going to happen at 'Mania. So...
United States Champion Daniel Bryan
Intercontinental Champion CM Punk
This was Stinger's suggestion. Look, he even made a nifty graphic for it!
The fact that this jumps out to me as the most obvious pairing to unify these belts fills me with giddy nerd sweat. It seems so simple. Danielson takes the US Title from Miz, the IC Title can bounce around until it finally lands on Punk - and BOOM: you've got yourself an instant mat classic at WM27. The kind of match that will make people forget about Steamboat/Savage. The kind of match that will make me go on and on with ridiculous hyperbole.
But more importantly, it will set a precedent - a tone, if you will, for this newly unified belt. And hopefully that would carry on.
Think about the UFC (I hate comparing the two, but bare with me). When someone like BJ Penn sets such a precedent for his Lightweight Title by holding it for so long and putting on great fights, you wonder who could ever beat him. Then when Frankie Edgar comes along and wins, you're suddenly like, "now who could ever beat HIM?!" It's this one-uppsmanship (how the fuck do you spell that made-up word?) that no longer exists with WWE championship belts. It's all about shock and swerve and bullshit.
On to the next one...
United States Champion The Miz
Intercontinental Champion John Morrison
This one presents a less exciting in-ring matchup, but still has a big match feel to it. The first time these two former partners (and tag champs) met was at Bragging Rights last year - both holding the respective titles I have listed above. Even though it's no Danielson/Punk, it's still got that iconic feeling where two stars on the rise, former partners, are squaring off in the biggest match of their careers. When you're unifying these titles, it's got to feel big. It's got to be Bulldog/Owen for the European title. Okay, well if it can't be that good in the ring, then it can at least have that feeling of two former best friends going at it to prove who is the better man (and who's the Jannetty), right?!
United States Champion Evan Bourne
Intercontinental Champion Alberto del Rio OR Rey Mysterio
In a matter of seconds, the entire landscape of the WWE can change, and does on a regular basis. So I know that these two potential matchups are super fresh and WrestleMania is monnnnnths away. But I really like these two pairings and think that something big could happen if either match was given the time to shine. With Bourne/Mysterio you get that fluid, thrilling "who's the best high-flyer" match that would be an instant classic and a possible show-stealer. With Bourne/Del Rio, you still get a fantastic match, but you also get the heat that Alberto brings and the underdog face reactions Bourne's been pulling from crowds lately.
But a billion things can and for sure will happen between even Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania, so I'm going to just tuck this idea back into the folds of my brain (folds that have developed after watching naked men pretend to fight each other all day every day).
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
This one, unlike the US/IC title match, has never happened. At least, the titles themselves have never been previously unified, so it is a big deal (obvi you guys, obvi).
WWE Champion John Cena
World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker
The other suggestion made by Stinger. And here's the other nifty graphic. NIFTY!
This match has been rumoured to take place at a WrestleMania for a while now, and this would be the biggest way to do it. We all know why this would be one of the biggest matches the WWE could present at the moment, but the problem is this: in putting all of your eggs in one basket, you thin out the rest of the 'Mania card. An Undertaker match alone is an attraction in itself, so to throw him in the main event World Title Unification match, you're losing the attraction match that 'Taker brings with the streak, along with the two titles that are already placed in the same match. And with Money in the Bank potentially only being held at it's PPV by the same name, there's only so many featured matches on the WM card for this coming year. With no MITB, and mashing the Taker match with TWO World Title matches… it could be trouble for the undercard.
But if you put John Cena, The Undertaker, the streak (and not just any old streak - he's at 19-0 with a nice, even 20 wins just over the horizon), and both World Championships in one match - it will sell the shit out of the PPV. Not only that, but I'd propose this insane idea:
John Cena wins.
And then, after no doubt soaking in some boos after defeating the beloved Undertaker and ending the streak that no one else can end - the ULTIMATE SuperCena move... he turns on the fans. By then, someone will be hot enough (Orton, whoever) to takeover as the WWE's #1 babyface, and Cena can feel fresh again. And we can hate the shit out of him. I bet he'd be a really annoying, pompous "I beat everyone all the time" heel. Anyway, that's enough fantasy booking for what's already a long ass post. NEXT:
WWE Champion Sheamus
World Heavyweight Champion Triple H
It makes my wiener hurt just thinking about this, but it's a possibility. This feud isn't even close to being over. No one puts the DESTRRROYEEER out of action and doesn't pay for it. We all know how the WWE works, so they could find a way to get the belts on both of these guys in any number of ways. It's just a matter of if they're ready to put such high implications on a match that was in the midcard of last year's WrestleMania.
Who knows when Trip will be back. And even then, this feud could brew for months, so I could definitely see it culminating at WrestleMania XXVII. I could also see myself taking a pencil and shoving it in my peehole at ramming speed if this happens.
WWE Champion Edge
World Heavyweight Champion Christian
Not holding my breath for this one (altho`ugh I am holding my boner (I've made a lot of dick references in this post, is there something wrong with me?!). I've been waiting… and waiting… AND WAITING for some kind of lengthy program involving my two childhood heroes. I loved Edge and Christian growing up - whether they were heel or face, they were Canadian to me and that's all I needed to know. Not only that, but they made me bust a gut weekly. Ever since Christian's return, we've only had brief little glimpses at a potential feud with E & C. Occasional encounters backstage… a throwaway (albeit GREAT) match on RAW… even a duelling promo on Smackdown before Edge permanently went to Monday Nights (which was terrible timing since Edge was in heel/face limbo at the time, and people were too busy wondering if they should chant SPEAR instead of marking out at Edge and Christian cutting a promo together in the ring for the first time since I don't even know when).
Point is, I'm terrified that they're going to miss the boat on this. I appreciate that patience, because nothing is worse than diving head first into a feud right away, and then you've blown your load and not given the idea enough time to simmer in fans heads at all. But Edge is just a torn whatever away from calling it a career, and Christian has been putting midcarders over on Smackdown for a dubious amount of time, which worries me that he won't be able to attain that main event status he so deserves.
I want this to happen. It won't. But at least throw me a bone (or a kazoo) and put these two in a feud. Don't wind up regretting that you waited too long because all of Edge's ligaments disintegrated.
But when it comes down to it, I wholeheartedly agree with Stinger and his suggestions (and reasoning for each one, which are very well outlined in his column). Cena/Taker and Bryan/Punk both have the level of importance needed for those two matches to happen at WrestleMania 27. Because I hope we don't see the US or World Heavyweight titles for a long time after that.