WWE | Pro Wrestling

Why Does TNA Wrestling Even Have A Television Title?

TNA Television TitleQuick, without looking it up, who is the current TNA World Television Champion? Okay, time’s up. If you guessed Robbie E or Eric Young, you’ve just proven exactly what is wrong with the TV title. For those that don’t know (pretty much everyone), the current champion is Devon, who won the title from Robbie E last month at Victory Road.

However, unless you watched the show or read the results from the show, you’d never even know he was the title holder. Since winning the title, Devon has only been seen on TV once, and it was only to be in the background for Hulk Hogan’s announcement that he was the new GM of the company. Devon has not appeared once on television as champion, despite the fact that it is called the “Television Championship”.

And it hasn’t just started with Devon, either. As champion, Robbie E only defended the belt a couple of times on television, in matches best forgotten. Eric Young, who lost the belt to Robbie, was even worse, and the same can be said for pretty much every champion before that. Even AJ Styles, despite being one of the best wrestlers in the world, couldn’t make that title mean a tinker’s damn to anyone.

On top of the fact that the champion is hardly ever booked on television or PPV (at least, in title matches), the belt itself has a piss-poor history, which certainly isn’t helping the cause. The title was introduced in 2008 by Booker T, who referred to it as the “Legends Championship”. It was never explained exactly what a Legends title represents, since his few defense ranged from main eventers like AJ Styles and Christian to random curtain jerkers. Plus, he introduced the championship and declared himself the first champion. This is never, EVER a good sign. Any time a championship is introduced and simply handed over, it doesn’t bode well for the future. Look at Triple H, who was awarded the World title in 2002 after the initial brand extension. It took nearly 2 full years before fans finally began caring about the championship, and that was when a dead guy who no longer exists in history won it at Wrestlemania 20.

So, the title is already off to a bad start with the way it was introduced. Some fans at the time might have understandably thought that it could build a reputation over time through good matches and solid title defenses. That might have been true, had the belt been defended more than once every few months in decent matches featuring young talents who could have benefited from becoming champion. Instead, we got champions like an aging and broken down Mick Foley (who I happen to love, but let’s face facts; Foley doesn’t need to be in the ring at this point), to a broken down Kevin Nash, who, unlike Foley, hasn’t had a good match in nearly 20 years.

Only about a year later, TNA senselessly changed the name of the title belt to the “Global Championship”, indicating that…well, I don’t know what the hell this was supposed to indicate. How is a Global Championship different from a World Championship? They mean the same damn thing, yet the Global title would never be confused with the World title. So, only a year into the title’s existence, it’s already had it’s name changed. Again, not a good sign. To make matters worse, instead of introducing a new title to go with the name change, they simply stuck a plate over the word “Legends” that said “Global”, showing total cheapness and lack of faith in the belt (on a funny side note, during Young’s reign as Global Champion, the “G” actually fell off the plate, with the belt actually saying “Lobal Championship” on it. Add a ‘w’ and an ‘l’ to “Lobal”, and that pretty much sums it up).

Nine months later, when AJ Styles once again wore the title, the title changed names YET AGAIN, now going by the TV title name we know today. In less than 2 full years, the belt saw its name changed twice, devaluing it even more in the process. Hard to believe, I know, since the belt was pretty much worthless from day one, but somehow, all of these name changes made it happen. To make matters worse, TNA once again slapped a plate on the belt, taking off the “Lobal” sticker and putting one on that says “Television”.

Since becoming the TV title, it’s more or less been a comedy championship. It went from Rob Terry, one of the most worthless wrestlers in history, down the road to Gunner, who was only slightly better (I think you all know my feelings on Gunner, so I won’t rant about him here).

From there, it went to Gunner to Eric Young in a match that lasted less than 30 seconds, and during Young’s reign, he defended it maybe once despite holding it for months, as he was too preoccupied with doing all of the stupid “comedy” skits we all know and hate. The belt was then passed to Robbie E, who even less people care about than Eric Young, and that gets us to today, where the man considered the weak half of the Dudley Boyz/Team 3-D is the first member of that team to win a TNA singles title. Nothing against Devon, but he doesn’t scream “singles star” to me, holding a title that at one brief point was considered just one notch below the World title.

I have nothing against secondary titles, and I don’t even have anything against naming your secondary title the Television title. Both ECW and the NWA/WCW had Television championships, and for the most part, the title holders wore those belts with pride and defended them like they truly meant something, with most champions going onto greater things down the road. When Rob Van Dam was Television champion, he was defending it at nearly every television event and PPV, not to mention most house shows as well. Out of all all the TV title holders TNA has had, only two of them have actually been fighting champions, with those being AJ Styles and Douglas Williams, but both men were so far removed from the main event at that point that most barely remember they even held the belt. Hell, I had completely forgotten Williams was champion until doing research for this article, which says a lot.

If you want to have a TNA title or any other secondary title, make it actually mean something. Otherwise, you simply have a guy wearing a $2,500.00 belt buckler for no reason, which is pretty much what TNA has done since day one of this title’s inception. If TNA were smart, they’d vacate the championship, make a point about how such little emphasis has been placed on it and that things need to change, then actually have it up for grabs in a tournament, giving people a chance to care about it, and make it seem likes it’s actually worth something. Of course, this being TNA, that might make too much sense. That, and the new champion would probably end up being Garett Bischoff, who would go onto hold the belt for the next 2 years.

On second thought, perhaps TNA should just scrap it altogether.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an M.B.A. from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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