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Should WWE Bring Back the European Title?

By the time you read this, the latest European tour will be all but over. Having entertained audiences in the UK, Ireland and Mainland Europe, our favorite Superstars will be on their way back to the US, leaving behind a continent that has more than made its mark in the pro wrestling game over the last few years.

When the Europeans aren’t giving us the likes of Cesaro, Rusev, Paige, Sheamus, Barrett and countless others, their own promotions are proving to be a regular stomping ground for the biggest names on the indie scene, with the likes of the North West England’s Preston City Wrestling making an impact by combining homegrown talent with the hottest free agents around. That’s before we even mention the fans that turn out in their droves to make the UK and Europe such a lucrative market for the likes of WWE and TNA.

Yet for all their contributions to pro wrestling, Europe isn’t exactly well represented in terms of championship gold.

Sure, there was a glimmer of hope in that brief moment when Lana teased us with a Twitter pic of the old European title, but what if WWE took things a little further and actually brought the belt first won by the late Davey Boy Smith in the late 90s back to our TV screens?

Could a territorial title work in 2015?

Arguments against
There are there those who would argue not, that the European championship is best left in the WWE Warehouse or wherever it may be reside, sitting on a shelf as a reminder of what once was.

After all, though the company’s secondary straps currently adorn the waists of bonafide megastars John Cena and Daniel Bryan, there’s still a long way to go before they recover from years of neglect. So, with such a poor track record of successfully booking any belt other than the one currently worn by Seth Rollins, is there any reason to believe that a third-tier belt like the European title wouldn’t be subject to the same fate that the US and IC titles have endured over the past decade or so?

Besides, doesn’t adding another strap to the mix only serve to devalue the ones already being put up for grabs by the aforementioned champions? What’s next? Do we go ask Hornswoggle for the Cruiserweight title back? Track down Hacksaw and reinstate the erstwhile WCW Television championship? Keep going until there’s so many belts doing the rounds that a championship loses some of the allure that’s supposed to make it special?

Arguments for
OK, so maybe there’s no reason to actually go that far, but is there a valid argument for at least bringing back the European title?

Absolutely.

Look it at another way: With Cena and Bryan taking the US and Intercontinental titles into the upper-echelons of the card, those belts are practically off limits to a large portion of the roster. Why not give those overlooked undercarders something they can legitimately fight for without requiring such a huge leap to the level of our reigning champions?

Built correctly, the European title could even be used to help newcomers and NXT callups an immediate push. Bringing Sami Zayn up to the main roster? Have him topple someone like The Miz (who could probably do wonders with a ‘Champion of Europe’ gimmick a la D’Lo Brown) on SmackDown before establishing himself as a name to watch with successful defenses across WWE programming.

And there’s certainly enough programming to go around too. Playing the role of the aforementioned TV belt, why not let the European championship be the title we see regularly defended on Raw, SmackDown, Superstars and the like, saving the US and IC titles for heavily-hyped special attractions, thus raising their prestige in the process.

There’s a drawback to this of course. Would American audiences even care about two wrestlers competing over a championship which represents a continent thousands of miles away? Speaking as a Brit, I have absolutely no idea. You’ll have to let me know in the comments below, along with your arguments for, or against, reinstating the title.

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Chris Skoyles

Chris Skoyles is a writer and wrestling fan from Wigan, England. Currently on a mission to watch and review every WWE ppv from Wrestlemania 1-30, you can read those reviews on the Retro Pro Wrestling blog, tweet him @Retropwrestling, or visit his personal site at www.chrisskoyles.com

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