With having two “major” companies in the United States today in the business of professional wrestling, and each company has at least one “World Heavyweight Championship,” and each company “can” lay claim to having a lineage dating back to the unified World Heavyweight Championship with George Hackenschmidt from 1905 and Frank Gotch in 1908. Let me break down each of the three main World titles with the World Wrestling Entertainment (the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship) and Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling (the TNA World Heavyweight Championship).
Bruno Sammartino, “Superstar” Billy Graham, Yokozuna, the Rock, the Undertaker, Steve Austin, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Jeff Hardy, John “Bradshaw” Layfield, Randy Orton, and Ric Flair all held this title sometime during their careers. I believe, in my opinion, that this title today should be the real World’s title, because this title goes back to 1963.
[adinserter block=”1″]Some may say, so what on this title being around since 1963. Let’s look at Bruno Sammartino, his first title reign lasted 2803 days and his second lasted 1237 days. Yeah, wrestling these days cannot handle having champions lasting longer than six months, but this man never took steroids. This man was a real man’s man.
And the real world’s champ, Ric Flair, made this title mean something, in ways. How he never lost the NWA/WCW World Heavyweight Championship when he came in the WWF in 1991, and when he won the title in 1992, Ric Flair could claim that he “unified” the two titles, or say that the WWE title is the real World title, because he could “tie in” the NWA title into the WWE title.
World Heavyweight Championship
The actual title made its debut in September of 2002 with the first World Heavyweight Champion being Triple H (what a surprise), a title that had some heavy hitters as champ, like Kurt Angle, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Goldberg, Chris Benoit, Edge, the Undertaker, Batista, and Chris Jericho. Some guys, that for me, was a shock was the Great Khali.
The reason why I come to a shock that the Great Khali was the World Heavyweight Championship because he can’t do too much in the ring because of his size and because of his knees, he has a tough time moving. And looking at this title reign, I really don’t know what major things he can say he did as World Heavyweight Champ.
But looking through the title history for the WWE’s World Heavyweight Championship, I feel like this title could be looked at in 50 years as a title, if done right and given to the right guys, as a title that actually means something in the sport. Let’s sure hope so.
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
[adinserter block=”2″]The newest out of all these titles, a World title that’s been around, technically, since 2007, but a title that has some heavy hitters already lay claims to the title history. The men that have held this World title are Kurt Angle (three times), Sting (twice), Samoa Joe (once), Mick Foley (once), and the current TNA World Heavyweight Champion, A.J. Styles.
Honestly, I do kind of like the idea that guys like Angle, Sting, and Foley have held the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. But the problem I find with it is, Foley can’t do what he did back in his prime, or even what he did do during his last year or so with the WWF back in late 1999-early 2000. And Sting can still go, and does put over the new, younger talent, and so does Angle. But the title shouldn’t be based solely upon those three men. And with “Hollywood” Hulkster going to TNA, I can see that Hogan wanting to hold the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, winning his thirteenth World Heavyweight title, between the WWF/E, WCW, and the TNA.
TNA World Heavyweight Championship – if it keeps up the linage that it has, it could be a World title that actually could mean something in this business.
Which title is better?
In a matter of mere opinion, I feel like the WWE title has a better title history than the other three, and is a stronger title because it did branch off from the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and was unified with the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in 2001 (with Chris Jericho-YES!). That’s why I feel like the WWE title is best, and should be recognized as the one true World Heavyweight Championship in the wrestling business. I think it’s okay to have company “world” titles, to make the top title mean something. But as a fan, I will consider the WWE Title the one real World title.
To conclude this piece for “Down for the Count,” I hope you guys enjoyed this piece. Feel free to comment to this piece with your thoughts, because I’ll enjoy reading other people’s thoughts, especially on this topic. I just survived the count; will you answer the ref’s ten count?
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