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What if WWE had One Champion?


tiger_rick
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Imagine a rebooking of the WWE since 2002 if they kept one undisputed Champion throughout. What does the title history look like now?

Who do you think are the most obvious victims? Who never gets a run if there's only one belt? Dolph Ziggler jumps out as the most obvious to me. Also JBL. With only one title, he never gets that run in 2004/05.

What great moments or angles would be lost with only one world title? It's tarnished now anyway but that Benoit/Eddie finish to Mania 20 never happens. Would either guy have been the World Champ at all in a one title company?

Do Cena and Batista both ascend in 2005? Cena feels like he's getting there regardless but what about Big Dave? Also, what happens to Randy Orton if the Benoit run never happens?

Does it change how the company looks now? I think probably not but the argument you could make is that one belt, booked strongly could gave been star making. Though MITB creating all these fluke champions might have killed it anyway.

Edited by tiger_rick
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  • tiger_rick changed the title to What if WWE had One Champion?
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Having the Champion be the only person who appeared on both shows made being the Champion feel significant. Ignoring the fact they couldn't figure out how to do that when the challenger could only be on half the shows, I'd have liked that to continue. I might have bought into Brock Lesnar earlier if he'd been beating guys on both shows - and I don't think he loses to Big Show at Survivor Series 02. Speaking of, Shawn's not getting a belt in 2002 anymore.

You probably lose either Benoit or Guerrero as a Champion - there was much more clamouring for Benoit at the time, so maybe Eddie doesn't get it. This means JBL probably doesn't, which is a win, and it maybe means Eddie doesn't have to deal with the pressure of being the Champion, which might have benefitted him too.

You obviously don't get the big Cena/Batista double win at WrestleMania 21. It's hard to say which of them you'd go with - Cena is the obvious choice, but the Batista storyline caught fire and he did win the Rumble over Cena. So maybe Big Match John doesn't become so for a little while longer.

(I'd imagine the World Heavyweight Title lineage becomes the WWE Title lineage in this scenario, and you lose the Guerrero-JBL-Cena reigns.)

Money In The Bank becomes very different with only one belt to go for. Edge would still get his win but I don't think you get nearly as many successful cash-ins. See ya, Swagger, sorry Kane.

Looking further ahead, we probably avoid a few premature title wins like Sheamus, or CM Punk's first one. Unfortunately we probably don't get the Hall Of Pain either - does Mizark rise to the title if there's only one to go for?

Punk's win at Money In The Bank in 2011 should become more significant as a result, but they'd probably still do that 'interim' rubbish and we'd end up with two titles anyway.

The reunification in 2013 doesn't happen because they were never un-unified, and I'd just keep the WWE Title lineage from then on (minus Jinder, because no) because I can't think of anything memorable that was all about the Universal Title except Brock-Goldberg which doesn't need a belt anyway.

Edited by HarmonicGenerator
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I think having one belt would of been massively helpful. There have been periods where you had two really viable world champs (e.g. like now with Reigns and McIntyre) and by forcing one belt, makes their inevitable battle for the single world championship more important. Then you've had time where there isn't a viable second champ and you end up with guys getting token title reigns. Swagger and Ziggler come to mind.

The easiest way to do this is to scan the Manias.

- Although I thought as a heel it was cool for Triple H to be awarded a world title, I'd of kept Brock as the undisputed champion.

- Then build up to Brock vs Benoit at Mania. After all Benoit did tap out Brock at the prior Survivor Series, so it seemed they were going that way.

- Benoit drops the belt to Orton as previously dictated, and continue that main storyline.

- Ultimately I would of given the nod to Batista to win the rumble and get the main title shot over Cena. I remember thinking at the time that Cena needed another year before getting the WWE championship. Whether I'm right or wrong, I reckon you could easily of had Cena have his first year of fueds as champ without the belt.

- The following Mania (22) is tricky, as you have to choose between Mysterio "I'm doing it for Eddie run". However in my new time line, Cena finally gets to win the title from Batista.

- On the run up to the next Mania (23). Batista reclaims the belt and goes on to lose to the Undertaker. 

- On the run up to the Mania 24, Cena defeats the Undertaker for the championship and goes on to face Randy Orton 1 on 1 at Mania. The fued was relatively fresh at this time.

After this Im not too sure where you'd go. Both title scenes look massively uninspiring for a bit.

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On 1/5/2021 at 10:56 AM, HarmonicGenerator said:

I'd just keep the WWE Title lineage from then on (minus Jinder, because no) because I can't think of anything memorable that was all about the Universal Title except Brock-Goldberg which doesn't need a belt anyway.

I’m not sure about that. The point of getting the belt onto Lesnar there was for the longer term plan of Lesnar “making” Reigns (regardless of how protracted and screwed up that was in execution). The U belt was presented as the more important title essentially from inception to Lesnar dethroning Kofi for the WWE title, by virtue of it being the title contested on Raw (which has ALWAYS taken precedence), the belt that Lesnar and top dog-elect Reigns were interested in, and the positioning/promotion of the title matches for the Manias spanning those years. If that match happens during that same time period the belt should be involved.

Of course, if you retain the WWE title lineage for those years it’s a moot point as Reigns takes four years redeeming himself from losing the belt in 2016, and Brock spends four years (IIRC) from losing the belt to Rollins, either not interested in the belt or challenging unsuccessfully for it before he has the unbelievable good fortune of Kofi winning it.

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The two world champions worked when the roster was stacked with legit top guys (Hogan, Taker, HBK, HHH, ROCK) solid challengers/could be champs (Jericho, Eddie G, Benoit, Orton, Brock, Batista, Cena, Edge).

Those names spread across two shows was the perfect blend of old and new.

I'd still go with Batista vs HHH at WM 21, the build was there, natural and big Dave was ready, keep building Cena strong for WM 22 by beating World Champion Trip's.

Over the later years mostly, no Swagger, Ziggler, Del Rio, even Sheamus don't get a world title til they are ready (if they ever are) and the IC/US titles be the bridge they should be.

For what did happen the 2013 unification was the right move and one champion post draft makes the belt important, less Brock long empty reigns.

Currently Drew and Roman both are great and legit World Champions which is great but would be better if there was one title scene was them 2, KO, ORTON, Bryan, USO, AJ, with Lee, Sheamus, Riddle, Hardy etc trying to break through

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I'd say Cena's top line run was safe enough, but Big Dave's might be in jeopardy. I wouldn't see Orton getting a run as champion until much later on. Edge might only be a 1 or two time champ. RVD, Punk (long reign anyway) and the likes of Christian, Ziggler, Sheamo, Swagger, Henry, Mysterio and Jericho's suit wearing run wouldn't have happened either I'd say.  I doubt Eddie would get his moment in the sun vs Lesnar and can't see Benoit getting much of a look in either. Triple H would probably have been champ for a far longer period in the mid 00's and HBK probably would have had more than his shit coloured tights 2002 title run as well.

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Overall in a perfect world I would have preferred the one Champion but it's unlikely WWE would have been able to book two shows with just the one Champ for any period of time. There was a several year period in the early 2010s where literally nothing ever happened on Smackdown, without a Champion it would have basically been Sunday Night Heat. You only need to look at the Raws where Brock is Champion but never turns up to see how much the writing flounders without a Champion to write around. And the Hall of Pain, CM Punks first heel turn title run and Daniel Bryan's great heel title run probably wouldn't have happened so I think they justified two World Champions. 

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One casualty, I would think, would be Daniel Bryan. He wasn't particularly over with the crowd prior to his World Title win, and it was his run as World Heavyweight Champion when he was celebrating like a madman that spawned his "YES!" catchphrase. Without his World Heavyweight title run, "YES!" might not exist, and he may not have had the opportunity to become as popular as he did and, eventually, main event Wrestlemania. He may still have found a way to the top, but it would have taken far longer and there's no guarantee at all that he wouldn't have settled at a Cesaro type level. 

 

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You'd like to think it'd mean the IC and US titles become a little bit more important by becoming the focal point of each show. Maybe they could have gone back to being a stepping stone up to a WWE title shot. It's also possible they might have invested more stock in making new stars in order to make the title feel like a big deal, rather than hoping they could escalate somebody by sticking a belt on them. 

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2 hours ago, jazzygeofferz said:

You'd like to think it'd mean the IC and US titles become a little bit more important by becoming the focal point of each show.

Good idea in theory wasn’t it? Until Cena loses the US title to Del Rio and it all went back to hell.

Hey everyone, remember Alberto’s second run? Me neither.

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