By Chad Smart
@ChadSmart on Twitter
I had another topic I was planning on writing about until I read Kevin’s post about non-title matches being pointless. (editors note, I didn't say they were pointless, just that there have been too many lately KH) Kevin and I usually don’t discuss what we’re going to write about because most of the time it isn’t until we sit down to write that we even know what we’re going to write about. Had Kevin told me what he was going to write about, I would have told him how he was wrong. But he didn’t tell me so now I get to do the first in what will probably not be an ongoing feature called, point – counterpoint.
I like the idea of non-title matches instead of the title always be on the line. According to the wrestling rulebook, section 4 paragraph 5 subsection B, “a champion shall defend the title at least once per 30 days.” I have long wanted to see a heel win a championship and refuse to defend it other than once every 30 days. Said champion would not grant immediate rematches the following night after a pay per view or even on a pay per view if the title was defended on the weekly show. In my opinion this would make the title matches more meaningful.
If every match is a title defense then the already most likely predictable outcome is even more predictable except in the rare occasions where a non-ready for the title wrestler gets the shocking victory only to more than likely loose the title without gaining anything in the coming weeks. Champions should not be defending the title against guys who aren’t deserving of a title shot. I don’t know how well it would work if champions only worked against low mid-card guys just as a way to get the champions on the show to make the fans happy. Would the fans cheer John Cena less if he were facing Curt Hawkins instead of CM Punk on non-pay per view show? Or do the fans only care to see Cena must out his catchphrases and “5 moves of doom” without regard for who is across from him in the ring?
Non-title matches can also serve as a way to elevate the next challenger. Say Cena has a non-title match against Curt Hawkins and Hawkins scores the upset by beating Cena; now Hawkins has a legitimate excuse for wanting a title shot. When they have the eventual title match, the fans will now have reason to believe Hawkins could walk out as champion because he’s beaten the champ already so why can’t he do it again? Of course this relies on the writers to keep Hawkins looking strong and fans to ignore the last 7 years of John Cena title matches, but I digress.
Anyone who’s been reading the my123cents for at least the past couple months knows I’m a Chikara mark. In the Chikara universe if a tag team wants to challenge for the Campeonatos de Parejas they must first accumulate three points. A point is awarded for every victory. If a team has one or two or three points then loses a match before getting a title shot the team loses all points and has to start over on their quest for three points. By having to achieve a goal, fans become emotionally attached to a team’s aspirations of achieving three points. Stories can also be told if a team can never reach three points. Again, there has to be some forethought put into the matches to know where the outcomes are leading. Booking on the fly doesn’t work in this scenario.
To conclude, non-title matches can be beneficial to creating new stars and feuds. It all comes down to the writing of the story being told. Hopefully by incorporating this philosophy into the current wrestling product we the fans won’t have to sit through 20 title matches and rematches between the same two guys. (I’m looking at you Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston.)