Friday, July 27, 2012

U.S. Title: Damaged Goods?

U.S. Champions through the years
Photos courtesy: WWE.com
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Magnum T.A., Dusty Rhodes, and Harley Race.  They're just a few of the greats to hold the United States championship.  That was back in the NWA and the title was second only to the World Heavyweight championship.  That was a lifetime ago.

Since the WWE has brought back the legendary title, it's been more of a prop in my opinion.  The same could be said about the Intercontinental title, but I do believe the company is trying to restore some of the old glory to that title.  I don't know if it's because it's an old WCW title and Vince McMahon didn't "create it", but it seems like the U.S. means nothing.  But really it seems that most titles in the WWE these days have little to no value.  When a belt gets hot potatoed every few months (or in some cases weeks) it devalues the titles.

I grew up in the era when Hulk Hogan held the world title for four years.  Honky Tonk Man was IC champ for 64 weeks.  Randy Savage had a more than year long world title run.  Since May 2011 (which is 14 months as of this writing) the U.S. title has changed hands five times.  I had no problem with Kofi Kingston or Dolph Ziggler or heck even Jack Swagger's reigns.  It was Zack Ryder's run (please don't hate on me, I love Zack Ryder but he was NOT ready for a major title run when he got it, I mean look at him now) and current champ Santino's run that bother me.  Both of these guys were lower mid card when they won their titles (if even that)  Neither man brought nothing to the title in my view.  And again, I enjoy each as performers and entertainers, but I'm still of the mindset just being over with the fans does not equate a title run.

Cesaro wins! Next champ?
Photo courtesy: WWE.com
Santino's title has been in jeopardy or so I thought a couple of times.  I thought they might go with Alberto Del Rio as the champion when Santino was feuding with Ricardo Rodriguez (a ring announcer in the WWE, keep that in mind)  I'm very encouraged that after the July 27 episode of SmackDown! that Antonio Cesaro scored a non title pinfall win over Santino.  While Antonio is a newcomer to the WWE, he's a very established star in the independent world and if booked properly could bring some of the luster back to the U.S. championship.

Just to recap, I don't dislike Santino at all, I just think putting one of the most prestigious titles in the history of wrestling on his waist is a real waste of gold.  The focus needs to go back in to restoring some integrity to the titles the WWE has, including the tag team titles.  But that's a topic of conversation for another day.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that WWE needs to get the US title off Santino. I was recently watching the US title match between Sting and Bret Hart on the Greatest stars of the 90's dvd. believe it was from WCW Halloween Havoc "97. Knowing what great wrestlers have held that in the past, it makes me sick to see it wasted on Santino. Here are two things that could restore some prestige to the US title. Either have Santino lose it to Dolph Ziggler and have Ziggler cash in and win the world title as US champ. I'm pretty sure he'd be the 1st mitb winner to cash in the contract while holding another title. that might make the US title more interesting. Maybe he could even defend the 2 titles for a few months instead of surrendering the US title right away. Or maybe by the time the Rock challenges CM Punk for the WWE title at Royal Rumble, he could be the US champ. those 2 possibilities would definitely make the US title mean more

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