Introduction - Symbols
Pre-1990 topics only.
Depends on the size of the promotion and roster. Generally a heavyweight title goes without saying. This would be a title that changed hands very infrequently and obviously commanded the most respect.
Then you have an I-C or US type championship. This title would turn over more than the heavyweight title but still not too often. This title would indicate the #2 spot in the fed and #1 contender to the heavyweight title.
Ofcourse you would have a tag team title. If the promotion or the roster is large enough you could justify a World tag team title and something like an I-C tag team title.
Finally I'd have a tv champion. This would give the mid-lower card guys something to battle over. This title could turn over more often than the other two main titles. The tv champion would be seen as the #3 in the fed and #1 contender to the I-C or US title.
One factor depends on how many you've got on the roster? But if i was running a promotion which had a roster the size of WWE (ie RAW and SmackDown combined) i'd do things the following way.
- World Heavyweight Title
- Some sort of National Heavyweight Title (obviously varying from country to country eg United States, Canada blah blah )
or an Intercontinental/North American title of some sorts
- World Tag Team Title
- Women's Title
- Lower weight such as Junior Heavyweight/Cruiserweight or possibly a World X Title.
To clear confusions up that would be 5 (3 Singles Men) 1 tag and 1 womens
I think if WWE were to unite the brands then they could get six titles out of what they have.
- Keep 2 World Titles possibly renaming one of them to a slightly lower rank
- Keep IC and lose the US without unifying
- Unify Tag Titles
- Keep womens and cruiserweight titles
About ECW: I think everything went downhill when they started to do pay-per-views. One pay-per-view was fine, perhaps they could have tried to have a yearly event, but they burned far too much money on trying to do too many of them. Getting on TNN also hurt them a heck of a lot, since TNN did little to help them financially and did a lousy job promoting the show. Those factors, combined with Heyman's inability to pay off his debts and pay his wrestlers, pretty much sealed the deal on ECW's demise. It was the little company that could, I was a huge fan, but so many indys go under all the time, especially ones that had ECW's aspirations.
On titles (for a U.S. company): 1. Heavyweight title
2. U.S. Title
3. Tag Titles
4. Trophy for Cruiserweight/ "puroresu or
american stong style"
optional, depending on talent
1. Women's Heavy weight belt
2. Women's tag belt
Still seems a bit much though.
Your point is well taken, and it was indeed a mess, and you are the dean of wrestling titles and accurate in most things 99.94% of the time. But I'm pretty sure the Western States Heritage title began as a UWF title at the time when Crockett was giving air time to UWF wrestlers/titles. When the UWF was finally absorbed outright, Flair "unified" the "World title" by beating Steve Williams, and Nakita Koloff had already "unified" the T.V. titles by beating Terry Taylor at Starcade. Koloff temporarily walked around with both belts, and then the UWF TV belt was just abandoned. No idea what happened with the tag belts, though.
That left the Western States belt, which was just absorbed into the fold as an "NWA" belt, and then was thankfully abandoned after Larry Zbyszko returned to the AWA. I think the initial idea was that the Western States belt was going to be the UWF's secondary belt, after the T.V. title had been "unified." Barry Windham beat Black Bart in a tournament final. Then it became a moot point, but there was no "NWA" or JCP equivalent to unify the (poorly named) Western States Heritage title with, so it just stuck out until abandoned.
JCP took over the UWF and had intentions of expanding westward. They attempted to gain a foothold in the Southwest by moving into the grande office Watts had set up in Dallas and created the Western States Heritage title (and I believe it was called "Heritage" in homage to the Western States title of the old Amarillo territory). I remember Barry Windham appearing as Western States Heritage champion on UWF TV, but honestly don't recall if they referred to it as a "UWF" title or not. But given that he received a UWF title shot against Steve Williams at Starrcade '87, I guess it was considered the #2 championship there.
Nonetheless, after JCP shut down the UWF and Zbyszko was given the belt (in New York, no less), it became totally meaningless. Half the time, nobody was sure whether he was even still champion because there was little to no mention of the title. When he left the promotion and returned to the AWA sometime around or after the time of the Turner buyout, he took the belt with him, and as far as I know, still has it to this day.
As for the end of the UWF itself, Koloff beat Terry Taylor at Starrcade to unify the NWA and UWF TV titles (he still has the UWF belt to this day), but there was no "World Title" unification match between Flair and Williams. Both the UWF Heavyweight and Tag Team titles were simply abandoned along with the promotion.
I'd also like to retract, or at the very least amend, an earlier statement I made about the U.S. title always being the main secondary title to the World Title. In 1986 when the promotion decided to unify the U.S. and National titles, the explanation given for the unification was that there was some confusion as to which champion was the top contender to Flair's belt, being that the two names were basically interchangable. Since the U.S. title was a "homegrown" championship that had tenure over the National title, which was a holdover from Ole Anderson's Championship Wrestling from Georgia promotion that JCP essentially absorbed in early '85, the U.S. name was kept. On the same show that had the unification, JCP also crowned new U.S. tag team champions, which they claimed was an extension of the National tag team championship that had layed dormant for several months after champions Ole & Arn Anderson could no longer defend the titles after Ole went down with an injury.
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