How Many Titles does an Independent Wrestling Company Really Need? PART ONE
This is a topic that has long been discussed, well before my breaking into this complex business. It seems companies tend to overdo it a lot. In this article you will read the opinions of myself, veterans (real ones) of this business, workers such as yourself, and my fellow contributors. Please keep in mind, we are not taking a jab at any particular person, promotion, or entity. This article is for your enjoyment of yourself and for educational purposes.
Photo Credit: JP Championship Belts
For example, if your company has a “World Title” and the title has not been defended outside of your home nation, then it is not a “World Title”. Let’s even take a look at the “World Heavyweight Championship” formerly of the NWA, WCW, and now a part of the WWE. I know someone, somewhere, will make the argument that, “Well the WWE/TNA does it!”. Ok, first thing, the WWE and TNA are world known wrestling companies that travel outside the United States, outside North America, and promote shows on an international level. Your local wrestling promotion of 10-20 workers, and 0-200 fans, has never done that. Second thing, IF the first point has been accomplished, it makes no sense for any one under 220 pounds to hold a “Heavyweight Title”. Why do I say that, well in the rise of British wrestling, Mountevans’ committee (a governing body that instilled rules for professional wrestling) created seven formal weight divisions. Here are the weight classes:
Lightweight (154 pounds (70 kg))
Welterweight (165 pounds (75 kg))
Middleweight (176 pounds (80 kg))
Heavy middleweight (187 pounds (85 kg))
Light heavyweight (198 pounds (90 kg))
Mid-heavyweight (209 pounds (95 kg))
Heavyweight (above 220 pounds (100 kg))
That brings us to Company Titles, for example the WWE Championship, the former ROH Champion (now the ROH World Chammpionship), just to name a few. If your promotion is small, say 20 workers or less, there is no need for more than two titles. First we will focus on the Company Title for a moment. A company title should in no way be called a “Belt”, “Strap”, it should be referred to as a “Title”, “Championship”, or [Company Name] Championship/Title. Treating a championship like it is the greatest thing in the world and none can compete against it, creates an embedded respect in the title from the fan base. Calling it a belt or strap, takes away from the titles luster and makes it seem unimportant. It’s all about how you articulate on the microphone, internet, or in conversation that determines what the fans think of your championship.
The next title on target is the World/Tag Team Championship. Again, if you don’t have the title defended around the world, then you can not legitimately claim it is a World Title. Tag Team Championships can be considered tricky, for instance. You may have a locker room, total, of 75 guys. A Tag Team Division would be plausible in that instance. However, if your locker room does not contain enough teams, I’m going with five, then a Tag Team Division/Championship is not logical. Tag Team Champions do not essentially need to be guys of the same size. We have seen where tag teams can be complete opposites but be over with the audience. The only issue in my eyes facing the Tag Team Championship is making sure you have enough people for a long enough period of time to play your story-lines through. Just use common sense booking when it comes to your Tag Team Titles.
Here is one that has NEVER made sense to me since I first heard and laid eyes on it. A European Championship being defended on American Soil. Unless we have returned to pre-1783 where we are controlled by a European Power, which even then stretches it, there is absolutely NO NEED for this title to even be here. Even considering booking such a match makes no sense to me. If you are not defending the title on European Soil, it should not even be in consideration for using. There is a reason the WWE retired theirs and merged it with another title, the Intercontinental Title, because the title was obsolete. With an Intercontinental Title, there is no need for a European Title. So this paragraph will be short with a simple no, an indy promotion should NOT have a European Championship.
Now on the Women’s/Diva’s Championship. Let me first say that I personally dislike women’s wrestling. Never really cared for it from the beginning. I have seen a few promotions that are all women and this would make perfect sense for them to have a women’s/diva’s title. Companies that have a low female roster would not benefit from Women’s/Diva’s Championship, unless they were defending regionally ,which I will get to later. Having a Women’s Championship with a female roster of less than five really limits you on what you can do with that title. I am again not a big fan of women’s wrestling so I would prefer a indy promotion not even have a title in that name.
Moving on to other issues now regarding quantity of titles in a wrestling company. On the latter part of this blog, you will see varied opinions of workers, just like yourselves, in the wrestling business giving their ‘two cents’ on what they think is good. Which I will not try argue because a subject like this can vary with the situation and company. In local indy circuits that normally run the suicidal once a week shows, a subject which we will touch on next time, a Company Title could be useful or necessary depending on the situation. Despite that, I believe that a weekly run show should have a maximum of two Championship Titles. A company title (i.e. WWE Championship) and a Company Tag Team Title (i.e. WWE Tag Team Championship) would be sufficient. The Tag Titles of course would only be logical, as stated earlier, if there are enough workers to warrant such.
Part two will contain viewer opinions and responses. It will also contain opinions on Regional, State, and Multi-Organizational Titles. Part Two should be out in a week.