Monday, March 20, 2006

Championship Luster (and some pimpage)

Before we get to the meat of this post, first a few things.

First, congratulations to The Renegade Rich Rollins for winning GTT5. 128 guys, and Rollins pulled this one off. Big ups, and Rollins has pretty much planted himself as the new legend on the PTC Circuit, as he's also their current Global Champion.

Secondly, Russ is doing an interesting thing regarding fantasy booking of... our fantasy wrestling world ;). The VS. Tournament is in nomination phase right now, and basically, the rules are you can nominate up to three guys in each bracket. There are three brackets right now:

FW Bracket
EWN Bracket
PTC Bracket

Nominate in all three if you're familiar with each of the three circuits. OR just nominate in the circuits you're familiar with. I'm going to stress for our FW guys to get their votes out, because so far, we're pretty far behind the other two brackets. Let's go! Let's get that lead out!

Finally, to the meat of the post.

Among the smart fans of real-life professional wrestling, there is much ado about the prestige and worth of Championship belts. A lot of it nowadays centers on how worthless WWE titles seem to be as they get either thrown around like hot potatoes or they're placed on guys like Shelton Benjamin and forgotten for months on end.

I'd bet that most of this talk is justified, seeing that the main focus of any wrestling promotion should be to draw money. Even lower tiered titles can be used as draws if booked correctly, and even if they aren't the draws themselves, they can be used to make wrestlers into draws themselves. Even if the titles aren't the draws they were back in the day, they can surely be helped to make folks who don't have unreal charisma to help draw money.

Some people try to transplant that argument of the worth of titles from WWE-Land to the world of e-feds, claiming that hotshotting titles will cause the same drain of prestige from those belts. Hell, I was guilty of this in the past in my criticism of the A1E Title controversy in the summer of 2004, when Euclid no-showed and Torment won the title.

Looking back, I was off-base, and anyone who tries to make any argument that e-fed titles can lose luster is for the most part off-base, at least when it comes to any of the feds that I follow here on this blog.

You see, the main focus of this hobby is not to draw money. If that were the case, I'd be rich, Chad Merritt would be Vince McMahon, and all the FW feds wouldn't have problems with lag. We do this to have fun, and we do it at our own pace. If that pace is A1E's two-week cycle, so be it. If it's the breakneck, one-show-a-week rate AWC runs at, so be it. If it's more along the lines of a show a month like the pace EPW has settled at, so be it.

So because we do this for fun and as a way to blow off steam, titles really don't have the impact they would in the money-making environment. I mean, it would be nice if all our title lineages were intact and were full of guys who'd hold titles for good long times to make them valuable, but hey, there's not much you can do to control how titles are changed unless you're in an angle fed (which are really the facsimiles of real life feds in that their results are worked).

RP feds are more shoot than the real thing, and because of that, titles can change hands at every show and they'd still be every bit as valuable than if they changed hands once a year. In a way, the spirit of competition protects championship belts. Because we don't know the results of the matches before they're booked, the RP periods are really competitions, and every time a title changes hands, the person who won it has earned it. Even one week reigns are impressive seeing that they aren't just handed out to people like they would be in the WWE.

Plus, titles are a way of honoring people in the hobby who do a good job, and since it's a hobby and not a business, we're more liberal in the way we honor people for ding a good job.

So really, any argument about titles losing their luster because of being hot-potatoed or changing hands due to a loss of smile... it's all bunk. RP e-fed titles will always be protected as long as the spirit of competition lives.

1 comment:

Guy Boudreaux said...

I don't think that's a true statement. In fact I would go so far as to say that it's easier for titles to lose value in RP feds than angle feds. And it is because of quick title changes or even bad champions.

Titles here need to mean something. The World title should be the focus of the show. It should be the one prize everyone wants. Look at NFW, they do a great job of this with the ULTRAITLE. Everyone wants it and it increases in value. You have to bust your ass for a long period of time just to get a shot at it.

Now switch over to say PTC and it's Global title. There was a long stretch in time when Seymour Almasy wore the championship belt and no one knew. Hell some people didn't even know we had a Global title that Rich Rollins holds now. Then it went through a cycle of champions that only lasted one month. The desire for the belt got so bad that when Seymour was given a rematch against two other people, he was the only one to roleplay. Last the belt was used in a segment to push another league that was kicked out of PTC later anyways. Soon no one cared to even compete for the belt. Luckly Rich Rollins saved the belt and has made it more valuable now than ever before.

The same could be said in efeds. If you don't push a belt, it loses value. It can easily become a forgotten part of the efed. It's happened millions of times.

Angle feds are no different but I feel they have an easier time. They angle all their booking so it's a snap to protect a champion and make a belt look good. RPW was good at protecting the titles. Pete always made sure the champions and titles were focused on and feuds centered around the belt.

But even angle feds can have bad luck. Maybe a bad decision to put the title on an undeserving handler. Or a handler burns out when they were a major part of a storyline.

Just because we do this for fun doesn't mean the belts always have some amazing shine. The belts only matter in efeds if people desire them. With no one left to hunt for the gold it would just disappear. Which is why a number of belts tend to get retired. Leagues you have listed to the side have retired a number of belts before.

Trust me it takes a lot of work and dedication to make an efed title really mean something. I should know, I ran PTC's Tag Team Title division for around six months.