I grew up in the 1980s. I knew there were two other world champions in professional wrestling. One was in the AWA and another was in the NWA, with WCCW making a good case as well. However, the WWF was my favorite wrestling organization. Hulk Hogan was my hero and I watched him for many years from the time I was old enough to even know what I was watching on my TV as the WWF Champion.
Times change, however. The AWA, WCCW, and many more that would come after closed down. The NWA became WCW and then became a trophy on the case of Vince McMahon. Even the WWF became the WWE. Regardless of TNA wrestling, any Japan organization or an upstart indie like ROH, the WWE’s World Champion was still the most prestigious title to have in all of wrestling. And, for years we had ONE WWE World Champion. This would change originally when the then WWF bought WCW and started having their titles on WWF shows. Getting to the point, the WCW World Title would become simply the World Title before Chris Jericho did the once though to be unthinkable thing of winning both what technically was the WCW World and the WWF World Title on December 9th of 2001 to become THE undisputed Champion.
For once the wrestling world had ONE recognized world champion, but that would only last around ten months before that changed again. Since the now WWE was stocked with great talent and many of the big names in the wrestling world, they would divide the wrestlers into two shows RAW and SMACKDOWN. Both were run as if they were their own promotion all besides the fact the WWE Undisputed Champion would travel between both shows. This would last until September 2nd 2002 when Brock Lesnar refused to be on RAW causing RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff to bring out a title that looked like the old WCW Wold Title, rename it simply the World Title and hand it over to Triple H. If that title does or doesn’t also contain the history of the NWA/WCW World Title just depends on what day you ask those at WWE, but that isn’t the point.
From that day on the WWE as a whole had two world titles. For a short time the World Title even seemed to be looked at as a step above the WWE Title to spite them being promoted to be on equal footing. That would be the case until John Cena became the WWE champion and was drafted to RAW resulting in the World Title soon going to SMACKDOWN. As we fast forward in time, the brand split slowly faded away and some world say the luster of the World Title did so as well. That was until October 27th of 2013 when John Cena came back from injury early and won the title at Hell in a Cell.
While it first seemed that the WWE was working on adding the big time feeling back to the World Title the true intent has apparently been revealed as this Sunday on December 15th at TLC World Champion John Cena will face WWE Champion Randy Orton in a TLC Match to once again have ONE WWE Undisputed Champion. And, I personally think this couldn’t have happened soon enough.
It has been a little over eleven years since the WWE had one World Champion. This will make the title seem ten times more important than any solo title has seemed since the company started having two champions. This makes the winner of the yearly Royal Rumble more important, it makes the Intercontinental Champion (hopefully) more important and it ensures that when someone wins the WWE’s one and only world title that it will be a big deal and all eyes will be on the winner. Even when you look back at the Attitude Era days when you had things like the WWF Title changing hands eleven times in one year, you still have one title and the importance of that one title remained.
There is of course things that could be seen as bad by this. Wrestler like John Cena and Randy Orton may end up having a death grip on the championship. Those, however, are risks I am willing to take. Because now when a CM Punk or a Daniel Bryan wins a world title, the ONLY world title in WWE, it will mean way more than it did before. What that title will be called, which title will be used, and which history the new undisputed champion will have all remain to be seen, but don’t allow the fact we are seeing John Cena vs. Randy Orton for what feels like the millionth time get in the way of you recognizing just how big of a deal this is. FINALLY, WWE will have ONE WWE Undisputed World Champion come the end of TLC this Sunday night. Everything from this point on should change the landscape of WWE. That change should certainly be for the better.