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Thread: Misleading Title Reigns

  1. #1

    Misleading Title Reigns


    In wrestling, it's quite easy to think of title reigns that were great from beginning until end. Reigns like Bryan Danielson's ROH Title, CM Punk's main WWE World Title, or even Bret Hart's second IC Title reigns all hold up as being really good to great throughout their entire time as being champion. On the other side of the coin, there's the all around bad reigns such as The Great Khali's time as World Heavyweight Champion, where there were just zero highlights. Sometimes, pro wrestling even throws us a curve ball with terrible reigns that had some sort of highlight during it. JBL's time as WWE World Champion is one of my least favorite reigns of all time, but the Great American Bash match that he won the title in was quite good. Although I haven't seen it, as much as everyone hates on Jinder Mahal's WWE World Title reign, his title loss to AJ Styles to be universally praised as a shockingly good match with Styles carrying Jinder to the best match of his career.

    What I feel is far less easily remembered are those misleading title reigns. Recently, I got thinking about one of my favorite wrestlers - The British Bulldog, Davey Boy Smith. Here's a guy who had some legendary title matches. Looking at just his two main singles titles reigns in the WWE, look at the sheer quality that Smith produced:

    - vs Bret Hart - Summerslam 1992 (IC Title win)
    - vs Shawn Michaels - SNME 31 (IC Title loss)
    - vs Owen Hart - Raw 1997 (European Title win)
    - vs Shawn Michaels - One Night Only (European Title loss)

    On paper, both reigns sound pretty great. The Summerslam match is a bit controversial, but depending on who you ask, some would say it's the WWE MOTY and potentially the best IC Title match ever and best match in Summerslam history. The SNME match doesn't get too much talk, but I consider it to be a potential best match in SNME history. The Raw match is a legitimate WWE MOTYC and the One Night Only match may be considered a MOTYC by some, if not, then at least a top ten match. Yet, despite these great starts and finishes for these title reigns, neither title reign is what I'd consider good. As IC Champion, Bulldog did absolutely nothing. Bulldog got into a bit of a program with The Mountie, but despite winning the title in the main event of one of the more memorable PPVs of the 90s, Bulldog's reign lasted just a couple of months and any time he did appear on TV, it was mostly just wrestling jobbers (And The Repo Man) until finally dropping the title to HBK. The European Title reign lasted the majority of 1997, but Smith only defended it a couple of times on TV/PPV. The title ended up being nothing more than a vanity prop for Bulldog to carry out to the ring while he spent the year mostly teaming with Owen and Bret.

    The opposite can be true as well. Take Daniel Bryan's World Heavyweight Title reign from late 2011 to WM 28 for example. He won the title by cashing in his MITB contract and then lost the belt in the infamous 18 seconds Mania match. In total, the time of the matches for the title win and title loss was a mere 25 seconds, making it seem like it was an underwhelming title reign, but in reality, Bryan was producing some really solid matches every week on SD and on PPV between those two matches.

    What are some of the other notable "Misleading" title reigns where the title win and title loss quality does not agree with all of the matches in between, whether it's a bad reign like The British Bulldog or a good reign like Daniel Bryan?

  2. #2
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    Re: Misleading Title Reigns

    This is going to take some thinking.

    The name that comes to mind initially is Ronda Rousey as Raw Womens Champion. She wins the title in an basic 4 minute squash against Alexa Bliss at Summerslam, and then loses it in a Wrestlemania main event which was all over the place to put it kindly, but inbetween that she had very good-great singles matches on PPV with Charlotte, Sasha and Nikki Bella and damn good matches with Natalya and Bayley on Raw. She also felt like the biggest star holding the most important title in the company.

  3. #3

    Re: Misleading Title Reigns

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    The name that comes to mind initially is Ronda Rousey as Raw Womens Champion. She wins the title in an basic 4 minute squash against Alexa Bliss at Summerslam, and then loses it in a Wrestlemania main event which was all over the place to put it kindly, but inbetween that she had very good-great singles matches on PPV with Charlotte, Sasha and Nikki Bella and damn good matches with Natalya and Bayley on Raw. She also felt like the biggest star holding the most important title in the company.
    I enjoyed the WM triple threat as simply a women's match, but it's difficult to not focus on the negatives. The general heat of the match didn't seem as strong had the match happened a few months before, Kofimania had really taken off so strongly, and the botched finish was a big let down regardless of how much someone liked or disliked the match. For a match that could be argued as the biggest women's match in women's wrestling history, it didn't deliver like it needed to deliver. Shame really.

  4. #4
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    Re: Misleading Title Reigns

    Would Randy Savage 88-89 WWE Title run count in this? Decent showing in the tournament bookended with a decent match with Hogan (Yes I said it) at WMV sandwiched with some pretty average at best tag team stuff during the majority of his reign haha.
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  5. #5

    Re: Misleading Title Reigns

    Quote Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
    Would Randy Savage 88-89 WWE Title run count in this? Decent showing in the tournament bookended with a decent match with Hogan (Yes I said it) at WMV sandwiched with some pretty average at best tag team stuff during the majority of his reign haha.
    It's pure opinion based, so if you think it fits, then it fits for you. Personally, it wouldn't be one for me though. I've never been high on the Savage/DiBiase Mania match with the pair having a really good match a couple of weeks earlier on SNME. His actual title defenses were...fine, I guess. He had some good ones with DiBiase, but being stuck working Andre and Bad News didn't exactly do him any favors. The fact that so many big shows (Summerslam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, The Main Event #2) didn't feature Savage defending the title and the guy was only booked on one SNME (Where it ended via DQ) when Hogan would end up wrestling on every SNME, all but one being title matches in the year that followed only further de-emphasized Savage's title reign.

    So I can easily see why someone would say that Savage's first reign was misleading if they loved what he did at WM 4.

  6. #6
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    Re: Misleading Title Reigns

    Personally, I'd put Eric Young winning the TNA Title in 2014. Was seemingly hotshotted the belt on an episode of Impact against Magnus literally a week or two after Daniel Bryan won the WWE title at Mania, and lost it in a convoluted bullshit storyline to Bobby Lashley, but his title defences were always great imo. His rematch with Magnus was one of my favourite TNA matches of that year, the Triple Threat match at Slammiversary with Lashley and Austin Aries (while it did have a weird finish with Lashley being outside the cage and not winning the title) was a good main event and while the storyline with MVP/Lashley was stupid, the matches were always entertaining

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    Re: Misleading Title Reigns

    I think that in history of the womens tag titles that the Iconics days as champions gonna confuse not that they are bad cuz they arent but the way they been booked have done nothing postive for the championships which is a shame given how I enjoy the two and know that they could do something if they had anything.



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  8. #8

    Re: Misleading Title Reigns

    Quote Originally Posted by OMB View Post
    I think that in history of the womens tag titles that the Iconics days as champions gonna confuse not that they are bad cuz they arent but the way they been booked have done nothing postive for the championships which is a shame given how I enjoy the two and know that they could do something if they had anything.
    Seems safe to say that The IIconics won't have a misleading title reign given what has happened so far. Even their title win where they won gold at Wrestlemania, yet all anyone talks about from that show regarding that division was what may have happened backstage with Sasha and Bayley. The WWE Women Tag Titles is proof that regardless of how much good has been done with women's wrestling in mainstream pro wrestling, some things have not changed at all. Pro wrestling companies can't be bother to care about women's tag wrestling.

    As much as I love hyping the great matches between The Jumping Bomb Angels and The Glamour Girls from back in the day, that was literally just a six month period where there were just two tag teams, with the titles disappearing once that series wrapped up and prior to the series, the titles came and went without it ever truly being important. Even TNA, a company that cared about women's wrestling sooner than the WWE, cared so much about their women's tag division that they released one half of their tag champions and later had a man be a co-holder.

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