But it should instead be referred to as “a performer who defends his title every time to steps into the ring.” If even this modified term is foreign to you, it should be. There hasn’t been a fighting champion in professional wrestling in quite some time. Not even the long reigns of CM Punk and Antonio Cesaro were “fighting” reigns. More than anything, the majority of their bouts were “non-title” matches, ways to simply beef up a RAW or Smackdown card, than to truly establish either of them as dominant champions. In today’s age, with the plethora of pay previews and RAW’s new three-hour program, it’s difficult to truly create a dominant and prolific performer.
Is this a bad thing though?
A champion is supposed to be dominant, but the current understanding in WWE and TNA as well is that great matches should be paid for. More often than not, those five-star matches are title matches. You’re not getting them for free.
The solution to this is a simple one. Once a month, every champion should defend the title against a legitimate challenger on cable. This would be in addition to the customary monthly pay per view. Think Clash of the Champions for a new millennium. It doesn’t even have to be connected to a storyline; it’ll just serve as a way to get people over based on their ability in the ring.
It doesn’t even have to be on a regularly scheduled show day either. Every fourth Saturday or something, the company could have a two-hour show that’s just four or five matches. That leaves plenty of time for advertisers and the company to make some bread and enough for each match to be more than five minutes. Everyone would win.
It could also replace meaningless house shows that serve no real purpose. While it appears that stars would wrestle more, they’d actually wrestle more meaningful matches with less filler. This could do wonders for drier current and former champions like Kofi Kingston and Wade Barrett, whose whole reputation is built on what they do in the ring. For more charismatic stars the likes of Dean Ambrose, it’ll give them more ring time and extra seconds to hook the crowd in promo before and after the bell.
The bottom line is a simple one. TNA and WWE programming are entrenched in boring product placement nonsense and filler. There needs to be more “important” business on their shows and less wasted time. More title matches and the presence of a few fighting champions could add an extra level of intrigue to a slew of shows that grow more and more predictable every week.