WWE: Intercontinental and US Titles in a State of Irrelevancy
Mid-card title belts are a funny thing. Sometimes they mean a lot, sometimes they don’t mean much it all. Everything depends on how the champion is portrayed and how often the titles are defended.
The WWE has a sketchy history when it comes to the importance of the Intercontinental and United States Championships. If they decide to get behind a certain wrestler, chances are they do a nice job making the title seem important. However, many IC and U.S. Champions are made to look fairly mediocre. If you’re not going to get behind someone, why make them a champion in the first place?
The belts also aren’t defended nearly enough to keep them relevant. The WWE’s current mid-card champions, Big E. Langston (IC) and Dean Ambrose (U.S.), are perfect examples of the WWE’s perplexing championship philosophy.
Since Monday Night Raw on Jan. 6, Big E. Langston has been defeated on television three times, won only twice, drew once and did not appear three times. That’s not exactly championship material. Furthermore, his Intercontinental Title hasn’t been defended since Dec. 30.
If the champions aren’t portrayed as being particularly worthy of their gold, it can do both the wrestler and the title a lot of damage. Simply being a champion is not enough to get a wrestler over or make them seem like a big deal.
Dean Ambrose is a good example of a wrestler who has been successful but hasn’t elevated the United States Title. It’s not his fault, but the U.S. Title hasn’t been defended on television since Oct. 28. This is absolutely shocking. The WWE can talk up Ambrose as their current longest reigning champion, but when his belt hasn’t been defended in more than three months, it’s not that impressive.
To top it off, Ambrose has appeared in 23 televised multi-man matches over that span. What sense does it make for a mostly tag team competitor to have a singles title and rarely defend it or compete in singles matches? Needless to say, the U.S. Title isn’t a hot commodity these days.
The WWE needs to start making their mid-card titles relevant. What’s wrong with having a feud over the Intercontinental Championship? If the belts are going to be portrayed as a prop rather than a meaningful accomplishment, they might as well get rid of them.