Booking WWE Raw: World Television Championship

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Okay, let me say something before you say WWE has way too many championships. At the height of the Attitude Era, between WWE, World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), the companies had a combined 15 championships. Considering WWE, when it respects its own brand split rules, has four brands, 18 isn’t really a far stretch in regards to a number of championships. Bear with me as I make a case for yet another championship to be introduced in WWE.

I’ve been a subscriber of the WWE Network since its launch in August 2014. One of the things I immediately wanted to do was to re-watch the Attitude Era. I would start at the beginning of Nitro (I don’t know if me starting at this point or the Dungeon of Doom was a bigger mistake… My word was Hulk Hogan TERRIBLE prior to being the third man!) and watch all Raw, SmackDown and pay-per-view shows up until WrestleMania 17; I refuse to watch a single episode of WCW Thunder!

I dreaded getting to the era when Nitro was three hours each week but that was more so because of what we’ve become accustomed to during the three-hour era of Raw. I actually enjoyed watching those three-hour editions of Nitro more than Raw in this era. I’d go even further by saying those Nitros were better put together than Raw shows now and that’s saying a lot because WCW was surely not at their best at that time.

I tire of hearing the excuses of booking a three-hour edition of Raw each week. I had a more sympathetic ear to it when the brands weren’t separated. WWE has as much talent on their roster than ever before; there’s no excuse not to book a good show each week across all four brands.

If WWE says it’s so difficult to book a three-hour Raw episode each week, I’ll offer up a free suggestion, something that should have been implemented a long time ago: introduce the WWE Television Championship.

The television championship in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) was created 1974. In February 1974, Danny Miller defeated Ole Anderson in the finals of a tournament to become the first ever NWA Mid-Atlantic Television Champion (later known as the NWA World Television Championship and the WCW World Television Championship). The championship was defended in matches with a time limit of 10, 15, or 20 minutes. A lot of times, matches ended with the champion retaining the title due to the match ending in a time limit draw. This was often used as a tool to build heat on the heel champion and for storyline purposes, at times, the challenger would get another opportunity at the championship in a longer timed match. Simple heat, a simple storyline, and a simple way to build talent. The television championship elevated many talents while giving fans great matches in NWA/WCW as the Intercontinental Championship once did for WWE…. Well except for guys like the Renegade and Prince Iaukea (*hearty laugh*)!

Vince McMahon likes to book Raw like a sideshow and soap opera but a lot of time what gets lost is what the audience came to see first and foremost, wrestling! With three hours to fill each week, I would think not worrying about 15 – 30 minutes of the show would be helpful.

WWE could introduce the television championship by holding a tournament. Through the duration of the tournament, play on the prestige and history of the NWA/WCW Television Championship by airing moments in the championship’s history and bringing back past champions to put the title over. It would be such a great boost to the championship by having Steve Austin, William Regal, Sting and Booker T on Raw talking about their time as the television champion, what the title meant to them and the business since these legends are still associated with the company.

The Paul Heyman era of Raw has given fans more wrestling on Raw than we’ve been accustomed to over the years; a television championship can build on what Heyman has started. The championship can be used to give an easy push to new superstars. How much would Buddy Murphy and Aleister Black benefit if there were actual stakes included in the outstanding matches that they’ve been having? Who wouldn’t want to see Ricochet as the television champion going out each week having 20-minute championship matches? Cedric Alexander, No Way Jose, and Humberto Carrillo can certainly be in the mix as well.

A television championship could also give superstars who are struggling or sitting on the sidelines a chance to shine and get back on course. Guys like Akira Tozawa, who has been a jobber on Raw since the draft, EC3 (currently out with a concussion), Eric Young, Jinder Mahal (due back soon; recovering from knee injury), Shelton Benjamin, and Zack Ryder could benefit.

WWE could also put the title on an upper card talent to give the championship some shine and even more credibility every now and then. Rey Mysterio, Drew McIntrye, Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, even Randy Orton would be great choices for a run with the title.

I hear the noise on why WWE hasn’t introduced a television championship. They don’t like using other company’s ideas, yet WWE steals things all the time; everyone in wrestling does! WWE has and still uses old NWA/WCW show names, they’ve used the Big Gold Belt, they are in the cruiserweight business for the second go around, the Elimination Chamber is nothing more than a twice-removed step-cousin of War Games, and THEY STILL HAVE THE UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

A program that writes itself, a simple storyline each week that elevates talent. This would not be just adding another title, the potential upside is there to create a must see segment each week on Monday night.

Follow me on Twitter @ShaolinShoGunMA

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