Monday, July 1, 2013

Setting up future challengers

A discussion over on WCMB got me thinking about the ways in which future challengers for a title are built.  I have been on record as not liking the old "champion loses a non-title match" angle in the past.  The scenario mentioned there was a bit different though.  From memory it went like this:
  • Nick Bockwinkel lost to Nord the Barbarian.
  • Bockwinkel is then named the AWA Champion when Stan Hansen leaves the promotion.
The first argument is that Bockwinkel, the title and the promotion to some extent were weakened by this loss ahead of his title win.  I completely agreed with that thought process on first reading as well.  Made no sense to me.

The second was that this was simply a time-honored method for building future title challengers.  You have the future champion lose matches ahead of the title reign in order to setup rematches for the title.  In other words by having Bockwinkel lose to Nord you have a built-in program for the belt down the road at some point.  That is an interesting perspective and one that had not crossed my mind.

It made me stop and think about a lot of the conventional wisdom that the business is built around.  There are a lot of things that many of us believe should only be done in one specific way.  My dislike of having champions drop non-title matches is one of those things.  This illustrates, to me at least, that there are more than one way to do things.  While one method might make perfect sense there is always another way to accomplish the same goal.

All that being said, I am still not a fan of this method of building challengers but I will say that it does make sense.  I would be curious to see what others think about this.  Let me know via The Comments Section or via email at

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