One of the greatest complaints among fans of late is the irrelevancy of the championship titles. While this may be true, I think we need to really sit down and analyze just what each championship means in the big picture. Each has a place in the promotion, and I think it is long overdue we figure out where each title stands.
United States Championship
The lowest of the belts, a once respected championship is now the prop of comedy acts and Superstars main eventers. It could probably disappear and not a single tear would be shed. It does have some use, though. Dolph Ziggler and Zack Ryder's feud had an air of importance, in part because there was something physical they were battling over.
Santino Marella is not just a guy with a snake puppet and a silly accent, but a guy with a snake puppet, silly accent and a piece of silver around his waist. Yes, we can lament the downfall of the title. Or we can view it for what it really is: the championship of the jobbers.
Tag Team Championship
This is really just two United States Championships sold together as a pair. One could call it the "Payless Shoe Store" Championship. Remember when the WWE Champion could simultaneously hold the Tag Team Championship and it worked perfectly in the story?
Now the WWE has to pull teams from NXT just to hold a match. The once mighty tag team division has fallen on hard times, and it seems that no amount of "restoration" will improve its standings.
Check out the rest of the titles after the jump.
The title that used to establish the number two in the company has been lowered to the midcard, with varying levels of success. Christian and Cody Rhodes vying for the belt is a great feud and shows how the belt should be used. Rhodes vs. Big Show shows the problems that can occur with it.
The Intercontinental Champion should not be viewed as future stars. The belt is now a Television/European-type championship. It can be used to further some great stories, but often it is forgotten about and simply becomes background decoration.
World Heavyweight Championship
For all those that complain about having two "major" championships and stress the need to unify the titles, you have missed the point of the new "Big Gold Belt" completely. This is the secondary title of the WWE. This is what the old Intercontinental title was.
Sheamus is not the number two face of the company. But he is being groomed as the heir apparent to John Cena. Daniel Bryan was not one of the top heels when he cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase. But he used his successful run to launch himself into the main event.
The same could be said for CM Punk a few years earlier. Why do people feel the need to get rid of this championship and put the IC title in the exact same place? The belt by any other name will still curtain jerk the next pay-per-view (PPV).
The major championship on the main show, the WWE Champion have been hit or miss of late. On one hand, CM Punk's over six-month reign has solidified him as one of the top dogs and a star for the long haul.
On the other, Alberto Del Rio and The Miz's run were seen as disappointments and they were pushed back down the card. But the recent stability has improved the actual belt's standings. It is being defended on a constant basis, but not hot shotted.
Punk has carried it with pride and respect, while his many challengers over the course of his reign have shown determination and obsession. It is (almost) everything we can ask of the WWE in how to treat their namesake championship. Yes, a title is simply a prop; but when you treat it with respect, the fans will follow suit.
"Being John Cena" Championship
What started as a joke in the comment section has shown to be 100% correct. Either by osmosis, nuclear fission, or the use of dark matter, John Cena has somehow created a championship out of nothing. And it is the most important thing in the entire promotion. No matter the storyline, the "Being John Cena" Championship will main event and get the majority of airtime on Raw.
This title can trace actually its lineage to the "Being Triple H" Championship, which has been in and out of commission for the past few years, and the "Being a Returning WWE Superstar" Championship, most recently held by The Rock and Brock Lesnar.
An interesting note about WrestleMania 28; The Rock actually won the "Being John Cena" Championship but was forced to vacate it when he decided to leave the WWE, in which case it returns back to its previous holder (Cena, John).
How does this hierarchy work for you, Cagesiders? Does laying it all out in order help make sense of each titles place within the WWE, or is it still all just a giant, poorly booked mess?