The WWE championship has changed hands a total of six times this year and it's only September. When The Miz was given a six month reign with the belt, it felt like he held it forever and that's partially because of the frequency with which the company has decided to switch out its champions over the past few years.
The world heavyweight championship has changed hands a total of eight times this year, bringing the total number of title changes of both major belts to an astounding 14 in one year. And, again, there's still three months left before we get to 2012.
To some, this isn't a problem. While neither title particularly means as much as it has in years past, there's still meaning when they're won and lost. That's the main reason John Cena defeated Alberto Del Rio for it just one month after "ADR" won the title; WWE wanted a better rating for the next night on Raw and figured the easiest way to get it would be to have their big babyface win the strap for the tenth time. It worked.
But how much of an issue is this when one considers how much it devalues the titles if they're simply used as hot potatoes? Longtime WWE employee Jim Ross commented on as much in a recent interview with 1560 The Game:
"I think they are, arguably, too frequent and people have a hard time keeping up with the players. We assume everyone watches every week, but I think we are so immersed in our genre that we believe everyone is as engaged to it. So, I think the title changes coming so frequently disconnects some. I'm a little old school, but I think the slower build, the more tenure, the more deeper the roots can go in a championship reign, the better off you are."
I'm inclined to agree with good ol' J.R. on this one. Obviously, if a belt has been worn by eight different guys in the span of six months, it becomes difficult to care all that much about it. But if it's been the exclusive property of one man for a year or so, it quickly becomes a hot commodity and something worth fighting for.
Granted, that's not the only issue. There are other things to consider, like how the champion is made to look while he has the title, the booking of match-ups in general and who it is, exactly, that gets to hold the strap at any given time. But there would be a lot less complaining about John Cena winning so many titles if he won it, held onto it for a year and then used it to put someone over big to make a new main event level player.
Because, really, that's what the damn title is for anyway.