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Is the WWE World Championship a Horcrux?

Why is everyone even in the vicinity of SmackDown’s biggest prize an awful human being?

By now, most of you know the story of the One Ring. It was forged by Sauron and... look I’m not even going to finish that sentence. I feel my balls shriveling up with every word I write. At some point, I hope to meet the right woman, and no doubt, she’d find this article and assume I have a cape in my closet.

So instead, I’m going to write about Harry Potter.


If you’ve read the entirety of J.K. Rowling’s work, you understand the principle behind the horcrux. It’s a piece of one’s soul, placed in an object, that makes it much more difficult to “kill” that person. With it comes the added burden of separating your conscience, but without diving into the minutia of it, recall what happened when Harry, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger obtained one of Voldemort’s horcruxes. Whichever of the trio possessed the locket became increasingly negative and villainous, buying into paranoia, and assuming the worst of the world around them. It was a burden that left a hole in their own souls, a bleak feeling in their hearts, though it was temporary.

It wasn’t quite like Gollum and the One Ring, because here, the object was to destroy the Horcrux, and though it would fight back, never was it a difficult choice. The ring would mentally sell itself to you, whereas the horcrux would battle you to the death, even though you knew it was evil.

AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, and James Ellsworth are all surrounding the WWE World Championship at the present time. Styles is the Champion, and he’s been an asshole for months. The Lunatic Fringe is an irritant, but he’s also been willing to use James Ellsworth to drive Styles to madness, and when he was Champion, prior to losing the gold to AJ, he had a series of forgettable matches. Five days ago, Ellsworth shoved his buddy Dean off a gigantic ladder, putting him through a pair of tables. His rationale, at least until its revealed to be a ruse (that’s my hope), is that he feels he has AJ’s number, and will win Ambrose’s friendship back by granting him the first title shot after vanquishing The Phenomenal One back to Hogwarts.

Let me ask you a question, if you wouldn’t mind. Who the hell is the babyface in this situation? Is it Dean “Please Shane, take a slice of this filthy pizza” Ambrose? Perhaps it’s AJ “The Champ That Runs the Camp with a hole above his taint” Styles? Or, maybe it’s James “My underdog character has run its course, and the fan equity has dissipated faster than the definition of my chin” Ellsworth? These three people are all jackwagons; it’s all a matter of intensity. Which one would you want to have a beer with? Don’t think about them in real life. As the role they play, which one do you objectively like as a fake person.

It’s not even a trust thing with any of them. It’s all because each has selfish motives. Inherently, this is about holding that title. Yes, that’s the goal in professional wrestling, but Sting wasn’t a dick in 1990, at least he wasn’t once Robocop receded away from WCW. He approached annoying with the American flag jams tucked into white high tops, but somehow Steve Borden pulled that look off, along with the rat tail.

The WWE World Championship draws AJ, Dean, and James in like the One Ring, but its effects morph them into Ron Weasley in the forest. Actually, Ellsworth could be described as SmackDown’s version of Dobby the House Elf. I say that because I’ve actually tweeted it before, and quite frankly, I’m proud of the effort. Similarly, you could compare AJ Styles to Draco Malfoy, and you could easily think of Dean Ambrose as Sirius Black before the reveal.

It’s tough to care about a Championship when there’s not a right or wrong. We need a Harry Potter in this story, and instead we just have three fifth years in Slytherin House. Dean has been screwed over like a babyface, but do you truly feel sorry for that guy? I mean, if it was the dude who gave a potted plant a name, maybe. But this Ambrose? Now? When AJ Styles, at worst, is a jerk who speaks the truth? On Tuesday night, AJ wondered aloud why Ellsworth would backstab the guy who had given him multiple opportunities. James’ answer wasn’t a babyface answer. He’s either the dumbest guy alive, or he’s a maniacal, diabolical heel. If it’s the latter, as I’ve written before, there’s money in a heel manager Ellsworth.

But, in the same week we saw Enzo Amore fall for that hotel scheme, we listened to James Ellsworth attempt to explain his actions as if they were selfless, when they weren’t. Babyfaces shouldn’t be idiots. Heels should be the fools, and because they get outsmarted and humiliated, they lie, they cheat, and they steal. It’s done to even the playing field. We know the good guys are good, and today, that’s almost never true. Now, everybody’s a dumbass all of a sudden, and the Championship sits in the middle, staring up at these three men and questioning why it exists at all.

Since the brand split, every single match associated with the World Championship has been fought between various shades of jerkface. So, I ask again, is this belt a horcrux around the neck of the entire Tuesday brand? Does someone need to stab it with a basilisk fang to release its stranglehold on the new Wrangler jeans pitchman, the best wrestler on planet earth, and whatever Keebler elf you consider James Ellsworth to be?

Most importantly, however, where are the top babyface contenders on SmackDown? John Cena is basically the only one when you think about it, and he’s not around all that often these days. Randy Orton followed the buzzards, Dolph Ziggler followed... well he...

Anyway Kane is, I mean Kane is...

Well he’s The Big Red Machine.

Seriously folks, eventually this angle does have to end. Dean Ambrose can’t work AJ Styles all that much longer. With virtually zero sympathy on any side of the Championship equation, I am at a loss to determine who the next babyface superstar is on Tuesday nights. It’s bad enough on Mondays, where Seth Rollins is technically a hero while calling people “Sparklecrotch” and raging because Triple H left him at the altar. But, on Tuesday, almost the entire roster are midcard guys, and the most recognizable name is hosting Saturday Night Live tomorrow night.

I pull for AJ because I love watching him work, and his heel character isn’t supposed to draw anything but heat. He’s the only thing that’s even semi-real about the triumvirate trying to grab the golden snitch. That really isn’t how it should be though, even for me as an adult. It’s not like I cheered He Who Must Not Be Named against The Boy Who Lived. The story drove me to care about Harry’s well-being, and led to my fist pump following Severus Snape’s redemption. Even in a jaded world where reality stars run for office and LeBron James ganks Plinko for profit, we can all agree that good and evil can still exist in our fiction. SmackDown is chock full of villainy, but it’s nearly impossible to find the sliver of light in the darkness.

Maybe there are six other pieces of the World Championship’s soul scattered about the world. Maybe instead of Tom Riddle... it’s Matt Riddle, and somewhere overseas lies a copy of Colt Cabana’s Wrestling Road Diaries with my old buddy Sal Rinauro. We must destroy it. Do we need to row our way to an obscure cave, uncover the old NWA Television Championship, drink a bunch of poison out of a seashell with JJ Dillon, and stab it with Berzerker’s sword?

And finally, has anyone seen Damian lately? Perhaps that’s Nagini in disguise. Someone call Jake Roberts. He may be in imminent danger.

All I’m asking for is one guy everyone can universally get behind, written to be a Champion in the way Bayley was a hero in NXT and Harry was a hero in the wizarding world.

Give us the hero we need, not the hero we may deserve.

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