THS: The Universal Championship is Cursed Submitted by The High Spot on 10/30/2018 at 03:34 PM
By J.D. Bachman
Quick, name the most prestigious Universal champion in WWE history.
While only two years old, the Universal Championship has not only failed to deliver five-star main events and an honored title reign, but quite frankly, the damn thing is cursed. (Compare this to A.J. Styles current lengthy, and impressive WWE Championship reign)
Aug. 21, 2016 -- Finn Balor captures and becomes the first ever Universal Champion at Summerslam. He would vacate this a day later after suffering an injury which put him out for nearly a year.
Aug. 29, 2016 -- Kevin Owens becomes the second Universal Champion, though with the help of Triple H, and a reign that lasts only months before being squashed by Goldberg. Owens rarely defends this title, and no memorable matches come of it due to poor booking.
March 5, 2017 -- The date of said squash at the hands of a 49-year-old Bill Goldberg. His reign lasts less than a month, and drops it at Wrestlemania to Brock Lesnar.
April 2, 2017 -- This is the start of Lesnar's 504 day reign, in which he defended the title only 13 times. Compare this to C.M. Punk's 443-day reign, who defended his championship 22 times on television, including over 100 times at various live events in his tenure.
Essentially, the Universal Championship was mostly absent from WWE television from April of 2017 to August of 2018.
Aug. 19, 2018 -- Roman Reigns defeats Brock Lesnar at Summerslam to capture the Universal Championship for the first time. Sadly, he would vacate the title two months later in what will be a hellacious battle with Leukemia.
Through such lackluster reigns, WWE programming over the past few years, especially on Raw, has equated to nothing more than "Look at how big our dicks are."
There never existed a necessity for a Universal Championship, regardless of an unneeded second brand split. This is a pattern we see all too often on WWE programming -- products created from the need of profit over necessity.
Arguably, the Mae Young Classic was created out of necessity -- there are hundreds of women's talent deserving of exposure. WWE Evolution, however, was not created because there are so many intriguing storylines in the women's division on all shows, but to simply gloat about how they put on an all-women's show in their quarterly report.
The same goes for the Universal Championship.
Not that it made sense to begin with. A.J. Styles is the champion of the WWE, but Roman Reigns was the champion of the WWE Universe?
Side note: An Intercontinental Champion, by definition, is the same as a World Champion. So does that make Seth Rollins the actual world champion over Styles and Vacant (Vacant has held the most titles in wrestling history) who are only champions of the company?
This is a discussion for another article...
The bottom line is that the WWE has failed to bring any element of prestige, five-star moments, or credibility to the Universal Championship. It floats around without purpose, and has served as little more than something for Brock Lesnar to hold on to while he collects an unnecessarily large paycheck as a barely part-time performer.
While the WWE has long since jumped to the philosophy of "branding over development" and "quantity over quality" I don't see this changing anytime soon for this championship; which was born without purpose, and has served very little since then.