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  1. #1
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Bull From A Bulldog: The Senior Tour

    This column has been a long time in the making. Think I started it a good couple of months ago before getting distracted by work, as well as focusing on the Fact or Fiction series and Typeís #LOPFantasyDraft. Now the draft is done, I figured it was time to take a break from the Fact or Fiction series (nothing to do with waiting for some of the guys to respond!) and write an actual column to get my Bull from a Bulldog brand back in action.

    Itís an idea thatís been rumbling around in the back of my mind for a while now, probably since I wrote a couple of columns discussing the Proís & Conís of Part Timers in the sadly deceased old forums. I got reminded about it when I read Typeís main page column arguing for another Lesnar v Cena match. That prompted me to get on and write the column a few weeks later. I got as far as the first couple of paragraphs before getting distracted, so here I am another couple of months after initially starting the column trying to get it all to make sense as the initial premise was that Lesnar still held the Universal Title. Now thatís back on regular TV, some editing & reworking has been required, but Iíd like to think my main point still holds true.

    In the comments for Typeís column I played devilís advocate and pointed out flaws in his argument for Cena to face Lesnar again (by questioning why he hadnít covered some relevant points), but in truth I actually like the idea. Iíd even have Cena get the victory. It actually creates the perfect scenario, and as a by-product actually generates a whole new income for the WWE.

    Firstly, you have to consider whether or not we need that title back on TV. My answer would be a flat out NO. Definitely wanted to shout that point. As a regular title, it is not needed Ė especially now there are no more brand-specific PPVs. We have a WWE World Heavyweight Champion, that title alone should be headlining the majority of PPVs. You donít need more than a single top-tier title. On the two weekly shows, there are other titles that people can fight over, the IC & US Titles can be used to headline weekly TV. Another title getting in the way of those titles regaining their past glory is merely overkill. Itís a simple structure Ė World Title sells PPVs, IC/US Titles sell the TV shows. (Note: For purposes of this column, Iím not going to argue for or against The World Titleís positioning on PPVs since the return of dual-branded events Ė assume in the scenario Iím discussing it would be the default headlining match for all PPVs except the Royal Rumble).

    If we already have enough titles on TV, what then happens to the Universal title? Many sports have some form of legendís or seniorís tour, something for those who have retired but still have a desire to perform to be a part of. Why shouldnít wrestling have something similar? The Universal Title, when it was held by a part timer (Lesnar), being won by another part timer (Cena) could have provided a way for WWE to move towards this.

    Itís a great business move too. Nobody can deny the drawing power that the likes of Cena and Lesnar have. Giving them a PPV exclusive title provides an additional selling point for those PPVs. Just donít bury the main roster with those guys. WWE already have plenty of other part timers on their books. A cursory glance through the allegedly active WWE roster on Wikipedia (which is obviously never wrong) lists Big Show, Kane & Kurt Angle. Undertaker & The Rock are also listed under the ďunassigned wrestlersĒ category and are noted as making ďSporadic AppearancesĒ. HHH is obviously worthy of a mention, Jericho is always good for an occasional run and I bet the likes of Booker T and Mark Henry could still go too. Iím going to discount The Rock from the list, but right there youíve got a roster of 10 potential part timers who could compete for a part time title.

    OK, so a lot of the potential matches have been done before, but does that matter? Many of those matches were so long ago redoing them isnít an issue. I wouldnít expect any of those guys to wrestle on weekly TV, even missing some of the lesser PPV events wouldnít be a bad thing. The point of a part time title is just that Ė itís a part time thing. It makes those special attraction matches a little bit more special.

    Add to that list of part timers some of the active roster who are also north of 40, and you can include the likes of AJ Styles, Sheamus, The Hardys, Goldust, R-Truth, Rhyno, Titus OíNeill and Sin Cara to provide a bridge to weekly from time to time. I reckon Matt Bloom would like the occasional comeback match too. By my count, we now have a roster of 20 guys who could compete for a Senior title on an occasional basis.

    OK, so Lesnar holding a title that was supposed to be the main focus of the product for so long wasnít a good thing. But if it was a title designed to be a part timer attraction?

    Count me in.
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  2. #2
    The Brain
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    Well, the idea doesn't hold much interest for me personally as a fan, but considering the way WWE is dedicated to doing business now I suppose they might as well do something like this! I'm not sure how well it would be received though. People seem to have loathed the Lesnar title reign. Heck, Doc just quit the WWE because he got inserted back into the main event scene! If they could guarantee that these part timers would come in and do something meaningful and compelling while they were around, I think this idea could have juice. If they are just going to show up and be randomly plugged in for the sake of their name value, I expect it might do more harm than good. Actually, in my view the best way to use part timers is to mix them up with full time guys, and this would be in the opposite direction, so it might hurt WWE's ability to build new stars even more. Not sure how it would go down all things considered, interesting idea though!

  3. #3
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Thanks for the read Miz - got to admit, I was hoping it may spark a bit more discussion than just the one comment!

    Initially, I never minded Brock as champ. The first run in particular was well done, as all his defences felt like a big deal AND they had good enough booking to provide valid main events for the PPVs he didn't appear at.

    The second one, not so much.

    The key thing is it would give these part timers a reason to appear that doesn't involve them dominating the main event scene, which maybe could have prevented Doc from leaving. I'm sure he's not the only one.
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  4. #4
    The Brain
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    Haha, now you know how I feel with my Heenan columns sometimes! CF audience is small right now, sadly, but it always comes and goes in waves. Keep up the quality and people will come.

  5. #5
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    I do read those occasionally - haven't kept up with the whole series though so I'm guilty of not commenting too!
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  6. #6
    Love this idea. Couple thoughts on it tho.

    I saw TNA try a piece of this idea with the Legends Championship. It was a great concept. Problem for me was that the nostalgia eventually wears off.

    If it eventually winds up on AJ (or anyine else currently on the roster) I fear it would become a European championship. Fantastic start, but with the E being the E, watered down, and meaningless in 5 years at most.

    My thought has always been that the better championship for them would be the Television Championship.

    I feel like the logic is there because of how successful the midcard open challenges.

    Perfect world though. Who would be your first five champions and what events would you main event with (Insert baddass 80's name) Championship?

  7. #7
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Thanks Law - totally forgot about that Legends Championship! That was only swapped between people on the main roster and was part of weekly TV though, what I'm talking about would be mostly part timers and usually a PPV only attraction. A key thing is that it wouldn't take over the main event - that would always be the main WWE Champion.

    First 5 champions is a tough one, but I'd probably go with Booker T, HHH, Albert, Jeff Hardy & Jericho.
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  8. #8
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I like the idea and I'm totally with you on them only needing one top tier title. I'd scrap the Universal belt, it's been a failure and it's a scarlet monstrosity to boot.

    The one thing that I'd maybe think about here is that around 25% of this column wound up being introduction, so if you're going to spend 250 words fleshing out the process, maybe develop your point a bit more - because there's a bit of a sense of this having a fairly long intro, and then once you're through that, it ends quickly. Not a huge point but something to maybe give some thought to, going forward.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  9. #9
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Fair point well made - hadn't noticed the length of intro till you mentioned it!

    Glad you liked the idea though - but I have to admit, I've never seen the point of the hatred towards the Red belt. WWE is all about branding, working their belts towards having a similar design makes it recognisable to non-fans, having something unique & relevant to it's meaning is recognisable to fans both casual and dedicated. Having a red belt for the red branded show makes sense.

    If you google appropriately, you'll see there may be plans for the US & IC belts to be rejuvenated with similar designs....

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