Hello guys and girls, it's me again, and today I'm gonna do another review of sorts. How about a wrestling review?
Sure Brian Zane,
have done reviews of things, but I'm gonna tackle something a bit different: How about a Championship? A belt that's cursed to hell? A belt that injures people? A belt that's the color of a fruit roll-up or Twizzlers, the twist you can't resist? If you don't get those hints, I'm talking about the WWE Universal Championship. For everyone that has been Champion, there has been problems, wether it be injuries, part-timers, etc, let's look at the history of the title up until today.
So back when the WWE did their second Brand Split in the Summer of 2016, Smackdown took the WWE Championship and Intercontinental Championship to their show, while Raw was left with the United States Championship, the Woman's Championship and the Tag Team Championship. Without a world title for their show, Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon announced the WWE Universal Championship, a new world title to represent Raw. Ok, decent name there, and fairly original (correct me if I'm wrong though, I'm pretty sure that many Indy feds have named their titles "Universal"). The belt was to be revealed at Summerslam 2016, but they would need a superstar to face #1 Contender Seth Rollins to qualify to go to the match to be the inaugural Champion. So on the 25th 2016 episode of Raw, two fatal four way matches, consisting of Cesaro, Rusev, Finn Balor and Kevin Owens for the first, and Sami Zayn, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns and Sheamus for the other. Finn Balor won the first match, and Roman Reigns won the other, and they faced off later in the night, which Balor won.
So then Summerslam 2016 came around, and it was time for the reveal of the title. Would it be a homage to the great championships of old, or would it be a brand new design that would be timeless for years to come? NEITHER!
Instead, we got a complete rehash of the WWE Championship belt, with a red strap. Why couldn't their just be an original design? Of course, when the reveal happened, the crowd reacted with some mild boos, but mostly disappointment.
Anywho, the match for the new title was serviceable, but the crowd's chants were funny as hell, consisting of "Heeeey, we want a new belt!" Or "That belt sucks!" In the tune of John Cena's theme. Finn Balor won the belt at the end, and was crowned the first ever Universal Champion! All right, not the best belt design, but a great wrestler to put the belt on!
Or it could have been. It turns out that Balor got injured during the match, and had to vacate the belt on the next night on Raw. This would be the first "curse" that the belt would do.
A week later on the 29 2016 Raw, Kevin Owens was crowned the new Universal Champion after defeating Big Cass, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins in a Fatal Four way match. Here's a problem, why did it have to be Raw and not a PPV? This match was PPV quality, and they put it on free TV.
Oh, but Owen's reign as champion was...well it wasn't terrible. Sure, you could say he almost never retained without outside help, but at least he did defend his title when the times came. His reign would last the second longest.
But...this is where things get bad. You see, his reign ended at Fastlane 2017 when he was defeated in under 30 seconds...by Goldberg. A part timer. Wins a top title. *Sigh*
You know, championships don't belong on part timers, especially one who can't wrestle a long match nowadays. I'm not really a Goldberg fan, he's had some good matches in the past, and this was not one of em.
Thankfully, Goldberg's reign ended at WrestleMania 33...to an even worse example of a part-timer. Brock. Lesnar. I already knew how he would be as champion, he's done it before with the WWE Championship back in 2014-2015, so WWE thought it was a good idea to do it again! But this time even longer. yay...
He would only defend the belt TWICE, yes you heard me, TWICE that year, retaining against Samoa Joe at Great Balls of Fire first, and the second being Summerslam 2017 against Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, and Samoa Joe in a Fatal Four Way. That last match was a good match though, I'll admit.
Lesnar would sit on his ass with Sable for 8 or something months before being told he was gonna fight Roman for the title at WrestleMania 34. Of course, knowing Vince, it seemed predictable as hell. We all thought Roman was gonna win the belt at Mania, set to a choir of muted boos, but DAMN WE WERE SWERVED. BADLY. Lesnar retained the title against Roman in a very long and not particularly exciting match, it took me another watch of the match to realize how boring it was. But the bad part was Lesnar winning...
Then Lesnar retained against Roman at Greatest Royal Rumble. Whoop-tee fucking cheeseburger eating doo.
Mercifully, he finally dropped the title to Roman Reigns at Summerslam 2018, finally ending the awfulness that was a Lesnar Title Reign.
Roman decided to be a good sport and give a title match to the person who never got his other title shot, Finn Balor, sure Balor lost, but Roman really was decent as the Universal Champion, and really was trying his best to make a title good again. You gotta give Roman credit for that.
His first PPV Title defense would be against Braun Strowman at Hell in a Cell 2018, with Mick Foley as the referee. The match...well just kinda happened I guess, there was no ending at all, Lesnar interfered tho, demanding another bad reign.
The night after Evolution, Reigns sadly had to vacate the Universal Championship due to his luekimia coming back out of remission, ending arguably the best reign the title ever had.
Then Crown Jewel Happened to determine a new champion, que a repeat of my Crown Jewel Reactions, LESNAR DEFEATED BRAUN IN A SQUASH MATCH TO BECOME THE NEW UNIVERSAL CHAMPION!!
In a moment that made me take a break from predictions, the belt lost ALL credibility it could have gained back, making the belt relatively worthless. Cuz as of then, we have to sit through another god damn Lesnar Title Reign.
And that was my history so far for the Universal Championship. In my eyes, the title is pretty much dead. The end.
What did you guys think of my perspective? Let me know in the comments below.