August 18, 2011
The title = power... because they say so?
At Hardcore Justice, in just the latest in this company's never-ending series of Russorific swerves, Kurt Angle nailed Sting with a chair and won the world title. The following Thursday, Angle cited Dixie Carter lying to him about Jeff & Karen's affair as the reason and aligned himself with Hulk Hogan.
Afterward, I was venting my spleen in the comment section of TNAsylum about how this heel turn made no sense whatsoever (which it didn't), and came across a particular post that got me thinking. The post was about how Hogan and Immortal got Angle on their team because they needed the power the world title brings.
Power? Um... what power?
People in this company seem to be constantly saying that the world title means power, that whoever has the world title has all the power, but they've never really explained that in any way. In fact, if you think about this for a minute, since the Immortal storyline began last year, when has being the world champion afforded anyone any real power? It hasn't. It's just been a lot of meaningless talk.
And this becomes even more confusing when you consider that there have been several storylines within the Immortal takeover angle that have been directly about the importance of the world title and the "power" it brings to whoever has it.
First, there was a hilariously bad and ineptly executed storyline about Dixie Carter taking legal action against Hogan & Bischoff, and Immortal needing all the championships in the company because they believed this would somehow give them the "power" they needed to fend off Dixie's lawyers.
For a minute, let's just try to forget about the fact that every human being on the planet who is not functionally retarded knows this is not how the justice system works. Instead, let's look at how this played out. For weeks, Hogan & Bischoff were drilling into their goon squad that they needed every championship in the company by a certain date or Dixie's lawyers were going to eat them alive. And what happened? That date passed and Ken Anderson was still the world champion. Immortal was without the world title, the most important piece of the puzzle, the championship they needed above all others in order the save them from the legal team bearing down on them.
And what happened next? NOTHING!
The fact that they didn't have the world title in their faction turned out to have absolutely no bearing on anything that happened next. Despite Hogan & Bischoff's crime being committed on national television with millions of people watching it, Dixie lost the court battle, the judge, throwing logic and common sense to the wind, ruled in favor of heels, and they continued on as if nothing had happened.
Next, Sting came back, immediately winning the world title from Jeff Hardy, who had just won it from Ken Anderson. Following this, Sting would often say that him being the world champion meant that he was the last line of defense against Immortal because the world title gave him power and that power was going to help him take the company back, or something to that effect.
Once again, the writers never even tried to explain this. How did the world championship give Sting power? What kind of power? Power to do what? If he had all this supposed power, why didn't he use it to actually, you know, DO something?
Because it was bullcrap. That's why.
When Sting (or anyone else for that matter) was the world champion, did he have any special privileges that he didn't have before? No. Could he veto decisions made by Hogan or Bischoff? No. Could he hire or fire people? No. Could he choose when and where he defended the title? No. Did being the world champion give Sting any significant leverage against Immortal like he claimed it did? No. Could he do anything with the title that he couldn't have done without it? No.
There was one instance in which Sting had the power to choose who he defended the belt against, but that was a right bequeathed to him by the Network, not something that came hand-in-hand with being the champion, and this power was exorcized exactly one time and then was never mentioned again.
Even though he was the world champion, Sting still had to compete in matches when Hogan & Bischoff said so, still had to defend the title when Hogan & Bischoff said so like any other employee unless the Network intervened.
So even though they're constantly saying that the world title means power, all the storylines have shown us that, in fact, the exact opposite is true. At this point, instead of the world title, you might as well call it the MacGuffin title, because that's basically what it's become. And why stop there? Since the writers have been on this stealing-ideas-from-movies kick lately, why not go one step further, take a page from James Cameron's book and call it the Unobtainium title?
All kidding aside, can we please end this ridiculousness about the world title coming with any sort of "power" when it's so obviously BS? The world title didn't give Sting any power to take the company back when he had it. It didn't give Immortal any power to keep the company when they had it. It doesn't give Kurt Angle any power to prevent Dixie Carter from getting the company back now that he has it. It doesn't give you the power to walk on water or turn dog crap into gold. It certainly doesn't have the power to change the whims of a federal judge.
That supposed "power" doesn't exist. In fact, from what I can see, the only one with any real power to do anything in this situation, one way or the other, is the plot device... oops, I mean the Network, because apparently everyone on the show, including Hogan, Bischoff, Immortal and whoever else, has to do whatever the Network wants whether they have the world title or not.
What happened to the world title having prestige simply because it's, you know, the world title, and being the world champion means that you're the best in the business? Was there something wrong with that? Was that too simple? Was that not entertaining enough? Why can't the title be important for the reasons titles are supposed to be important?
Oh yeah, because this show is written by a man who thinks championships are nothing but meaningless props. I guess that's how Eric Young has been able to go months without defending the TV title and hasn't been stripped of it yet.
Too bad, Stinger. If you'd just gone out to Hollywood and gotten into a fight with a Z-list celebrity like EY did instead of defending the title like a self-respecting champion should, you would never have lost it to Kurt Angle in the first place.
Not that still having the title would give you any "power", or make any kind of difference whatsoever really. But, hey, I suppose it would've looked nice on your coffee table or something.