A Tweet from April 3, 2020 Pro Wrestling Illustrated currently recognizes four World Championships WWE World Championship, the WWE Universal Championship, the AEW World Heavyweight Championship, and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
For PWI the criteria is that it's actively defended around the world against high quality opponents. Which makes sense. At the same time though with a championship like the NWA World Championship has an internet show that is available around the world and is accessible to everyone. During this current title run aside from the United States, Aldis has defended the championship in the UK multiple times and Canada. Shouldn't it still be considered a World Championship?
Historically PWI recognized:
NWA World Heavyweight Championship
July 14, 1948 - January 11, 1991
May 8, 2006 - May 13, 2007
AWA World Heavyweight Championship
August 16, 1960 - December 12, 1990
WCW World Heavyweight Championship
January 11, 1991 - December 9, 2001
ECW World Heavyweight Championship
July 6, 1999 - April 11, 2001
June 13, 2006 - February 16, 2010
World Heavyweight Championship WWE Big Gold
September 2, 2002 - December 15, 2013
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
May 13, 2007 - August 1, 2015
I haven't always agreed with PWI when it came to it's World Championship recognition. For instance the ECW World Championship, they didn't give it recognition until six months into Taz's title reign. The company had, had PPV's for years by then and had a national syndicated show and rabid fan base.
Other promotions call their title a World Heavyweight Championship including PWG, Progress, CZW, even my home promotion Limitless Wrestling calls their championship a World Championship.
Limitless Wrestling has a huge following on YouTube with 685 Thousand subscribers. Their video of Kris Statlander vs. Christian Casanova has 41 million views, they have 28 other videos that have anywhere from 1 million to 32 millions views each. MJF, their first champion, defended it in the United Kingdom. Is this sufficient criteria?
With all this being said I'm still looking for the answer to the question. What is the criteria that qualifies a title to be considered as a World Heavyweight Championship?
Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network.
Until next time!
It's interesting, when I first saw this title I thought you were going to write about the blurring of lines in weight classes these days and how many heavyweight champions are nowhere near heavyweight. But you brought up a great point about who determines the validity of a "World Heavyweight" Champion. In my own personal opinion, I don't think companies should have more than one entry so I think the WWE should only be allowed one title to be called that. It devalues the term and sort of neutralizes both belts when you claim to have two champions.ReplyDelete
I'm shocked to see ROH and IMPACT are not in the running with PWI's list of recognized titles.
PWI recognized the WWE's big Gold as a World Championship at the same time they did the WWE Championships as well.Delete
Impact doesn't surprise me honestly, but Ring of Honor does.