Long-term title reigns can be very good when done right. Just look at historic reigns in pro wrestling history like Kenta Kobashi’s reign of fire or a more modern example with Kazuchika Okada’s reign of 720 days. But when done wrong, they can kill momentum.
Right now in pro wrestling, we are seeing a trend of way too many long-term title reigns in several promotions around the world. If all wrestlers break records, then they aren’t special anymore. This is why it’s very important to have a plan in place to drop the long title reign, or you end going in circles.
Roman Reigns & WWE
Let’s take Roman Reigns‘ current run for example. WWE had two perfect opportunities to drop the belt, one with Cody Rhodes, and the second with fan-favorite Sami Zayn. WWE ignored those two easy slam dunks to end a long title reign at that point. However as we know, they decided to keep going forward with Roman as world champion. Now, more and more fans are getting bored of the never-ending title reign and what looks like WWE’s pursuit to purposely pass the legendary world title reigns of Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan.
AEW & NJPW
It’s not just a WWE problem though. We’re also seeing it in AEW with MJF, and even some reigns in NJPW. It’s hard to book long-term title reigns, especially world titles… But the longer they become, the less interesting they become unless you have a story to tell.
Some suggest doing a 360 degree turn and hot potato championships. While that’s exciting at first, if you do them too much, not only do fans lose interest in the belts, but the prestige is lost over time. Promotions need to find a balance between long-term and short-term reigns, and fast.
What are your thoughts on long-term title reigns? Let us know in the comments.