WWE’s product in the last few months has picked up dramatically.
Not only have we seen deserving Superstars such as Dolph Ziggler receive pushes, but we have also seen a more creative approach when booking matches and planning storylines.
Despite this though, I get the sense that WWE is losing sight of their integrity.
There has been so much hype around CM Punk’s WWE Championship reign and about the return of The Rock that the company seems to have placed the title’s prestige on the backburner.
With this said I realised recently that CM Punk’s withdrawal from the Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view meant that he would legally have to defend his title in the next week in order to not be stripped of it.
Having last defended the WWE Championship at Survivor Series on November 18, Punk is legally required to defend his title at least once every thirty days, meaning he has until December 18 to defend it again.
This realisation was also expressed by fellow Ring Side News members earlier today.
To clarify, the old WWE rulebook states that all of WWE’s champions must defend their titles within a thirty day time frame.
If not they are stripped of it.
Previously this has happened to John Cena in 2007 after tearing his pectoral muscle and Edge in the same year after being ordered by doctors to undergo surgery.
Although there is still time for Punk to defend his title again within the thirty day time frame, it seems unlikely.
This is merely scratching the surface when it comes to WWE’s emphasis on entertainment over integrity however.
In the last two years, The Rock has been afforded several opportunities without lifting a finger, while other, arguably more deserving wrestlers are left in the mid-card.
These factors are taking prestige away from accomplishments such as winning the WWE Championship and receiving world title shots.
This isn’t to say such factors don’t create entertaining television and great matches however.
Both CM Punk and The Rock have earnt their current standings within WWE, and both will showcase their unique styles come the Royal Rumble in January.
Until then and long after however, WWE must work on restoring order to world title reigns and championship opportunities in order to not overshadow the hard work of others and the importance of improvement in the company.
Bending the rules in order to benefit certain Superstars and create more revenue simply shouldn’t be done.
But as I reflect on the last couple of months of entertaining storylines and matches, and as the road to Wrestlemania approaches, it may be something the WWE Universe should come to expect more of.