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Ian Finlayson




I wasn't very sure what I was going to talk about here, I was thinking about it for a while but couldn't come up with any ideas. Then earlier on I was talking to someone about ECW talent and mentioned Super Crazy, this led me to the Light-Heavy Weight Division. So I decided that I am going to talk about the 3 WWF Titles that are slowly disappearing, The Light-Heavyweight Title, Hardcore Title and the Woman's title. I'm gonna talk about what's going wrong and what can be done to improve the divisions.

Hardcore Title

The solution for this title can be covered in just one sentence. Take the title from RVD. I'll talk about that later but first I'll cover what's going wrong. The Hardcore title has never been that highly regarded, there have been moments where it achieved a lot of attention, like Summerslam 2000, but most of the time nobody really matters. The 24/7 rule has been both a good (insert DDP Clich=E9 here) and a bad thing, it was cool in 2000 to see Crash getting chased around fun parks by the Posse or going to Samuel L Jackson for defense, but when the title was changing hands several times a night it became pretty stupid. I remember in late 2000 there was a small feud with Hardcore Holly, Steve Blackman and Raven. It was obvious Raven was going to win the title eventually but they kept teasing it having people get 24/7 wins during his matches. If we fast forward to No Way Out, Big Show won the title. It stopped meaning anything. At Wrestlemania we had Big Show and Kane with Raven thrown in so the Hardcore Division was represented in the match. Then in July 2001 Jeff Hardy won the title, this set up RVD/Jeff at Invasion and the title changed hands a couple of times before the rematch at Summerslam. As it stands now RVD is champion. Recently he has defended the title against a few people but these have been people like Kurt Angle and The Rock. Nobody from the Hardcore Division has actually had a shot at this recently.

Like I said earlier, the title should be taken from RVD, it should then goto someone in the Hardcore division but I think the WWF are going to be against this because it's going to involved RVD jobbing to someone in the lower Mid Card, but it has to be done. The problem is that it's going to have to be someone from the Alliance because there are no WWF wrestlers in the Hardcore Division, with the exception of Crash and Steve Blackman who's down at HWA. If it's going to be someone in the Alliance I would go for either Tommy Dreamer or Raven. If either of them held the title then they could feud over it. A lot of people would like to see Tommy Dreamer and Raven feuding again. Something which also needs to be done with the Hardcore division is that the format of the matches should change, they should go back to actually being hardcore again, now I'm not saying let's bring in Barbwire and Fire but they should be fighting in the corridors and streets. Also the weapons should be increased. The only two weapons that are used regularly now are the Chair and the ladder when Jeff's involved. They should be using signs, cinderblocks etc.

Summary: Take the belt off RVD, make more feuds within the division and make the matches more Hardcore.

Woman's Title

Like we all know that belt is sitting around the waist of Chyna. The WWF aren't going to try and renegotiate a contract and I doubt they'll actually explain where she went. At the end of 1999 and beginning of 2000 every woman's match seemed to be in either Snow, Water or Chocolate Pudding. This changed when Jacqueline and Stephanie held the title, then when Lita won a new type of match was created for her an her nemesis Trish Stratus, the Bra and Panties match. This was seen as a way to attract interest in the division as men could now see arguebly two of the sexiest women ever in the WWF stripped down to their underwear, this was boosted when the two sexiest women in WCW, Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler came along. There are 10 women getting some level of airtime, 7 Wrestlers (Lita, Trish, Torrie, Stacy, Ivory, Molly, Jacqueline), 3 in Management and Girlfriend Roles (Stephanie, Debra and Terri). In OVW there are 4: Nidia, Jazz, Sharmel Sullivan, Victoria. The first is of course the Tough Enough winner and out of the other 3, Jazz and Sharmel Sullivan have Full WWF Contracts while Victoria is on a Developmental Contract. All reports are saying that these 3 are all great prospects for the WWF. As well as Chyna, Tori will be dropped when her contract ends.

They need to get the belt back on TV, I don't care how they do it I just want it back. They can do a really stupid thing to get it back and I won't mind, screw continuity and get it. I don't care if it just appears on TV, it's found in a dumpster or Mick Foley finds it in his Monopoly Set. If and when the title comes back there will be no Champion so there will need to be a match for it. A lot of people have mentioned Tournaments but I would prefer something like a Four Woman Elimination Match. Have Lita vs Jacqueline vs Ivory vs Molly, they are the four most talented women on TV. If Tori was still around then I would have liked a 8 Woman tournament with Lita, Jacqueline, Ivory, Molly, Tori, Jazz, Sharmell Sulivan and Victoria. It could have been a way to introduce the last three or they could have just appeared in first round matches on Heat. A few of you will be asking why I haven't included Trish, Torrie and Stacy in my two matches, the main reason is that there are 8 better women then them. As for Tori, she will be released when her contract ends. She is believed to be unhappy with the decision to send her to OVW to train women. It has been claimed that the WWF has nothing to do with Tori, what would be more appropriate would be if they told the truth and said they didn't have anyone who needed her as a manager. They could have brought Tori in and just let her wrestle, her profile would have been raised by Tough Enough and she is a reasonably good wrestler. As for the next Champion I think it should be Lita, no one can deny that Molly and perhaps Ivory are both better wrestlers than her but she is more over then Ivory and more attractive then Molly. She could generate some attention for the Division and then feud with Molly. The hardest part of improving the Woman's Division is Storylines, most feuds at the moment are based on the women's boyfriend's feuds. It's strange that the WWF could have 7 wrestlers and none of them be able to work on the mic. They need to do some work to improve this so they can do feuds people care about. Like the Hardcore Division the matches need to be changed. Like most Straight men I enjoy Bra and Panties matches and in the "New" Women's Division they will still have an important part. They need some normal matches then the ocassional Bra and Panties match to keep attention but I wouldn't have the best talent being involved in these matches. Sure have Bra and Panties matches for the women's title but let women like Lita, Trish and Torrie fight in these. You could have Lita vs Stacy in a Bra and Panties match at one PPV then the next it could be Lita vs Ivory as a normal match. Women in the WWF should be seen as talented performers and not just Strippers for Vince to have a fling with. Someone like Molly could outclass a lot of men yet these men will still get more airtime. I couldn't do this without mentioning Tough Enough, in my opinion they made a big mistake with Nidia. My choice, like a lot of other people, was Taylor. She is equally as talented as Nidia while being more attractive and having more charisma. I can easily see in a years time Nidia being released while a couple of years later Taylor gets herself into the WWF.

Summary: Get back the Woman's Belt, have a Title Match for it, Teach the Women on the roster to work on the mic, get a good balance between Standard and Gimmick Matches.

Light-Heavyweight Title

I'm going to make it clear from the beginning I love watching Cruiserweights wrestle. Whether they are Technical Cruiserweights like Tajiri or high-flyers like Essa Rios they are great to watch. This title has always had problems. Since it became a WWF Title in 1997 there have been 13 title reigns, 6 of them occuring this year. A lot of people criticised Dean Malenko's 11 Month reign where he defended the title regularly on Heat and Metal/Jakked. He was involved in booking the division and a lot of people claimed that his ego stopped him from doing it impartially. Worse then this reign was Duane Gill's 15 months which included a year where he never even appeared. The title has had 3 long reigns, Taka Michinoku at the very beginning, Duane Gill and Dean Manlenko.

There are enough Light-Heavyweights (Cruiserweights or whatever you want to call them) in the WWF to make an exciting Division:

Jerry Lynn
Essa Rios
Jeff Hardy
Chavo Guerrero Jr
Billy Kidman
The Hurricane
Taka Michinoku
Scotty 2 Hotty
Spike Dudley
Eddie Guerrero

It also looks likely that next year the WWF will be hiring Rey Mysterio Jr. If they do bring in Mysterio and don't put him in the LHW Division then he will be wasted. Now as much as I would like to see Mysterio in the WWF I would rather see Super Crazy. He is a wrestler who does some amazing Aerial Moves and a feud between him and Essa Rios would produce some incredible matches. After the purchase of WCW the WWF got the contracts of a few Cruiserweights who were sent down to OVW and HWA:

Elix Skipper
Evan Karagias
Jamie Knoble
Kaz Hayashi
Shannon Moore

So it's clear that the WWF has the talent to create a great LHW Division they just wont do it. There are a lot of people like Hugh Morrus, Albert and Mike Awesome who are on TV but doing nothing, they should be swapped with LHW's like Shannon Moore and Elix Skipper. JR has mentioned several times in his Ross Report how much he's been campaigning to boost the LHW Division and it's time Vince listens to him. One of the good things about the purchase of WCW was it was supposed to create the greatest roster in Wrestling, they can do this with their LHW Division. Cruiserweight matches don't need to be improved because they are great already. What needs to be done though is to make them more prominent on Cards. You don't need ladder matches or anything else like that, just two talented Cruiserweights in the ring together.

Summary: Make sure the division is Competitive, hire luchadores like Mysterio and Super Crazy, Give people in the Farms the chance to wrestle on TV, Put more Cruiserweight matches on Raw and Smackdown

These 3 titles really are the ones with the most problems. As for the other WWF Titles (World Title, IC Title, Tag Titles and European Titles) they are going on fine. I don't know what's going to happen after Survivor Series if the WWF and the Alliance merge. They will have a lot of titles which I guess will be unified as time goes by.

Feel free to comment on the Titles. You can say what you want done with them, who should be in each division, that kind of thing. E-Mail is at the bottom like usual.

Ian Finlayson

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