For a while now I’ve had mixed feelings on the ROH world TV championship. While the title is being booked about as well as anything else in the company, is held by a talented wrestler, and is being defended against (mostly) worthy challengers I have to question whether Ring of Honor currently needs the belt.
The TV title means less now that it did when it was introduced by Ring of Honor in the first half of 2010. That should be viewed as a worrying sign. Titles are supposed to become more meaningful over time, not less.
The roster is so shallow that there are barely enough challengers for one singles strap, let alone two. My instinct is to say that the company should get rid of the TV gold in favour of concentrating on the world title.
I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do though. When utilised properly a secondary title can be very effective. They can help to raise the profile of newcomers or rising stars, and can add some interest to an otherwise generic feud.
The company has options for making the title mean something again. They could give Adam Cole a two year title reign for example. It wouldn’t be an instant solution to problems but over time it would create a talking point and generate interest in Cole as a performer. If he were booked against the smaller, more agile members of the roster it would set his title defences apart from the wild brawls that world champion Kevin Steen specialises in.
The model the company should follow is Rob Van Dam’s famous ECW TV title that started in the late 90s. By the end of that RVD had been elevated to a headline performer based on the strength of his in-ring performances and there were some people that felt the TV title meant more than the world title.
A lengthy reign could provide Cole with similar benefits if booked correctly.
Alternatively the belt could be used as a way of getting outside talent onto ROH cards. An announcement could be made that the belt will now be defended primarily against non-ROH contracted talent. That would again give Cole something different to do and would allow the feigning of roster expansion: one non-contracted performer could be at every show for a match with Cole and if they proved popular enough they could be brought back in the future.
Something different needs to be done with the TV title. If it’s simply a singles title there’s no point in keeping it around. As I said above the roster is not deep enough to support two solo belts. One has to change or go, and it’s obviously not going to be the world title.