Can you measure the success of a pro wrestler from the amount of championships earned? If so, Ric Flair is the greatest of them all with 16 World championships. Well, how about the length of a World title reign? Then if that’s the case, there’s no comparison when it comes to Bruno Sammartino’s 2,803 days he reigned as the WWE champion. Or if the question of the quality of competition within a lengthy championship reign is the factor of measuring success, the argument can be made in favor of John Cena’s 3rd reign as WWE champion, and CM Punk’s 2nd reign–known for being the longest reign of the modern era.
Although the main focus this time of year is surrounding the Royal Rumble match, which will determine the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight championship at WrestleMania, there have been four WWE Superstars who have been conquering their divisions.
There is no greater time to be a WWE Diva than now because of the fame and recognition generated from E!’s newest reality hit show Total Divas. In addition to the wrestling audience, Total Divas has reached an audience outside of the wrestling community based on the fact that it doesn’t center itself around wrestling. While that’s great for the aspiring models looking to break into acting and partaking in photo-shoots on exotic beaches, not everyone feels the same way about what it means to be a WWE Diva.
AJ Lee, f.k.a. Miss April, is the longest reigning WWE Divas champion in the title’s young history. AJ Lee doesn’t care at all about the main perception of being a WWE Diva, her passion–along with comic books and video games–is the physicality and art of wrestling. The champion has defended her title on every occasion a contender had challenged her; but so far no one has been able to end her reign. Does that make her the greatest of all time?
Not many of you may know this next one, if that’s the case then shame on you because the NXT Women’s champion Paige, a 2nd generation wrestler with an independent wrestling background, has reigned almost as long as AJ Lee. Four days behind AJ Lee’s current reign, Paige calls herself the anti-Diva because she prides herself on being the best wrestler. She’s defended her Women’s title against Summer Rae, Bayley, Emma, and Natalya. In a recent backstage interview, Paige stated that her goal for 2014 was to get to the WWE and defeat everyone including AJ Lee. A champion willing to take on another champion, does that make her great?
You guys better start Bo-lieving in NXT Wrestling as the territory where wrestling is emphasized and Superstars train and hone their skills to reach the next level. The current and longest reigning NXT champion is Bo Dallas, who defeated the unbeatable Big E. Langston for the title. With 242 days and running, Bo Dallas has turn away the challenges of Leo Kruger, Sami Zayn, and Adrian Neville. While the WWE Universe was once behind the only wrestler still in developmental to participate in the Royal Rumble match, the audience at Full Sail University has turned on Bo Dallas with constant “No More Bo” chants. Has he taken some short cuts to retain his title? Sure he has. But he’s also defended his title cleanly at the fans’ expense. There’s no denying that Bo has the wrestling acumen to be a great in-ring competitor, but does his lack of mic skills make him less great despite his reign?
And last but not least, we have the longest reigning champion in WWE, the United States champion Dean Ambrose. While the former Jon Moxley isn’t the strongest member of The Shield, or the quickest, he does harbor a unique personality that would draw new fans. Just look back to his matches with Kane and The Undertaker from the SmackDown tapings after WrestleMania, and see for yourself why Dean Ambrose deserves to go to the next level. Sure, being the United States champion, held by the greats in Harley Race, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Lex Luger, Bret Hart, MVP, and so on, is a huge honor, it’s time to move forward. Dean Ambrose is currently the longest reigning US champion from the past six years, he’s part of the most dominating faction in recent memory, does that make him great?
Answer the Question: Despite the main focus being centered on the Royal Rumble match, which non-World champions do you feel is making strides in their divisions?
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