The question about the WCW/NWA title situation got me thinking: which belts do you consider "real" world titles?
Is Rick Rude a former world champion because he held the weird International belt? Do we count Matt Hardy after his brief TNA title run? (We will assume the WWE, WCW, and IGPW championships all count as "legitimate" world titles.)
– WWE’s World Heavyweight Championship during the brand split
– WCW’s International World Heavyweight Championship
– TNA World Heavyweight Championship
– NWA World Heavyweight Championship (anytime after 1993)
– ECW Championship (original or WWE revival)
I don’t think anyone really considered the NWA "World" title to be a real World title after the WCW changeover in 91 anyway, so I’d call Rude’s title as much of a World title as anyone else’s during that run. I’d say once Douglas threw it down, it was done. These days, not even close, with people no one has ever heard of literally buying the title for themselves.
The TNA title has been around long enough and defended enough to be called a World title, so yes, we count Matt.
The World Heavyweight title was called the World Heavyweight title, so that one is pretty clear to me.
The International World title is counted as a World title by people counting World title reigns for Sting and Flair, so it’s in.
The original ECW title, yes. The revival was basically a midcard title, so no.