Hey there Scott, first time writing,
My question is this: Do you think that with Reigns finally winning the belt the WWE will put an end to heel champions with long reigns while the have a babyface chasing him? Because that’s the formula they’ve been using since Summerslam 2013, which funny enough coincided with the acceleration of the ratings falling.
More than that, the only other time where they booked heel champions with babyfaces chasing them was during 2002-2005, better known as HHH’s reign of terror (though Smackdown also mostly had heel champions in that period), which funny again also coincided with a period of accelerated ratings drop.
And with that they are also ignoring the fact that all of WWE big time Champions (Bruno, Backlund, Hogan, Austin and Cena) were babyface champions where the underlying story wasn’t "the babyface chases the heel champion" but "the heels try to get the title away from the babyface"! Even Austin’s conflict with McMahon came from Vince wanting to take and keep the belt away from Austin, not from Austin chasing it! They really don’t seem to know or understand their history.
Very true, although you’ll notice that NXT is built around the babyface champion (Neville, Zayn and now Finn Balor) so at least someone gets it. Maybe it’s because Vince has hired away all these cronies who were brought up in the NWA, where chasing the heel was the rule? I’m honestly not sure where the change in philosophy came from, but considering that John Cena spent 10 years as champion off and on, you’d think they would just stick with THAT formula.