When did title reigns become storyline material?

hi scott,

everyone's favourite_loser here, and i've got a question i personally can't remember ever being addressed anywhere

wwe.com has an article about when bruno lost the wwwf title to ivan koloff, and it made me think back to something i'd actually been thinking about recently. back in the day, did promoters just give titles to people and then run with it for as long as they figured it would work?  more to the point, when exactly did it become common practice to book title reigns as finite things, in the sense of "your reign will start on this date and end on/around this date"? obviously vince sr didn't say "bruno, you're gonna start in '63 and end in '72" contrast that with the closest modern day equivalent: punk's reign.  it was a long reign, but from the moment punk got the title, he knew when he was going to lose it (and to who)

i know you had reigns that were never meant to last long and were instead done to pop a territory (tommy rich, kerry von erich) or to proverbially transition to someone else in the long term (koloff to make way for pedro, stasiak to make way for bruno part 2), but is it safe to say that it didn't really become a practice until all eyes were on the product on a national level (so, sometime during the 80's, mid to late)?

Vince Sr. was in fact very well known for plotting out title reigns well in advance and sticking to them.  In fact, Billy Graham's run was set in stone from the beginning, even though he was selling out as champion all over the place.  Not to mention the NWA, where the title changes had to be voted well in advance and agreed by multiple promoters.   Really, it was only into the Russo era where hotshotted title reigns and flying by the seat of their pants began.

The marginalization of CM Punk In the WWE These Days With the HHH Storyline

Something I need confirmed or debunked; is CM Punk PURPOSELY isolating himself from the main Bryan/HHH storyline, through some sort of veto power he has in his contract, where CM Punk can opt out of any storyline creative might have going on these days?

It's been total and complete bullshit that Punk hasn't been front and center in the current Bryan/HHH storyline, especially since the only reason people gave a flying fuck about him and Heyman was the Lesner factor and Lesner's being a lazy fuck who won't work full-time. So why fucking continue the storyline and make us endure God-awful D-Listers like Curtis Axel and Ryback as the poor man's replacement for Brock?

And hell, it's not like they are even trying to give us a reason for Punk being off HHH's radar to explain this ma

ssive, massive plothole. They can't even bother to show HHH and Punk having a sit-down where Punk goes all Loki during the Surtur Saga in Thor, agreeing to turn a blind eye towards HHH and his bullshit, so long as Hunter and Steph effectively do the same and turn a blind eye towards his obsession with Heyman and Brock.

And hell, speaking of Brock, having Punk be side by side with Bryan fighting HHH and Orton (and remember, Orton/Punk is a bloodfeud that is FAR more personal than Punk being pissy that Heyman dumped him) would provide the perfect eventual set-up for what a lot of people have been speculating in terms of explaining WHY Brock and HHH might eventually hook up as allies: Punk proves to be such a threat to HHH/Orton, they have to buy Brock Lesner's contract from Heyman so they can sick him onto Punk, in order  to keep him from backing up Bryan.



don't even NEED to tell you who wrote me this e-mail.  

Andre-Earthquake storyline

Hi Scott,

Something has always bothered me about the way Andre the Giant left WWE. Yes, he turned face again at Wrestlemania VII and left the arena to a huge ovation. However, he was attacked by Earthquake soon after & stood on crutches in the Bushwhackers’ corner at SummerSlam in his final appearance.
I know hindsight is 20/20 & everyone likes to play fantasy booker, but did it ever occur to anyone to have Earthquake attack Andre & injure his knee, but then have Hogan save him from an Earthquake splash? From there, Hogan & Andre could have shook hands and brought their storyline arc full circle. THAT could have been Andre’s swan song (with the explanation that Andre suffered a career-ending injury) instead of him swatting at Earthquake with a crutch as his last act.
Your thoughts?
Thank you!
Brian Scala

Well you know something, brother, Hulk couldn't have saved Andre in 91, because Andre had already been dead for at least 5 years before that, dude.  In fact, Hulk slammed the 1000 pound angry giant at the first Wrestlemania in 1982 in Shea Stadium, and he couldn't trust him after that.  Andre was forced to pass the torch to Hulkamania that day, and he was such a dangerous guy that you didn't know if was gonna SHOOT on you or not, brother, especially when he weighed 1200 pounds and drank 100 beers at a time, dude.  But thankfully the power of Hulkamania triumphed in Detroit when Andre's monster truck drove off the roof of Cobo Hall, and Andre died later that day, but not before pulling Hulk aside and personally handing him the WWF title so that Hulkamania could explode into the stratosphere.  
Wait, sorry, what was the question again?

How Long Aces & Eights Storyline Will Keep Going

Six months?  Oy vey…

Look at how long they kept the Joey Ryan angle going and no one gave a shit about that one, either.  Nothing against Ryan, he's great in this role, but it wasn't a storyline that required FOUR MONTHS.  With Aces, we should have gotten the payoff at BFG, and all we got was the first real angle.  Maybe Brian Michael Bendis is doing wrestling writing now?

Is “Will Big Johnny be fired?” the only storyline they have for him?

Why are WWE repeating the whole "Will Big Johnny be fired?" all the goddamn time.
Beside the fact that no one, who isn't 12, thinks he's losing his job any time soon,how can I, if I were 12, be afraid of this guy as an overbearing boss if I know that he's a "not entertaining enough" segment away from losing his own job?

Oh, it's gonna get worse.  There was some sort of promotional think accidentally leaked this week, according to the Observer podcast, where Johnny's job title is getting changed to "Liason to the Board of Directors".  So obviously he's getting "fired" from the GM job after this shitty PPV and then immediately rehired with a new but same job description.  Because even their STIPULATIONS have to have Dusty Finishes now.