Title History FAQ
Q: Why the heck would you do this?
A: Geeky detail interest. And some insomnia put to use.
It took a week to put together the last large history I did - the US Title one - but it's one of the easiest things on the site to keep updated once the groundwork is laid in.
Q: What titles do you currently have histories for?
Q: What's the difference between this and sites like Wrestling-Titles.com?
A: Most lists only list who held the title win. The big thing here is that I include title defenses, which helps you get a raw view of what kinda of champion and title reign each person had, and what kind of booking strategy the promotion had for the title at the time. To get some context on each match, I've included a link to a recap of the match, where available.
Also, Wrestling-Titles.com bothers to include locations and I've kinda skipped that, which is helpful in understanding regional titles or noting when they're not longer regional, but of more trivial importance for touring titles like the modern WWE and WCW ones. Different ways of looking it at it for different folks.
Q: Why do you have different dates for title switches then other sites?
Q: Why do you include mass taping shows like Worldwide and Pro when those matches might have been taped before the title switch occurred?
Q: Why do you use air dates instead of taping dates?
A: Wrestling is - at least right now - less a sport and more a television show. If a sports event is tape delayed and aired later, they'll usually refer to the date the event was taped. In wrestling, if a match happens on the previous SmackDown!, the participants will refer to it as last Thursday (not Tuesday, when it was taped.) And if it didn't occur on TV and hasn't been mentioned on TV, it never happened at all. I've opted to go with their system.
When taped matches are treated as "live" and the wrestler would be defending the title if the match was really live, I counted a title defense unless it was clear it was not for the title
Q: If this list is TV based, why include house show title changes?
A: Completeness, mostly. It happened, it meant something, it should be mentioned. At any time, they could decide that the previously unmentioned title reign is now part of the story (usually by quietly incrementing the number of times someone's held a championship without mentioning why it got bigger), so it could be useful down the line.
Q: Why do you only go back to 1996?
A: DDT Digest only goes back that far. While I know previous recaps are out there, it's a lot more of a pain to track them down and keep the matches in order. Nothing's stopping me - via resources like groups.yahoo.com, I could track back some more - except the extra time and effort I'd have to put in, and I don't feel it's worth it. (Results pre-1996 are skattershot and very incomplete for the minor shows.)
The exception is for the cruiserweight title. It was introduced just months before DDTDigest.com debut, so there's not a large area to search for completeness. (Even in that small time span, there are probably defenses I'm omitting, just because some show recaps are missing.)
Outside of a large stack of Observers being handed to me, it would be very tough to get to an early suitable cutoff point for the US Title (Harley Race or the WCW switchover?), so I'm not gonna bother.
Q: Why only titles histories for SmackDown! titles?
A: Because that's the brand I'm doing All the TV for, so I know I'll have a link that won't disappear on me.
Q: What about the WWE (SmackDown!) World Title or the World Heavyweight Title? Aren't they more important than these?
A: The Official Excuse for ducking the World Titles is "the whole unification thing and separation thing mucked up line ages." I hide myself firmly behind that excuse.
But mostly, I need a reason to start a project. Cruiserweight was to judge when it all fell apart (was it gone before the iffy switches in '99 by Rey not defending it often earlier in the year?), US Title was because it came back so I wanted to show where it'd been, and the SmackDown Tags was because the titles were about 15 minutes old at the time, so it wasn't hard to back track. There's no optimal time when looking back at the World Titles, or most of the other ones I've left off here, is more interesting to look back than others, and I need an actual reason to do this bit of insanity (as opposed to some other bit of insanity.)
Q: What's with the ? marks?
A: A "?" next to a title defense means that I know the match happened, but I can't find a recap that explicitly says it was a title match. It's usually not the recappers fault; B-shows frequently didn't make it clear if it was a title match (often when the match was taped for the current champion won the title) and the match outcomes were so obvious from the ringing of the bell, it wasn't worth the extra effort to find out if it was one. I give the benefit of the doubt on these; unless it's specifically mentioned as non-title, it's on the list. (As I've moved on, I've been more lax about including the ?).
Non-title matches are not listed at all. It's not a title defense.
Q: What's next?
A: Throwing it into a database. Just so I could do wacky queries like "Counting all his gimmicks, how many times did Hugh Morrus get in a title match?" and "Eddie Guerrero went how many years between title shots?"
And doing other title histories, of course.
Q: Who should you be thanking?
A: DDTDigest, [slash], wrestling-titles, theOtherArena, Google, and probably other sites who've provided a bit of helpful information when I've needed it. And all the names I've listed.
Q: Where can I get a hold of you? I've got some info that you obviously need?
A: If you're got a specific title history question, email@example.com is the easiest e-mail for me.
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