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Rating The Champ WWE

WWE World Titles – 2019/20

Welcome to my blog. This is the start of a new series, where I’ll be looking back at the history of WWE World Titles (not counting ECW) and ranking all the World Title reigns since the “Modern Era”. The “Modern Era” goes all the way back to the birth of Hulkamania in 1984, and that’s where we’ll end. Today we start with 2019 and the first two months of 2020, and we’ll go back from here.

As of this writing, February 15 2020: the WWE Champion is Brock Lesnar and the Universal Champion is Bray Wyatt. After the matches ratings, I’ll let you know if the match is highly recommended (“HR”), recommended (“R”) or a recommendation to avoid (“RTA”). In case nothing appears, the match is watchable but nothing special.

WWE Championship

Daniel Bryan (November 13, 2018 – April 7, 2019)

  • Televised matches: 17
  • Record: 9-8

My match ratings:

  • Daniel Bryan def. AJ Styles(c) – SmackDown LIVE Nov. 13 2018 (***1/2) *R*
  • Brock Lesnar def. Daniel Bryan – Survivor Series 2018 (****1/2) *HR*
  • Daniel Bryan(c) def. AJ Styles – TLC 2018 (****3/4) *HR*
  • AJ Styles & Mustafa Ali def. Daniel Bryan & Andrade Cien Almas – SmackDown LIVE Dec. 18 2018 (***1/2) *R*
  • Daniel Bryan(c) def. AJ Styles – Royal Rumble 2019 (***)
  • Daniel Bryan(c) def. AJ Styles, Kofi Kingston, Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe and Randy Orton in an Elimination Chamber Match – Elimination Chamber 2019 (****1/2) *HR*
  • Daniel Bryan(c) def. Kevin Owens and Mustafa Ali – Fastlane 2019 (****1/4) *R*
  • Kofi Kingston def. Daniel Bryan(c) – WrestleMania 35 (****1/2) *HR*

During his most recent reign as WWE Champion, Daniel Bryan shockingly turned heel to defeat AJ Styles on an episode of SmackDown in November 2018 before embarking on one of the best runs of his entire career. He even made people boo the planet! That takes talent, you better believe it. I won’t let win/loss record affect my ratings, especially for heels as they lose most of their TV matches by DQ/count-out to set up PPV matches. Out of his seventeen televised matches as champion, I reviewed eight. And out of those eight, seven were (strongly) recommended. That is impressive, not to mention his incredible promos and character work throughout his reign that ultimately made Kofi’s win that much bigger.

Rating: 9/10

Kofi Kingston (April 7, 2019 – October 4, 2019)

  • Televised matches: 32
  • Record: 26-4 (2 draws)

My match ratings:

  • Kofi Kingston def. Daniel Bryan(c) – WrestleMania 35 (****1/2) *HR*
  • Kofi Kingston(c) def. Kevin Owens – Money in the Bank 2019 (***1/4)
  • Kofi Kingston(c) def. Dolph Ziggler – Super ShowDown 2019 (**3/4)
  • Kofi Kingston(c) def. Dolph Ziggler in a Steel Cage Match – Stomping Grounds 2019 (**1/4)
  • Kofi Kingston(c) def. Samoa Joe – Extreme Rules 2019 (***1/2) *R*
  • Kofi Kingston(c) draw Randy Orton – SummerSlam 2019 (**3/4)
  • Kofi Kingston(c) def. Randy Orton – Clash of Champions 2019 (***)
  • Brock Lesnar def. Kofi Kingston(c) – SmackDown Oct. 4 2019 (DUD)

After the great start against Daniel Bryan, Kofi Kingston never felt like the top guy throughout the rest of his reign. Because he wasn’t. Wrestlers such as Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens (aka whoever was feuding with Shane McMahon) were always featured more than Kofi was, despite his impressive win/loss record. However, Kofi never got the chance to shine and/or beat main-eventers after the Daniel Bryan match. You could say against Randy Orton at Clash, but that was quite clearly done to set up Kofi so he could lose to Lesnar a few weeks later and make people care enough to watch. Daniel Bryan had eight matches reviewed, seven were recommended. Kofi had eight as well, only two recommended. Great start, meh reign. The loss to Brock in the end was inevitable, and the right business decision.

Rating: 4/10

Brock Lesnar (October 4, 2019 – today) as of February 15, 2020

  • Televised matches: 4
  • Record: 3-1

My match ratings:

  • Brock Lesnar def. Kofi Kingston(c) – SmackDown Oct. 4 2019 (DUD)
  • Brock Lesnar(c) def. Cain Velasquez – Crown Jewel 2019 (DUD) *RTA*
  • Brock Lesnar(c) def. Rey Mysterio – Survivor Series 2019 (***3/4) *R*
  • Royal Rumble Match – Royal Rumble 2020 (****1/2) *HR*

As of now, Brock Lesnar is the current WWE Champion in his fifth reign. Out of his four matches thus far, half of them are recommended matches and the other two lasted less than five minutes combined. The match with Kofi couldn’t have been better or worse, there’s nothing you can do other than go home in eight seconds. The Velasquez match was weird and quite pointless, but Lesnar’s performances in the matches at Survivor Series and Royal Rumble were great. He even allowed Dominick to run wild on him, something WWE can use in his highlight video packages for the rest of his wrestling career. At the Royal Rumble, he did a fantastic job while he was there. Lesnar eliminated thirteen wrestlers until people just couldn’t see him anymore, which then made Drew McIntyre’s elimination and eventual win that much bigger. He is scheduled to defend the gold against Ricochet next week, which I doubt it’ll last more than two minutes. Expect a match for the ages against Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania, though, because Brock Lesnar is one hell of a pro wrestler if he’s given time. Love him or hate him.

Rating: – (still the champion)

WWE Universal Championship

Brock Lesnar (November 2, 2018 – April 7, 2019)

  • Televised matches: 4
  • Record: 3-1

My match ratings:

  • Brock Lesnar def. Braun Strowman – Crown Jewel 2018 (1/2*)
  • Brock Lesnar def. Daniel Bryan – Survivor Series 2018 (****1/2) *HR*
  • Brock Lesnar(c) def. Finn Bálor – Royal Rumble 2019 (***3/4) *R*
  • Seth Rollins def. Brock Lesnar(c) – WrestleMania 35 (**)

After Roman Reigns was diagnosed with leukemia, WWE were pretty much forced to put the belt back on Brock Lesnar and transition it to Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 35. Lesnar won it in a very short match with Braun Strowman in Saudi Arabia, won by Lesnar after a weird interference by then-RAW GM Baron Corbin. Before dropping the gold at ‘Mania, you can find two recommended matches from this title reign. The match against WWE Champion Daniel Bryan at Survivor Series is absolutely spectacular, while the Royal Rumble title match against Finn Bálor is pretty good and features some brilliant selling by Lesnar, despite not being on the level of the Bryan bout. The reign came to an end at WrestleMania, in a quite disappointing match with Seth Rollins. Not that it was bad, but it was just way too short. Once again, much like his current WWE title reign, two recommended matches out of four. And those who aren’t recommended lasted less than five minutes combined too.

Rating: 5/10

Seth Rollins (April 7, 2019 – July 14, 2019)

  • Televised matches: 19
  • Record: 15-4

My match ratings:

  • Seth Rollins def. Brock Lesnar(c) – WrestleMania 35 (**)
  • The Shield vs. Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley & Baron Corbin – The Shield’s Final Chapter 2019 (***1/4)
  • Seth Rollins(c) def. AJ Styles – Money in the Bank 2019 (****1/4) *HR*
  • Seth Rollins(c) def. Baron Corbin – Super ShowDown 2019 (**3/4)
  • Seth Rollins(c) def. Baron Corbin – special ref: Lacey Evans – Stomping Grounds 2019 (**)
  • Seth Rollins(c) & Becky Lynch def. Baron Corbin & Lacey Evans in an Extreme Rules Winners Take All Mixed Tag Team Match – Extreme Rules 2019 (*) *RTA*
  • Brock Lesnar def. Seth Rollins(c) in a MITB cash-in – Extreme Rules 2019 (N/R)

After capturing the gold in a short and disappointing way at last year’s WrestleMania against Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins went on to have a fantastic match against AJ Styles at Money in the Bank. And then, after that great bout, Baron Corbin… and more Baron Corbin. And more Baron Corbin. And more Baron Corbin. And the less said about that whole “man’s man” deal, the better. After retaining the belt against Corbin in a winners take all mixed tag match with Becky’s RAW Women’s Title also on the line at Extreme Rules, Seth lost the belt back to Brock Lesnar who cashed in Money in the Bank. And we were back exactly to where we were before WrestleMania. Out of his nineteen matches on TV/PVV, eight were reviewed – with only one being recommended and one being recommended to avoid. Not a good reign.

Rating: 4/10

Brock Lesnar (July 14, 2019 – August 11, 2019)

  • Televised matches: 2
  • Record: 1-1

My match ratings:

  • Brock Lesnar def. Seth Rollins(c) in a MITB cash-in – Extreme Rules 2019 (N/R)
  • Seth Rollins def. Brock Lesnar(c) – SummerSlam 2019 (****1/2) *HR*

Just like I mentioned in Seth Rollins’ first reign, this was totally unnecessary. It just feels like WWE had to put the gold back on Brock just so he could put Rollins over again, this time in a proper match, because he was getting less and less over. My question: why not do the proper match at WrestleMania and move on? However, with that out of the way, the build to SummerSlam featured some awesome angles between Lesnar and Seth. The SummerSlam match saw Lesnar literally torture an injured Rollins, who had been F5’d through a chair in a segment on RAW, and listen to the crowd reaction Rollins gets at SummerSlam. Not to mention he had one match (the other being a quick MITB cash-in), and one highly recommended match. Once again, Brock Lesnar is one hell of a pro wrestler, like him or not. However, this reign was pretty unnecessary to begin with.

Rating: 3/10

Seth Rollins (August 11, 2019 – October 31, 2019)

  • Televised matches: 16
  • Record: 10-2 (4 draws)

My match ratings:

  • Seth Rollins def. Brock Lesnar(c) – SummerSlam 2019 (****1/2) *HR*
  • Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode def. Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman(c) – WWE RAW Tag Team Championship – Clash of Champions 2019 (**1/2)
  • Seth Rollins(c) def. Braun Strowman – Clash of Champions 2019 (***1/2) *R*
  • Seth Rollins(c) draw. The Fiend in a HIAC Match – Hell in a Cell 2019 (1/2*) *RTA*
  • The Fiend def. Seth Rollins(c) in a Falls Count Anywhere Match – Crown Jewel 2019 (**1/2)

After the great match with Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam where he won back the gold, as well as a pretty good storyline with Strowman in September… came the feud with The Fiend. Everything about it was horrible, from the terrible “selling” by Seth in their segments on TV (by selling I mean screaming) to that Hell in a Cell Match. This feud drags his rating way down, and the best thing about it was the fact that it ended after an OK match at Crown Jewel. Great start, good first feud, absolutely horrible last couple of months. Better than his first reign, but it looked like it was going to be better.

Rating: 5/10

‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt (October 31, 2019 – today)

  • Televised matches: 4
  • Record: 4-0

My match ratings:

  • The Fiend def. Seth Rollins(c) in a Falls Count Anywhere Match – Crown Jewel 2019 (**1/2)
  • The Fiend(c) def. Daniel Bryan – Survivor Series 2019 (****) *R*
  • Bray Wyatt def. The Miz – TLC 2019 (*)
  • The Fiend(c) def. Daniel Bryan in a Strap Match – Royal Rumble 2020 (****1/4) *HR*

So far, The Fiend is the current Blueniversal Champion. He’s set to defend against Goldberg at Saudi ShowDown next week, which means we can very well have a new champion before the month ends. It’s still way too soon to beat The Fiend, though, and the match itself will be a weird clash of styles. Still, so far Bray/Fiend has been in four matches, two of them being (highly) recommended. His feud with Daniel Bryan was spectacular, and the feud with Miz was short but inoffensive. His character work is unique and absolutely different from everyone else, which is always a good thing. Plus, the fact he’s a special attraction and only wrestles on PPVs is great too and makes him feel special. He’s still the champion, but at this point I’d say he has everything to be the Universal Champion in the title’s short history so far.

Rating: – (current champion)

ALL-TIME CHAMPIONS RANKING:

  1. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 13/11/2018 – 07/04/2019) 9
  2. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 02/11/2018 – 07/04/2019) 5
  3. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship, 11/08/2019 – 31/10/2019) 5
  4. Kofi Kingston (WWE Championship, 07/04/2019 – 04/10/2019) 4
  5. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship, 07/04/2019 – 14/07/2019) 4
  6. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 14/07/2019 – 11/08/2019) 3