2017 was a year of record-breakers for the WWE and some of its superstars, and championships changed hands 54 times. We could write a novel about the new records set, but John Cena tying Ric Flair’s 16 World Championships is a good start. Or how about WrestleMania 33 setting a record revenue of $181 million?
There were also a lot of major changes to the roster in 2017. The Undertaker just may be retired for good, while mid-card wrestlers like Braun Strowman and Jinder Mahal received unexpected main event pushes. But one defining moment of the WWE for 2017? How about all the title changes?
The Universal Championship only changed hands twice. Goldberg defeated Kevin Owens at Fastlane, but lost it to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 33 and The Beast hasn’t lost the title since(we’re not counting Finn Balor’s relinquished title here). The United States Championship saw a whopping nine changes, and Roman Reigns is the final holder of the title for the year.
Five different superstars held the WWE Championship in 2017, as AJ Styles heads into the new year with a reign that’s lasted 53 days (and counting). The Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships saw four and five changes, respectively.
The Intercontinental Championship only saw three title changes, while the Cruiserweight saw six. The Raw Tag Team Championships changed hands six times, while the SmackDown Tag Team Championships saw five changes.
Reasons for the creative team to have so many excessive championship changes aren’t exactly clear. But many titles seem to lose relevance and importance when they see a new winner every so often.
Fans often criticized the booking of the Raw Women’s Championship, which has seen 11 changes since being introduced last year. It’s also questionable to have a part-timer in Brock Lesnar holding onto the luxurious Universal Championship for most of 2017. So let’s hope that 2018 brings fewer title changes. It’s too easy to lose count about how many times they change hands, for crying out loud.
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