3 defunct titles WWE could bring back - Sportskeeda

WWE has long been considered the Premier League of professional wrestling, with the best of the best looking to make their mark where so many other workers have failed.

The rising popularity of promotions like New Japan and Impact among the birth of All Elite Wrestling has seen a large exodus of wrestling fans in recent years. However, WWE remains the biggest promotion in the world of professional wrestling, thanks in no small part to its immense history within the industry.

As with any sport, a wrestler's career is measured by the championships they have captured; championships are the primary form of proof following one's career as to whether they have accomplished anything of note.

Throughout the years, WWE has had seemingly never-ending revolving doors of championships being introduced and retired accordingly. Even some of the most prestigious of belts have rendered inactive in the ever-evolving company.

WWE has a tendency to bring back particular championships by way of fan demand, supplementing key storylines or rewarding a wrestler for their efforts without harming the stock of their present champions.

We have thus far seen the Cruiserweight Championship, WWE Women's Tag Team Championship and even the Million Dollar Championship return to the fold in recent years, but which titles that occupy the Hall of Fame deserve their own resurrection?

BONUS: WWE (FKA WWF) International Heavyweight Championship

The International Heavyweight Championship was a signal of a NJPW/WWF working relationship.
The International Heavyweight Championship was a signal of a NJPW/WWF working relationship.

This little-known title has been included as an unlikely bonus because it was simply too tantalizing not to mention. The WWF International Heavyweight Champion was a product of a working relationship between the WWE/F and New Japan Pro Wrestling. Pro wrestling legend Antonino Rocca held the title first, beating Buddy Rogers to become the inaugural champion.

WWE were reportedly in talks earlier this year with NJPW over a working relationship, supposedly to support their contract negotiations with the wantaway Bryan Danielson, news that had the entirety of the internet wrestling community debating which dream matches they would like to see.

It would have been an amazing move for the entirety of professional wrestling if WWE had abandoned their tribalism and worked with NJPW. Using the International Heavyweight Championship as a beacon for their alliance would have made for the perfect platform to display cross-promotional dream bouts.

The title also holds a sense of prestige due to the names that held it during the first iteration, and would prove to be an extensively sought after accolade for anyone during their career.

As unlikely as it is that we will ever see the title return, it would be a forbidden-door shattering move to change professional wrestling's landscape and spoil the fans with the very best wrestling.

#3 WWE (NXT) European Championship

William Regal was the 2nd of the two solitary European champions in the titles history.
William Regal was the 2nd of the two solitary European champions in the titles history.

The European Championship was an upper midcard staple of Attitude Era WWE. Despite it's name, the European title was only held by two champions of European descent, British Bulldog and William Regal.

We have as of late seen a large influx of European talent into the WWE, as well as the company's international expansion with their weekly show NXT UK. With names like Drew McIntyre, WALTER, Sheamus and Cesaro all hailing from Europe, it would be of great benefit to bring the European Championship to NXT to add as connective tissue between the brands.

NXT UK has suffered due to the Speaking Out movement, which had heavy and disturbing implications for the roster, as well as the UK's restrictions put in place in response to the COVID pandemic.

Introducing the European Championship would aid the rebuilding of the NXT UK brand and could also be used as a tool to celebrate the influx of European talent into the WWE roster.

#2 WWE (FKA WWF) World Martial Arts Championship

Antonio Inoki held the short-lived championship when he made his way to the US
Antonio Inoki held the short-lived championship when he made his way to the US

Wrestling and mixed martial arts share a sibling rivalry, both maintaining similarities that tie the two and differences that divide the fan bases. Over the years, a number of talents have made the transition from MMA to professional wrestling and vice versa.

Names like Matt Riddle, Junior Dos Santos, Ronda Rousey and Cain Velazquez have found their way from the Octagon to the Squared Circle and we have seen talents like CM Punk, Brock Lesnar, Jake Hager and Bobby Lashley take to the cage with varying levels of success.

In addition to dual-sports talent, wrestling has also taken influence from MMA, with prime examples being the Fight Pit Match, GCW Bloodsport and the short-lived Raw Underground. What could add a new and fresh dynamic to WWE would be a Martial Arts Championship, once held by the legendary Antonio Inoki as part of the aforementioned working relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling.

The championship would be defended in MMA rules matches like the Fight Pit and could be sought after by the likes of Riddle, Bobby Lashley and Timothy Thatcher whilst also providing storylines for dual-sports crossovers. Names like Daniel Cormier and Conor McGregor have been linked with WWE for years and a title to celebrate barrier-breaking transitions would help to encourage and appeal to MMA fans looking over the fence.

If WWE are ever to consider giving Raw Underground another shot, then the Martial Arts Championship could give the concept some legitimate stakes and reasons for the talent involved to be there.

#1 WWE (FKA WWF) Canadian Championship

The Canadian Heavyweight Championship had a short-lived history only being held by Dino Bravo.
The Canadian Heavyweight Championship had a short-lived history only being held by Dino Bravo.

National championships serve as foundation rewards for talent on their rise to the top. Seen as the first step in carving a successful career, these titles serve as workhorse belts fit for the work-rate orientated battles while the world titles are reserved for landmark events to showcase the very peak of the roster.

WWE is currently sanctioning the United States and United Kingdom Championships, celebrating two major regions in the wrestling world. However, there is one wrestling region that also deserves respect.

Canada is the birthplace of some of the best talent to ever step into the ring, including legends of the business like Stu, Bret and Owen Hart as well as current stars like Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Kenny Omega.

Unlike other championships on this list, the Canadian Championship has only had one champion in its short lifespan, Dino Bravo. It would have a fresh feeling whilst also celebrating the very best of the rich wrestling region.

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Edited by Anirudh Balasubramaniam

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