A bit of news regarding a few of WWE’s champions. This week on RAW, WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella and the WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback both became in violation of the WWE’s 30 day title defense rule in which a champion is supposed to defend his/her respective title within 30 days of their last title defense.
Ryback, who returned to WWE Television on RAW during MizTV, hasn’t defended the Intercontinental title since a house show match on July 12th against the Big Show. Ryback’s been sidelined with a staph infection in his knee which ruled him out of his scheduled title defense against the Big Show and The Miz at Battleground. However, he is expected to defend the championship in the re-scheduled triple threat match at Summerslam.
Nikki Bella hasn’t defended the Divas Championship since July 12th either, with her last defense being on the same house show in a triple threat match with Paige and Naomi. Nikki hasn’t had a televised title defense since the Beast in the East event in Japan on July 4th, where she retained her title match against Paige and Tamina Snuka. Nikki’s not been injured like Ryback, but the Divas Champion has mostly been working tag team matches ever since the “Divas Revolution” storyline began and the battle lines were drawn.
But you’d think the WWE would at least have Nikki defend the belt once in a while? At least Ryback had a legitimate excuse, having been sidelined with an injury and will at least defend it at last at Summerslam. Nikki Bella, however, has been an active champion throughout her title reign. I’ve enjoyed this “Divas Revolution” storyline, but you’ve got to take tradition and established rules into account with regards to the storylines. It’s this kind of negligence that really devalues these titles and these extensive title reigns that they’ve been prone to do.
Of course, it is not the first time that WWE has done this. Brock Lesnar went 127 days without the defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship during his title reign last year. Trish Stratus once went a number of months without defending the Womens championship, having been sidelined with an injury from May 2005 until September 2005. However, Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett have both recently had their championships stripped from them due to the 30 day title defense rule, with both of them being injured.
It does get a bit frustrating seeing WWE’s enforcement of the rule. It can be argued that the title defense rule is not an actual thing anymore, but Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett have both lost titles recently because of it. So you can’t really pretend that it’s not real when it’s been enforced so recently.
Thanks to the Internet Wrestling Database for their stats and facts regarding the match histories of both Ryback and Nikki Bella. It’s a pretty useful website giving you the stats about the world of professional wrestling. http://www.profightdb.com/