Friday 30 September 2011

Walking a Golden Mile

On 8th September William Regal tweeted the following:

Trying to think if Teddy Long owes me a favour.I need to get a World Championship match on Smackdown on Liverpool.

Maybe the last chance I have of becoming the first English World Champion in front of WWE's loyalist fans.

Regal has been considering hanging up his boots for several years now. His sporadic in-ring appearances, increased agent-style work backstage and move to the announce desk are all direct results of his decision to wind up his career and find a new role in the company.

Being good friends with Triple H (Levesque teamed with Regal, under the hilariously poor ring name Terra Ryzing, as the Blue Bloods during his brief stint in WCW) Regal is always going to have some sort of job in WWE. His track record with helping to train young wrestlers isn’t going to hurt his job prospects either. Bryan Danielson, Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Samoa Joe, and CM Punk all join Triple H in counting Regal amongst their teachers. It should be clear from that list that Regal knows how to pass on good advice.

But job security isn’t enough. Regal wants to retire with a meaningful world championship accomplishment on his CV. And who can blame him? Having wrestled all over the world for nearly thirty years Regal is one of the most talented WWE employees never to win a world championship.

Besides anything else if Mark Henry is getting a world title reign Regal deserves one too.

I’m aware of how unlikely it is to happen but it would be a nice gesture on WWE’s part, not just to Regal but to British wrestling fans. Davey Boy Smith may still be Britain’s most famous wrestler but over the years British fans have gradually gained respect for Regal and a love of his character and ring style. He may not be capable of the feats of strength Smith could pull off but there’s something loveable about a man calling someone a silly pillock on US television and wiping his feet before getting into the ring.

A world title reign for Regal would be an acknowledgement of his hard work and dedication to WWE and wrestling in general.

Is a world title win in Regal’s future? It’s not likely. But a challenging for a world title isn’t out of the question. If WWE properly promoted a Regal title challenge during their autumn tour they could shift a few extra tickets and bump up their Sky ratings. Whether or not they’d bother promoting a match for these relatively minor gains is debatable but it’s not impossible.

By the time WWE returns to Britain it’s possible there will be two different world champions knocking about. Mark Henry looks like he’s in for a lengthy title run but by today’s standards anything over the five month mark in WWE can be considered “lengthy”. He may have dropped the title to Orton, Sheamus, Christian or someone else entirely by the time of Liverpool’s SmackDown taping in November. That means we shouldn’t rule out hope of Regal getting a competitive match for WWE’s younger world title belt.

Of the two current champs Cena would be the preferred opponent for the Brit as his size would allow him to work a more believable and competitive match than ‘The World’s Strongest Man’. Plus you’d also get the patented Cena Mixed Reaction. Regal v Cena in Britain would have a fantastic atmosphere.

In an ideal world CM Punk or Bryan Danielson would be a world champion by the time of the tour and would be involved in a match with Regal. Both men have enough respect for the veteran to treat him as an equal and have a highly competitive and enjoyable match (before beating him).

Whoever holds the gold when RAW and SmackDown roll into Liverpool  hope WWE sees the potential and books a Regal in a world title match. Even if he doesn’t win it would mean a lot to him and his fans. And if Regal’s talk is to be believed there may not be many similar opportunities left.

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