The Heritage Cup Tournament That Wasn’t

Last Updated on: 10th April 2024, 12:17 pm

This is going to be old news to most of you who would care about such things,but since I’m just now watching episodes of NXT from last summer, here goes.

I don’t want to complain too much about the Heritage Cup tournament. The round-robin concept is a very un-WWE-like thing to present, and I mean that in a good way. The company has done the same things in the same ways for so long that it’s nice to see them trying something different. But I think maybe we could try a little harder, because I shouldn’t have to be annoyed by watching great wrestlers have good matches.

If you aren’t familiar with it, here’s how the Heritage Cup works.

  • Matches consist of six three-minute rounds with 20-second breaks between each round.
  • Matches are 2-out-of-3 falls.
  • Falls can be won by pinfall, submission, or countout.
  • Once a fall occurs, the round ends.
  • The match ends once a wrestler has won two falls.
  • In the event of a disqualification or knockout, the match instantly ends without the need for two falls.
  • If all six rounds are completed, whoever is ahead on falls wins the match.

It’s WWE’s take on British Rounds rules, and aside from the fact that we must stuff every television show so full of commercials that we often miss an entire damn round or more of each match, I like it. (See new things, trying.)

Ok, back to the tournament.

If I like the Heritage Cup, what’s my problem with it?

It’s simple, really. The trouble is that it’s not a Heritage Cup tournament. Yes, the winner gets a shot at the Heritage Cup. But to earn that shot, that person must win…a series of regular wrestling matches. No rounds, no multiple falls, no special strategy. You’re proving you’re worthy of a shot at something by being good at something that’s not the thing you’re supposed to be proving you’re good at. It’s a bit like me saying I’m qualified to be a hit songwriter because I know how to type and have a basic understanding of rhymes.

If they don’t want to take up so much time on the shows with Cup style matches, that’s fine. But instead of not having them at all, why not just modify them? Rather than each round-robin match going six rounds, do four. It would be like MMA. Most fights are three rounds, but the championship matches are five. That I could live with. You wrestle some four round matches to earn a shot in a six. There’s continuity there. But as it is, it’s driving me more and more nutty the more I have to think about it. And that’s too bad, because there’s no good reason it has to.

If they ever do this again, I hope they’ll listen to me, or if not me, everyone else who had better have been ranting about this at the time.

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