Lord Cecilworth Farthington is a retired professional wrestler whose accolades include the HOW World Champion, a spot in the HOW Hall of Fame and the claim of the longest reigning HOW ICON Champion in history. He currently resides at the Farthington Manor on the edge of Buckinghamshire where he spends his day rebuilding a hedge maze that was tragically burnt down years prior.
He is The Magazine newest opinion writer, focusing on the field of Professional Sports. His opinions are presented uncensored and do not represent the views of The Magazine. If you wish to contact Lord Farthington he has instructed us that “you can go fuck yourself”.
His thoughts are published in full.
Some stupid magazine said they would back up a Scrooge McDuck level of cashola to the ole Farthington Manor if I sent them an occasional seven hundred and fifty words about my important opinions on the world of Professional Sports.
It’s me, I’m the commentariat.
I hear it’s important to be controversial in this medium to get the “clicks”, so let me begin with the topic of today’s column:
Conor Fuse is not a World Champion.
But how, Lord Farthington, how can you say such a thing, he has the pretty shiny red leather belt and everything!
Well, you idiot plebe, I ask you a simple question, does the championship make the man or does the man make the championship? Does holding a championship matter if you yourself make a joke of yourself to get there?
Now, do not get me wrong, this column is not here to attack Conor Fuse but rather to explore a wider question in the wrestling industry – what makes a champion? Is being a champion different to winning a championship? I would be in the camp where I would argue that yes, being a true champion and winning a championship are not one in the same. Winning the belt is certainly the first and most powerful step in that journey but to have the audience see you as one and the same with the belt you possess, I think that requires more.
My old employer, High Octane Wrestling has a deep history and a vast amount of title changes to learn from. Would you view Adonis Smyth as a true champion if you looked in your heart of hearts? I don’t think many of you dear readers would answer that one in the affirmative. Instead, there’s something deeper at play.
Let me try and ask this a different way: why did John Sektor win Champion of the Year in High Octane Wrestling? Jeffrey James Roberts and Jace Parker Davidson sat atop the 2021 Rankings table, they both had deep runs with the HOTV Championship, many successful defenses to their names. If we valued just winning belts and holding on to them, surely either one of them would be undisputedly the “Champion of the Year”.
Yet John Sektor was.
I think this says a lot about what we view a true champion to be. It’s not just about wins, it’s about the quality and caliber of the opponent. There is a subconscious layer that none of us really verbalise where we respect John Sektor putting his body through a ninety seven minute long match with a fellow Hall of Famer, yet don’t quite put the same value of JJR winning a Solitary Confinement match in dominant fashion.
Without anyone ever saying it outright, we all seem to agree that a “true champion” takes on fights at what we perceive to be his level and strives to come out the other side victorious. We all have an internal sense of what makes an equal in terms of the challenger, while also knowing when we have lambs to the slaughter.
Based on this, we can state that the quality of the opponent is the first factor but it can’t be the only one. How you win, that to me is the second quality. To defeat a true equal is powerful, to do so unquestionably is godly.
This is where we circle back to my original statement. Conor Fuse certainly faced equals at ICONIC but no victory parade promo will convince the true fan that it was a quality, earned win. His victory against Clay Byrd would certainly not be questioned but his path after that… no offensive moves and two victories. Hardly the mark of a champion. We all love a good shortcut now and then, I certainly took a few in my day but you need to know when to step up and show yourself to the world if you want to feel like you’ve earned that 97red leather. Conor Fuse did not do that. Arthur Pleasant defeated me, he just got the pin. His pensioner pals in the AoA did the damage on JJR, he just flopped over like a dead fish.
Tomorrow night, he can start to earn the right to call himself champion but I think it takes a lot more than a single defense to truly lay claim to the pinnacle of the industry.
Time will tell Fuse will turn into one of the greats or flame out like many.
Until next time.