John Cena has not been champion in over a year, and he's only recently begun sniffing around the title scene, yet this entire time, he's been pretty much main eventing without the belt.
I'm sure the likes of the Million Dollar Man, Roddy Piper, and Scott Hall are still looked upon fondly despite never holding the WWE Championship.
But my point is that, if people didn't think "you don't matter if you're not a World Champion" we wouldn't have the World Heavyweight Championship as a paper title. You give the belt to a young guy and say "We're really fond of your work, but we don't have faith in you to carry the company as WWE Champion, so take this belt so people will acknowledge you as a World Champion even though we didn't really give you the ball". Or as a charity belt for veterans to say "Oh, thanks for jobbing all those years, you're not good enough to be WWE Champion, but you can have this other belt instead". The IC and US Titles should be the stepping stone belts, but they've been replaced by the World Heavyweight Championship in that role just so that wrestlers can be a "World Champion" on paper, despite not getting a real chance to run with the ball.
I do believe that Sandow and Rhodes could be future World Heavyweight Champions. But it won't mean much if said World Title isn't treated with the same merit that the WWE Championship is.
Your imply the exact opposite. You imply that "it doesn't matter if you have been champion", which is far worse for the title. Is it possible for someone to be great without the title? Absolutely. But to blame people for actually respecting the belts? I would like to know how exactly is it devaluing the World title if I think someone would be a bigger deal after holding it?
The more we care about the titles and title holders, the more they are valued. It's really simple.
Stay on your feet! No crawling, no CHEATING!(you're too big, fella)
Listen to me when I talk to you.
[What entertains me needs to be in the ME