Yeah, I get your point. It makes it bigger and more exciting when it changes hands. The Fatal Four Way and his second match against Bryan were both really good.
Yet everything in between is boring and forgettable since it had pretty much no meaning. It's never very memorable when the champ retains.
I don't like the trade off. One possibly big moment (or potentially an annoyed, "about fuckin time" moment instead, like with Diesel), in exchange for 4 solid and potentially big moments too? Doesn't seem worth it to me.
For reference, during the "peak" years of wrestling, 97-02, the title never changed hands less than 4 times in a year. Usually it was 5 or more, only one year actually had just 4 title changes (98).
During the (according to some), lower years in WWF history, 93-96, the title never changed hands more than 3 times in a year. Half that time being just once or twice in the year.
Prior to that (other than 91-92 where 4 title changes happened), the title never changed hands more than twice in a year.
So taking all that into consideration, I'm not seeing what's so special about having long reigns. There weren't super long reigns during the best 7 years of wrestling. Yet there were long reigns during all of the most boring years of it.
Could be just a correlation without causation, but I don't think it's just a coincidence seeing as how WWE's been pretty boring this year too outside of right around Wrestlemania.
4-6 title changes a year seems to be the golden number. So long as it's not just always flipping between the same two guys obviously. 3rd or 4th parties need to be involved.
The more a guy retains, the less interesting it becomes imo. The "payoff" at the end might POSSIBLY be decent, or it could just be one of those "about fuckin time" moments. And regardless of how it turns out, the half a dozen PPVs prior to it were all shitty disappointments because nothing happened in them yet again.
And yes, I did hate the long title reigns of Diesel and Bret Hart when I was a kid. Completely did not give a fuck about the world title until HBK chased after it after winning the rumble (best rumble ever too imo).