Honky was supposed to be a "transitional" champion. The move was also meant as a slap in the face to Steamboat as part of his "punishment" after WMIII. However, HTM got over as a heel and ended up keeping the belt for a decent spell. But, he was
the first in a line of cheesy champs that would grow to include UW, The Mountie, Piper, etc.
I suspect the old man had high hopes for former NWA champion Kerry Von Erich, but Kerry never caught on. Hennig did the belt and "position" justice and restored a lot of its lost prestige, as did Bret and Shawn.