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Wrestling Gold: The History of the WWE United States Championship, Pt. 2

Kyle SchadlerChief Writer IJanuary 6, 2017

Wrestling Gold: The History of the WWE United States Championship, Pt. 2

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    For this edition of Wrestling Gold, I present the WWE United States Championship!

    The title was established in 1975 as the exclusive NWA United States Heavyweight Championship of the Mid-Atlantic territories, more specifically Jim Crockett Promotions. At the time, the NWA didn’t recognize a sole champion due to every region having its own United States title.

    In January 1981, the title became the undisputed NWA United States Championship when the last remaining territory to recognize their own shut down.

    Ted Turner then bought JCP and WCW in 1988, and when WCW officially withdrew from the NWA, they took the title with them. The title was then renamed to the WCW United States Championship as a result.

    The belt remained as WCW’s secondary title until the company was shut down in March 2001. The title then appeared on WWF television during the Invasion angle, but it was unified with the Intercontinental Championship in November.

    The WCW United States Championship was abandoned due to the unification.

    In July 2003, WWF, now WWE, reinstated the title and renamed it the WWE United States Championship. The title was exclusive to the SmackDown at first but has jumped around both Raw and SmackDown due to the annual draft.

    Since the brand extension is all but over, the United States title now appears on both shows.

    Throughout the title’s 37-year history, it has seen 131 champions.

    In part one, you saw the first 65 champions featured. In the second part, the final 66 champions will be shown. So let’s get started!

Raven

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    Defeated: Diamond Dallas Page

    Where: Denver, Colo.

    When: April 19, 1998

    Event: Spring Stampede

    Title Reign: one day

    Raven debuted in 1988 as Scotty the Body in the Continental Wrestling Association. After jumping around various independent promotions, he made his way to WCW in 1992 as Scotty Flamingo.

    During his year with the company, he would capture the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship on one occasion. In 1993, he found himself in the WWF as Johnny Polo, a manager. His claim to fame this time around would be managing the Quebecers to three Tag Team Championships.

    In 1995, he hit it big when he joined ECW as Raven. With a sociopathic gimmick, Raven would torture his opponents and end his promos with the Edgar Allan Poe line "Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore'!"

    He spent the next two years mostly feuding with Tommy Dreamer, though he did feud with the Sandman for a bit. It was that feud which resulted in the infamous crucifixion of the Sandman with his group Raven's Nest.

    Raven would capture the ECW World Championship and the tag titles twice each before heading back to WCW in 1997.

    With the Flock by his side, Raven would win this title one time as well as one reign with the WCW's tag titles. He returned to ECW in 1999 but would leave the following year. In that year, though, he would capture the tag titles two more times.

    Raven then returned to the WWF, soon WWE, and competed mostly in the hardcore division. He would capture the title a record 26 times before leaving in 2003.

    Later that year, he joined TNA Wrestling. He spent five years with the company, winning the NWA World Championship once in the process. He also reformed the Nest on two occasions as the Gathering as well as Serotonin.

    After leaving in 2008, Raven made his way to the independent circuit. While he would return to TNA in 2009, he left after the EV 2.0 storylines ended.

    Raven can still be seen in the independents.

Goldberg

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    Defeated: Raven

    Where: Colorado Springs, Colo.

    When: April 20, 1998

    Event: Nitro

    Title Reign: 77 days

    The title was declared vacant on July 6, 1998 when Goldberg won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

    Goldberg made his professional wrestling debut in WCW in 1997. He won his debut match in September and continued to win match after match. Around the spring season, WCW started to count Goldberg's victories and on his 75th match, he won this title.

    He was quickly elevated as he took out many on the roster defending his title. He soon earned a shot at Hulk Hogan and the WCW World Championship, winning the title in July 1998 on Nitro. Due to his world title win, he gave up this title to concentrate on defending the main title.

    His title reign lasted five months, when Kevin Nash took the title away from him and ending Goldberg's streak at 173 wins. He stayed with WCW until the WWF bought the company, winning this title one more time and the Tag Team Championship with Bret Hart on one occasion.

    He wouldn't hold the WCW world title again until it was transformed into the World Heavyweight Championship for WWE.

Bret Hart

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    Defeated: Diamond Dallas Page

    Where: Salt Lake City

    When: July 20, 1998

    Event: Nitro

    Title Reign: 21 days

    Bret Hart defeated Diamond Dallas Page for the vacant title.

    Bret Hart made his professional wrestling debut in 1976 in his father's promotion Stampede Wrestling in Canada as a referee. One night a wrestler no-showed the event and Hart was placed into the match as a replacement.

    He spent eight years wrestling for his father, winning 14 titles in the process. Hart would sign with the WWF in 1984 and was paired up with Jimmy Hart's stable, the Hart Foundation. In the stable was his brother-in-law Jim Neidhart, who Hart began to team with.

    The team would alone become known as the Hart Foundation and they stayed together as a team for seven years, while Hart also did wrestle singles matches.

    He and Neidhart would capture the tag titles on two occasions before Hart went out on his own in 1991.

Lex Luger

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    Defeated: Bret Hart

    Where: Rapid City, S.D.

    When: Aug. 10, 1998

    Event: Nitro

    Title Reign: one day

    After WCW, Luger would appear for various independent promotions including TNA Wrestling and the WWA. His wrestling career would end in 2007 when he suffered a spinal stroke.

    The stroke left him in a quadriplegic state, but after intensive rehab, Luger is now able to walk again. As of last year, Luger is now back with WWE working with their wellness program.

Bret Hart

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    Defeated: Lex Luger

    Where: Fargo, N.D.

    When: Aug. 11, 1998

    Event: Thunder

    Title Reign: 76 days

    Bret Hart would spend the next six years becoming one of the biggest stars in the industry. He went on to win the Intercontinental Championship twice and the WWF World Championship on five occasions.

    He would also win the King of Ring tournament twice in 1991 and 1993, as well as the Royal Rumble in 1994.

    He would have memorable matches with the likes of Mr. Perfect, Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker. He also had one of the most memorable matches in WrestleMania history against Steve Austin in a submission match.

    In 1997, Hart would shock the wrestling world when he signed with WCW while still holding the WWF Championship. McMahon would agree to let Hart retain the title in his home country and forfeit the title the next night, but the wrestling world would be shocked once again.

    As Shawn Michaels locked in the Sharpshooter on Hart, referee Earl Hebner quickly rang the bell and everyone ran out of the ring.

    This infamous moment in wrestling history is known as the Montreal Screwjob. Hart would depart from WWF after that and head to WCW.

Diamond Dallas Page

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    Defeated: Bret Hart

    Where: Phoenix, Ariz.

    When: Oct. 26, 1998

    Event: Nitro

    Title Reign: 35 days

    After WCW closed its doors, Diamond Dallas Page made his debut with the WWF on June 2001 as the stalker of the Undertaker's wife. During his feud with the Undertaker, Page reformed his ream with Kanyon and won the WWF Tag Team Championship in August.

    The feud would end later that month, though, when the Undertaker and Kane took the titles away from them.

    He went down with an injury after that and returned in October as a motivational speaker. He would win the European Championship before leaving in 2002 due to injuries.

    He returned to wrestling in 2004 for TNA Wrestling  and stayed with them for a year. He last appeared in a match in 2009 in Juggalo Championship Wrestling and retired later that year.

    DDP now appears for WWE, working on DVD's and participating in Legends Roundtables for WWE Classics on Demand. He last appeared on television a few weeks ago on Raw when he delivered his signature Diamond Cutter to Heath Slater.

Bret Hart

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    Defeated: Diamond Dallas Page

    Where: Chattanooga, Tenn.

    When: Nov. 30, 1998

    Event: Nitro

    Title Reign: 70 days

    Hart made his WCW debut in December 1997 but wasn't able to wrestle due to a 60-day no-complete clause in his WWF contract. He served as a referee at Starrcade for a number of the matches and began to wrestle in January when the clause ended.

    His first feud was with Ric Flair and he stayed with the company until 2000 when he retired. Hart would capture seven titles in WCW, including the WCW World Championship on two occasions.

    He would make the occasional appearance on the independent circuit until his stroke in 2002. He resurfaced playing the Genie in a stage production of Aladdin, and returned to the WWE for the first time in eight years in 2005.

Roddy Piper

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    Defeated: Bret Hart

    Where: Buffalo, N.Y.

    When: Feb. 8, 1999

    Event: Nitro

    Title Reign: 13 days

    After Piper left WWE, he made his debut with TNA Wrestling in 2003. He would host his legendary Piper's Pit and serve as a member of the NWA Championship Committee.

    His most famous moment would be when he delivered a scathing shoot promo on Vince Russo on one of TNA's weekly pay-per-views.

    He left TNA in 2005 and returned to the WWE. He would be inducted into the Hall of Fame that year and win the Tag Team Championship with Ric Flair in 2006.

    Piper still appears for WWE hosting Piper's Pit, including a memorable one with John Cena in November of last year and one with Daniel Bryan and A.J. this past April.

    He last appeared a few weeks alongside Cyndi Lauper and Wendi Richter as they embarrassed Heath Slater.

Scott Hall

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    Defeated: Roddy Piper

    Where: Oakland, Calif.

    When: Feb. 21, 1999

    Event: SuperBrawl IX

    Title Reign: 23 days

    The title was declared vacant on March 16, 1999 due to Scott Hall sustaining an injury.

    Scott Hall made his professional wrestling debut in 1984 in NWA affiliate Championship Wrestling from Florida. He wrestled for the NWA for a year while also appearing for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and Jim Crockett Promotions.

    In 1985 he made his debut with the AWA. He became quite the star in the AWA, though mostly as a tag team wrestler. He would win the tag titles one time with Curt Hennig, but after they lost the belts, Hall began getting shots at the AWA World Championship.

    He would never win the title and left in 1989 to return to the NWA for a short time. He took a break in late 1989 and returned to wrestling in 1991. He appeared briefly for WWC in Puerto Rico winning the Caribbean and Universal Heavyweight Championships.

    He made his way to WCW later that year as the Diamond Studd, but left in 1992 for the WWF where he became a true star.

Scott Steiner

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    Defeated: Booker T

    Where: Tacoma, Wash.

    When: April 11, 1999

    Event: Spring Stampede

    Title Reign: 85 days

    Scott Steiner defeated Booker T in a tournament final. The title was then declared vacant on July 5, 1999 due Steiner sustaining an injury.

    Scott Steiner made his professional wrestling debut in 1986 in the WWA as Scott Rexsteiner. In 1988 he made the move to Jim Crockett Promotions and began teaming with his brother Rick as the Steiner Brothers.

    They won a number of tag titles together as a team including the NWA/WCW Tag Team Championship, the United States tag titles and the IWGP Tag Team Championship. While Steiner did wrestle for the WCW World Championship, he was never able to win it until years later.

    Before leaving in 1992, he did win the Television Championship. Both Steiners would leave WCW in 1992 and head to the WWF. The Steiner Brothers were pushed immediately and would win the tag titles twice before leaving in 1994.

    A year later, they both made their way to ECW but would leave for WCW within two months.

David Flair

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    Defeated: Awarded

    Where: Atlanta

    When: July 5, 1999

    Event: Nitro

    Title Reign: 35 days

    David Flair was awarded the title by WCW President Ric Flair.

    David Flair made his professional wrestling debut in January 1999 in WCW. He was first aligned with his legendary father, Ric Flair, but would turn on him in February and join the nWo Wolfpac.

    Being the son of the Nature Boy, he had big shoes to fill, but he joined WCW at a time where they were starting to crumble. While he did win this title once and the Tag Team Championship with Crowbar, he was never taken seriously.

    He stayed with WCW until it was shut down and was signed by the WWF, who sent him to OVW. He was released in 2002, though, and made his way to TNA later that year...but he would leave in 2003.

    David Flair can still be seen on occasion on the independent circuit.

Chris Benoit

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    Defeated: David Flair

    Where: Nampa, Idaho

    When: Aug. 9, 1999

    Event: Nitro

    Title Reign: 34 days

    Chris Benoit made his professional wrestling debut in 1985 in Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling. With his idol being the Dynamite Kid, Benoit adopted a number of his moves, including the diving a head butt.

    He would spend four years with Stampede Wrestling, winning eight titles in the process. In 1986, he began to appear for the Japanese promotion New Japan Pro Wrestling and went there permanently when he left Canada in 1989.

Sid Vicious

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    Defeated: Chris Benoit

    Where: Winston-Salem, N.C.

    When: Sept. 12, 1999

    Event: Fall Brawl

    Title Reign: 42 days.

    Sid Vicious made his professional wrestling debut in 1987 on the independent circuit. He also wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling and WCCW, where he became Sid Vicious, before he made it to WCW in 1989.

    He was at first in a tag team with Dan Spivey as the Skyscrapers, but he was replaced by Mark Callous. The following year, Vicious joined the Four Horsemen. He was gone by the end of the year, however, and joined the WWF in 1991 as Sid Justice.

    He was only with them for a year but he did have a memorable feud with Hulk Hogan. He returned to WCW in 1993, although he left by the end of the year.

    After a year with the USWA, he returned to the WWF in 1995 as Sid and later Psycho Sid. He began as a bodyguard to Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation, but an injury in January 1996 put him on the shelf.

    He returned in July, and by the end of the year, he was a main event superstar and went on to win the WWF World Championship on two occasions. He stayed with the company until 1999 and appeared for ECW for a short while before returning to WCW during the summer.

    He would win this title once and the World Championship twice before his horrid injury. At the January pay-per-view Sin in 2001, Vicious jumped off the top rope and snapped his leg in two when he landed.

    It would take three years, but he returned to wrestling in 2004 on the independent circuit where remains to this day.

    He would make a return to WWE on June 25 of this year, though, as he squashed Heath Slater in celebration of the 1000th episode of Raw.

Goldberg

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    Defeated: Sid Vicious

    Where: Las Vegas, Nev.

    When: Oct. 24, 1999

    Event: Halloween Havoc

    Title Reign: one day

    After WCW, Goldberg made his debut with All Japan Pro Wrestling in 2002 and stayed with them until 2003. He had some success and began talking with the WWE.

    He made his WWE debut the night after WrestleMania XIX where he speared the Rock. He would defeat the Rock at Backlash and soon began to feud with Chris Jericho, defeating him at Badd Blood.

    He then targeted Triple H and the World Heavyweight Championship and spent the rest of 2003 feuding with him and Evolution. He would win the title in September, but lose it back to the Game two months later at Armageddon.

    Goldberg left the title picture after that and began feuding with Brock Lesnar, culminating in WrestleMania XX. Goldberg would win the match but would get a Stone Cold Stunner from Steve Austin during the celebration.

    He left the WWE that night and hasn't returned to wrestling since. Goldberg can now be seen on occasion on television shows having to do with cars.

Bret Hart

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    Defeated: Goldberg

    Where: Phoenix

    When: Oct. 25, 1999

    Event: Nitro

    Title Reign: 14 days

    Hart returned to the WWE in 2005 doing commentary on a DVD retrospective of his career.  He would also be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006, but that would be his final appearance until 2010.

    From 2007 until his return, he appeared for independent promotions in Canada as well as the United States. 

Scott Hall

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    Defeated: Bret Hart, Sid Vicious, Goldberg

    Where: Indianapolis

    When: Nov. 8, 1999

    Event: Nitro

    Title Reign: 41 days

    This was a fatal four-way ladder match.

    Hall made his WWF debut in 1992 as Razor Ramon. His first major feud would be with Randy Savage, and despite being pushed alongside main-event stars, he would never win the world title.

    From 1993 to 1996, Hall would dominate the midcard in the WWF. He would capture the Intercontinental Championship on four occasions and have some very memorable matches, including a ladder match against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania X.

    He would leave the WWF in 1996 and made his debut with WCW under his real name. Kevin Nash soon followed and they became known as the Outsiders. The angle would result in the formation of the New World Order with a heel Hulk Hogan as the leader.

    The storyline would make WCW the No. 1 wrestling organization in the world for two years.

    Hall's time with WCW would be a successful one as he would capture 10 titles and win the 60-man World War 3 battle royal. Among the titles he won were this title, the Television Championship and the Tag Team Championship seven times.

    He would leave WCW in 2000 and has bounced around WWE, TNA Wrestling, Juggalo Championship Wrestling and various independent promotions since then.

    Problems with substance abuse unfortunately plague his career, as he rarely stays in one place for long due to that.

Chris Benoit

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    Defeated: Awarded

    Where: Washington D.C.

    When: Dec. 19, 1999

    Event: Starrcade

    Title Reign: one day

    Chris Benoit was awarded after Hall suffered a knee injury.

    Benoit began wrestling in Japan as the Pegasus Kid and would manage to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship in 1990. He would lose the title by the end of the year, but he stuck with Japan until 1995.

    While wrestling for Japan, Benoit would also capture the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship and wrestled for WCW for a bit as well. It was his time in Japan, though, that got him noticed by ECW's Paul Heyman.

    In 1994, Benoit made his ECW debut and quickly gained the nickname "The Crippler" after he injured Rocco Rock and broke the neck of Sabu. Benoit would capture the Tag Team Championship with Dean Malenko on one occasion before leaving ECW in 1995.

    At the time, Benoit was still working with NJPW and he signed with WCW since the two companies worked together.

Jeff Jarrett

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    Defeated: Chris Benoit

    Where: Baltimore, Md.

    When: Dec. 20, 1999

    Event: Nitro

    Title Reign: 111 days

    The title was declared vacant on January 16, 2000 due to Jeff Jarrett suffering a concussion. He was then awarded back the title the next day by WCW commissioner Kevin Nash.

    It was then declared vacant again on April 10 as Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo vacated all title that night to “start fresh.”

    Jarrett returned to the WWF in 1997 and would quickly win the NWA North American Heavyweight Championship. At the time, Jim Cornette was leading a NWA stable in the company and Jarrett joined the group.

    He left the stable in March 1998 and was stripped of the title as a result. He reverted back to his country music gimmick for a bit, but it was ditched when he began to team with Owen Hart.

    They would win the Tag Team Championship once and stayed together as a unit until Hart's unfortunate death. Jarrett went out on his own afterwards and managed to win the Intercontinental Championship three more times and the European Championship once.

    He left in 1999 and returned to WCW, where he won this title one last time and the World Championship on four occasions.

    When WWF bought WCW, they didn't bother to buy his contract, so he appeared for the WWA until he created TNA Wrestling in 2002.

    As a wrestler in the company, he would win the NWA World Championship six times while also having memorable matches with the likes of A.J. Styles, Sting and Kurt Angle.

    Jarrett is still with TNA, but he is not currently an on-screen character.

Scott Steiner

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    Defeated: Sting

    Where: Chicago

    When: April 16, 2000

    Event: Spring Stampede

    Title Reign: 84 days

    Scott Steiner defeated Sting in a tournament final. The title was then declared vacant on July 9, 2000 by WCW commissioner Ernest Miller for using the Steiner Recliner, which was banned at the time.

    Steiner returned to WCW in 1996 and went onto win the tag titles a few more times, culminating in seven reigns as champion with his brother.

    When the nWo formed, the Steiners were on the side of WCW until Scott joined the heel stable in 1998. Steiner would stay with WCW until the day it was shut down.

    He would capture this title along with the television title one more time and the World Heavyweight Championship on one occasion. He went to WWA after WCW shut down and stayed with them for a year before returning to the WWE in 2002.

    Steiner stayed with them for two years, feuding with Triple H for the world title before entering into random storylines.  He made his debut with TNA Wrestling in 2006, staying with them until 2010 and winning the tag titles, once with Booker T as a member of the Main Event Mafia.

    While he did return in 2011, he didn't last long and left in March of this year.

Lance Storm

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    Defeated: Mike Awesome

    Where: Auburn Hills, Mich.

    When: July 18, 2000

    Event: Nitro

    Title Reign: 66 days

    Lance Storm defeated Mike Awesome in an eight-man tournament final.

    During his reign, the title was unofficially renamed the WCW Canadian Heavyweight Championship due to Storm’s un-American gimmick.

    Lance Storm made his professional wrestling debut in Canada in 1990. He spent his first six years as a wrestler in various Canadian promotions as well as in Japan and in Smoky Mountain Wrestling in 1994.

    During his time with SMW, Storm captured the Beat the Champ Television Championship on one occasion. He would also win multiple titles in Japan and Canada before making his way to ECW in 1996.

    He would win the tag titles once with Chris Candido before breaking up and feuding with his partner. After a feud with Jerry Lynn, he formed the Impact Players with Justin Credible. They weren't together for too long, but they made quite the impact in ECW.

    They would capture the Tag Team Championship two times, and it was during this time that Storm became a booker for the company.

    Due to the financial troubles ECW was going through at the time, though, Storm decided to leave ECW for WCW in 2000.

Terry Funk

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    Defeated: Lance Storm

    Where: Amarillo, Texas

    When: Sept. 22, 2000

    Event: House Show

    Title Reign: one day

    After retiring in 2000, Funk would return to the ring in 2002 on the independent circuit, most notably Ring of Honor. Due to his reputation of a hardcore legend, Funk mainly competed in hardcore style matches.

    He would return to the WWE in 2006 at the second One Night Stand PPV in a six-person tag match. He would lose the match with partners Tommy Dreamer and Beulah against Mick Foley, Edge and Lita.

    Funk returned to the independent circuit after that, though he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame alongside his brother Dory Funk Jr. in 2009.

    He has appeared for ROH, TNA, Juggalo Championship Wrestling and various other promotions since. At 68 years old, Terry Funk still wrestles.

Lance Storm

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    Defeated: Terry Funk

    Where: Lubbock, Texas

    When:  Sept. 23, 2000

    Event: House Show

    Title Reign: 36 days

    Storm made his WCW debut in 2000 and rose through the ranks rather quickly. He would win this title, the Cruiserweight Championship and Hardcore Championship simultaneously. He would also rename each title, much to the dismay of the fans since this one became the Canadian Heavyweight Championship.

    He would eventually decide to give the cruiserweight title to Elix Skipper and the hardcore title to Carl Ouellette to concentrate on holding this title.

    He would hold United States title two more times before WCW was shut down and he made his way to the WWF as a part of the Invasion angle.

    He would spend three years with the company, winning the Intercontinental Championship once and the tag titles four times. Towards the end of his run, Storm was stuck with the "boring" gimmick and the ridiculous dancing gimmick.

    He briefly became a heel once more before leaving the WWE in 2004.

General Rection

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    Defeated: Lance Storm and Jim Duggan

    Where: Las Vegas

    When: Oct. 29, 2000

    Event: Halloween Havoc

    Title Reign: 15 days

    This was a handicap match.

    General Rection made his professional wrestling debut in 1990 as Big Sweet Williams in New York. He soon joined the AWF as Crash the Terminator and would win their heavyweight title in 1992. After appearing in Japan for a bit he made his was to ECW in 1993.

    He didn't accomplish much in the promotion and ended up in WCW in 1995 as the Man of Question, though sometimes as the Laughing Man, Hugh Morrus. By the end of the year, he became Hugh Morrus and was a member of the Dungeon of Doom.

    After the group disbanded, he became a jobber, but soon joined a group led by Jimmy Hart in 1997. After a decent push in the group, he took a break before returning in 2000.

    He soon became General Rection after being kicked out of Vince Russo's New Blood stable. He formed the Misfits in Action with Chavo Guerrero, Jr., Booker T and a few other wrestlers as a result.

    He would win this title twice under the gimmick and the tag titles with Alex Wright before returning to Hugh Morrus. He stayed with WCW until it was shut down in March 2001.

Lance Storm

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    Defeated: General Rection

    Where: London, England

    When: Nov. 13, 2000

    Event: Nitro

    Title Reign: 13 days

    In April 2004, Storm would decide to retire from the ring. Shortly afterwards, he would return to the WWE as a trainer for OVW but would leave a year later.

    He would return to the ring at ECW One Night Stand in a match against Chris Jericho in a winning effort thanks to help from his former partner Justin Credible.

    Storm is now considered semi-retired as he'll return to the ring once in a while. He spends most of his time at his school training younger wrestlers, but he has been appearing for Ring of Honor lately in a feud with Mike Bennett.

General Rection

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    Defeated: Lance Storm

    Where: Milwaukee, Wisc.

    When: Nov. 26, 2000

    Event: Mayhem

    Title Reign: 49 days

    Rection made his WWF debut under his Hugh Morrus gimmick in June 2001. He didn't make much of an impact in the Invasion angle and soon found himself on SmackDown after the angle ended and the brands spilt.

    His gimmick was dropped in November 2002 and he began to wrestle under his real name, Bill DeMott.

    He never found much success as a wrestler for WWE and was soon sent to Deep South Wrestling as a trainer. He helped trained the developmental talent there as well as on Tough Enough until his release in 2007.

    He began to wrestle on the independent circuit after the release, but returned to the WWE in 2011 as the trainer for the revived Tough Enough. DeMott is still with WWE as the head trainer in WWE's current developmental territory FCW.

Shane Douglas

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    Defeated: General Rection

    Where: Indianapolis

    When: Jan. 14, 2001

    Event: Sin

    Title Reign: 22 days

    Shane Douglas made his professional wrestling debut in 1982 in Pennsylvania. He spent the next seven years wrestling for various promotions including the WWF and UWF until making his way to NWA/WCW in 1989.

    He was first put with Johnny Ace as the Dynamic Dudes, though the team only lasted a year. Douglas took off shortly after and debuted with the WWF in 1990. He didn't last long there either as he left after lasting almost 30 minutes in the 1991 Royal Rumble.

    He returned to WCW in 1992, where he would capture the tag titles with Ricky Steamboat. Much like before, he only stayed a year before leaving.

    In 1993, Douglas made his way to ECW. It was his first two years with the company that helped turn Eastern Championship Wrestling into Extreme Championship Wrestling.

    On Aug. 27, 1994, Douglas would win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and threw it on the ground stating that he didn't want to be the champion of a promotion that was dead. ECW then became the land of extreme as a result. He stayed with ECW until 1995 when he returned to the WWF as Dean Douglas.

    The highlight of this run, which would only last a few months, would be winning the Intercontinental Championship by forfeit. He would lose it within minutes to Razor Ramon, though.

    He would return to ECW in 1996 and remained with them until 1999. His multiple stints in ECW would result in winning the Television Championship two times and the World Championship on four occasions.

    He returned to WCW in 1999, remaining with them until the company shut down, capturing this title once and the tag titles one more time with Buff Bagwell.

    Douglas has appeared on the independent circuit ever since, though he had wrestled for TNA Wrestling from 2003 to 2007 and a bit in 2009.

    Douglas can still be seen on the independents as well as organizing the Extreme Rising  shows.

Rick Steiner

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    Defeated: Shane Douglas

    Where: Tupelo, Miss.

    When: Feb. 5, 2001

    Event: Nitro

    Title Reign: 41 days

    Rick Steiner made his professional wrestling debut in 1983 and wrestled around the AWA, UWF and other promotions until he joined the NWA in 1988. He at first wrestled as a singles star, winning the Television Championship at Starrcade '88.

    By the following year, Rick's brother Scott joined the promotion and they began teaming as the Steiner Brothers. They stayed together teaming for the NWA, WWF, ECW and WCW before they broke up in 1998 when Scott joined the nWo. 

    Before disbanding, the Steiner Brothers would capture 12 Tag Team Championships together. In Rick's feud with the nWo, he would win the tag titles one more time with Kenny Kaos.

    He stayed with WCW until the company was shut down, having won the television title three times and this one once as a singles wrestler.

    After WCW went under, Steiner went to TNA Wrestling where he has had multiple stints. His most memorable appearance would be a Steiner Brothers reunion in a feud against Team 3D in 2007.

    You can still see Rick Steiner on the independent circuit.

Booker T

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    Defeated: Rick Steiner

    Where: Jacksonville, Fla.

    When: March 18, 2001

    Event: Greed

    Title Reign: 128 days

    Booker T made his professional wrestling debut in 1989 as G.I. Bro in Texas. He continued to wrestle on the independent circuit in the state with his brother until they were both noticed by the Global Wrestling Federation.

    He and his brother teamed with Eddie Gilbert as the Ebony Express and the team would capture the GWF Tag Team Championship three times. They remained with the GWF until 1993 when they were both signed to WCW.

Kanyon

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    Defeated: Awarded

    Where: Pittsburgh, Pa.

    When: July 24, 2001

    Event: SmackDown

    Title Reign: 48 days

    The title was awarded to Kanyon by Booker T on the World Wrestling Federation’s Monday night show, RAW is WAR, since he was already the WCW World Heavyweight Champion.

    At the time, the WWF had bought WCW and started the Invasion angle. WCW titles were defended on WWF television as a result.

    Kanyon made his professional wrestling debut in 1992 in New York. He appeared as a jobber for the WWF in 1994 and eventually made his way to WCW the following year as a jobber as well. He soon formed a team with Mark Starr known as Men at Work.

    The gimmick saw Kanyon measuring things with a tape measure in the middle of the team’s matches. In 1997, he began to wrestle on his own under the mask of Mortis. Along with Wrath, they feuded with Glacier throughout the year until the angle was dropped by the end of 1997.

    He then began to beg to join Raven and his Flock, but Raven refused to let him in. The gimmick was dropped and he became known as Kanyon. Despite feuding with Raven, Kanyon eventually joined the Flock, but it was disbanded when Raven left WCW.

    Kanyon then formed the Jersey Triad with Diamond Dallas Page and Bam Bam Bigelow, winning the Tag Team Championship twice. He would remain with WCW until the company shut down and he made his way to the WWF as a result.

    Kanyon would be given this title shortly after the Invasion angle began, and he won the WWF Tag Team Championship with DDP once before the angle ended. He remained with the company until 2004 after being plagued with random storylines and injuries.

    He would then retire from the ring that August. The following year, though, he came out of retirement and returned to the independent circuit.

    He continued to wrestle on the circuit until his passing on April 2, 2010.

Tajiri

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    Defeated: Kanyon

    Where: San Antonio, Texas

    When: Sept. 10, 2001

    Event: Raw is War

    Title Reign: 13 days

    Tajiri made his professional wrestling debut in 1994 in Michinoku Pro Wrestling in Japan. While he did appear for CMLL in Mexico in 1996, Tajiri mostly appeared in Japan. He did join the WWF's light heavyweight division 1997, but he didn't find much success and made his way back to CMLL in 1998.

    It was his second run in Mexico that got him noticed by ECW, a company he joined by the end of 1998. His most memorable feud would come against Super Crazy, when the two of them would have fantastic matches throughout the world.

    His popularity caused him to get elevated to shots at the world title, but he would never win it. He would instead capture the Television Championship and Tag Team Championship with Mikey Whipwreck. He remained with ECW until the day it was shut down, making his way to the WWF afterwards.

    Despite being an ECW original, he did not join the Alliance when the Invasion angle began. His first title win would be this title, though he would lose the belt shortly after to Rhyno.

    He would capture both the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship and WCW Cruiserweight Championship before the angle ended, and he went onto win the cruiserweight title three more times when it became a WWE title.

    Tajiri would also capture tag team gold twice with William Regal and Eddie Guerrero before leaving in 2006.

    Tajiri has been competing in Japan ever since, including All Japan Pro Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Smash and currently Wrestling New Classic.

Rhyno

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    Defeated: Tajiri

    Where: Pittsburgh

    When: Sept. 23, 2001

    Event: Unforgiven

    Title Reign: 29 days

    Rhyno made his professional wrestling debut in 1994 on the independent circuit in Detroit. He wrestled the independents, while also appearing as a jobber for WWF and WCW, until 1999 when he joined ECW.

    Despite joining the company just a few years before the WWF bought ECW and shut it down, Rhyno enjoyed a bit of success. He would capture the ECW World Championship once and the Television Championship twice, holding both titles simultaneously when the company shut down.

    Rhyno joined the WWF afterwards and aligned himself with Edge and Christian. After he broke away from them, he went on to win the Hardcore Championship on three occasions. When the Invasion angle began, he joined up with fellow ECW originals in the fight with WCW against the WWF.

    He would win this title in September, but lose it the following month. As a result of the loss, the Alliance kicked him out of the stable. Rhyno would undergo neck surgery shortly afterwards and return in 2003.

    He would spend the next two years chasing tag team gold with various partners and the United States title, but he would never win either. He left WWE in 2005 and made his TNA debut in July.

    In October, he would win his one and only title during his stay in TNA when he defeated Jeff Jarrett for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. He would lose the title back to Jarrett two weeks later, though.

    He would remain with TNA until 2010. Rhyno can now be seen on the independent circuit, most notably in Ring of Honor and Juggalo Championship Wrestling.

Kurt Angle

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    Defeated: Rhyno

    Where: Kansas City, Mo.

    When: Oct. 22, 2001

    Event: Raw

    Title Reign: 21 days

    After winning an Olympic gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games, Kurt Angle made his professional wrestling debut in 1998 with the WWF. While he did appear for ECW in 1996, he refused to sign after Raven crucified the Sandman.

    Angle made his in-ring debut in November 1999 and was an instant star in the WWF, winning both the Intercontinental and European Championships three months after his debut and the King of the Ring tournament in June.

    Angle remained with the company until 2006, having memorable feuds and great matches with the likes of the Chris Benoit, the Rock, the Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Eddie Guerrero and many, many more.

    Angle accumulated 11 titles in his time with WWE, including the WWF/E and World Heavyweight Championships, the WCW Championship, the hardcore title, this title and the Tag Team Championship. Angle left the WWE in 2006 and shocked the wrestling world when he signed with TNA Wrestling.

    He continued to prove to be one of the best in the business with great matches with Samoa Joe, Sting, A.J. Styles, Jeff Jarrett and plenty more. Angle is a Triple Crown Champion in TNA having one the World Championship five times, the X-Division Championship once and the Tag Team Championship on two occasions.

    Kurt Angle is still with TNA and is still having top-notch matches with everyone he steps foot in the ring with.

Edge

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    Defeated: Kurt Angle

    Where: Boston

    When: Nov. 12, 2001

    Event: Raw

    Title Reign: six days

    The WCW United States Championship was abandoned on Nov. 18, 2001 when it was unified with the WWF Intercontinental Championship.

    Edge made his professional wrestling debut in 1992 as Sexton Hardcastle on the independent circuit in Canada. He formed a team with Christian Cage and they wrestled throughout Canada as well as Japan.

    Edge also briefly appeared as Damon Striker in WCW before signing with the WWF in 1997. He first appeared as Hardcastle, but made his television debut in June 1998 as Edge.

    He would spend the next 13 years with the company and would become one of the most decorated superstars to ever step foot inside a WWE ring.

    Edge made a name for himself as a tag team wrestler along with Christian. Together they would win the titles seven times, while Edge would win the belts seven more times with Rey Mysterio, Chris Benoit, Hulk Hogan, Randy Orton and Chris Jericho.

    After he and Christian disbanded, Edge began to target the Intercontinental Championship, which he won a total of five times. Edge would become the final WCW United States champion with his reign here, and he would also become the King of the Ring in 2001.

    After winning the first Money in the Bank ladder match, Edge made the transition into the main event. Edge would go onto win the WWE Championship four times and the World Heavyweight Championship on seven occasions.

    In 2011, Edge would successfully defend the world title against Alberto Del Rio at WrestleMania XXVII and announce his retirement the following night due to injuries.

    Edge would retire as world champion and be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame earlier this year. Edge's final appearance for WWE was on April 23 when he confronted John Cena about his match with Brock Lesnar.

Eddie Guerrero

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    Defeated: Chris Benoit

    Where: Denver

    When: July 27, 2003

    Event: Vengeance

    Title Reign: 84 days

    On July 12, 2003, general manager of SmackDown Stephanie McMahon reinstated the WCW United States Championship, now to be called the World Wrestling Entertainment United States Championship. The title was put on the line in a tournament, which Eddie Guerrero won by defeating Chris Benoit.

    WWF was now WWE due to a lawsuit by the World Wildlife Fund over the initials “WWF.” The animals won, so the company dropped “Federation” from the name and replaced it with “Entertainment.”

    Guerrero made his WWF debut alongside Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn in 2000. In his first match with the company, he would land wrong after a Frog Splash and injure his elbow. The injury didn't keep him sidelined for long, though, as Guerrero bounced back to win the European Championship twice and the Intercontinental Championship once.

    He would be released in November 2001 after a drunk driving incident and he returned to the independent circuit. During his time on the independents, Guerrero would compete on the very first Ring of Honor show against Super Crazy.

    He would return to the WWE in April 2002 and quickly won back his second and final Intercontinental title.

    After the brand spilt, Guerrero became exclusive to SmackDown and began to team with his nephew Chavo as Los Guerreros. Together they would win the Tag Team Championship on two occasions. Eddie would go onto win the titles two more times with Tajiri and Rey Mysterio as well.

    When the WCW United States Championship was reinstated, Guerrero would win the tournament, thus being crowned the first U.S. champion under the WWE banner.

    At No Way Out 2004, Guerrero would realize his dream when he defeated Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. He then went on to WrestleMania XX to retain the title against Kurt Angle, and celebrate with Benoit after he won the World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H and Shawn Michaels.

    After losing the title, he remained a contender up until his untimely passing. Eddie Guerrero would have his final match on November 8, 2005 as he would pass away just five days later.

    The wrestling world would mourn his death with TNA dedicating their pay-per-view Genesis to him the same night of his death, WWE paying tribute on both Raw and SmackDown and ROH dedicating the "Night of Appreciation" to him.

    Eddie Guerrero would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006 while his name lives on with his wife Vickie working on both shows and his daughter wrestling for WWE as well.

The Big Show

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    Defeated: Eddie Guerrero

    Where: Baltimore, Md.

    When: Oct. 19, 2003

    Event: No Mercy

    Title Reign: 147 days

    The Big Show made his professional wrestling debut in 1995 in WCW as the Giant, the son of Andre the Giant. He was quickly put into a feud with WCW champion Hulk Hogan. At Halloween Havoc, he would win his first of two WCW World Championships by disqualification.

    The ending of the match was controversial, though, as Hogan's manager Jimmy Hart caused the DQ, so the title was declared vacant a week later as a result. Big Show would win the title one more time from Ric Flair in April 1996, but would lose it in August to nWo leader Hulk Hogan.

    After being a member of the nWo and feuding with the group, Big Show left WCW for WWF in 1999. Before he left, Big Show would capture the Tag Team Championship three times with Lex Luger, Sting and Scott Hall.

    He made his WWF debut at the St. Valentine's Day Massacre PPV helping Vince McMahon in a cage match against Steve Austin. The help backfired, though, and Austin would end up winning the match.

    While he would take a break in 2007, Big Show has been with the WWE since then. Big Show would win three world titles, four if you count the ECW Championship, but most of his success would come from the tag team division.

    Big Show would capture tag-team gold six times with the Undertaker, Kane, Chris Jericho and the Miz, but he would also win the hardcore title three times and this belt once.

    During his time with WWE, Big Show is probably best remembered for breaking the ring with Brock Lesnar in 2003, a feat repeated with Mark Henry last year, and his not-so-flattering WrestleMania moments. He would finally have his WrestleMania moment this year when he defeated Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship, but he would only hold the title for 28 days.

    Big Show remains with WWE as a monster heel hell-bent on winning the world title.

John Cena

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    Defeated: The Big Show

    Where: New York City

    When: March 14, 2004

    Event: WrestleMania XX

    Title Reign: 112 days

    The title was declared vacant on July 8, 2004 by general manager Kurt Angle due to champion John Cena accidently hitting him.

    On July 20, Angle allowed Booker T to “hold onto it” until he could talk to the board of directors about awarding it to him officially. A week later, though, Angle was replaced by Teddy Long, who took the title away from Booker and put it on the line in an eight-man elimination match.

    John Cena made his professional wrestling debut in 2000 in Ultimate Pro Wrestling. Known as the Prototype, Cena would capture the UPW Heavyweight Championship on one occasion before signing with the WWE in 2001.

    He was sent to OVW for further training and his abilities progressed quickly. Wrestling as the Prototype and Mr. P, Cena would capture the Tag Team Championship with Rico once and the OVW Championship on one occasion as well. On June 27, 2002, Cena made his television debut answering an open challenge by Kurt Angle.

    Despite the loss, Cena impressed everyone as he held his own in the ring with the Olympic gold medalist. This was only the beginning for John Cena, though.

Booker T

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    Defeated: John Cena, Rob Van Dam, Charlie Haas, Rene Dupree, Billy Gunn, Kenzo Suzuki, Luther Reigns

    Where: Cincinnati, Oh.

    When: July 27, 2004

    Event: SmackDown

    Title Reign: 68 days

    This was an eight-man elimination match.

    Booker debuted with WCW in 1993 as Kole. Along with his brother Kane, the two of them formed the team Harlem Heat. By the following year, Kole became Booker T and Kane was renamed Stevie Ray, but they remained under the team name Harlem Heat.

    With Sister Sherri in their corner, they captured their first WCW Tag Team Championship by defeating Stars 'n' Stripes in December 1994. The team would go onto win the titles nine more times, setting the record at 10 reigns as champions.

    Harlem Heat would be at the center of the nWo vs. WCW feud as they feuded with the Outsiders, but Stevie Ray would take a break in late 1997 to heal some injuries and Booker went out on his own.

    As a singles star, Booker would gain much success. He would target the Television Championship and went on to win the title a total of six times. He would also capture this title once and the WCW World Championship four times before WCW was shut down.

    Despite not being WCW's biggest star, he was certainly their most decorated.

John Cena

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    Defeated: Booker T

    Where: E. Rutherford, N.J.

    When: Oct. 3, 2004

    Event: No Mercy

    Title Reign: two days

    Cena started out as a face and teamed with Billy Kidman in a tournament to crown the first WWE tag team champions for SmackDown. He would turn on Kidman, thus becoming a heel. On a Halloween themed episode, Cena appeared as Vanilla Ice and performed a rap, which soon became his gimmick.

    As a heel, Cena would have memorable matches with Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker, but he would return as a face when he joined Kurt Angle's team at Survivor Series. Now a good guy, but still a rapper, Cena would begin to chase this title.

    He would end up winning the title on three occasions. His first title win would be during the opening match at WrestleMania XX, while his final reign as champion would introduce his custom made spinner belt.

    By WrestleMania 21, Cena was in the main event and competed for the WWE Championship against John Bradshaw Layfield at the event. Cena would win his first world title here and he soon became the face of the WWE.

Carlito Caribbean Cool

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    Defeated: John Cena

    Where: Boston

    When: Oct. 5, 2004

    Event: SmackDown

    Title Reign: 42 days

    Carlito made his professional wrestling debut in 1999 in World Wrestling Council. He stayed with WWC for three years, winning the Tag Team Championship twice with his brother Eddie Colon, better known as Primo, and Konnan, and the WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship 11 times.

    He left the company in 2003 when he was signed by the WWE. He spent the next year in OVW before making his SmackDown debut in October 2004 as Carlito Caribbean Cool. His gimmick saw him spitting apple in people’s faces because they weren't "cool."

    In his first match on television, Carlito defeated John Cena for this title, holding it for a month and a half before losing it back to Cena.

    He would be drafted to Raw in 2005 and began competing for the Intercontinental Championship. He won the title once on his debut match on Raw defeating Shelton Benjamin, but would ultimately lose it to Ric Flair. Carlito would spend the next five years competing in the midcard and bouncing back-and-forth between Raw and SmackDown.

    His last taste of gold would be winning the WWE Tag Team Championship with his brother Primo. They would eventually become the first unified WWE tag team champions when they defeated World Tag Team Championship title holders John Morrison and the Miz. After losing the titles to Chris Jericho and Edge, Carlito would turn on Primo and a feud between them ensued.

    The team would reunite in the spring of 2010, but it didn't last long as Carlito was released on May 21. After his release, Carlito returned to the independent circuit, most notably WWC.

    He would win the Universal Heavyweight Championship two more time, thus becoming a 13-time champion. You can still see Carlito in WWC as well as in the independents.

John Cena

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    Defeated: Carlito Caribbean Cool

    Where: Dayton, Oh.

    When: Nov. 18, 2004

    Event: SmackDown

    Title Reign: 105 days

    Cena's first WWE Championship win would shoot him to superstardom. Over the next seven years, he would win the WWE Championship a total of 10 times and the World Heavyweight Championship twice. Cena is a 12-time world champion as a result, but his title wins wouldn't stop there.

    Cena is also a four-time tag team champion, winning the titles with Shawn Michaels, Batista, David Otunga and the Miz. He has had many great matches with the likes of Kurt Angle, Edge, Batista, CM Punk and the Rock to name a few.

    After being out of the title picture since October of last year, Cena would win the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match, thus earning a title shot anytime he wants. This past Monday on Raw, he would announce that he would be cashing in on the 1000th episode the following week.

    While John Cena is sometimes bashed over various things, his work ethic and love for the business cannot be denied. I myself am not the biggest Cena fan, but I do respect him.

Orlando Jordan

42 of 68

    Defeated: John Cena

    Where: Albany, N.Y.

    When: March 5, 2005

    Event: SmackDown

    Title Reign: 173 days

    Orlando Jordan made his professional wrestling debut in 1999, though I couldn't find much on his early career. He made his WWE debut in 2003 as a face, but he soon turned heel to join the cabinet of John Bradshaw Layfield as his Chief of Staff.

    While Jordan did wrestle, his main job was to make sure JBL remained the WWE champion. When JBL began feuding with John Cena, Jordan was tasked in softening him up for WrestleMania 21.

    He did that by taking this title away from Cena, but it wasn't enough as JBL lost the WWE Championship to him. After the loss, JBL fired his cabinet, but Jordan remained as his ally as he went out on his own as U.S. champion.

    When Chris Benoit was drafted to SmackDown, Jordan began feuding with him over the title. He would manage to defeat Benoit on multiple occasions, but Jordan was defeated for the title in 25 seconds at SummerSlam ‘05.

    Jordan would distance himself from JBL while he tried to regain the title, and ultimately broke ties with him after he failed completely. Jordan would then get demoted to Velocity and backstage segments until his release in 2006.

    He would compete on the independent circuit for four years before making his TNA debut in 2010. His claim to fame would be a team with Eric Young, but he wouldn't accomplish much in TNA.

    Jordan was released the following year and returned to the independents, where you can still see him today.

Chris Benoit

43 of 68

    Defeated: Orlando Jordan

    Where: Washington D.C.

    When: Aug. 21, 2005

    Event: SummerSlam

    Title Reign: 58 days

    Benoit debuted with WCW in 1995 and soon became a member of the Four Horsemen alongside Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman. He would stay with WCW for five years, leaving in 2000 for the WWF.

    Throughout his time with the company, he would have memorable feuds and matches with the likes of Kevin Sullivan, Booker T and many others. He held eight titles in WCW, including this one twice, the Tag Team Championship twice, the Television Championship three times and the World Heavyweight Championship once very briefly.

    His ability in the ring, along with his frustration with WCW management, brought him to the WWF in 2000 where he would end his career.

Booker T

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    Defeated: Chris Benoit

    Where: Reno, Nv.

    When: Oct. 18, 2005

    Event: SmackDown

    Title Reign: 35 days

    The title was declared vacant on November 22, 2005 due to the events that happened in a Booker T/Chris Benoit match.

    During the match, the referee was knocked out and by the time he got up, a new one was already in the ring. After a superplex by Booker, both wrestlers’ shoulders were down. One referee counted Benoit’s shoulders down and the other referee counted Booker’s down.

    The referee’s argued over who really won, so general manager Teddy Long came out and declared the title vacant.

    After WCW was bought by the WWF, Booker made his way to the company. At the time, he was the reigning WCW world heavyweight and United States champion. He soon gave this title to Kanyon and would lose the world title to Kurt Angle in the summer.

    Booker would regain the title shortly afterwards, thus becoming a five-time WCW champion. His final reign as WCW champion would be ended at SummerSlam when the Rock took the title away from him.

    Booker would win the WCW tag titles one more time with Test before the Invasion angle came to an end. After the angle ended, Booker would be involved in a feud with Steve Austin. The feud would result in one of the most memorable post-Attitude Era moments when Austin destroyed him inside of a grocery store.

    Booker would remain in WWE for six years, winning 10 titles and the 2006 King of the Ring tournament. Among the titles he won were the hardcore title twice, the United States Championship three more times, tag team gold on three occasions and the Intercontinental and World Heavyweight Championships once each.

    Booker would leave the WWE in October 2007 and made his way to TNA Wrestling the following month.

Booker T

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    Defeated: Awarded

    Where: Philadelphia

    When: Jan. 10, 2006

    Event: SmackDown

    Title Reign: 40 days

    The title was put on the line in a Best of Seven Series, but with Booker in a commanding lead, he went down with an injury. He brought in Randy Orton to replace him and he lost three matches in a row, tying the series.

    Orton won the final match, thus winning the title. Later on backstage, he awarded the title to Booker as promised.

    Booker was forced to forfeit the title on February 19 when he refused to wrestle Chris Benoit, but he was awarded back the title when he came out for the title defense.

    In November 2007, Booker T made his TNA Wrestling debut as the surprise partner of Sting in a tag match against Kurt Angle and Kevin Nash. Booker would try a few times at winning the TNA World Championship but would fail each time.

    He soon turned heel and would create the TNA Legends Championship for himself and become a member of the Main Event Mafia in 2009. After losing the title to A.J. Styles, he went onto win the Tag Team Championship with fellow Mafia member Scott Steiner in July.

    They would lose the titles in October to the British Invasion, and Booker left TNA the same night. After competing in Puerto Rico and Mexico for a year, Booker made his return to the WWE at the 2011 Royal Rumble.

    A few days later, he debuted as SmackDown's newest commentator. While he did have a storyline with Cody Rhodes over the Intercontinental Championship, Booker has remained as a color commentator.

    His last in-ring appearance was at WrestleMania XXVIII as a member of Team Teddy.

Chris Benoit

46 of 68

    Defeated: Booker T

    Where: Baltimore, Md.

    When:  Feb. 19, 2006

    Event: No Way Out

    Title Reign: 42 days

    Benoit made his WWF debut in 2000 as a member of the Radicalz with Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn. He would spend the next seven years having many great matches with Chris Jericho, Booker T and Triple H to name a few.

    He racked up 12 titles while there as well. He started out in the midcard and tag team division, winning the Intercontinental Championship a total of four times, this title three more times and four tag titles.

    He would also capture the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XX after winning the 2004 Royal Rumble. After losing the title, though, he returned to the midcard where he stayed.

    He would return to the main event in 2007 as a member of ECW, but that didn't last long.

John Bradshaw Layfield

47 of 68

    Defeated: Chris Benoit

    Where: Chicago

    When: April 2, 2006

    Event: WrestleMania 22

    Title Reign: 51 days

    John Bradshaw Layfield made his professional wrestling debut in 1992 in the Global Wrestling Federation. He spent two years with the company, winning the Tag Team Championship twice with Bobby Duncum, Jr. and Black Bart.

    He signed with the WWF in 1996 as Justin "The Hawk" Bradshaw, but the gimmick was dropped when he formed the New Blackjacks with his cousin Barry Windham. The team was short-lived, though, as injuries to Windham plagued the team.

    He competed in the midcard until he formed Hell's Henchmen with Faarooq. When the Undertaker formed the Ministry of Darkness, they joined the group as the Acolytes and won the Tag Team Championship on two occasions.

    They would win the titles one more time as the Acolytes Protection Agency, but they broke up after they were spilt up in the draft. Bradshaw would enter singles competition on Raw and went onto win the European Championship once and the Hardcore Championship 17 times.

    The APA would reunite in 2003 and went back into contention for the tag titles, though they would never win them back. They broke up once again in 2004, with Bradshaw becoming John Bradshaw Layfield.

    He won the WWE Championship from Eddie Guerrero in June 2004 and would hold it until WrestleMania 21 in April 2005. He would capture this title along with the Intercontinental Championship before retiring in 2009.

    Since retiring, JBL has made the occasional appearance for WWE, most recently at the 2012 Hall of Fame ceremony when he inducted Ron Simmons into the hall.

Lashley

48 of 68

    Defeated: John Bradshaw Layfield

    Where: Bakersfield, Ca.

    When: May 23, 2006

    Event: SmackDown

    Title Reign: 49 days

    Bobby Lashley made his professional wrestling debut in 2004 in the WWE, but before that he was an amateur wrestler. He first popped up in 2004 as Blaster Lashley in OVW and by 2005, he was Bobby Lashley on SmackDown.

    He ran over the competition until he began to feud with John Bradshaw Layfield. He would capture the title and hold it for about two months before losing it to Finlay.  He remained in the midcard until he was drafted to ECW in 2006.

    While there he would win the ECW Championship on two occasions, one of which was in a feud with Vince McMahon. Lashley's biggest moment came at WrestleMania 23 in a hair vs. hair match against Umaga.

    Lashley would win the match which would result in McMahon getting his head shaved over Donald Trump's. As ECW champion, he would be drafted to Raw and stripped of the title as a result. He would soon begin competing for the WWE Championship but he would never win the title.

    Lashley would go down with an injury towards the end of 2007 and be released from the WWE in February 2008.

    When he was healed, Lashley began wrestling for AAA in Mexico as well as Japan. In April 2009, Lashley made his TNA Wrestling debut, but his appearances were sporadic due to him beginning a career in mixed martial arts.

    He was released from TNA in February so that he could concentrate on his MMA career. Lashley can now be seen in the Shark Fights MMA promotion.

Finlay

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    Defeated: Lashley

    Where: Minneapolis, Mn.

    When: July 11, 2006

    Event: SmackDown

    Title Reign: 49 days

    Finlay made his professional wrestling debut in 1974 in his father's promotion in Ireland. He would wrestle around Europe, Japan and the United States before being signed to WCW in 1995 as the Belfast Bruiser.

    He first feuded with Lord Steven Regal and his Blue Bloods stable, but the storyline just kind of disappeared without resolving and he changed his name to Fit Finlay. In 1998 he began to target the Television Championship, which he won from Booker T on May 4.

    He would enter WCW's hardcore division towards the end of his time with the company, but would leave in 2000. In 2001, Finlay was signed to WWE as a trainer and was soon put in charge of the Divas division.

    In 2004, though, he began to make a comeback to the ring. The highlight of his return to the ring would be this title win as well as a Belfast Brawl with John Bradshaw Layfield at WrestleMania XXIV.

    He remained with WWE as a wrestler and in a backstage role until his release in March 2011. Finlay has competed on the independent circuit since then, including spending some time in Ring of Honor.

    As of last week, Finlay is now back with WWE in a backstage role.

Mr. Kennedy

50 of 68

    Defeated: Finlay and Lashley

    Where: Reading, Pa.

    When:  Aug. 29, 2006

    Event: SmackDown

    Title Reign: 42 days

    This was a triple threat match.

    Mr. Kennedy made his professional wrestling debut in 1999 in All-Star Championship Wrestling. He would also appear as a jobber on WWF Jakked, Velocity and Sunday Night Heat during this time, and he made some appearances for TNA Wrestling on Xplosion.

    He was offered a TNA contract in 2004, but he opted to go with WWE, signing with them in 2005 and being sent to OVW. In August, Kennedy made his official television debut on SmackDown as a loud mouth wrestler who announced himself to the ring with a microphone hanging from the ceiling.

    He would remain with the company in 2009, winning the 2007 Money in the Bank ladder match and this title once. Injuries would plague his time with WWE, though, and after returning from one such injury on May 25, 2009, he was released four days later.

    He competed in the independents for the remainder of the year before making his TNA Wrestling debut in January 2010 as Mr. Anderson. He retained his WWE gimmick, but it soon evolved into calling himself and his fans "a**holes."

    He spent the next two years having some memorable matches with the likes of Kurt Angle, Sting and Bully Ray, wining the TNA World Championship twice in the process.

    Kennedy still competes for TNA as Mr. Anderson as he is currently involved in the Bound for Glory Series.

Chris Benoit

51 of 68

    Defeated: Mr. Kennedy

    Where: Jacksonville, Fl.

    When: Oct. 10, 2006

    Event: SmackDown

    Title Reign: 222 days

    Benoit was scheduled to face CM Punk for the ECW Championship at the 2007 Vengeance PPV, but he no-showed the event due to what he called a family emergency. It would be much more serious than that, though.

    Chris Benoit would die by his own hands on June 24, 2007 after end ended the life of his wife and child.

Montel Vontavious Porter

52 of 68

    Defeated: Chris Benoit

    Where: St. Louis, Mo.

    When: May 20, 2007

    Event: Judgment Day

    Title Reign: 343 days

    Montel Vontavious Porter made his professional wrestling debut in 2002 on the independent circuit. He bounced around various promotions, including TNA Wrestling, until he was hired by WWE and sent to Deep South Wrestling for further training.

    He at first competed as Antonio Banks, but he soon became MVP and made his SmackDown debut in August 2006. As a "coveted free agent," he would negotiate a contract out of SmackDown general manager Teddy Long.

    He made his in-ring debut against a jobber at No Mercy ‘06 with his first feud occurring with Kane. He soon began to target this title, and after failing to win it at WrestleMania 23 and at Backlash, he won the title at Judgment Day.

Matt Hardy

53 of 68

    Defeated: Montel Vontavious Porter

    Where: Baltimore, Md.

    When: April 27, 2008

    Event: Backlash

    Title Reign: 84 days

    The WWE United States Championship became exclusive to ECW when Hardy was drafted there on June 23, 2008.

    Matt Hardy made his professional wrestling debut in 1992 along with his brother Jeff on the independent circuit. In 1998, they got noticed by the WWF and started wrestling as the Hardy Boyz.

    The brothers remained as a team until 2002, though they would reunite here and there. The Hardy Boyz would capture seven Tag Team Championships together, one of which was a reign as WCW tag champions.

    While teaming, Matt would also win the Hardcore and European Championships, but he soon entered into the cruiserweight division in 2003 during one of the Hardy Boyz splits. He would win the title At No Way Out ‘03 as Matt Hardy Version 1 from Billy Kidman.

    Along with his Mattitude followers Shannon Moore and Crash Holly, Hardy would keep the title until June when he lost it to Rey Mysterio. His Mattitude stable was then disbanded and he was sent to Raw.

    After a feud with Kane, Hardy was released in April 2005 due to real-life problems between him, Lita and Edge. He would appear for Ring of Honor until he resigned with WWE in July.

    He spent the next five years with WWE, reuniting and feuding with his brother, winning the ECW Championship and this title before his release in October 2010.

    With his brother working for TNA Wrestling, Hardy made his way there in January 2011 and joined the Immortal stable. His time was short, though, as he was released in August after being arrested for DWI.

    Matt Hardy now considers himself semi-retired as he only makes the occasional appearance on the independent circuit to wrestle.

Shelton Benjamin

54 of 68

    Defeated: Matt Hardy

    Where: Long Island, N.Y.

    When: July 20, 2008

    Event: The Great American Bash

    Title Reign: 240 days

    The title became exclusive to SmackDown when SmackDown wrestler Shelton Benjamin defeated ECW wrestler Matt Hardy for the title.

    Shelton Benjamin made his professional wrestling debut in 2000 after being offered a contract with WWE due to his amateur background. He competed in OVW for two years, winning the Tag Team Championship four times with Brock Lesnar and Redd Dogg before making it to the main roster in 2002.

    He at first was a member of Team Angle with Charlie Haas and their leader Kurt Angle. They would quickly win the Tag Team Championship, but upon losing them, they were kicked out of Team Angle.

    They became the World's Greatest Tag Team after that and went onto win the titles one more time. In 2004, the team was spilt in the draft as Benjamin was sent to Raw.

    He would find much success as a singles star in the midcard, winning the Intercontinental Championship on three different occasions. In 2007, Benjamin became known as the Golden Standard and was drafted to ECW.  He found himself on SmackDown, though, the following year and captured this title from Matt Hardy.

    After losing the title, Benjamin reunited with Haas, but they wouldn’t be able to find the same success as they once had. Benjamin would be released from WWE in April 2010 and he began to wrestle on the independent circuit.

    He can currently be seen with Haas as Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team in Ring of Honor where they are two-time ROH tag team champions.

Montel Vontavious Porter

55 of 68

    Defeated: Shelton Benjamin

    Where: Corpus Christi, Tx.

    When: March 17, 2009

    Event: SmackDown

    Title Reign: 76 days

    The title then became exclusive to Raw when MVP was drafted there on April 13, 2009.

    After winning this title, he began a long feud with Matt Hardy. It would result in them winning the Tag Team Championship together, and Hardy ultimately taking this title away from him after almost a year as champion.

    MVP would regain the title one final time from Shelton Benjamin in March 2009. After losing the title, he remained in the midcard until his release in December 2010.

    Since being released, MVP has been competing in New Japan Pro Wrestling where you can still see him today.

Kofi Kingston

56 of 68

    Defeated: Montel Vontavious Porter

    Where: Birmingham, Al.

    When: June 1, 2009

    Event: Raw

    Title Reign: 126 days

    On September 14, 2009, the Miz stole title the title from Kingston while the champion was wrestling a match. Kingston would take the title back the following week, though, after he attacked the Miz during an interview.

    That same night, the Miz stole it once again during Kingston’s match with Jack Swagger, but Swagger would soon attack the Miz and take it himself.

    On September 28, this insanity finally ended when Kingston grabbed the belt while Swagger and the Miz were fighting

    Kofi Kingston made his professional wrestling debut in 2006 in Chaotic Wrestling in Massachusetts. His ability got him noticed quite quickly by the WWE, who signed him later that year. He was sent to Deep South Wrestling and OVW for a year with Harry Smith in a team called the Commonwealth Connection.

    In 2007, he began to work dark matches as Kofi Nahaje Kingston and appeared in FCW for a bit before debuting on ECW in January 2008. Later that year, Kingston was drafted to Raw and defeated Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship in his first match as a Raw wrestler.

    After losing the title, he won his first U.S. title in June 2009. Kingston broke away from the midcard in October 2009 when he entered into a feud with main event star Randy Orton.

    Kingston would look like a star in this feud, but he would ultimately be defeated by Orton in January, thus ending the feud.

The Miz

57 of 68

    Defeated: Kofi Kingston

    Where: Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

    When: Oct. 5, 2009

    Event: Raw

    Title Reign: 224 days

    The Miz made his professional wrestling debut in 2003 in Ultimate Pro Wrestling, but by 2004 he was a contestant on WWE Tough Enough. Despite not winning the competition, WWE took notice of him and signed the Miz to a contract.

    He trained in Deep South Wrestling and OVW before making his television debut on SmackDown as the show’s host in May 2006. By September, the Miz was wrestling for the blue brand.

    He didn't find much success until he was drafted to ECW in 2007. He was a contender for the ECW Championship, but would he would never win the title. He began to team with John Morrison in November and won SmackDown's Tag Team Championship later that month.

    They held them until July 2008 and ended up winning Raw's tag titles in October. They then started to feud with SmackDown champions the Colons and the storyline saw both belts unified.

    The Miz would be drafted to Raw in 2009, breaking up the team after Miz attacked Morrison.

Bret Hart

58 of 68

    Defeated: The Miz

    Where: Toronto, Ontario

    When: May 17, 2010

    Event: Raw

    Title Reign: seven days

    The title was declared vacant on May 24 when Bret Hart was named as the new general manager of Raw.

    In 2010, he returned to the WWE as the guest host of Raw in January. During his appearance he would make amends with Shawn Michaels and begin to feud with Vince McMahon.

    At WrestleMania XXVI, Hart wrestled his first match since his time with WCW, defeating McMahon with help from the entire Hart family. He would continue to make appearances, winning this title one final time and becoming the general manager of Raw.

    His final appearance with WWE would be in September of last year when he teamed with John Cena to take on Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez.

R-Truth

59 of 68

    Defeated: The Miz

    Where: Toledo, Oh.

    When: May 24, 2010

    Event: Raw

    Title Reign: 21 days

    R-Truth defeated The Miz for the vacant title.

    R-Truth made his professional wrestling debut in 1997 as a manager in the PWF and became K-Krush in 1999 when he began wrestling for the territories of the NWA. In 1999 he was signed by the WWF and sent to Memphis Championship Wrestling for more training.

    In November 2000, he made his television debut as K-Kwik, a tag team partner for the Road Dogg. They had a few shots at tag team gold, but would never be able to capture it. When Road Dogg was released, Truth went out on his own and ended up winning the Hardcore Championship on two occasions.

    He would be released in 2002 and wrestled for Xtreme Pro Wrestling for a bit before debuting with TNA Wrestling later that year as Ron "The Truth" Killings.

    He would spend six years with TNA, winning the NWA World Heavyweight Championship twice early on. His later years with the company saw him as a tag team wrestler with the 3Live Kru, winning the NWA Tag Team Championship with B.G. James and Konnan twice.

    Towards the end of his run, he was sparingly used but did manage to win the tag belts one more time with Pacman Jones. He left TNA in 2008 and returned to the WWE as R-Truth.

    He would spend the next two years as a face, winning only one singles title. He turned heel in 2011, going crazy and challenging John Cena for the WWE Championship.

    He would fail to win the title and soon joined up with the Miz as the Awesome Truth. Truth would be suspended after Survivor Series, ending the partnership.

    Truth would return as a face and soon formed a team with Kofi Kingston. R-Truth is still with WWE and is currently one-half of the tag team champions.

The Miz

60 of 68

    Defeated: R-Truth, John Morrison, Zack Ryder

    Where: Charlotte

    When: June 14, 2010

    Event: Raw

    Title Reign: 97 days

    This was a fatal four-way match.

    After the Miz was drafted to Raw, he began to dominate the midcard. He won the United States Championship in October and held onto the title for over 200 days which includes a reign as tag team champion with the Big Show.

    His reign as champion would be ended by Bret Hart, but after Hart vacated the title, Miz regained the belt from R-Truth. During his second reign as champion, the Miz would win the 2010 Money in the Bank match and begin his rise to the main event.

    He lost the U.S. title in September, but would cash in his contract in November on Randy Orton. He would win the WWE Championship that night and successfully defend it against Jerry Lawler and Orton before entering into a feud with John Cena.

    The feud would result in a brief reign as tag team champion with Cena and the main event of WrestleMania XXVII. The Miz retained that night but lost the title the following month.

    Miz then participated in random feuds, with the biggest being against Triple H as the Awesome Truth with R-Truth. After quite the losing streak, Miz disappeared after WrestleMania to film a movie.

    He would return at the Money in the Bank PPV and is now back on television.

Daniel Bryan

61 of 68

    Defeated: The Miz

    Where: Chicago

    When: Sept. 19, 2010

    Event: Night of Champions

    Title Reign: 176 days

    Daniel Bryan made his professional wrestling debut in 1999 on the independent circuit. He was signed to a developmental contract early on with WWF and was sent to MCW. As the "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson, he wrestled for MCW until WWF stopped using them as a developmental territory.

    After competing in Japan, Bryan made his way to Ring of Honor and competed in the main event of the first show against Low Ki and Christopher Daniels. He would remain with ROH until 2009, having a 462 day reign as ROH champion in 2005-2006.

    He signed with WWE in 2009 and made his debut in February 2010 on the first season of NXT. He was eliminated early on, but would return during the Nexus' debut in June. After the debut of the angle, Bryan would be fired after choking Justin Roberts with his tie.

    He wrestled on the independent circuit throughout the summer before returning to the WWE at SummerSlam against the Nexus. Bryan would participate in a few random feuds until winning this title and capturing the 2011 SmackDown Money in the Bank briefcase.

    Despite stating that he'd cash in at WrestleMania, he cashed it in on the Big Show at the TLC PPV in December and won the World Heavyweight Championship.

    He would slowly turn heel after that, defeating both Mark Henry and Big Show on multiple occasions. He finally lost the title at WrestleMania XXVIII in 18 seconds to Sheamus and has been fighting for Raw's WWE Championship ever since.

    With his feud with the WWE champion now over, though, Bryan is now continuing his storyline with A.J.

Sheamus

62 of 68

    Defeated: Daniel Bryan

    Where: St. Louis

    When: March 14, 2011

    Event: Raw

    Title Reign: 48 days

    The title became exclusive to SmackDown when Sheamus was drafted there on April 26, 2011.

    Sheamus made his professional wrestling debut in 2002 as Sheamus O'Shaunessy on the independent circuit in Europe. In 2004 he joined Irish Whip Wrestling and wrestled for them until 2006 while also wrestling for various British promotions.

    In 2006, Sheamus received a contract with WWE after having a tryout match at a London taping of Raw. He was sent to Florida Championship Wrestling and remained there until 2009, winning the FCW Heavyweight Championship on one occasion.

    He made his television debut in June on ECW as a heel and ran over the competition until he was drafted to Raw in October. He was quickly thrust into the main event, winning a battle royal in November to become the No. 1 contender for John Cena's WWE Championship.

    At the TLC PPV in December, Sheamus would defeat Cena in a Tables Match to become the new WWE champion. He would lose the title in February, but regain it in June. He would keep the title until September where he lost it to Randy Orton.

    Sheamus would also win the 2010 King of the Ring tournament and this title before being drafted to SmackDown in April 2011. He would remain in the main event, but after failing to win the title he became a face and started to dominate SmackDown.

    It wouldn't be until the Royal Rumble, though, that Sheamus reentered the main event picture. After winning the Rumble match, Sheamus chose to face Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship, winning the title in 18 seconds at WrestleMania XXVIII.

    Sheamus has been world champion ever since.

Kofi Kingston

63 of 68

    Defeated: Sheamus

    Where: Tampa, Fl.

    When: May 1, 2011

    Event: Extreme Rules

    Title Reign: 49 days

    The title then became exclusive to Raw when Raw wrestler Kofi Kingston won the title.

    After his feud with Randy Orton, Kingston reentered the midcard, winning the Intercontinental Championship two more times by 2011.

    After losing the title, he began targeting this title, which he won for a second time. He would lose the title to Dolph Ziggler in June and became a tag team wrestler after failing to get it back.

    As a tag team wrestler, Kingston would go onto win the Tag Team Championship four times. With a previous reign with CM Punk under his belt, he added two more with Evan Bourne as Air Boom and another with R-Truth.

    Kingston is currently the reigning champion with Truth as they feud with the Primetime Players.

Dolph Ziggler

64 of 68

    Defeated: Kofi Kingston

    Where: Washington D.C.

    When: June 19, 2011

    Event: Capital Punishment

    Title Reign: 182 days

    Dolph Ziggler made his professional wrestling debut in 2004 after WWE signed him to a developmental contract due to his amateur career. He was sent to OVW at first, spending two years in the territory, but in 2006 he was sent to the main roster.

    He debuted on Raw as Nicky, one of five male cheerleaders in the Spirit Squad. The group’s claim to fame would be a reign as tag team champions and using the Freebird Rule so that all of them could defend the belts. 

    They group would lose the titles to Ric Flair and Roddy Piper before disbanding after a loss to D-Generation X. Ziggler was sent back to OVW but soon found himself in FCW.

    While with FCW he would capture the Tag Team Championship on two occasions. In September 2008, he debuted on Raw under the Dolph Ziggler character and began walking around backstage introducing himself to everyone.

    Ziggler has had much success in the midcard since then. He has one reign with each the Intercontinental Championship and this title, and a brief reign as world champion.

    Over the past year, Ziggler has been having great matches with everyone he’s been put in the ring with, and this past Sunday, he won the SmackDown Money in the Bank match.

    Now with a guaranteed World Heavyweight Championship match anytime he chooses, another reign as world champion could very well be on the horizon. 

Zack Ryder

65 of 68

    Defeated: Dolph Ziggler

    Where: Baltimore, Md.

    When: Dec. 18, 2011

    Event: TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs

    Title Reign: 29 days

    Zack Ryder made his professional wrestling debut in 2004 in the New York Wrestling Connection promotion. While there, he could capture the Tag Team Championship twice with Bryan Myers, who later became Curt Hawkins.

    In 2006, Ryder was hired by WWE and sent to DSW. Hawkins came with him and the two won the tag titles twice, then OVW’s tag belts once when they moved there.

    Both of them made it to the main roster in May 2007 as the Major Brothers on ECW. By December, they appeared on SmackDown as Ryder and Hawkins and became members of Edge and Vickie Guerrero’s La Familia. As a member of the group, Ryder would capture the Tag Team Championship with Hawkins once.

    La Familia soon disbanded, though, and they lost the titles to the Colons. In April 2009, Ryder was drafted to ECW where he adopted his Long Island Iced Z gimmick.

    It would take two years, but with the help of social media, Ryder became quite popular with the WWE Universe. He went onto capture this title, much to the delight of the fans, but his reign as champion would be cut short due to being Kane’s punching bag during John Cena’s storyline with the Big Red Monster.

    Ryder is still with WWE, but unless you watch Superstars, you would barely know it.

Jack Swagger

66 of 68

    Defeated: Zack Ryder

    Where: Anaheim, Ca.

    When: Jan. 16, 2012

    Event: Raw

    Title Reign: 49 days

    On January 20, 2012 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R-Truth would defeat Swagger to win the title. Swagger would get it awarded back to him, though, when general manager John Laurinaitis’ legal advisor, David Otunga, declared that the title wasn’t actually on the line.

    The same exact situation would happen the next night in Fargo, ND.

    Jack Swagger made his professional wrestling debut in 2006 after having a tryout in Deep South Wrestling. He was picked up by WWE and eventually sent to FCW. While there he could capture the FCW Florida and Southern Heavyweight Championship once each in 2008.

    By the end of the year, Swagger made it to the main roster when he appeared on ECW. His first real feud would come against Tommy Dreamer and in January 2009, Swagger was the ECW champion.

    He would be drafted to Raw in June and began to target this title. He would fail in winning it on multiple occasions. He would soon qualify for the Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania XXVI and went onto win the match.

    On March 30, Swagger would cash in the contract on Edge and become the new world heavyweight champion in the process. Even though his reign was largely forgettable, he did hold it for 82 days.

    He would be lost in the fold after that but was finally brought back to life when he gained Vickie Guerrero as his manager. With Guerrero by his side, he would finally be able to win this title.

    After losing it, though, he was once again lost in the fold. Jack Swagger is still with WWE, but is without Guerrero by his side.

Santino Marella

67 of 68

    Defeated: Jack Swagger

    Where: Boston

    When: March 5, 2012

    Event: Raw

    Title Reign: 136 days and counting

    Santino Marella made his professional wrestling debut in 2006 as Johnny Geo Basco in OVW. He spent a year with the company before making his debut on an episode of Raw in Italy.

    He was the hand-picked opponent for Intercontinental champion Umaga, who lost the title to Santino that night. He soon began to adopt a comedy character which has only gotten more ridiculous as time went by.

    He would enjoy a second reign as Intercontinental champion as well as a reign as tag team champion with Vladimir Kozlov before winning this title from Swagger.

    With a title around his waist and a cobra sock on his arm, Santino remains a favorite of the WWE Universe, but an embarrassment to the title.

Statistics and Final Thoughts

68 of 68

    Most Reigns: Wahoo McDaniel, Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Chris Benoit, Bret Hart (5)

    Longest Reign: Lex Luger (523 days)

    Longest Combined Reign: Lex Luger (948 days)

    Shortest Reign: Steve Austin (5 minutes)

     

    Looking at the early history of this title, you see many legendary names. You see Harley Race, Wahoo McDaniel, Ric Flair and Mr. Wrestling to name a few.

    The title was an important one and a stepping stone to bigger things in the Mid-Atlantic territories and WCW kept it as such when they broke away from the NWA and took the title with them.

    Towards the end of WCW’s run, though, the title was no longer used as a stepping stone for wrestlers, but as a title to help keep the big names relevant. I was glad to see the title scrapped by WWE as I didn’t want to see any more damage done to its legacy.

    Then it was reinstated and I began to worry. Thankfully WWE treated it right. It was treated like a real secondary title and it became a stepping stone for guys like John Cena, the Miz and Daniel Bryan.

    The title has seen some good feuds and matches since its return, but with one reign, everything was undone.

    While I like Santino Marella for his wrestling ability, when he’s allowed to show it, his character is that of one that shouldn’t be holding a title that was once held in such high regard.

    At this point, I want to see the title scrapped once again as I think it would be better in storage then around the waist of someone who runs around with a cobra sock on his arm. Until that happens, or WWE takes the title off of him, I’ll just have to deal it.

    Thanks for reading! I apologize for the delay in this one, but these take a good chunk of time to do and my schedule was pretty packed the past few weeks. The next title to be done will be the TNA Television Championship, which I hope to get up sometime next week.

     

    Previous Installments

    WWE DivasTNA KnockoutsTNA Knockouts TagWWE TagTNA TagShimmerWWE US 1

     

    Sources 

    http://www.wrestling-titles.com/wcw/wcw-us-h.html 

    http://www.wrestling-titles.com/wwe/wwf-us-h.html#wwe 

    http://www.wwe.com/classics/titlehistory/unitedstates 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wwe_us_title 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WWE_United_States_Champions 

    Information on the wrestlers provided by Wikipedia

    Title “Wrestling Gold” thought up by editor Jeff D. Gorman

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