12 WWE Wrestlers We Can't Believe Never Won a Title in WWE
Hall of Famers, icons and supremely popular superstars have left the WWE without a single title to their name.
Though the winners of pro wrestling's championships are pre-determined, they greatly affect a wrestler's legacy.
Wrestlers wear them with pride. They are a symbol of respect, of success, of greatness.
WWE has had a myriad of championships, from the defunct Lightweight Championship to the coveted WWE Championship. These men, despite their talents, despite deserving of the honor, did not wear any of them.
For a wrestler that has provided so many iconic moments and inspired so many future WWE stars, it's shocking to think that Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka didn't win a single title in WWE.
Not only did he give us the unforgettable image of him leaping from the top of the steel cage onto Don Muraco in 1983, Snuka's high-flying style invigorated the sport. His innovation, daringness and charisma helped him become one of the most popular wrestlers in the company.
Snuka came close to capturing the WWE Championship several times in a feud with Bob Backlund. Snuka won several of their encounters, but always by countout or disqualification.
That long feud, along with his intense rivalry with Roddy Piper, was two of WWE's most memorable. And while Piper was later rewarded with an Intercontinental title run, Snuka was not.
Not sniffing any WWE gold likely had to do with Snuka leaving WWE in 1985 and again in 1993.
Snuka did go on to become ECW's first world champ and be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, but his popularity and talent should have earned him a championship or two in the WWE.
"Big Cat" Ernie Ladd
When a knee injury cut his NFL career short, Ernie Ladd brought his size, power and charisma to the world of wrestling. Often controversial, Ladd played a heel who insulted all his opponents with an entertaining flair.
Ladd's WWE career featured battles against Andre the Giant and Bruno Sammartino.
Ladd won a plethora of regional NWA titles, but never wore gold with WWE.
WWE did honor Ladd’s accomplishments and talents when they inducted him into the Hall of Fame in 1994.
Jake "the Snake" Roberts is always mentioned as one of the greatest wrestlers never to win a world championship. It's mind-boggling to think that he didn't win any WWE belts at all.
The master of the dark promo and the inventor of the DDT fought the biggest names in the company from Hulk Hogan to Steve Austin.
It's easy to imagine Roberts walking down to the ring with Damien's bag over one shoulder, the Intercontinental Championship over the other. During his feuds with Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, Curt Hennig or Rick Rude, an IC title reign would have made perfect sense.
A wrestler of Roberts' caliber, the kind of performer who embeds themselves into the fans' collective consciousness, should have been rewarded with more than a stolen Million Dollar Championship.
In the late '80s, "Mr. Wonderful" was a major fixture in the WWE limelight.
The muscle-bound piledriver master was underrated on interviews and engrossing in the ring.
Just as Hulkamania was growing strong, Paul Orndorff was right there to clash with Hogan, to go on to be a part of WrestleMania's first main event. Though he faced Hogan several times, he never won the WWE title from him.
Orndorff was used as one of Hogan's many stepping stones.
It's surprising though that Orndorff never won a secondary title or a tag team championship like he did with WCW later in his career.
One of WWE's zaniest characters and most entertaining heels of all-time has nothing to enter into the WWE championships category of his resume.
George "the Animal" Steele did earn a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame and a 1987 Slammy Award for Best Performance by an Animal.
In the '70s, Steele feuded with WWE champ, Bruno Sammartino, but couldn’t end Sammartino's legendary reign. That's not surprising as Sammartino was booked as nearly invincible, holding onto the strap for nearly 3,000 days.
Still, Steele could have made for an interesting partner for a championship team.
Bam Bam Bigelow
The amazing athlete and visual spectacle that was Bam Bam Bigelow never won a title for WWE. He did however win a Slammy Award for Best Head. Insert joke here.
Bigelow did win titles with ECW and WCW, but in WWE he went beltless despite main eventing several times.
He went up against Lawrence Taylor at WrestleMania XI's main event and took Bret Hart to the limit at the King of the Ring finals in 1993. He reached the finals of the World Tag Team Championship tournament before losing to Bob Holly and the 1-2-3 Kid.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter gave Bigelow their Rookie of the Year award in 1986, beating out Owen Hart. With his size, his uncanny athleticism for a big man and unique look, you would think that Bigelow would have been marked for a championship run of some sort.
Junkyard Dog came aboard WWE just as it was expanding into a national powerhouse. For the Mid-South Wrestling Association, JYD earned fifteen championships. For WWE, he won none.
McMahon clearly saw him as a crowd-pleasing mid-carder.
His over-the-top antics, from barking from all fours to biting like a dog helped win over the fans, but likely pigeon-holed him into being more of a fun act than legit champion.
A tag team championship run wouldn't have been out of the question for JYD. It's as a tag team competitor that he won the majority of his Mid-South titles.
WWE did believe in him enough to have him win the Wrestling Classic tourney in 1985 and later invited him to the WWE Hall of Fame.
One of the greatest wrestlers of all-time did not win a single WWE championship.
Dusty Rhodes spent the majority of his legendary career elsewhere. By the time he began wrestling for Vince McMahon, he was in his mid 40s, past his prime and asked to wear a ridiculous polka dot outfit.
One would think though that during his WWE run from 1989-1991 Rhodes would win a title, even if it was just for a brief time.
Though he was past his physical peak, Rhodes' showmanship and charisma could have made an IC title run quite interesting.
In WCW and Japan, Vader was a multiple-time world champion and a dominant monster. With WWE, his career lacked championships and direction.
Fans who only saw Vader during his WWE years don't realize how great he was. We may never see a man do what Vader did in the ring again, an electric fusion of brute strength, agility and intensity.
Despite feuding with WWE champ Shawn Michaels, and despite teaming with Mankind in search of tag team gold, the WWE portion of Vader's career remained championship free.
One has to wonder why Vader didn't make a bigger splash with WWE. He was reduced to jobber status in 1998, his last year with the company.
"Playboy" Buddy Rose
Before he became obese, making a gimmick out of mocking his own weight problem, Buddy Rose was one of WWE's top heels.
He challenged then-WWE champ, Bob Backlund time and time again. His charisma and mic work got fans riled up.
Rose also wrestled in the first WrestleMania match ever. Wrestling then as The Executioner, he lost to Tito Santana.
His feud with Roddy Piper in the Portland area was magnificent in its brutality and intensity. Unfortunately, WWE never rekindled that feud when both wrestlers worked for them years later.
Despite the big push against Backlund, despite how well he sold tickets in his heyday, Rose never tasted WWE gold.
Much like Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race didn't enter the WWE until the best years of his career were already over.
Even as tough and compelling in the ring as he was, even with as big as his name was at the time, it would have seemed odd to have Harley Race beat the supernova that was Hulk Hogan.
The same goes for the Intercontinental Championship at the time. Randy Savage was the champ and WWE clearly wanted him to stay in that position, keeping the belt on him for over a year.
WWE did find a way to give the eight-time NWA Heavyweight Champion his due. WWE had Race win the second-ever King of the Ring tournament.
Just based on longevity alone, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan should have won a title for WWE.
The comical nature of his goofy, zealous patriot character likely is a major part of what kept him out of title contention, but Duggan wrestled for WWE for over a decade. It's odd to think that he didn't have a brief tag title run or that he didn't grab a secondary championship at some point.
Duggan was over in a big way for much of his career.
Fans exploded at the sound of his battle cry, "Ho!" The reaction to him winning a title would have been tremendous.
Duggan didn't leave the WWE empty-handed though. He won the inaugural Royal Rumble match in 1988.