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A Look at WWE's History of Non-Title Awards

The Doctor Chris MuellerFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2014

A Look at WWE's History of Non-Title Awards

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The main goal of any WWE Superstar is to hold a title, but WWE has given out plenty of non-title awards over the years that have elevated their winners to new heights.

    There are the well-known awards like the King of the Ring and Money in the Bank and the upcoming Andre The Giant Memorial Trophy, but there are also ones like the Kuwait Cup that go unmentioned.

    Many Superstars have used achievements like King of the Ring wins and Money in the Bank Briefcases to go from midcard to main event players, but not everyone gets to capitalize off these wins. Damien Sandow knows that all too well.

    These kinds of awards are almost better than titles because nobody can take them away from you once you've won them, and some Superstars even use the award as part of their gimmick, as did King Booker and "Macho King" Randy Savage.

    With WWE creating a new award that may end up being a yearly prize, it seems right to look back at their history of non-title awards.

King of the Ring

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    The King of the Ring tournament is one of the most popular non-title accomplishments in WWE history. It hasn't been used in a few years, but we have seen many great Superstars claim the crown and go on to glory.

    Legends like Bret and Owen Hart, Randy Savage, Don Muraco and Steve Austin have won the crown along with future Hall of Famers like Billy Gunn, Triple H and Kurt Angle.

    Some wrestlers like Booker T and Randy Savage incorporated the King aspect into their character after winning the prize, while others would only wear the crown on the night they won it.

    The KOTR concept is a simple three-round tournament. Whichever Superstar wins all three of his matches on that one night becomes the King.

    This used to be one of WWE's major events every year but the last time anyone was crowned King was Sheamus in 2010.

    This is an event WWE should bring back, even if it is just on a special episode of Raw. It's a great way to put a Superstar over without a title change, and we'd get to see matches we might not normally see in the opening round.

     

Kuwait/Middle East Cups

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    WWE held three tournaments over 12 months in Kuwait and Dubai under two names: the Kuwait Cup and Middle East Cup.

    These tournaments were addressed a little on Raw when Tiger Ali Singh won the final Kuwait Cup before making his Raw debut.

    Singh and the Kuwait Cup would both last be seen in the WWE in 1997, as WWE's new Attitude Era did not have room for Singh's style of character.

    Ahmed Johnson won the first Kuwait Cup, and Bret Hart won the only Middle East Cup. They were awards made for overseas audiences, so most American fans may not even be aware of them.

Whatever Trophy Bad News Brown Won at WrestleMania IV

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    WrestleMania XXX won't be the only time a Battle Royal is contested for a trophy.

    WrestleMania IV featured a Battle Royal with a really big trophy on the line. Bad News Brown won the match and the trophy, but he wouldn't get to keep it because runner-up Bret Hart destroyed it.

    There wasn't really a name for this trophy, and it never became a regular match at WrestleMania. We will have to wait and see if the Andre the Giant Memorial Trophy becomes an annual prize.

    This was also the WrestleMania that featured 16 matches, including a four-round tournament for the WWF Championship that saw "Macho Man" Randy Savage walk away with the title.

     

The Slammys

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    The Slammys have a large comedic element to them, but these awards voted on by the fans can be looked at as legitimate ones in a way.

    WWE has allowed fans to vote on WWE.com for certain categories, and the WWE app has allowed voting on things to nearly become a weekly occurrence.

    The Slammy Awards have been around for a long time but have gone through periods of inactivity.

    Winning these awards has often been used by characters in their gimmick. Owen Hart even went as far as to have the awards put into the design on his singlet.

    The Slammys should become a more legitimate award for the wrestlers every year, but for now we do get to see some entertaining segments at the annual event.

The Royal Rumble

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    The Royal Rumble may lead to a title shot, but winning the Rumble itself is a big accomplishment all on its own.

    Superstars are billed as winners of the annual Battle Royal for years after their victory, and many Superstars have used setting records at the event to elevate their characters.

    Shawn Michaels lasted from the first spot until the end and won, Rey Mysterio lasted longer than anyone else and Roman Reigns recently set the record for most eliminations in a single Rumble match.

    This is one of the most anticipated events of the WWE year, and winning the big match can make a Superstar into a main event player overnight.

Money in the Bank

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    This is another non-title accomplishment that leads to a title match, but just like winning the Royal Rumble match winning Money in the Bank can also put a Superstar on a whole new level.

    The ladder match is one fans always look forward to, but one with six or more Superstars always produces several highlight-reel moments.

    The match even became so popular that it graduated from WrestleMania opener to headlining its own PPV.

    Superstars like CM Punk, Miz, Edge and many more have used the Briefcase to win their first WWE or World title, and a couple Superstars have even held the Briefcase more than once.

    The only Superstars to fail at cashing in are John Cena and Damien Sandow, so the ratio of winners to losers is still higher with MITB winners than with Rumble winners.

Andre the Giant Memorial and Conclusion

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    WWE's newest non-title award is the Andre The Giant Memorial trophy, which will be won by the winner of a 30-man Battle Royal.

    If all 30 Superstars are in the ring at once it will be a very crowded and busy match, but that is the way they have to do it to make sure it doesn't eat up an hour of the show.

    Several Superstars have already staked their claim at a spot in the match. Hopefully WWE uses this as a chance to have a few surprises like returns or one-off appearances.

    Hulk Hogan announced this new award on Raw, which gives 30 Superstars a chance to appear on the WrestleMania card who may not otherwise get on the program.

    WWE has had many different kinds of non-title prizes over the years. Some stand the test of time while others are never heard from again.

    What is your favorite non-title award in WWE history, and which one should WWE bring back that has gone away?

     

    Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter: @BR_Doctor.

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