You Deserved It: The Greatest Title Wins in WWE History
No matter the struggle, they rose above every obstacle to become Champion.
There's always those few wrestlers. The ones who've worked their whole careers to achieve one goal: become champion. Having the opportunity to call yourself the best on that given night. Some wrestlers never reached the goal.
Most never have the opportunity.
But once every blue moon, there's always one Superstar to branch out. Something so special about the Wrestler that even Creative can't ignore. Critics, personal problems, and at times, fans themselves have written these guys off.
The following Superstars have worked multiple years to become Champion. It's self explanatory, so please, read on.
Flying High: Jeff Hardy Wins The WWE Title.
After 13 long years, The Charismatic Enigma reached the summit. On Dec. 14, 2008, Jeff Hardy became the WWE Champion for the first time.
Jeff Hardy. His chances of becoming WWE Champion were slim. Jeff was known more prominently for the Hardy Boyz. His unforgettable stunts, and live for the moment attitude, caused many to believe Hardy was a glorified stuntman. For almost a decade, the argument was valid.
Jeff had wasted away every opportunity he had. Receiving a small push in 2003, Hardy faced the Undertaker for the Undisputed Title in HIS Ladder match. Though Jeff ultimately lost, my opinion of him never changed. He was a mid carder for life.
Plagued by a drug addiction, Hardy was released from the WWE in 2003. Though he returned to pro wrestling in 2004 with TNA, he always came up short in World Title matches. After a two-year stint with TNA, Hardy surprisingly returned to the WWE in 2006.
From the start, I figured Hardy would never make it out of the mid cards. Yeah so, he won the IC Title a few times, still wasn't going to change the fact he would never become Champion. Him reforming the Hardys with Matt, it just validated my opinion.
To my surprise, Hardy began a feud with Triple H. With a match being set for a shot at the WWE Championship. Hardy shocked me, and the WWE Universe when he defeated the Game at Armageddon.
My hopes for Hardy became extremely high. Over the next few weeks, Hardy dominated the WWE Champion at every turn, even pinning him in a tag match. Jeff suffered the first of his shortcomings when Orton snatched victory in the clutches of defeat.
That's when he made a huge mistake. Violated the Wellness Policy. Hardy was cut from all scheduled matches, dropped the IC Title, and suspended for sixty days. Frankly, I was disappointed by Jeff's action but still believed in him nonetheless.
Hardy returned and surprisingly resumed his push and began feuding with Triple H. Coming short in three matches against him, Hardy was placed in a triple threat with HHH and Kozlov. Around this time, Hardy adopted a darker persona. He would wear face paint to the ring and recite dark speeches.
On the night of the PPV, and in one of the worst angles ever, Jeff was found "unconscious" in a hotel and was removed from the triple threat. Stupid. WWE made it seem so real that CNN even picked the story up. Edge regained the WWE Title that night.
Hardy was given another opportunity for the title at Armageddon. This time, Hardy wouldn't be denied. Jeff swantoned Edge to win the WWE Title for the first time.
Stunning moment. The Enigma was finally at the top!
For Real: Chris Benoit Claims The World Title.
Though he may be scrutinized for his tragic end, Chris Benoit is one of the Greatest to step foot in the squared circle. Benoit, after almost twenty years, won the World Championship on the biggest stage of them all, Wrestlemania XX.
In 2003, the future of Chris Benoit was put into question. After bouncing from promotion to promotion, the question if Benoit would ever gain a World Championship was frequent. Most saw Benoit as not being Champion material. The mid cards would be his permanent place.
Sadly, as a Benoit fan, that seemed to be true. Benoit was pushed numerous times over the years. Receiving title matches with The Rock, Kurt Angle, and even Brock Lesnar. He always came so close to gaining the title. But in the end, Benoit failed.
Benoit's push was renewed in 2003. Besting top dogs, A-Train, Big Show, and Brock Lesnar in numerous matches.
Because of Paul Heyman's personal vendetta against Benoit, he never received a WWE title match. Heyman even stuck Benoit in the 2004 Royal Rumble. At number one.
Didn't give him much of a chance. I mean, last person to win at No. 1 was HBK. That was almost a decade earlier. Can't argue with the odds. Creative shocked me. While Benoit lasted through the majority of the rumble, I actually considered him winning.
When he pulled the Big Show out of the ring, Benoit silenced me, and all the critics. He had won the BIG one. He was on a rocket ship to the top, but not on Smackdown! Benoit jumped to RAW to challenge Triple H for the World Title.
The match ended up as a triple threat for the World Title. With the addition of HBK, it was extremely hard in choosing a winner. I knew Triple H wouldn't walk out with the World Title though.
In one of the Greatest matches in WM history, Benoit clinched Triple H in the Crippler Crossface, forcing the Game to submit. FINALLY, the Wolverine was at the top of the mountain. His family joined him in the celebration, along with best friend Eddie Guerrero.
The WWE and World Champions embraced one another in a hug, shedding tears of joy. A moment that will live on in my mind forever.
Viva La Raza! The Swift Rise of Eddie Guerrero
Years of drifting in the mid cards. Years of teaming with his nephew, Chavo. Never given the chance to reach the summit. Personal problems and addictions holding him back. Latino Heat rose above it all. He became WWE Champion.
When Chris Benoit announced he would be moving to RAW. Deciding to pursue the World Title instead of the WWE Championship, Smackdown was left without a Mania match. Not even a number one contender. That's when Paul Heyman took action.
He announced that there be a 15 man, Royal Rumble style battle royal. Winner gets a shot at Brock Lesnar at No Way Out. When I learned Kurt Angle was participating, I automatically assumed he was going to win. But at the same time, something special was happening.
Latino Heat, Eddie Guerrero was quietly moving up the cards. Guerrero's popularity was growing more and more with every week. Despite all of this, I had my mind set of another Angle/Lesnar match.
But Creative had other plans. Thank God.
Guerrero went into the match as the Underdog, and walked out Number One Contender. Elevating Eddie Guerrero to main event status. One thing crossed my mind. Booker T and Triple H from the last Wrestlemania.
Booker had done the same. Won a Battle Royal for the title match. Beat Triple H at every turn. Was taunted by the Champion for his past. It seemed like a rewind. Everything was exactly the same, except it was at No Way Out instead of mania.
During the PPV, I anticipated the same result. But it was not to be. Creative noticed their mistake last time, it wasn't happening again.
Going toe to toe with Lesnar through out the whole match, Guerrero seemed to be so close to winning the title. Lesnar even attempted to cheat, but Goldberg ended it all with a spear.
In typical Guerrero fashion, Eddie dropped Lesnar on the WWE Title with a DDT, went to the top for the Frogsplash. Three seconds later, Eddie was at the top of the mountain. He made it.
EXTREMELY In His Favor: The Whole F'n Show Wins The WWE Title
Years of being held back. Years of being stuck in the mid cards. Multiple accolades but one title always eluded him. The WWE Title. Numerous opportunities squandered. Even voted No. 1 wrestler in the World in 2002 wasn't enough. Until 2006 that is....
When RVD won the MITB Ladder Match at Wrestlemania 22, it went largely unnoticed. Know why??? John Cena defeated Triple H in a WWE Title match later that night. Rey Mysterio won the World Title that very same night, finally living his dream.
Living in the "John Cena" Era, I didn't expect Van Dam to be pushed to the main event scene. Hell, I wasn't surprised when he was stuck in a mid card feud with Shelton Benjamin. After trading the IC Title back and forth with Benjamin, Van Dam announced he was cashing in the MITB.
At ECW One Night Stand. Against John Cena. Even telling John that he was going rename it the ECW World Title.
At One Night Stand, Van Dam went toe to toe with Cena. Even in his type of match, Cena was getting the better of the Whole F'n Show. Until we were saved by the Rated R Superstar.
Edge speared Cena threw a table, setting up for the Five Star. To the cheers of the crowd, Van Dam lifted the WWE Title above his head, for the first time in his career.
Celebrating with his fans and fellow ECW Alumni.
The Ultimate Underdog: Rey Mysterio Achieves His Dream
In 2006, Rey Mysterio was just another mid card Wrestler. Though he was popular all over the world, Rey never came remotely close to becoming World Champion.
In his career, he only received one WWE Title Match. In a losing effort to his amigo, Eddie Guerrero. After Eddie's passing, Rey had a new found determination. Which would lead him to the top.
Saddened by the loss of Latino Heat, Rey Mysterio bounced around the Smackdown! scene. Teaming off and on with Batista, no one could've predicted Rey's future. When Batista went down with an injury, Mysterio's stock seemed to rise after having strong showings in the majority of his matches.
When the Royal Rumble rolled around, Mysterio was the No. 2 entrant. Dedicating his performance to Latino Heat, Rey lasted 61 minutes. Longer than anyone else in history. Rey won the match after launching Triple H and Randy Orton over the top rope.
Mysterio's wave of momentum continued. But after being taunted by Randy Orton, even declaring Eddie was in hell. Disgusting. Rey agreed to give Randy a match at No Way Out for his Wrestlemania title shot. Orton won the match after using the ropes.
Rey's somber moment wouldn't last long. Teddy Long added Rey Mysterio to the World Title match at Wrestlemania. Kurt Angle vs Rey Mysterio vs Randy Orton.
After a classic performance by all three, Rey pinned Orton for the World Title after the 619. FINALLY!!! World Champion.