WWE: 10 Superstars Who Should Have Won a World Title in the Past 10 Years
In professional wrestling there are a lot of factors that go into a wrestler "deserving" the World Heavyweight or WWE championship.
Charisma, mic skills, in-ring wrestling ability and marketability are just the main factors that go into deciding whether an upper mid-card wrestler deserves that "push" into the top tier of the wrestling world.
Since 2002 when the reign of the Undisputed Championship ended after a few months of existence due to it's existence becoming a Smackdown-only title, the World Heavyweight Championship was brought in on Raw to give both brands a "World" Title belt.
Since that time, many wrestlers have come and gone and showed that they had a World Champion "look" or "aura" but never got a chance to run with the "big gold belt" or the "spinner" belt.
This article lists those who have gotten passed over since the inclusion of the two World Title belt era in 2002.
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When he should have been champion: 2005
Shelton Benjamin is the definition of a superstar who can pretty much do it all.
Benjamin was a two-time All American Heavyweight amatuer wrestler at the University of Minnesota, attending and training at the university alongside future WWE superstar and WWE Champion, Brock Lesnar.
Benjamin is a guy that had the look, being a guy who was 6'2" and a stout 248 pounds. He had the athletic ability, having been an All-American at the University of Minnesota and becoming well known for his daredevil theatrics in ladder and Money in the Bank matches. He was also a guy that had the crowd behind him.
In 2004, when HHH was an unstoppable heel on Raw who couldn't be beat for about two straight years, Benjamin upset him not once on Raw, but two times in two consecutive weeks. After that, the crowd got fully behind Benjamin.
What did the WWE do with him after that? They saddled him with one of the worst gimmicks in recent memory. They paired him in late 2005 with an obnoxious woman who played his "momma" Basically, his "momma" would yell and scold him every chance she got, in hopes that it would end Benjamin's losing streak.
Benjamin was a several time Intercontinental Champion, but in '04-05 he was riding a hot wave of momentum and the WWE, like with a lot of wrestlers, killed that momentum by placing him with a completely idiotic gimmick. The perfect time to have pushed Benjamin to the main event level was in 2005. He never really recovered as a singles wrestler after that.
When he should have won a world title: 2009-present
Morrison is a five-tool superstar. It's as simple as that.
Morrison can do high flying moves that put you in shock (I never get tired of seeing Starship Pain), have moments that you've never seen before (how he avoided elimination in the 2011 Royal Rumble), talk a good game (remember when Miz was the Marty Jannety of the duo?), and have classic matches with just about anybody.
Unfortunately for Morrison, he just hasn't been in the right place at the right time. Since being drafted to Smackdown in the 2009 draft, Morrison has come close numerous times.
Morrison is unlike Benjamin and some other superstars on this list, where they never even got a chance to shine at the main event level. Hell, Morrison just had a championship match for the WWE Title at Extreme Rules about two months back.
Morrison has just always been overshadowed by better superstars.
Whether it was the Jeff Hardy-CM Punk feud in the summer of '09 that prevented his entrance into the main event scene on Smackdown, or whether it's the likes of his former partner Miz and John Cena on Raw, Morrison seems to always be a "third wheel".
Morrison is only 31 years old, so he has plenty of time left. Let's just hope that one of these days he's given an opportunity to run with a World Title.
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When he should have been Champion: 2008
You know how I was just saying that John Morrison is a five tool superstar? The same rule applies for MVP.
MVP was seemingly destined for superstardom since the moment he stepped foot in a WWE ring. In his first true feud in the WWE, he went toe to toe with Kane, culminating in an Inferno match at Armageddon 2006. From that point on until his infamous losing streak in the Fall of 2008, he was always involved in a high profile feud.
Unfortunately for MVP, he apparently had problems backstage, as he once made a smartass remark during a physical/urine test.
MVP never really got a true chance at a World Title, once challenging for the WWE Championship in a Championship Scramble match at Unforgiven 2008 that started his losing streak.
The WWE wasted a true superstar in MVP.
MVP was released from his WWE contract in December of 2010.
When he should have been champion: 2005
Say what you want about the guy now, but in 2005, Matt Hardy was the company's biggest babyface.
Before returning to WWE television in the event of his girlfriend Lita cheating on him with his ex best friend Edge, Hardy became the hottest commodity on the market.
Due to the WWE releasing him because of his reaction to the incident, Hardy had a chance to sign with TNA, with the opportunity to likely become a main eventer and World Champion over there.
Instead, he returned to the WWE, became Edge's whipping boy and remained in an upper mid-carder role in the WWE until his release in the Fall of 2010.
From Matt Hardy's tenure that spanned the years 1998-2010, I can't remember Matt receiving one World Title shot. If Bob Holly can get a Title shot at a Royal Rumble, Matt Hardy sure as hell deserved one.
When he should have been champion: 2005-2006
Carlito was another guy, like MVP, who had superstar written all over him.
Carlito debuted on Smackdown in October of 2004, winning his debut match against John Cena for the United States Heavyweight Champiionship.
In his first three years in the company he was placed in high-profile feuds, even coming close to winning the WWE Title in an Elimination Chamber match at New Years Resolution 2006, where he was the final participant eliminated.
In late '07, Carlito requested his release from the WWE, but was convinced to stay. From that point on until his release in 2010, Carlito was no where near the top of the card like he was in his first three years in the WWE.
When he should have been Champion: 2008
Mr. Kennedy is a guy who was on the verge of becoming a World Champion, but shot himself in the foot due to testing positive for steroids.
Due to numerous injuries and the steroid scandal, Kennedy never won a title outside of the US Title in the WWE. He lost two World Title matches to the Undertaker in early 2008, including at the Royal Rumble and every time it seemed like he was finally about to break through, Kennedy would suffer an injury.
Kennedy was released from his contract in May of 2009.
When he should have been champion: 2008
William Regal had the perfect character to be a World Champion. In 2000 after debuting a sterotypical, pompous, stuck up British character from the United Kingdom, Regal became one of the top wrestlers in the upper-mid carder division.
Regal was a four time European champion and two time Intercontinental Champion at the beginning of the century.
What held Regal was the time period where he was in his prime. In the early 2000's, you had the Rock, Undertaker, Austin, HHH, Angle, Benoit, Jericho, Kane etc. all above Regal on the totem pole. It was simply hard to break that ceiling at the time.
What hurt Regal also was his two year absence from the WWE due to a heart condition, from 2002-2004. He didn't return to in-ring competion until 2005.
Regal still wrestles in the WWE today, albeit, in a mentoring role. Regal would have been the perfect heel champion in the post-attitude era.
When he should have been Champion: Present-Onwards
I'm not a big fan of Kofi Kingston. I never have and I never will. I don't believe that his in-ring manuevers are main-event worthy. I don't believe that his character should be on a main event stage with the likes of John Cena, Randy Orton or CM Punk. But the fact of the matter is, he's over with the crowd. Always.
Ever since his debut on ECW three years ago, the fans, especially the young kids, eat him up.
Kingston is only 29 years old, has plenty of time to go, and will probably end up winning a World Championship during his tenure in the WWE.
He has been teased as a main event level talent for the past two years, being placed in a feud with Randy Orton in late 2009 before he was pretty much crushed in the feud.
Kingston has won the IC and US Title enough times, faced Dolph Zigger a zillion times and is now ready to move on to the main event scene. If he stays in the upper mid carder scene for too long, people will eventually tire of him. It has happened to other superstars in the past.
When he should have been Champion: 2006-2008
I think Mark Henry is one of the most underappreciated superstars of this generation.
Henry has been in the WWE for 15 years, gone through numerous character changes over the years from "bodyguard of Nation of Domination," to "Sexual Chocolate," and finally to the "World's Strongest Man" gimmick that he's been playing for the better part of the past nine years.
How many guys can go through that many character changes, still remain relevant and have the fans care about him on a weekly basis?
Yes, the guy is not a five tool superstar. He won't put up classic matches. But the guy is a perfect monster heel. His relevancy in 2011 in a high profile feud with the Big Show proves that.
He is not bad on the mic either. After being a guy who couldn't cut a promo in the Nation of Domination for about three years, Henry personifies his monster heel gimmick on the mic perfectly.
With Henry announcing that he'll probably retire next year, it's now or never for Mark Henry.
When he should have been champion: 2006, 2007
Finlay may have been 50 years old by the time he reached his peak, but he was a pretty damn good wrestler in the late 2000's.
Finlay returned to in ring action in 2006 after a six year hiatus from wrestling. He was placed into high profile feuds from the onset, being involved with the likes of Bobby Lashley (undefeated at the time), King Booker (World Champion at the time) and Batista.
Finlay may have not been the prototypical age for a champion, which was probably why he was never given a chance to run with the belt, despite challenging for the championship at No Mercy 2006.