Many respected WWE/World Title reigns have gone overlooked, even disrespected by both the Internet Wrestling Community and the average fan. What gets even more disrespectful is how the WWE handled or ended a wrestler's title reign, in some cases.
In this article I will analyze both of these in a smörgåsbord of WWE/World Title reigns that have been overlooked and disrespected.
Sheamus is a legit monster. He was called up with Drew McIntyre during the WWE's first wave of young talent to the main roster, to start replacing the aging superstars. Sheamus was quickly rushed to the WWE Title picture on the RAW brand, and ended up winning the title at Tables, Ladders and Chairs. He then lost it a mere two months later at the Elimination Chamber.
Sheamus was then buried on the roster in a de-push much as McIntyre, Wade Barrett, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Zigger and many others were.
One June 28, 1998 at King of the Ring, Kane won the WWF title in a First Blood match. At this point, Kane was at his prime, athletically, coming off the top rope with ease, and selling moves of smaller wrestlers whenever needed. Kane was able to prove himself as being the No. 2 big man of all time next to the Undertaker.
Kane held the belt for a single night, dropping the belt to the uber popular Stone Cold Steve Austin the next night on RAW.
Kane went on to provide some amazing feuds, most notably with X-Pac and Rey Mysterio Junior, continually proving his excellence in the ring. Kane would go on to hold the World Title one more time, albeit briefly.
Chris Jericho came to the WWF with a lot of fanfare from the Internet Wrestling Community following his hilarious promos in WCW. This included the ever so popular Conspiracy Theory story line followed by his continual badgering and calling out of Goldberg, who was the hottest commodity in Sports Entertainment at the time.
Jericho, after his initial coming into the WWF was forgotten about until after a few Intercontinental Title reigns, was in a tournament to crown the very first Undisputed Heavyweight Champion. In one night, he beat the Rock to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and then beat Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, becoming the first ever Undisputed Heavyweight Champion.
Jericho held the titles for four months until Wrestlemania X8, where he would drop the belt. After the historic match between Hollywood Hulk Hogan and the Rock, a match that joined generations and probably should have been the last match, faced off against Triple H. He promptly lost to the King of Kings.
The Undertaker won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship at Survivor Series. As we came out of the 'Character Era' with such highlights as Kamala and Papa Shango, the Undertaker was the one character everyone could get into. With his manager Paul Bearer, the 'Taker was riding a hot streak.
The Undertaker, of course, lost the belt to Hulk Hogan, who could still move around the ring somewhat, but was obviously losing steam.
The only ECW Original to go on to win the WWE or World Heavyweight Titles, The Whole F'N Show was proving for years to be the Innovator of Offense and one of the most exciting in-ring workers in the WWE.
Vince McMahon finally pushed RVD to a title, but supposedly Rob's love for a certain herb would cut loose, not only his Championship reign, but his stay in the WWE.
We spoke earlier of Kane cementing himself back in the late '90s as being one of the greatest big men of all time, right behind the Undertaker. But there was one man who gave him a run for his money.
Imagine this. Seven Foot, Five-Hundred Pound Missile Dropkicks coming at you.
If you didn't see your life flash before your eyes, you're a much braver person than I. The Big Show, before the Giant-ism problems really came into play before his first break from the WWE, was easily a joy to watch. He threw numerous missile drop kicks, had some of the funniest impersonations of all time and is generally one of the greatest ambassadors of professional wrestling EVER.
However, his brief stint with a title at the height of his athletic ability, much like Kane's, was overlooked in the greater parlay of events during the time period. No one will remember Show for what he could have, and should have, been.
Edge, early in his career, was in one of the top five tag teams of all time, Edge and Christian. From five second poses to playing other wrestler's themes on the kazoo, he was a fan favorite.
He started the 'YOU SUCK!' chants for Kurt Angle during their feud on Smackdown. However, he was also the very first person who cashed in a money in the bank contract, and as he did, he pinned John Cena for his first ever WWE Championship.
A few weeks later, Cena went on to beat Edge. Now Edge would go on to be a double-digit champion, but his career was sadly cut short by a series of neck injuries. We'll always miss the Rated R Superstar.
Shortly after the WWF's battle in court over steroids, Vince McMahon started to push smaller wrestlers with technical ability, rather than the massive stiffs like Hogan and Warrior. We saw a push of Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, which gave us some of the best matches of all time.
Hart won the WWF Title at a live event against Ric Flair, and promptly continued being the Excellence of Execution up until the poor booking of Wrestlemania IX. Hart faced Yokozuna, and much as Hart did in the early 90s, made Yokozuna look amazing, losing due to a toss of salt to the face by Mr. Fuji.
And in the biggest hypocrisy was the booking of Hogan to make the save and win the WWF title from Yokozuna.
Hart would go on to hold several more World Titles in both the WWF and the WCW. More to discuss about that later.
From the time he won his second WWF World Title at Wrestlemania VIII, Savage was overlooked and poorly booked as a WWF Champion. He had a good feud with Ric Flair, followed by the Ultimate Maniacs, with the Ultimate Warrior, who was promptly fired. Savage ended up concluding his feud with Flair with only a five-month title reign, losing on Prime Time Wrestling.
Savage then went into color commentary and was destroyed in a brief feud with Yokozuna and Crush. He then went to WCW where he was also poorly booked.
Mr. Hall of Fame. Mr. Wrestlemania. The Showstoppa. The Rocker. The Leader of the Clique. The creator of D-Generation X. The Heart Break Kid...Shawn Michaels.
Following an improbable return from a life threatening injury and well-documented drug abuse, Shawn Michaels came back to us as a born-again Christian, leading his life the right way. He proved to everyone he would still hold his own.
Sadly, he was poorly booked during his entire second stint with the company, as it almost seemed Triple H needed to prove his superiority by holding Michaels back. Sadly, this title stint lasted all of a month as he would lose to guess who?
C. M. P U N K has ushered in a new era to the world of professional wrestling as the new Anti-Establishment star, much as 15 years ago, Stone Cold Steve Austin first presented us with that type of star. He won his title from this generation's Hulk Hogan—John Cena.
The lead up to this match brought professional wrestling and Sports Entertainment into mainstream America again. No one could believe his amazing interview. Of course McMahon knew he was giving him a free mic. McMahon knew he would cut the mic off at the right time. And all it created was the lead up to a PPV event that was quite possibly better than Wrestlemania, just four months ago.
CM Punk gave us the Match of the Year, at least opinionated, but surely that is arguable. CM Punk follwed up his unbelievable win by Mui Tai kicking Alberto Del Rio's head off in the middle of the ring as McMahon called for Del Rio, who had won a free Title Contract earlier in the night. Punk promptly left through the crowd, blowing a kiss to Vince and what seems like the WWE Universe goodbye.
Punk partied the night away with Colt Cabana, and even tweeted pics of the belt in his fridge. He didn't show up for RAW tonight, which is holding a tournament to crown a new champion.
Punk left on top. I can't remember a person who did that last.
And why put this in here as he's never held a WWE or World Heavyweight Title? Because the IWC loves Ryder as much as I do, and we all know he deserves a push, and he's not on RAW tonight...ARE YOU SERIOUS BRO?
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