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Ranking Every Triple Crown Winner In WWE History

The Triple Crown Championship is one of the most prestigious accolades that any wrestler could accomplish in their WWE career. The Triple Crown status refers to wrestlers who have held the WWE or Worl

The Triple Crown Championship is one of the most prestigious accolades that any wrestler could accomplish in their WWE career. The Triple Crown status refers to wrestlers who have held the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship, the Intercontinental Championship, and the WWE or World Tag Team Championship during their career. There have only been 26 Triple Crown winners in WWE's long history, highlighting just how much of a rarity it is for anyone in WWE to earn such an accomplishment. Many of WWE's most seasoned veterans with the most lucrative careers have yet to hold the Triple Crown title by their name. Guys like John Cena, The Undertaker, Hulk Hogan, Brock Lesnar, and The Ultimate Warrior are missing certain credentials to call themselves Triple Crown winners. Considering the impressive and distinguished line-up of Triple Crown winners that WWE does have under their name brand, it may be worth the time to look at all them and rank them all from the worst to the best of the bunch.

Considering that this is such a distinct, wide array of superstars compiled together and since there is an impossible number of factors to consider when ranking a wrestler for a list like this (their wrestling/mic skills, how they were booked as champions, etc.), the main factors we're considering is the first initial reigns as champions for these individuals. The first reigns in each category (IC, Tag Team, WWE/WHC) that made them Triple Crown winners to begin with. Keep that in mind as you make your way down these list ranking of all 26 WWE Superstars who hold the coveted title of Triple Crown Champion.

26. Big Show

via bleacherreport.com

Big Show is often praised as one of the greatest wrestling giants to ever step into the ring. Yet, something just never clicked with him as a champion. Granted, his run in 2012 as World Heavyweight Champion was kind of awesome, but in regards to his earliest title reigns, Show was mostly a victim of bad booking. If not bad booking, then perhaps uninspired last minute booking. At SummerSlam 1999, he and Undertaker won the World Tag Team Titles and what should have made for a dominant pairing, the two were champions for a pathetic 8 days. Later that year at Survivor Series, Show won his first WWE Championship after replacing an injured Stone Cold in a Triple Threat Match with Triple H and The Rock. Apart from a strange feud with Big Boss Man, Show went on to have an uneventful title reign before losing the belt back to Triple H on January 3rd, 2000 on Raw. 12 years later, he beat Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania XXVIII. Sure, the match was only made to finally give a veteran like Show a Mania moment to be proud of, but it shouldn't have been done at the expense of a young upstart like Cody Rhodes. He lost it a month later at Extreme Rules in a Tables Match. Embarrassingly, Show put himself through a table.

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20 Kane

via stillrealtoous.com

Kane usually gets a bad rep for feeling like a stale product of the Attitude Era, but during that era, Kane was one of the most exciting and hottest acts the company had going. Unfortunately, even then, Kane failed to have a hot title run to match his hot popularity. His first taste of gold came when he took the WWE Championship away from Stone Cold Steve Austin at King of the Ring 1998, only to lose it back to Stone Cold the next night on Raw. Shortly after, Kane won the World Tag Team Titles with Mankind on the July 13th, 1998 edition of Raw only to lose them a mere 13 days later to Undertaker and Stone Cold. A few years later in 2001, Kane won the Intercontinental Championship from Albert at Judgement Day, only to lose it back to Albert on the June 28th edition of Smackdown. Despite holding such a prolific WWE career, Kane has plenty of disappointing championship runs under his belt.

19 Diesel

via Goliath.com

As low as Diesel sits on this list, it can be argued that his place deserves to be lower on the list given the bad business he did for WWE as their World Champion. Even before he became World Champion, his reigns left a lot to be desired. He had a decent run as Intercontinental Champion after winning the title on April 13th, 1994, its mostly because he had some good opponents to work with. When he wasn't wrestling someone like Razor Ramon or Bret Hart, Diesel was having bad matches against jobbers or guys who couldn't carry Diesel in the ring (i.e. Lex Luger). While holding the IC Title, he also won the Tag Team Titles with Shawn Michaels, but never defended them and the titles were vacated for that reason. After losing the IC Title to Ramon at SummerSlam, Diesel defeated Bob Backlund in a stunning 8 seconds to capture the WWE Championship.  As WWE Champion, Diesel is often credited as the worst drawing WWE Champion ever.

23. Rey Mysterio

via blowbyblowwrestling.blogspot.ca

A guy of Rey Mysterio's underdog size and stature usually makes for a better chaser than a champion. This explains why Rey Mysterio just never worked as a champion. He was always at his best and most compelling when chasing the title opposed to holding it. Smackdown bookers must have realized this in 2002 given how his Tag Team Title reign with Edge lasted a short 12 days despite winning the titles in a fantastic 2 out of 3 Falls Match against Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle. The two went back to chasing afterwards. The same could not be said for Mysterio's 2006 World Heavyweight Championship run. The reign was stained enough with the constant shoe-horning of Eddie Guerrero's death into every one of Rey's storylines. It was worse seeing Smackdown's top champion lose every week to virtually every member of the roster. His championship loss to King Booker at The Great American Bash 2006 felt like a mercy kill. Later on, Mysterio beat JBL for the Intercontinental Championship in a jaw dropping 21 seconds at WrestleMania 21. Though Rey's reign ended only 63 days later at Extreme Rules, he lost in style thanks to a surprising finish at the hands of Chris Jericho.

18 Christian

via cagesideseats.com

Christian's best days were when he was still tagging with his best friend (then booked as his brother), Edge. The two won the Tag Team Titles together 7 times and their first reign came at WrestleMania 2000 in a Triangle Ladder match that stole the show. Their reign would end about 2 months later at the hands of Too Cool, but Edge and Christian spent the next couple years at the top of the tag team division. When the two pursued singles competition, Christian defeated Edge to win the Intercontinental Championship at Unforgiven 2001. He lost it the following month to Edge in a splendid Ladder Match at No Mercy. In 2011, following Edge's retirement, Christian won his vacant World Heavyweight Title at Extreme Rules, only to lose it 2 days later at a Smackdown taping.

17 JBL

via onlineworldofwrestling.com

During his beer guzzling, ass stomping days as Bradshaw alongside Faarooq in the APA, the two won the World Tag Team Titles 3 times. Their first reign came during the May 25th, 1999 edition of Raw after defeating Kane and X-Pac. They lost the titles to The Hardy Boyz 35 days later. In 2004, after cleaning up his image, the newly christened JBL defeated Eddie Guerrero at The Great American Bash to win the WWE Championship. During his reign, he became the longest reigning WWE Champion in Smackdown history. Say what you will about JBL's in-ring ability, but his mic skills as a heel made him one of the most hated villains in WWE history. The hatred that he inspired crowds to feel towards him made him deserving of a lengthy reign. The venom he made you feel towards him played a hefty part in helping John Cena get over when Cena beat him for the title at WrestleMania 21. In 2009, JBL won the Intercontinental Championship and while his reign was too short to be memorable, his quick WrestleMania XXV loss to Rey Mysterio led to him kicking and screaming to quit, which is how any great heel should end their career.

16 Dolph Ziggler

via Sportskeeda.com

For those who may have forgotten, Dolph Ziggler's lofty career ambitions in WWE began as Nicky, a member of the evil male cheerleading group known as The Spirit Squad. As a member of the stable, the entire group won the World Tag Team Championship on the April 3rd, 2006 edition of Raw and held those titles under the Freebird Rule. They held the titles and annoyed audiences for an impressive 216 days after losing to Ric Flair and Roddy Piper at Cyber Sunday. Repackaged with blond locks and a chip on his shoulder, Dolph Ziggler burst onto the scene after defeating Kofi Kingston for his first Intercontinental Title on the July 28th, 2010 Smackdown tapings. He held the title for 160 days before losing it back to Kingston at the very start of 2011. Shortly afterwards in February for the 600th episode of Smackdown, Dolph Ziggler won and lost his first World Heavyweight Title in the same night. After the title was vacated from Edge and awarded to Dolph, Edge demanded his rematch clause in the main event and showed The Show Off an upset.

15 Edge

via fightsday.com

While Edge's earliest days in WWE are best remembered as one half of a tag team with Christian (winning their first Tag Titles at WrestleMania 2000), he started off in WWE on his own. Before Christian came along, Edge kicked off his WWE career by his lonesome and without proper direction for his character. He won his first Intercontinental Championship at a house show in his hometown of Toronto in 1999 after defeating Jeff Jarrett only to lose the belt back to Jarrett at Fully Loaded the next night. Edge's singles career reached his peak in 2005 upon winning the Money in the Bank briefcase and the next year at New Year's Revolution, Edge cashed in on John Cena to win the WWE Championship. While everyone remembers Edge's crowning achievement, many fans tend to forget that Edge lost the title back to Cena just a couple weeks later at the Royal Rumble. While Edge's star only continued to rise, a short first reign did momentarily stall his momentum at the time.

14 Jeff Hardy

via dfiles.me

From the moment that he first entered WWE with his brother, Matt, Jeff Hardy found a way to make jaws drop in all of his matches. The Hardy Boyz first won the Tag Team Titles on a June 29th taping of Raw that saw the brothers defeat the hard hitting Acolyte Protection Agency. After losing the titles to Kane and X-Pac a couple weeks later on Raw, The Hardys won the tag titles an additional 5 times. During an April 10th Smackdown taping, Jeff Hardy took a break from tagging with his brother to defeat Triple H for the Intercontinental Championship. Whether he was holding gold or not, Jeff Hardy always captivated millions across the globe by putting his body on the line. Spending a decade risking his life every week finally paid off when the Charismatic Enigma captured the WWE Championship in a Triple Threat Match with Edge and Triple H at Armageddon 2008. He lost the title back to Edge a month later at the Royal Rumble thanks to interference from Jeff's own brother, Matt.

13 Booker T

via pintrest.com

Despite leaving WCW as a bonafide main event player, Booker T struggled to recapture similar success. However, when Booker did succeed, he managed to soar high. On an October 30th, 2001 taping of Smackdown, Booker managed to win the World Tag Team Titles with Test. As with most championship reigns during the Invasion angle, this was a short one that saw the Alliance members lose the titles 13 days later to The Hardy Boyz. With a new full fledged allegiance to WWE, Booker defeated Christian to win his first Intercontinental Championship on the July 7th, 2003 episode of Raw. He dropped the title back to Christian 34 days later at a house show. After remolding himself as King Booker, he won his first and only World Championship under the WWE banner at The Great American Bash 2006 after pinning Rey Mysterio. This not only helped Booker become WWE's 16th Triple Crown winner, but also a 6 Time World Champion. His World Title run ended 126 days later at Survivor Series to Batista.

12 Rob Van Dam

via StillRealToUs.com

Considering how he entered WWE as not only a former ECW star, but as one of the smaller members of the roster, there was doubt that Rob Van Dam could achieve the substantial amount of success that a man of his talents deserves. Thankfully, that in-ring talent crowd grabbing charm helped RVD garner a buoyant career for himself. RVD won his first Intercontinental Championship on the grandest stage possible, WrestleMania X8, after defeating William Regal. He lost the title a month later to Eddie Guerrero, but it led to a notable feud between the two Frog Splash enthusiasts that fans were fond of and so it all worked out. A year later, he won the World Tag Team Championship with Kane on March 31st, 2003, and the two made for a surprisingly formidable team until losing the belts to La Resistance at Bad Blood in June. RVD reached the zenith of his career in 2006 when he defeated John Cena to become both the ECW Champion and the WWE Champion. Things were looking up for RVD until he was arrested for marijuana possession. After less than a month with the titles, RVD was forced to drop them respectively to Big Show and Edge before sitting out on a 30-day suspension.

11 CM Punk

via pintrest.com

For a man who went on to become the longest reigning WWE Champion of the modern era, a lot of you may be thinking that CM Punk's position is a little low on this list, but remember, the main thing considered for all of these stars is their first championship runs and Punk's earliest championship runs were forgettable and overall bad. His first championship under the WWE banner came in 2008 (his 2007 ECW Championship win doesn't count under WWE's Triple Crown rules) when he cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Edge to win the World Heavyweight Championship. As was emphasized in his Best in the World documentary, Punk was booked as a weak champion while being overshadowed by bigger acts like Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho and Batista vs John Cena. His reign came to an abrupt end after the title was vacated after Punk sustained a kayfabe injury at the hands of Randy Orton right before the Unforgiven main event. Punk then won the World Tag Team Titles with Kofi Kingston the following month. After an unmemorable reign, they lost the belts to The Miz and John Morrison at a December house show. To round out his Triple Crown, Punk kicked off 2009 in style after defeating William Regal for the Intercontinental Championship on the January, only to lose the title to JBL in March.

10 Daniel Bryan

via fireflydaily.com

While Daniel Bryan's Triple Crown Championship wins made for some unforgettable moments, his reigns left more to be desired. It wasn't Bryan's fault or even the fault of those booking him. Bryan was just a victim of bad luck and circumstance with both his WWE World Heavyweight Championship win from WrestleMania XXX and his Intercontinental Championship win from WrestleMania 31 being cut short due to injury. His most successful and memorable title run came during his time in Team Hell No with Kane as WWE Tag Team Champions. The double act in itself helped bring Bryan's WWE career to prominence as the two pulled off some of the WWE's most entertaining segments when they were together in 2012 and 2013. They held the titles for a tremendous 245 days, the 7th longest reign in the title's history.

9 The Miz

via cagesideseats.com

The Miz has had plenty of detractors over the years, but one thing that everyone should be able to agree with is the fact that when the spotlight shines bright on the man, he knows how to bring his A-game. When he repackaged his look and character in 2009, he turned some people's heads and demanded attention. His hard work on the mic especially led to him holding both the Tag Team Titles with Big Show and the United States Title simultaneously. In reference to his Tag Title reign, Show-Miz was a less memorable retread of Jeri-Show from the year before, but Big Show helped give Miz legitimacy just by being associated with a literal big star. Eventually, The Miz ended 2010 by shocking the WWE Universe in winning the WWE Championship from Randy Orton. During this reign, Miz managed to conduct some of the best promos of his career and play a part in some of the best matches in his career, including a Falls Count Anywhere match with John Morrison. Even when stacked up against The Rock and John Cena during Mania season, Miz found a way not to be overshadowed. Unfortunately, his 2012 Intercontinental Title run wasn't nearly as "awesome" and his 85 day reign felt rather uneventful.

8 Ric Flair

via aminoapps.com

When he jumped ship from WCW and brought his world renowned talents with him, Ric Flair made an impact almost immediately upon entering WWE. The Nature Boy signed his WWE contract in August 1991 and in January 1992, he won the Royal Rumble to claim the vacant WWE Champion. Though the reign was short, he made a count by kickstarting an noteworthy feud with Randy Savage over Miss Elizabeth that led to an outstanding WrestleMania VIII title match that saw The Macho Man come out on top. He would leave the company shortly afterwards but when he returned for the early 2000s, Flair ended his WWE career as a Triple Crown winner. First, he won the World Tag Team Championship with his protege, Batista, while representing Evolution at Armageddon 2003.. The two lost the belts in February to RVD and Booker T. Flair later won the Intercontinental Championship away from Carlito on the June 20th, 2005 edition of Raw. He held the title for 155 days, which for a man pushing 56 years old at the time (the oldest IC Title holder to date) is highly impressive.

11. Triple H

via WWE.com

During his days as a Connecticut Blueblood, Hunter Hearst Hemsley won the Intercontinental Championship fairly early into his WWE career on the October 21st, 1996 edition of Raw.  He held the title for a lengthy 115 days before losing it to Rocky Maivia on the February 13th, 1997 edition of Raw. A few years later, after morphing his character into a more ruthless degenerate, Triple H won his first WWE Championship on the Raw after SummerSlam 1999 after defeating Mankind with help from Special Guest Referee Shane McMahon. He held the title for an unremarkable 22 days before losing it to his future father in law, Vince McMahon. HHH became a Triple Crown winner in 2001 after winning the Tag Team Titles with Stone Cold as part of the Two Man Power Trip. Despite being a team for a short amount of time before Triple H's injury, the two are considered one of WWE's most dominating tag teams as, at one point, the duo held every WWE title together (Tag Titles, IC Title for Trips, WWE Title for Austin).

7 Randy Orton

via directwrestling.com

While his humble beginnings in 2002 weren't exactly the stuff of legends, Orton's success kicked into high gear in 2003 when he joined Evolution and assumed his Legend Killer moniker. On December 14th, 2003, Orton defeated RVD to win the Intercontinental Championship. At the time, his 7-month run with the belt was the title's longest reign in 7 years. His reign saw him have now classic bouts against men like Shelton Benjamin, Mick Foley, and Edge who beat Orton for the title at Vengeance 2004. Shortly afterwards, Orton defeated Chris Benoit at SummerSlam to win the World Heavyweight Championship and the accolade of youngest World Champion in WWE history. While this win feels tainted considering Orton lost the title a month later to Triple H and how it felt like Orton only won the belt so that WWE could spite the previous record holder, Brock Lesnar, it is an accolade to cherish nonetheless. The next time Orton had gold around his waist, he rounded out his Triple Crown with a World Tag Title win with Edge as part of Rated RKO.

9. Chris Benoit

via prowrestling.about.com

As difficult as it is to look back at his career following the 2007 Benoit family tragedy, we cannot deny that Chris Benoit was one of the best technical wrestlers during his active years on the roster. Upon first entering the WWE, Benoit won his first Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 2000 in a Triple Threat Match with Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho. Jericho beat Benoit for the title the following month. The two had a heated feud that saw them trade wins and the Intercontinental Championship from each other. Ironically enough, Benoit's first Tag Team Title came by pairing himself with Jericho of all people. Years later, at WrestleMania XX, Benoit walked out of a main event between himself, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. Though his reign was often overlooked in favor of Triple H and HBK's ongoing rivalry, Benoit post-match celebration with then-WWE Champion, Eddie Guerrero, was considered by many to be the best moment in Mania history. It is a shame that Benoit's Mania moment has been so sullied by his heinous crimes.

6 The Rock

via BeltTalk.com

When The Rock entered WWE, he made a big statement almost immediately after pinning Triple H for the Intercontinental Championship less than 3 months after making his television debut. After a less than stellar reign as champion that included plenty of "Die, Rocky! Die!" chants, Rocky Maivia made a swift transition into The Rock and in due time, he won his first WWE Championship at Survivor Series 1998. He lost the title a little over a month later on Raw to Mankind, who, ironically, helped The Great One win his first taste of Tag Team gold on the August 30th, 1999 edition of Raw. The Rock 'n' Sock Connection lost those titles to Undertaker and Big Show 8 days later. While many of The Rock's title runs were muddled by poor booking that saw The Rock lose frequently and have short reigns, his charm kept him relevant. The Rock's early career championship bookings could have easily derailed his success, he had the best mic skills of his era. That charisma helped keep him atop WWE's ladder as The People's Champion.

5 Chris Jericho

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Chris Jericho first won the Intercontinental Championship at Armageddon 1999 after defeating Chyna. Though his first reign would be spearheaded into a separate co-championship reign with Chyna, Jericho would go on to win the title a record 9 times. He first won the Tag Team Titles with longtime rival, Chris Benoit, after the two defeated Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin on the May 21st, 2001 edition of Monday Night Raw in a match that is praised not only as one of the best matches in Raw history, but one of the best tag team matches ever. Though the two had a short month long reign, their reign saw them have a series of critically acclaimed matches, including TLC 3. Jericho's first official WWE Championship reign came when he defeated Stone Cold and The Rock in the same night at Vengeance 2001 to unify that title with the WCW Championship. While some fans may feel sour about how his run as champion dissolved into him being Stephanie McMahon's lackey, but if nothing else, being WWE's first Undisputed Champion is a high accolade that can never be taken away from Jericho regardless of how he was booked.

4 Shawn Michaels

via pintrest.com

While many of his backstage politics are laced with controversy, Shawn Michaels is without a doubt one of the best in-ring talents to ever lace up a pair of boots in his or any time period in wrestling. His succeed began with his 231 day run with the Intercontinental Championship. The reign saw him take part in terrific bouts with the likes of British Bulldog and Marty Jannety, the latter whom beat HBK for the title. A couple years later, Michaels won Tag Team gold for the first time with Big Daddy Cool, Diesel. However, despite an 87 day reign, the two never defended the belts and the titles were vacated for that reason. At WrestleMania XII, Michaels saw his career skyrocket after he defeated Bret Hart in a 60 Minute Iron Man Match for the WWE Championship. He lost the title later that year to Sycho Sid at Survivor Series, but no matter what title he held, Michaels was guaranteed to excel and entertain in the middle of the ring at all times.

3 Kurt Angle

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Kurt Angle had one of the most successful rookie years that any wrestler could ask for during their beginnings in the WWE. He made his televised WWE in-ring debut at Survivor Series 1999 and by February 2000, he was simultaneously holding the Intercontinental Championship and the European Championship. Though he would lose both titles shortly afterwards at WrestleMania 2000 in a Triple Threat Match against Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho—in a match that most fans agree was one of the only good matches at this year’s Mania—Angle would end the year holding his first WWE Championship, which he won at No Mercy 2000 in October, almost a full year after his debut. In his first reign alone, he successfully defended against legends like The Undertaker, Stone Cold, The Rock, and Triple H. To round out his Triple Crown, he became Smackdown's first WWE Tag Team Champions after winning them with Chris Benoit. During their reign, the two had some of the greatest tag team matches in WWE history against teams like Edge and Rey Mysterio and Los Guerreros.

2 Pedro Morales

via Wikipedia.org

Pedro Morales is not given enough credit for everything he contributed to the earliest days of WWE. During his first initial run in WWE, he won the WWE Championship on February 8th, 1971. He became the company's fourth WWE Champion and would carry the flagship brand as the company's top face for nearly 3 years, losing the title on December 1st, 1973. Morales would leave the company afterwards to pursue stints in NWA, AWA, CWF, and NJPW. He would return in 1980 where that summer, he ousted The Wild Samoans to win the WWE Tag Team Championship alongside Bob Backlund. Though the titles would vacate a day later due to Backlund's obligations as WWE Champion, Morales with bounce back by winning the Intercontinental Championship away from Ken Patera on December 8, 1980. This momentous title win marked Pedro Morales as WWE's very first Triple Crown Champion.

3. Bret Hart

via pintrest.com

Bret Hart may have not been one of the best talkers during his heyday with the WWE, but he for damn sure was one of the better wrestlers. It can be argued that Hart was the best wrestler working for the company when he was still on their roster. Him and brother in law, Jim Neidhart, dominated WWE's tag division during the 80s and early 90s with their first reign lasting a whopping 274 days. Bret Hart began his singles run in perfect fashion when he toppled Mr. Perfect at Summerslam 1991 to win his first Intercontinental Championship. While Bret is best remembered for his second IC Title reign (where Bret had amazing matches with Roddy Piper and British Bulldog) than his first reign which ended against The Mountie in January 1992, it all worked out for the best when he won his first WWE Championship from Ric Flair on October 12th 1992. Whether he was facing Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, or even Papa Shango, Bret was pulling off stellar bouts with all of his opponents throughout his WWE Championship run.

2. Eddie Guerrero

via wrestlezone.com

When he was alive, no one could ignore the infectious charisma of the late great Eddie Guerrero. Latino Heat won his first Intercontinental Championship on the September 4th, 2000 edition of Raw is War in a Triple Threat Match against Kurt Angle the defending champ, Chyna. His reign lasted a decent couple of months before losing to Billy Gunn in December. Eddie Guerrero won his first Tag Team Championship with his nephew, Chavo, in 2002. At the time, Smackdown was in the midst of its hottest tag division and Los Guerreros found themselves racking wins in some of the most memorable bouts in either man's career. The two lost the belts in February 2003 against Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. Eddie Guerrero's career continued to flourish in the coming years and would come full circle when he defeated Brock Lesnar at No Way Out 2004 to win his first and only WWE Championship. He had a strong reign as well as he went on to have classic matches against the likes of Kurt Angle, Triple H, and Rey Mysterio before losing to JBL in a brutal Texas Bullrope Match at The Great American Bash.

1 Stone Cold Steve Austin

via pintrest.com

It's hard to argue that any other WWE Superstar deserves to claim the top spot among Triple Crown winners other than Stone Cold Steve Austin. The man is the highest grossing wrestler in WWE history. During his best years on top during the Attitude Era, Stone Cold's merchandise sold close to $10 million each year and in 1998 alone, his merch grossed $13 million, which is more than any other wrestler in a single year. People loved Austin and his strong booking as a champion is what helped people gravitate towards him. Austin's first championship win in the company came in 1997 when he won the Tag Team Titles with Shawn Michaels. The dysfunctional pairing was cut short after Michaels vacated his half of the belts following an injury, but Austin continued his reign with Dude Love as his new partner. Around the same time, he won the Intercontinental Championship from Owen Hart. He had to vacate both championships after suffering a career threatening neck injury. Shortly afterwards, Stone Cold would make up for his two shortened reigns by winning his first WWE Championship from Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XIV. His first reign saw Stone Cold reach superstardom as he battled Mr. McMahon and challengers like Dude Love and Kane. The latter defeated Stone Cold for the title only for Stone Cold to win it back the next night. From then on, Stone Cold dominated the Monday Night Wars as WWE's most popular star.

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