The world of sports is always happening. Pro wrestling goes a cut above. In fact, lots of cuts above...Its happening, confusing, hard-hitting, funny...the list goes on...From gimmicks to grueling matches to nail-biting finishes. Totally unpredictable. Perhaps, one of the most frustrating as well as unpredictable part is that, it is the only sport probably where there are so many championship invalidations. So many "unrecognized" titles. For those wrestlers, title reigns are momentary, the ecstasy of gold gives them and their fans a super high followed by the pain of a well deserving victory getting nullified. Not only that.. Those who won real titles won't show up on any of those video cuts or even on an official rundown of champions. With the WWE as the main ruling overall organization, title histories can be tangled and befuddling. Men like Bobo Brazil and Antonio Inoki vanquished champions, yet saw those triumphs deleted from the history books. Ric Flair and Bob Backlund's names have appeared several times in such kind of matches. Below is a list of my top 15 unrecognized title wins which have been eradicated from the record books. Most of them, you might find weird..But some are really intriguing. Up to you as to how you take it.
15 Jack Veneno: "Fan's Victory"
There are times when your fans literally "blow off" your opponents!!! August 29, 1982. This match made Jack Veneno a legend in the Dominion Republic. Jack gripped Ric Flair in a submission hold but time had run out and the bell rang. Official result. It was a tie..But the mad crowd, turning deaf to the bell, thought that their boy had won. To avoid mayhem, Flair decide to let go of the belt. Soon after, there was a rematch. This time Flair wasn't alone. He had with him Roddy Piper. Standing by Flair, Piper attempted to trip Veneno by the ringside guards pointed guns at Piper and there was panic once again. Flair improvised by deliberately getting himself pinned by Veneno. But eventually, Flair was returned the belt by Veneno as he had realized the compromising situation Flair had been through. Fair enough??
14 Carlos Colon: Man, Make Your Own Belt
When you win but yet you don't. So you have your own belt made! January 6, 1983. This great classic match took place in the Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Peurto Rico. Carlos Colon was the WWC Champion and Ric Flair owned the NWA Championship. The special match was to determine the Champion of Champions i.e. the Universal title-holder. Carlos hauled out the bombshell and hammered Flair. But the win, ironically, was never made official and was not broadcasted on television. Since Colon had defeated the reigning NWA title-holder, he self-proclaimed the WWC belt as more prestigious than the NWA. To him the WWC was the Universal Heavyweight Championship. It was a twist that really altered the perception of championships. At least he coined a title for himself as a consolation prize...
13 The Fabulous Rougeaus: Don't Use the Bullhorn... It's Illegal
The Megaphone is for vocal purposes only. August 10, 1987. Venue - Quebec's Montreal Forum. The match was between The Rougeaus and The Hart Foundation. The Rougeaus were victorious. This is how: Jimmy Hart's interference (to make the Foundation win) by hurling his patent "foreign object," a megaphone, backfired. The megaphone was found itself in the hands of the Rogeaus who weaponized the item in order to win the gold. Well, later on the win was nullified, courtesy - the use of the famous and illicit "foreign object." As a result, the win was never officially penned down in the record books and as such The Hart Foundation never officially lost their Tag Team Championship that night in Montreal. According to me Jimmy Hart should have been stripped off something.. At least his megaphone!!! What do you say?
12 Killer Kowalski: "Rogers, Your Ankle was My Achilles Heel"
Exactly, what I mean to say..November 22, 1961. Walter "Killer" Kowalski went on to become another one of these "uncrowned champions." I still fail to realize as to why Kowalski fought the match when he said that there was no belt. Anyway lets carry on. Kowalski versus Buddy Rogers. The match was won by Kowalski on the basis of a broken ankle suffered by Rogers after the first fall in Two-Out-of-Three Falls match. But as luck would have it, the title was nullified and the win went unrecognized in the books. While some states would actually consider Kowalski the NWA World Heavyweight Champion, the NWA organization itself did not recognize the victory. The nullification was later "justified" by Rogers as he went on to thrash Kowalski in another match on January 21, 1963.
11 Bobo Brazil: Rogers Hurt his Crotch..But Never Actually Did
No pain, where it hurts the most. August 18, 1962. Another one of Buddy Rogers' "injury" issue (though this time it wasn't an actual injury). Bobo Brazil had re-written the history books by becoming the first "unrecognized" African-American man to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. But, he was gentleman enough to refuse the belt as Rogers had injured his crotch. Fair on his part. But later on it was assessed by the doctors that Roger didn't suffer any such injury (probably had faked it, dunno) and the belt was given back to Brazil. Amazingly enough (don't ask me why), this win wasn't made official. The outcome for being a thorough sportsman would be my best guess. Buddy Rogers was the golden goose on the NWA back then, and it's seems as though the promotion wanted that belt around his waist no matter what.
10 Ted DiBiase: Don't Ever Try to Take a Title as a Gift
You can't just take a title as a gift. Sorry, it's not your birthday. February 5, 1988. In a bid to buy the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Hulk Hogan (who asked him to fight for it), Ted DiBiase approached Andre the Giant. The Giant crushed Hogan under dubious conditions which involved swapping referee Dave Hebner with Dave's twin brother Earl Hebner (apparently Dibiase had paid for his plastic surgery). Earl provided a false finish by counting the fall even when Hogun's shoulder were up. Anyway, the Giant won but he gifted the belt to "The Million Dollar Man." Rule-book: You can't just give your title to anyone else. So, the result? Hulk couldn't be returned the belt as the match was official, so Andre's "gifting" was considered a surrender. This time thankfully, DiBiase's win was never recognized..but strangely Andre's was. There is always room for so-called errors.
9 Victor Jovica: Keep Your Feet Off the Ropes
Next time, you better watch the ropes. February 8, 1983. Another one of Ric Flair's "good luck" matches. Victor Jovica (Pictured Left Above) had challenged Flair in Trinidad. Not only that, he blasted Flair to take the belt. "The ropes" in the ring helped Flair this time as it was declared by the NWA commishion that Jovica's victory would not count and the title was to be rturned to Flair. Well, later it was resolved that at the time of the pinfall, Jovica had managed to keep his feet on the ropes (Maybe he was trying to balance himself?). So, guess what? Decision reversed. Jovica's win went unrecognized and the record-keeper's task cut down.. At times I wonder, are these guys masters of reverse-engineering the belts? No? I leave it up you guys.
8 Terry Boulder (Hulk Hogan): Don't Throw Anyone Over the Top Rope
Do not throw anyone over the top rope. Throw him over a bridge instead. May 25, 1979. Something similar happened in the match that took place in Dothan, Alabama. Hulk Hogan (at that time Terry Boulder), crushed Harley Race in a bout for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. So, did he win? Nope. Before he could personalize the belt, it was found that he had hurled Race over the top rope. Now, in those days, it was illegal. Hence, the title victory was nullified. Poor Hulk Hogan. In spite of winning almost every sort of championship (WWE Championship to the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship) couldn't add this to his collection. Tough luck, man. Of course, Terry Boulder would become a distant memory in the career of Hulk Hogan.
7 The Rockers: Set a Ring Where There Are No Ropes, Please
Yes, we want a ring where there are no ropes. They cause all sorts of unwanted crap! October 30, 1990. This is exactly what happened during the match between The Rockers and The Hart Foundation. It was at The Main Event IV. The usual Two-Out-of-Three Falls match. But this time the first "fall" wasn't a normal fall, instead it was a "break." Meaning, the top rope broke. Both teams tried their best to compromise the situation and fight on...Eventually Marty Jannetty pinned Jim Neidhart. The Rockers won but the match and spent the days that followed as the perceived Tag Team Champions. That was until WWE President Jack Tunney nullified the decision and stripped The Rockers of their titles. Blame unfair circumstances? No, blame the damn ropes!
6 Greg Valentine: Don't Jump When Everybody is Confused
You don't jump up when there is chaos...Lay low or else you might get "hammered." October 19, 1981. Bob Backlund was defending the WWE Championship against Greg "The Hammer" Valentine. Tragically, while going through an airplane spin, Backlund managed to knock out the referee as his legs slammed into him. Chaos and confusion once again. Although Valentine was pinned down, he managed to "hammer" up and the referee awarded the belt to Valentine even though he had counted the fall for Backlund. Blame it once again on the confusion, the title victory was made void. In another match that took place, Backlund defeated Valentine. Need not to say, Valentine's victory was eradicated from the books. Don't confuse the referee next time. When gets confused, the match gets nullified.
5 Ray Stevens: Read the Rule-Book Before a Match
Should have read the rule-book. You got to know what type of match you are fighting. July 15, 1967. Another disappointing type of win. The WWWF Championship was on the line, as Ray Stevens challenged Bruno Sammartino in San Francisco. In the war that followed (a Two-Out-of-Three Falls match), Bruno boy could not recover from the Bombs Away top-knee drop while the bout was tied at one fall a piece. The match was won after the ten count. So, Ray was the champion? No. Me thinks, someone had forgotten one thing in the ecstasy of the win. You cannot win the WWWF Champion via a count out, which wasn't as clear back then. So, as usual, the victory invalidated. Three-count would have been better, Ray. Sammartino emerges once again with the title.
4 Antonio Inoki: You Should Have Taken the Belt
Always take what you get.You can't afford to be a thorough gentleman in such a mean sport. November 30, 1979. Venue - Tokushima, Japan. Such was the case with a thoroughbred gentleman of the sport, Antonio Inoki. He had challenged Bob Backlund, the reigning WWE Champion at that time. More than thirty minutes into a grueling match, Inoki defeated Backlund with a Back Suplex. So, as a result, Inoki was the new WWE Champion, right? On December 6, the same year, in a rematch, Backlund won by pinning Inoki. But Tiger Jeet Singh's nasty activities invalidated the win. Inoki (super self-esteem Inoki) refused the belt due to the controversy and as such, WWE Championship never recognized Inoki's reign. What can you say about Inoki? Sportsman or sucker?
3 Dusty Rhodes: Never Fight with Ric Flair
Better not fight with Ric Flair. Lady Luck is usually with him. Starrcade 1985. A power-packed, adrenaline gushing (running out of expressions) match between Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Everybody got involved (even those who were not supposed to) and manhandled too. In the end Rhodes won, not before he hurled away Arn and Ole Anderson, as a referee was knocked out cold. Wow, Rhodes won. Rhodes defeated Flair for the NWA Championship. This was sure to be a huge moment in the history of the NWA Championship. Well, not quite. Later the win was nullified as Tommy Young (referee) decided to reverse the decision. As such, Flair once again got away with losing his championship and would leave with the gold in his possession.
2 Chris Jericho - Wrong Opponent, Boy
Next time you meddle with an influential champion...just don't. April 17, 2000. Monday Night Raw. Chris Jericho fumed the atmosphere by insulting Stephanie McMahon. Well, needless to say her hubby, Triple H, wasn't too happy with Chris Jericho. Triple H was provoked enough to put his title on the line. To watch his back, Jericho hired The Acolytes Protection Agency. Anyway mayhem happened with Bradshaw and Faarooq trapping Shane McMahon in the locker room. Triple H knocked out referee Mike Chioda and Earl Hebner came out and counted rather quickly when Jericho unleashed his Lionsault and flattened Triple H. Yes...Jericho won. But, Triple H bullied Hebner to reverse his decision.. Pathetic use of power. Of course, Jericho would find success anyhow and would evntually become a six-time World Champion in WWE.
1 Championships from Mars
Ghost matches make for first ever champions, sometimes. In a game, there are always champions. Some we have seen in action live, some we have known through videos, photos, writings, etc..But some come down as urban legends. We have heard about them but there are no evidences of this initail championship victories. Buddy Rogers (first WWE Champion) and Pat Patterson (first IC Champion) won their respective titles in what we can conclude where ghost matches. It is said that Rogers vanquished Antonino Rocca, but no records. Same goes about Pat Patterson's in Brazil. I simply can't understand, were the record-keepers sleeping or wasn't their any media devices at that time? Of course, this is pro wrestling and everything should be taken lightly when at the end of the day this is an act meant for pure fun and entertainment.