Does gold make the man?
Wrestling has always been about getting guys over and keeping them strong. You don't have Steve Austin lose to Duane Gil and John Cena rarely loses to anyone. And even though the internet tends to explode whenever Cena gets a win or 'buries' one of their favorites, it's those same winning ways that made Kevin Owens' clean pin over him so epic. If Cena had already been jobbing out to everyone the IWC wanted, it would mean very little by the time KO came around.
One of the most proven ways of upping a wrestler's status is by putting a title on them. CM Punk and his fans may complain about how the promotion misused him, but the WWE can always point out that they made him the longest-running champion of their modern era. Which to me is much more impressive than the many times Triple H has won and lost the belt.
In fact, with all of the constant title swapping in the past decade or so the belts have started to lose their luster. In the late 80s and 90s the World and Intercontinental Titles were usually held by the top dogs in the company. The big belt would be held by the top dog and draw while the IC would go to the next in line or fantastic mid-card worker. I hate to bring up Cena one more time but I think having him as the United States Championship is a great move. It keeps him out of the main event picture and simultaneously elevates that belt. Hopefully this is the direction the WWE will continue to head and metaphorically polish up these legendary belts.
With so many titles now it seems like everyone has at least held one. In fact there have been so many different title reigns in history that we tend to forget some of the guys who held gold. There are some guys who never needed the belt, as their characters weren't driven by chasing titles. There are some whose championship reigns, be it for the world title, an Intercontinental title or a tag title and we completely forgot, mainly because well, they weren't really worth remembering. It's time to remember them.
15 The Undertaker (1991) - WWE Championship
13 Andre The Giant
12 Mankind - WWE Championship
11 Big Show - All Three World Title Reigns
Despite being with the WWE for 16 years and competing in many main events, Big Show hasn't had a memorable world title reign. His first one came eight months after his WWE debut, when he replaced Austin in the triple threat championship match at Survivor Series, winning it from Triple H with help from McMahon. His reign consisted of a feud with the Big Bossman and a title loss to Triple H on RAW to kick off the new millennium.
Big Show's next reign came when he defeated Brock Lesnar for the title at Survivor Series 2002 with help from Paul Heyman. That reign would only last four weeks, as he'd lost the title to Kurt Angle, acting as a transitional champion.
Big Show's final world title reign came at TLC 2011, where just minutes after defeating Mark Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship, Daniel Bryan cashed in on him.
10 Shane McMahon - European Championship
Titles were seen as props more than ever in the Attitude Era. Any onscreen character was fair game in the title picture and not just for the Hardcore title which was defended 24/7. Shane McMahon held the European Championship for several weeks after defeating X-Pac. He would "retire" from in-ring competition as champion, and thus the European title was deactivated for a couple of months before Shane handed the title to Mideon.
9 The Mountie - Intercontinental Championship
8 Dean Douglas - Intercontinental Championship
7 Mideon - European Championship
6 Orlando Jordan - United States Championship
5 Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch - World Tag Team Championship
4 Rico & Rikishi - World Tag Team Championship
3 Fabulous Moolah (1998) - Women's Championship
2 Kane - WWE Championship
1 Vince McMahon
Okay, so it's not as bad as David Arquette, but it's still one we'd all like to forget. Vince McMahon managed to win the title and end his reign without ever defending it. McMahon would win the title from Triple H - who was in his first reign - with help from his old rival Stone Cold. McMahon would vacate the title the following week on Raw, leaving it up to six competitors to compete for the vacant title in a Six-Pack Challenge at Unforgiven. Once again, was there a point in Triple H having to lose his title to the chairman, only to win it right back a couple weeks later?
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