Believe it or not, sometimes the ones on top holding the gold, get treated far worse then some at the bottom of the ladder. It’s a known fact that those who have the look, the size and image of a what a WWE superstar is supposed to look like will get that extra push to stardom. Just look at the current WWE landscape, where Roman Reigns continues to be pushed to the moon because of his impressive look and marketability.
Other times, a superstar comes from the ground up, without that extra push from the men in power, and wins over the audience in a natural way. A lot of these superstars are the ones that WWE refuses to believe in, They refused to belive that they have what it takes to be “the guy” in this industry and. most of all, capable of being a world champion.
At the end of the day, these stars either were cut short during their title run or went on to prove everybody in the back that they had what it takes all along. With that said, here’s a list of world champions that WWE NEVER believed in.
This was one of the most shocking and disappointing title runs in WWE history, especially for someone with so much accomplished in his professional wrestling career. Goldberg was nothing short of dominant in WCW and when he made his debut in the WWE back in 2003, fans hoped his success story would continue. Instead, his reign as World Heavyweight Champion from September to December 2003 was rather disappointing and forgettable.
During his reign, he feuded with Triple H and Evolution, but it was an uninspiring run that led to Goldberg losing his strap to The Game. It’s pretty clear that Goldberg was unhappy with his run in the WWE, due to the fact that he only stuck around for about a year. He’d leave the company after a terrible match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XX.
If they believed in Goldberg, they would’ve let him truly flourish with the belt and feud with more wrestlers than just Triple H.
14. Chris Jericho
Many would say that Chris Jericho has had one of the most successful WWE careers of all time and they’d be absolutely correct in saying that. However, truth be told, he was never THE GUY in the WWE, despite holding the WWE Championship a variety of times.
If you take a look back at some pf his world title reigns, you cant help but notice the WWE’s lack of belief in Y2J. He has never held a world title longer then four months and the majority of his other reigns lasted about a month. Even though he was the first Undisputed WWE Champion of all time, he’d lost to Triple H at WrestleMania X8 in the main event, showing that WWE didn’t believe he could run with the strap.
Jericho is one of the best wrestlers of all time, but he wont be remembered for his time in the world title picture.
13. Rob Van Dam
Quite possibly the most entertaining superstar to ever grace a squared circle, RVD always had a large fan base and having him as world champion didn’t seem like a bad idea. However, lets take a trip to the past. It was 2006 at the ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view. A wired and hostile crowd was awaiting Mr. Monday Night to dethrone John Cena. RVD walked in without gold and walked out holding the richest prize in the business. This would be the first and only time RVD held the WWE championship.
If everyone remembers clearly, during the debut of ECW, RVD was also awarded the ECW Championship. Unfortunately, RVD got caught in possession of Marijuana and dropped his championship to Edge shortly after and was then suspended.
After that, RVD never sniffed the main event picture again and would never win the WWE Championship again, likely because WWE feared him having another issue with the law.
12. Big Show
The world’s largest athlete has been lacing up his boots in the WWE for almost 2o years. He’s done it all and beaten every big name superstar that he’s fought in this industry since his debut. He’s held the WWE Championship twice and the World Heavyweight Championship twice. but none of those were noteworthy reigns. He never won the title in the main event of a major event. He’s been involved in a number of WWE Championship angles, but he’s never had a lengthy run as champ and is a more of a part-time main eventer.
At the end of the day, as dominate as he was, it’s clear he doesn’t have what it takes to be the face of the company, though he’s still be incredibly valuable to the WWE.
For someone who was flat out destructive and fun to watch, you would expect a lot more would be done with Kane. During his time in WWE, he has only held the title on two occasions and we’re not counting his reign as ECW Champion. Yes, you read that right, he’s only held a major championship on two occasions. You would think someone of his stature would make for a great champion, as it’s very clear that McMahon loves his presence on the roster. However, similarly to The Big Show, WWE believed Kane was better served being a part-time main eventer, rather than someone who could carry the company.
If you need an example of WWE’s lack of faith in Kane as a WWE Champion, look to his first reign. He beat Stone Cold for the title at King of the Ring in 1998, only to lose the title back to Austin the next night on Raw. That’s a lack of belief if we’ve ever seen it.
10. Eddie Guerrero
Who didn’t like Eddie Guerrero? He was a heck of a wrestler and his rise to the top of the mountain was appreciated by fans everywhere. Guerrero had one of the most emotional underdog stories of all time, where he defeated Brock Lesnar at the 2004 edition of No Way Out. Just when you though things couldn’t get better, WrestleMania XX saw Eddie have one of the greatest matches of all time against former WWE champion Kurt Angle.
Unfortunately, the WWE didn’t really believe that Eddie could be a permanent main eventer. As mentionned by his cousin Chavo on Talk is Jericho, after Eddie lost his belt, he went back to fighting lesser wrestlers like Luther Reigns in an attempt to put them ove.r This frustrated Eddie (obviously) and proved that the WWE didn’t fully believe in Latino Heat,
9. The Miz
Although The Miz had himself a nice five month WWE championship reign, it would turn out to be his only title reign to this day. The Miz made it clear that he was a legitimate star that was capable of hanging in the main event seen at the time, but, at the same time, it felt like once he lost the title, you never would see him their again and that’s been the case.
What made the WWE’s lack of belief clear was the fact that he was completely over shadowed by the presence of Rhe Rock and John Cena during his title defense at WrestleMania XXVII. In the end, The Miz only won because The Rock hit a Rock Bottom on Cena.
After The Miz had his WrestleMania moment, he would drop the title a month later to John Cena. That one title reign was all we would see from The Miz and most likely the only one he will have in the WWE.
8. Mick Foley
Mick Foley didn’t really need the title to show why he was one of the greatest superstars of the Attitude Era, as Foley was remembered for all of the hardcore moments he was a part of.
After gaining lots of fan support, Foley would eventually enter the title picture, but would consistently get screwed over. After several weeks of getting screwed by The Corporation, Foley would have his moment. On December 29th, 1998, Mankind would defeat The Rock and win his first WWE championship. The celebration didn’t last long due to the fact that title would go back on The Rock’s waist the following month. He would win the title back later in the year, but would lose it once again within a weeks span.
As awesome as Foley was, it was apparent he was never going to be the guy to make a name for himself with the title.
Does anyone really remember Christian as World Champion? If you don’t, it’s most likely due the fact that his reigns were over pretty quickly. What’s really surprising is that Christian always had great fan support. He was a solid face, but what really made him stand out was his work as a heel. The part that really bothers most fans was that he would had an emotional world title win over Alberto Del Rio with his best friend Edge by his side, only to end up losing the title to Randy Orton the following week on SmackDown. Where’s the sense in that? While it didn’t make sense, it proved one thing: WWE didn’t believe in Christian as a WWE Champion.
What really made this odd was the fact that he would lose his rematch against Orton, then eventually win back the title, then lose it again. It was like Vince McMahon could not make his mind up. Regardless of the intentions, it showed the lack of belief the company had in the former world champ.
6. Dolph Ziggler
It’s hard to describe how badly the WWE has ruined Dolph Ziggler’s momentum. At one point, Ziggler was on top of the wrestling world, which obviously didn’t last long and now he’s completely reversed his course and he can barely win a match anymore. Ziggler has been one of WWE’s workhorses over the years and has tremendous fan support, but his two reigns as WWE and World Heavyweight Champion were far from inspiring.
His first title reign started and ended in the same night. As for his second, it lasted about a month until a concussion unfortunately put him on the shelf. When he came back, he didn’t sniff the title again. Since 2013, Ziggler has yet to find himself back in the title picture.
5. Jack Swagger
After capturing the Money in the Bank briefcase at WrestleMania XXVI, Jack Swagger’s future looked promising. The following week on SmackDown, he cashed in the contract on World Heavyweight Champion, Chris Jericho, winning the belt in the process. Many thought this was the start of something good for the All American. Sadly, the fans didn’t get behind Swagger and his reign was a flop. He defended his title successfully on three occasions, but at the Fatal 4-Way pay-per-view on June 20, 2010, Swagger would go on to lose the world title to Rey Mysterio in a fatal four-way match. His reigns would last less than three months.
Swagger would eventually have his rematch with Mysterio at the MITB pay-per-view, but he would fail to recapture the title. Following his failed rematch, Swagger would lose a lot and hasn’t been near the main event since. At this point, Swagger is barely featured on Raw and SmackDown.
4. Jeff Hardy
Between 2008 and 2009, there wasn’t a wrestler that was more than Jeff Hardy with the fans, as Hardy evoked an emotion out of the audience like no other. On June 23th, 2008, Hardy was drafted from the Raw to SmackDown, as part of the draft lottery. During his time on SmackDown, Hardy would have lots of success, being part of the main event on numerous occasions and even having a WWE championship reign (if you wanna call it that).
Jeff Hardy would feud with Triple H for some time, but fell short every time Hardy would eventually find himself in the main event of Armageddon, fighting in a triple threat match with Edge and Triple H. Hardy would go on to win in convincing fashion, giving him his first major title reign. Unfortunately, it was not convincing enough for the WWE. At the following pay-per-view, the Royal Rumble, Hardy would drop the title to Edge after his brother Matt hit him with a chair.
Later on in 2009, Hardy would eventually capture the title, in another reign that did not last long due to the fact that CM Punk would cash in the MITB briefcase at Extreme Rules, ending Hardy’s final reign.
3. Rey Mysterio
Perhaps the biggest underdog in WWE history, Rey Mysterio is one of the most popular and loved superstars in of all time. However, that doesn’t mean the WWE fully believed in him.
Rey Mysterio’s story is a little different. As bad as it sounds, many believe that Mysterio wouldn’t have had a shot at the title if it wasn’t for the tragic death of the late, great Eddie Guerrero. In 2006, Mysterio, with Eddie in mind, won one of the most emotional Royal Rumbles in history, eventually winning the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 22.
On July 23rd at The Great American Bash, Mysterio lost the World Heavyweight Championship to King Booker after Chavo Guerrero interfered in the match. With that quick loss, it was clear the WWE didn’t think Mysterio was worthy of being WWE Champion.
2. Daniel Bryan
The story of Daniel Bryan did it all on his own, with no help. The WWE did everything in their power to prevent Bryan from succeeding in this company. Daniel Bryan, with the help of the WWE Universe, went from an average superstar to the main event of a WrestleMania.
Bryan evoked am emotion out of the WWE Universe like only a few before him have. Bryan’s story was perfect: he won the title, got screwed out of it minutes later, and then battled The Authority. After months of battling, he was snubbed at the 2014 Royal Rumble. That led the fans to lash out, before he won the title at WrestleMania XXX.
If it wasn’t for his nagging injuries, who knows how long Bryan could have been champion for, but knowing the WWE and the way they booked Bryan, it probably wouldn’t have been for long.
1. CM Punk
CM Punk dazzled the WWE universe with his incredible wrestling ability and his ability to mesmerize people on the mic. So what could go wrong? Well, the fact that the WWE didn’t really believe in him.
Though Punk held the WWE Championship for a record 434 days, he never really was at the front of the card. There were multiple occasions where Punk defended his title before the main event, so that The Rock and John Cena could be in those matches. Take Survivor Series 2011 for example, where CM Punk won his title from Alberto Del Rio. Instead of that match main eventing the show, there was a tag match, with Cena and The Rock facing The Mix and R-Truth.
Want another example? At WrestleMania XXVIII, instead of the WWE Championship match ending the night, we got John Cena versus The Rock. Simply said, the WWE didn’t believe in CM Punk as champion.
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