Champions are often admired by the optimistic youth who someday wish to grow up and achieve the same level of success as their heroes. Champions are made in many ways; the purest form of a champions comes through hard work and dedication to the craft (cliché but the truth). Champions can also come cut with foul traces of outsider substance and circumstance.
Tom Brady is a champion but a cheater and everybody outside of the New England area loathes the quarterback and the Super Bowl rings he has attained throughout his career. How much does that bother Tom Brady? Probably very little. Brady counts his millions and sleeps with his supermodel wife while the rest of us scream at #12 from the couch in a drunken rage on Sunday afternoons.
The point to be made here is that not all champions are heroes and not all champions should be showered with praise for ill-gotten glory or real-life lunacy. Some champions should simply be regarded as champions; they won, they received the prize, let's move on and hope for someone more reputable to come along and claim said championship. What else can we do? Bears fans would probably rather watch the Packers win this year's Super Bowl than a Patriots repeat.
Our subject for this article will center around champions in the wrestling world - a place were champions are predetermined - and how they were placed in a negative light.
These are the top 20 worst booked champions in WWE history:
We begin this list with a WCW creation who never really stood a chance in WWE. Goldberg was more machine than man while in WCW and his undefeated streak ranks among the most impressive wrestling streaks of all time.
19 Randy Orton
Remaining with the "nobody bigger than Triple H" notion, we find our way to Randy Orton. Yes, Orton is now a twelve time champion but not all of his title reigns were flattering.
18 Bob Backlund
Bob Backlund is considered to be one of the all time greatest WWE performers while holding the WWE Championship for a lengthy period of time during his glory days with the company.
When Sheamus (as an upstart) first defeated John Cena for the WWE Championship in 2009, there was a drop of fresh blood within the WWE Universe that had fans ( and Cena haters) excited.
16 Ivan Koloff
Ivan Koloff holds a special and specific place in WWE history. In 1971, Koloff was given the honor of dethroning Bruno Sammartino - who had held the title for two thousand days - as WWE Champion.
15 Booker T
Booker T is not only a former five-time WCW Champion but a former World Heavyweight Champion in WWE - a distinction many fans had waited a long time to finally witness as Booker T was more than deserving.
14 The Iron Sheik
Many people tend to forget (amid his lunacy) that The Iron Sheik is a former WWE Champion. In 1983, The Iron Sheik defeated Bob Backlund (his proper title reign) for the WWE Championship.
13 Big Show
What is Big Show in WWE? The massive attraction who "jumped ship" from WCW during the Monday Night War has always been more of a background noise than something that required undivided attention.
Once again, we find a WWE legend on our list who would capture championship gold eleven time throughout his career. However, The Rated-R Superstar has had his share of bad booked reigns.
11 Jack Swagger
Jack Swagger is now a WWE mid-card talent at best - and that's giving him credit as calling Swagger mid-card is a far stretch these days. Swagger has fallen hard within the system.
10 Mick Foley
Mick Foley is a former three-time WWE Champion. Three championship reigns that did not last long and did not allow Foley to properly main event during the Attitude Era - a time the business was on fire.
Even though Christian is a former two-time World Heavyweight Champion, the feeling remains that his championship glory was due to a sentimental circumstance following the early retirement of Edge.
It is often forgotten by WWE fans just how long Kane has been around. The Big Red Machine had spanned generations and stood the test of time which is not an easy accomplishment within WWE.
7 Dolph Ziggler
Hopefully fans of Dolph Ziggler enjoyed his briefs moments as World Heavyweight Champion because The Show Off will likely never again reign as the top champion of the company.
6 The Miz
The Miz did main event WrestleMania XXVII with John Cena but his role was simply filler between The Rock and Cena and the impending feud that would come from the return of The Great One. Though he did beat Cena at WrestleMania thank to The Rock, he'd just lose to him at the next PPV.
5 CM Punk
During his final title reign, CM Punk held the WWE Championship for a grand total of 434 days - which was a great accomplishment despite still being placed behind John Cena for the top spot.
4 Daniel Bryan
WrestleMania XXX: we all cheered for Daniel Bryan that night as he overcame the odds to win two high-profile matches and become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion - good times in New Orleans.
3 Jeff Hardy
It has always been difficult to root against Jeff Hardy. Despite his personal demons, there is a connection between Hardy and the fans that can never be broken. People love this strange wrestler.
2 Rey Mysterio
When Rey Mysterio won the 2006 Royal Rumble, his WrestleMania moment should have included a one-on-one match with Kurt Angle (then champion) and not a Triple Threat with Randy Orton.
1 Rob Van Dam
Rob Van Dam as WWE Champion proved to be a moment of Extreme Excellence (pun intended). The most popular star of ECW had finally reached the top of WWE - a well-deserved victory.
Now then, RVD dropping the title was riddled with controversy over a marijuana related suspension. However, RVD was never given the opportunity to recapture the gold and was never meant to be the face of WWE.
Rob Van Dam was the worst booked WWE Champion despite all the potential.
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