The United States Championship was introduced in 1975 by the National Wrestling Alliance. 26 years later, following the demise of WCW, the championship belt made its way over to Vince McMahon's WWE promotion.
Over the last two decades, fans have witnessed so many great and deserving United States Champions. These superstars wore the belt with pride, and they defended the title belt with everything they had.
We're entering the final weeks of the 2010s, as a special decade for the United States Championship comes to an end. As we prepare for the 2020s, let's take a look at the five best and the five worst United States Champions of this decade.
10 Best: Kofi Kingston
Kingston's first run with the United States Championship took place in 2009. But even if you focus solely on his two title reigns in the 2010s, they were strong enough to make him one of the best champions of the decade.
He defeated Sheamus in an epic tables match at the 2011 Extreme Rules pay-per-view to win the title. It would last 48 days until he dropped it to Dolph Zigler at the Capitol Punishment pay-per-view.
Kingston wouldn't win the title again for another two years, ultimately he dethroning Cesaro on the Apr. 15, 2013 edition of Raw. Kingston kept it for 33 days until Dean Ambrose defeated him at Extreme Rules.
9 Worst: Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins squared off against John Cena at SummerSlam, and the winner would come away with both the WWE World Heavyweight and the United States Championships. SummerSlam host Jon Stewart attacked Cena, thus helping Rollins retain his World title while coming away with the United States Championship.
It was a cheesy and unclean way for Rollins to win his first United States Championship. He only held the title for 28 days, before losing it back to Cena at the ensuing Night of Champions pay-per-view.
And with that, one of the shortest and most unexciting title reigns in recent memory had come to an end. Thankfully.
8 Best: Sheamus
The Celtic Warrior has two United States Championship reigns to his name. That may not seem like very many at first glance, but they were both lengthy and highly successful title reigns.
On March 14, 2011, Sheamus defeated Daniel Bryan to win the belt during an episode of Raw, though he dropped it to Kofi Kingston 48 days later. However, Sheamus regained it three years later when he won a 20-man battle royal on the May 5, 2014 edition of Raw.
Sheamus would defeat future tag team partner Cesaro at Payback to retain the title, and he held off The Miz at Hell in a Cell to continue his reign. However, it ended after 182 days when Rusev defeated him on Nov. 3 later that year.
7 Worst: Jack Swagger
It wasn't a bad idea for WWE to give Jack Swagger the United States Championship. The only reason he's on this list is the fact that he had one of the shortest reigns in the belt's history.
Swagger won the United States Championship when he defeated Zack Ryder on the Jan. 16, 2012 episode of Raw. He kept the title for only 49 days, however, before Santino Marella took it from Swagger on the March 5 edition of Raw.
Aside from a victory over Justin Gabriel at Elimination Chamber, Swagger didn't really have any strong nor memorable title defenses during this reign.
6 Best: The Miz
The Miz won the United States Championship for the first time on the Oct. 5, 2009 edition of Monday Night Raw - defeating Kofi Kingston via pinfall. He would then embark on one of the longest reigns in the title's history.
Among his many highlights, Miz conquered Intercontinental titleholder John Morrison in a champion vs. champion match at Bragging Rights 2009. He held off numerous challenges from MVP as well, but the reign ended when WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart defeated Miz on the May 17, 2010 episode of Raw. Still, The Miz's first run with the title lasted a whopping 223 days. And of course, there's no shame in that he lost the championship to one of the all-time wrestling greats.
The Miz's second reign was also a massive success. It began on the June 14, 2010 episode of Raw, and The Miz held it for 96 days before it was dropped to Daniel Bryan.
5 Worst: Jinder Mahal
When Jinder Mahal returns from injury, he'll certainly be deserving of another run with the United States Championship. Unfortunately, WWE simply wasted everybody's time by giving him a mere eight-day reign last year.
Mahal won the title in a fatal four-way match at WrestleMania 34, but he dropped it eight days later to Jeff Hardy on Raw. The latter would keep the title for 89 days. What was the point of giving it to Mahal if they weren't even going to give him much of a chance with it? He simply deserved better.
4 Best: AJ Styles
Styles' first run with the United States Championship wasn't anything spectacular, as he dropped it to Kevin Owens at the 2017 Battleground pay-per-view, thus ending his run of 16 days. But Styles' two most recent United States Championship reigns? A completely different story.
After regaining the title on the July 25 episode of SmackDown Live, The Phenomenal One embarked on an impressive 74-day reign. This included a convincing victory over Kevin Owens at SummerSlam.
But Styles' third reign has been his best one yet. It all started when he defeated Ricochet at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view to become the new United States Champion. He successfully defended it at SummerSlam, against Cedric Alexander at Clash of Champions, and at Crown Jewel against Humberto Carrillo.
What an impressive four-month reign it's been for Styles in his third United States Championship reign. He is now just three away from tying Ric Flair's record of six.
3 Worst: Zack Ryder
Zack Ryder captured the United States Championship for the first and only time of his career when he defeated Dolph Ziggler at the 2011 TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view.
It was a feel-good underdog story and all, but Ryder didn't really get much of a chance as the holder of the title. He only kept it for 28 days before the aforementioned Jack Swagger won the title on the Jan. 16, 2012 episode of Raw.
With that, a lot of the momentum Ryder had built up went to waste, as WWE curiously decided to put a stop to his push. You really can't help but feel sorry for Ryder because, during his title reign, it felt like the sky would be the limit for him.
2 Best: Rusev
At the end of the day, there hasn't been a better United States Championship this decade than The Bulgarian Brute. Rusev is right up there with legends like John Cena, Lex Luger, and Ric Flair when it comes to the greatest United States titleholders in history.
Though his most recent reign lasted only 32 days, the previous two saw him carry the title for 126 and 145 days. Among active WWE superstars, only Cena and The Miz have held the title for more combined days than Rusev.
Just think about all the memorable title defenses he had: Against Swagger at TLC 2014 and against Cena at Fastlane 2015. When all is said and done, Rusev may best be remembered for his illustrious tenure as United States Champion.
1 Worst: Bret Hart
This is nothing against the WWE Hall of Famer, whose five United States Championship reigns are tied for the second-most in history (Ric Flair holds the record with five). But Hart's final run with the title was nothing more than a silly storyline on WWE's end.
As noted earlier, Hart defeated The Miz on the May 17, 2010 edition of Raw to win the United States Championship. However, it only lasted six days, as Hart relinquished it in a storyline so that he could move over to the role of the GM of Raw.
And so ended one of the shortest and uneventful title reigns in WWE history. At least it was another accomplishment to Hart's incredible trophy room.