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Top Twenty Wrestlers Ever

Lost Glory: Men Who Never Won the Big One

Rating: 3 votes, 4.67 average.
(Excuse the top 20 heading that I can't seem to ever remove)

The following is a list of the top 15 wrestlers that never won a world title in WWE, WCW, or NWA in their entire careers. This isn’t the first or last time that you will come across a list of this nature, but I find it necessary to pay tribute to those who spent their lives entertaining us. Many of these men failed to win the big one due to injury, personal issues, backstage politics, death, or a combination. It’s physically impossible to rank these men accurately, and on any given day I could mix around this list, which includes placing my bottom five in the top five and vice versa. However, on the night that I wrote this blog, this was the way in which I tried to objectively order them. In other words, try to enjoy the content rather than pull your hair out over my order. Anyways, let’s get crackin’:

15. Brian Pillman- This list kicks off with one-half of the Hollywood Blondes, Stone Cold’s former tag team partner. The Loose Cannon truly lived up to his nickname, notorious for his wild behavior and unpredictable promos. Injury would slow his career, which like many others on this list, ended in tragedy.

14. Paul Orndorff- For you kids out there, “Mr. Wonderful” main evented the first Wrestlemania. His ongoing feud with Hulk Hogan in the 80s turned him into a mega heel. Although Orndorff never won a world title, he was one of the pioneers that helped build what is now the WWE.

13. Magnum T.A.- Boasted as “The Next Ric Flair”, Magnum’s promising career was cut short after a car accident left him paralyzed in the mid-80s. His feuds in NWA are enough to earn him a spot on this countdown.

12. Tully Blanchard- A WWE Hall of Famer and an original member of the Four Horsemen, Tully is one of many men whose careers were overshadowed by Ric Flair. His tag team with Arn Anderson is still considered to this day as one of the greatest of all time. And to think, he began his career as a wrestling referee.

11. Arn Anderson- Another member of the HOF Four Horseman, and longtime tag partner of Blanchard, “The Enforcer” had one of the most respectable careers in history. Unfortunately, he lacked the look and was also overshadowed by the Nature Boy, even losing his last career match to Flair’s son, David. (To those that question how I could leave Arn and Tully out of the top 10, it was due to the fact that they were tag teamers in their prime, and never really threats to the world titles.)

10. Scott Hall- Managing to crack the top 10 on this list is one of the top 5 longest reigning Intercontinental Champions in WWE history, the co-founder of the NWO, and member of the Kliq. Although Hall’s personal problems precede his wrestling reputation, I had to include him due to his numerous failed attempts at winning world titles in his career. How many other men on this list can say that they helped steal the show at both Wrestlemania and Starcade?

9. William Regal- A 30+ year career separates this man from most on this list. Here is a perfect example of simply slipping through the cracks. Regal could have easily been a world champion had he lived in earlier decades, but unfortunately, his career was overshadowed by bigger names. He still goes down as a bona fide badass in my book.

8. Rick Rude- One of many men on this list that constitutes the total package. An original member of DX, Rude had the looks, the charisma, and the skills to rise among the ranks of professional wrestling. How the bosses never put a world title on this man is completely beyond me.

7. Jake “The Snake” Roberts- Some may argue that this entrant shouldn’t be so close to number one, but I beg to differ. Roberts is one of the most original, entertaining wrestlers in history. The shocking part of it is that he never won a single title in WWE, let alone a world title. This is despite a career of high profile feuds including the likes of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, the Undertaker, and Stone Cold.

6. Dean Malenko- WWE gave at least one world title to Rey, Eddie, and Benoit, but left their WCW cohort out of the mix. The “Man of 1000 Holds” may not have been great on the microphone, but he put in work, and it is a shame that it never truly paid off with a world title. His feud with Eddie Guerrero in ECW was awesome, and their WCW feud helped Dean earn the number 1 spot PWI’s Top 500 in 1997 (yes you just read that).

5. The British Bulldog- Who is the only wrestler in history to main event Summerslam in an Intercontinental match and main event an In Your House PPV in a European title match? Davey Boy Smith. As a matter of fact, the Bulldog won every title possible in WWE, except the one that matters most. Looking at some of the choices for world champion in WWE in the 90s, it boggles my mind that this one got away. Just another reminder of how drugs can ruin careers.

4. Owen Hart- Tragedy ended the career of one of the most shining stars in this business, as Owen was due for a main event push before his death. In my opinion, he had more natural charisma than Bret, and would have been a great, multi-time world champ in WWE. Additionally, I see a lot of Owen nowadays in Daniel Bryan. Both men were smaller framed, fast, highflying, and had a great onscreen (and offscreen) sense of humor. “I am not a nugget!” VS “I am not the weakest link!” Sounds similar to you?

3. Curt Hennig- One of my all-time favorites, and my personal favorite on this list. Curt is regarded as one of the best workers in the history of this business by his coworkers, but had a career plagued with injuries and personal demons. His losses to Hulk Hogan in the beginning of his WWE career actually made me root against the Hulkster for the first time ever as a child. I name Curt as the single most underutilized wrestler of the 1990s, and it is a damn shame he never became a true main eventer.

2. Roddy Piper- We’ve all heard this argument: “He didn’t need a title.” He had more natural charisma and stage presence than anyone…ever. The Hot Rod is my runner up in this countdown because he transcended the sport. Arguably Hulk Hogan’s greatest arch nemesis and the man that stole the show at the birth of Wrestlemania. If anything, he should have had a world title run just out of respect alone.

1. Ted Dibiase- Not much of a surprise here, the Lex Luthor of wrestling tops this countdown, The Million Dollar Man. Possibly the greatest heel gimmick ever, Dibiase attempted to purchase the WWE title back in the day, and even main evented Wrestlemania lV, two of his closest attempts at the winning the big one. His name suited him well, because he was money in the ring, and money on the mic. A career that was overshadowed by the likes of Hogan, Flair, Savage, and more, this man is my pick for the number one wrestler that should have been a world champion.

Well, thanks for reading. Any type of feedback is welcomed.

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Updated 11-08-2013 at 11:58 PM by Kajmere

Thoughts and Opinions


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  1. TheGreatOne's Avatar
    Rick Rude won the WCW title, at least I thought he did.
  2. Kajmere's Avatar
    I think he won a couple of close sounding variations of it (ex the WCWA Heavyweight Championship), but never the actual one I referred to.
  3. Brock Lewis's Avatar
    Rick Rude was International WCW Champion. So he was a world champ.

    I would add in Christopher Daniels, Rick Martel, Hugh Morris, Meng, Shelton Benjamin, Snitsky, Buff Bagwell, Rick Steiner, Brian Adams, Brian Clark, Tito Santana, Kerry Von Erich, Nikita Koloff, and Matt Morgan.
  4. Kajmere's Avatar
    I was referring to the main WCW Heavyweight Championship that was originally the NWA Heavyweight Championship, the one that actually meant something.

    Like I said, Rude won a couple of world championships, the one you're referring to was in existence for 9 months and hardly does justice for his legacy to say it makes him exempt from a list of should-be world champions, but I'll grant you the technicality. (Starts crying) I'm sorry, Rick! I love you!

    I veered away from TNA, though Daniels definitely ran through my mind. He, Morgan, and Benjamin still have bright futures. The list is for guys whose time is up. Also, Koloff barely missed the list, good call. I'll even throw Bam Bam in as another honorable mention.
    Updated 09-26-2013 at 08:50 PM by Kajmere
  5. weems's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Lewis
    Rick Rude was International WCW Champion. So he was a world champ.

    I would add in Christopher Daniels, Rick Martel, Hugh Morris, Meng, Shelton Benjamin, Snitsky, Buff Bagwell, Rick Steiner, Brian Adams, Brian Clark, Tito Santana, Kerry Von Erich, Nikita Koloff, and Matt Morgan.
    I have a lot to disagree with here. First, did Christopher Daniels ever even wrestle in WWE, WCW or NWA? If not, he isn't even eligible to be on this list. Second, Hugh Morris/Bill Demott....What! A perfect example of a great worker that never drew a time. In fact, I cannot even remember a quality angle Hugh Morris was in. Third, Meng/Haku was a tough SOB but there are 5 year old kids with speech impediments that could own him on the mic. No way could be carry the strap. Shelton reminds me of Two Cold Scorpio. Great worker but just lacks the "it" factor. Shelton was a good guy to have on the card but if he was truly main event material, he would still be in WWE. Even if they were still in their prime, Snitsky, Bagwell, Rick Steiner and Brian Adams wouldn't even get a job on the current WWE roster right now. As far as them being world champions, you have got to be kidding me.

    On the other hand, Rick Martel was an AWA Champ and deserved a better push during his WWF and WCW runs. Kerry Von Erich had a VERY short run as NWA champ but lost the belt back to Flair less than a month after winning it. I totally agree with you about Nikita Koloff and Tito Santana. Matt Morgan still has many years left in the business so let's wait and see.
  6. weems's Avatar
    Kajmere, this was a 5 star blog. First, the 15 guys you mentioned are all good choices. Second, your descriptions of each wrestler are accurate, straight to the point and very informative. Third, I don't think anyone can argue that any wrestler on this list deserves to be in the top 3 other than Piper, Hennig and Dibiase. Great read!

    On a side note, anybody know if other than Flair, was there a wrestler to hold the WCW, NWA and WWE/WWF championship during his career?
  7. Kajmere's Avatar
    I really appreciate the complement, Weems. It was one of those things where I started at night and just had so much fun writing it that I didn't stop until it was complete.

    BTW, Flair is the only one, I remember bc I scrolled through the title histories of all 3 companies last night 5X for this blog.
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