Lost Glory: Men Who Never Won the Big One
by, 09-25-2013 at 03:59 PM (11124 Views)
(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.