Top Five Worst World Champions

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Lowlife Louie Ramos and Brian Damage

Who in your opinion are the top five worst world champions in pro wrestling history? Whatever the reason…these have to be champions with organizations that have a recognized world title such as WWE, WCW, AWA, ECW etc. Let’s keep it to just wrestlers and not celebrities or promoters who held the title.


Louie

5) Andre the Giant..Feb 5th 1988 national TV coverage on NBC…Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant on prime time. Ted DiBiase, the twin refs and some gaga as Hulk put it…and Andre the Giant was the champion of the world..after a 17 year career he captured the coveted gold…Only to turn around 33 seconds later and hand it over to the million dollar man. The transaction would be null and void and the Wrestlemania 4 title tournament took place. Andre ,despite being an all time great. Would never hold a world title again..

4) Tommy Dreamer…Man it pains me to do this..As Tommy ,to me..was the face and flag waver for ECW…he was the heart and soul..but as such never really had an opportunity at the title.. Tommy ,despite being one if my all time favorites (to watch and to share locker room with) is on the list same reason as Andre…He literary had the belt in his hands and won it…the crowning moment to an awesome run..to only have it taken away minutes later ..by Justin Credible..

3) Nick Bockwinkel…one of the most celebrated champions in the history of the AWA..Bockwinkel..was smooth, technical and extremely articulate in his promos..but to my and in my opinion..one if the most boring champions ever..can we for a second re imagine history. Let’s imagine Bockwinkel loses the AWA title to Hogan..(which he did only to have it returned on some technicality, Dusty finish like) Hogan remains in the AWA and history is quite different. The boring Bockwinkel held on for too long…

2) Tommy Rich. A great performer in the NWA and territorial days.. Tommy Wildfire Rich captured the NWA world title ,becoming at the time one of the youngest if not the youngest to do so…thoroughly unprepared this early in his career for such an accolade, Rich lost the championship a mere days..days..after winning it…he never ever came close to a world championship again…despite the fact that unlike when Andre won..Andre was at the twilight of his career, while Rich had all the time in front of him.

1) Ronnie Garvin..Garvin had a distinguished career spanning many years and working some of the top names around..but he had never been past the mid card…his stunning sunset flip upset pin of Ric Flair was unbelievable…Garvin was poised to rise to the top and have a long healthy reign as champ and become a national name…Eh..no ..Garvin never defended the championship and was beaten in the pay per view rematch by Flair. Garvin would go back to the midcard..in NWA and WWF..from which he never escaped…the unlikeliest of champions…


Brian

5. Jack Swagger – Nothing against Swagger/Jake Hager, but when he won the world title…he simply wasn’t ready to do so. He wasn’t built up as a dominant force and many fans did not take his title run seriously. Swagger was and is a good wrestler, but his championship run was less than stellar in my opinion.

4. Jinder Mahal – Initially, I kinda thought it was cool seeing Jinder get the opportunity to get the ball and run with it. You know, the whole ‘Don’t Hinder Jinder’ thing. Upon further review of it…it was a really bad decision by WWE management to make Jinder champion. Fans never bought into him as a serious world champion. Business suffered when he was the headliner. I kinda understand why WWE attempted it (to try and build an audience for the India market) but it failed pretty miserably.

3. Diesel – While ‘Big Daddy Cool’ Diesel (Kevin Nash) had the look and charisma….WWF fans rejected him as WWF world champion. Business was way down in both attendance and pay per view buy rates. A really dark era for the company.

2. Larry Zbyszko – Larry Z became the AWA world champion at a time when the promotion desperately needed a new, younger face for them. Instead of taking a chance on a new star, Verne Gagne put the belt on his son in law. It was the worst move the AWA could have made at that point in time. The AWA didn’t last too much loner after.

1. The Great Khali – Sure Khali was a massive body and had the look of a monster…but he had no real charisma, moved incredibly slow and was a bore watching wrestle. Again, I understand why WWE wanted Khali as champion…but it simply didn’t work out for the best.


You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.


11 thoughts on “Top Five Worst World Champions

  1. 1. Jinder Mahal (a lowly jobber who gave Meekmahan a hard-on due to his roided-up body as he was pushed in an attempt to win over the Indian market and fails)
    2. Jeff Jarrett (a long-standing mid-carder who wasn’t popular nor talented enough to be world champ in WCW at a time when the company was losing money and his time in TNA as world champ is equivalent to Triple H’s horrendous reign of terror from late ’02 to early ’05)
    3. The Great Khali (despite his monstrous look, he sucked ass in the ring and as a performer as it was even harder to take him seriously ever after becoming a comedy act)
    4. Diesel (Kevin Nash is a solid performer but his run as WWE champion was uninspiring mainly for the fact that he ended up acting like a lame babyface and lost his edge due to awful creative decisions during one of WWE’s worst years)
    5. Lex Luger (After turning heel at the Great American Bash, the idea of Luger becoming world champion seemed to be what Jim Herd wanted but it was a nightmare due to a series of uninspiring matches and lack of charisma forcing him to leave WCW in early 1992)

    Dishonorable mentions: Ronnie Garvin (a long-standing mid-carder who is good in the ring but had no business being a world champ), Tommy Rich (another solid mid-carder who wasn’t world champ material), Jack Swagger (a talented guy in the ring (and much better now in AEW) but wasn’t ready to be the world champ due to lack of personality and not very confident on the mic at the time), and Bob Sapp (a boring MMA fighter during the dark years of Inoki-ism of New Japan who really did a lot to make New Japan to near-irrelevancy).

    I would make mentions of David Arquette and Vince Russo but Arquette at least in his defense didn’t want to win the World Title as he never took any of the purse money from the title. Russo winning the WCW world championship by a stupid technicality was just another bad storyline that only made the WCW world championship more of a bad prop than a championship in its final days. Andre’s win was just another dumb storyline but it did show how much of a salty bitch Hogan was.

    I thought about putting Brock Lesnar’s time in New Japan in the list as it was just uninspiring as it was the low-point of the years of Inoki-ism as he was also pretty selfish during those times.

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  2. 1. Tito Santana – Do you remember this? Thought so. At least you could pinpoint all the other mentioned runs. A technicality here as it was a year before the ECW title became a world championship, however his name is still on the lineage. Arriba!
    2. Rick Rude – The world champ that never was – twice. In 1986, Rude was the NWA American champion when World Class withdrew from the NWA and changed the title to the WCWA world title. Then in 1993, he became WCW International champ, literally just after WCW also withdrew from the NWA thus no longer recognising the belt as the NWA world title
    3. Barry Windham – This is tough because, even four years prior, this would’ve been a big deal. By the time Windham won the NWA championship in 1993, the belt meant nothing and he was not the performer he had been
    4. Jeff Jarrett – I didn’t mind his WCW titles at the time because it was a change from the usual faces holding the belt, by it accomplished nothing. All four reigns were done within three months, his pal Russo booked him to win, and the company was circling the drain
    5. Triple H c.2003 – In hindsight I can see what WWE were doing, trying their hand at a territorial-style heel title run, but the long promos and predictable matches were horrendous. They made me tune out and I’d imagine they did the same with other fans

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  3. Zbyszko? Bockwinkel? What shit are the writers smoking?
    And business was down across the board, it wasn’t because of Kevin Nash. Besides: Diesel was the first WWF Champion since 1989 who managed to sell out a MSG House Show (in 1996)

    Where the hell are the real bad Champions? Jeff Jarrett? Vince Russo? David Arquette? Ron Simmons? Guy who indeed never drew at all or demolished ratings and attendances.

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    • Jeff Jarrett I can see, but as it stated at the top of the post…no celebrities or promoters/bookers would be included on this list. That means Arquette, Russo, McMahon etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Living in mn my entire life I lean a little AWA and watched them circle the drain their last days back to sold out weekend shows in Minneapolis and St Paul.
    Bockwinkle was a great champion. Yes, his promos were weak, partly why he was paired with Heenan. But i think it’s a reach to lump him in. Same with Zybysko, he brought legitimate heat with him and could cut a promo. He had a knack to make the whole arena hate him, best of all his ring entrance music “simply the best.” We hated him and then that mean Mr Saito won the title and there was Larry Legend who beat him for it and for one night we loved Larry.

    But insignificant awa champs?
    Otto Wanz
    Jumbo Tsurata

    Put them on your list.

    Add Yokozuna 3 minute championship reign.

    Ronnie Garvin, ya did nothing really. Exciting because world championship wrestling gave the match to us free, or the finish on the Saturday evening show.

    Sgt Slaughter reign losing to Hogam

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    • “Bockwinkel” and “weak promos” don’t go together. At all. He was superb at promos, and has been noted to be by everyone who was in the business. The pairing with Heenan wasn’t because Nick was weak at promos, but to draw extra heat on him because he was getting that inevitable “yeah, he’s a heel…but he’s so goddamned talented that we like him” feel that Flair had during the mid ’80s in JCP.

      It’s not as egregious, silly, and outright dumb as putting Bockwinkel on a list of “worst world champions”, but it’s not that far behind.

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  5. Bockwinkel being on a worst champs list is literally the dumbest thing on the Internet I have encountered today. WTF?

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  6. “Business suffered when [Jinder Mahal] was the headliner.”

    That’s simply not true. The first full quarter of Mahal’s WWE Title reign was 3rd quarter 2017, and revenue increased 14% to $186.4 million, Network subscribers increased to 1.52 million and operating income reached an all time high of $40.4 million that quarter.

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  7. I also think a look deep into history will reveal a few more names. AWA Champ Mighty Igor. Yes, that Mighty Igor, the silent, child loving, gentle giant of Poland. He won the AWA title from Mad Dog Vachon in 1965 and held it for 7 days before losing it back. A bunch of AWA histories and bios on Igor don’t even mention his reign. How about Dick Hutton NWA Champ. If you said “who?”, you are not alone. He was a good friend of Lou Thesz, and Thesz chose him to be next champ in 1957, While he held the title for well over a year, he was reportedly not very charismatic, nor a big draw.

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