Top 10 Worst WWE Champions Of All-Time

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Not all WWE champions are created equal. For every Bret Hart, Steve Austin, and The Rock you will have a Miz, Kevin Nash, and Iron Sheik. A look back at the elite class of former champions reveals a class that may not all be so elite after all.

Worst topics are always fun in pro wrestling because let’s face it. There are a lot of terrible ideas that have made it to the ring over the years. Yet one of the most interesting to debate is world champion. There were a lot of great ones for sure, but a look back at the historic list of former WWE champions reveals several disappointments throughout the long lineage of champions.

[adinserter block=”1″]Now keep in mind that I specifically looked back at former WWE champions. I skilled former WWE world heavyweight champions because the lineage only goes back ten years. The Great Khali and Jack Swagger are safe otherwise they would have wind up in the top five. The Miz and The Iron Sheik aren’t so lucky.

The Miz –
I said it in 2011 when he was running around with the WWE championship and I’ll say it again. The Miz was hands down the worst WWE champion in my opinion of all-time. His matches were average, his character was perceived as a mid-card wrestler at best, and as a draw he had no power on top. The one thing I’ll say positive about The Miz is that if I included the WWE world heavyweight title, he would have finished behind The Great Khali.

Kevin Nash – For a guy that loves to criticize the current breed of WWE superstars and champions, Nash was arguably the worst of all-time. Nash is regarded by many wrestling historians as the worst drawing champion in WWE history. That says a lot doesn’t it? Fans were more interested in seeing The Miz defend his title than Nash! Nash did have the perception of a champion which is the only reason he finished two and not one. He was lucky enough to have some good-great matches with Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, yet his matches were horrendous against anyone else.

Vince McMahon – Yes the Chairman of the Board makes the top five of worst WWE champions. I bet some of you didn’t even know that Vinnie Mac is a former WWE champion. Vince defeated his son-in-law Triple H on an edition of SmackDown in a match thanks to interference from of all people, Stone Cold Steve Austin. To Vince’s credit he saw through the farce and vacated the title a few days later.

The Iron Sheik – The Sheik’s title reign has become something of a joke to everyone but the Sheik who still proclaims himself as the greatest world champion of all-time. It is amazing if you look back at the roster of talent in the WWF at the time and try and rationalize why it was the Sheik who got the transitional title reign and not guys like Greg Valentine, Don Muraco, or Paul Orndorff. The Sheik’s title reign and singles push lasted less than a month. Following a series of rematches with Hulk Hogan, the Sheik moved on to the tag team ranks, and later the ranks of low-mid card wrestler.

Sgt. Slaughter – The old Sarge ended the title reign of the Ultimate Warrior in 1991 and was a transitional champion between Warrior and Hogan. Slaughter was hot as a heel but his better days as a wrestler were long gone. I will say this about Slaughter. If Slaughter would have beaten Bob Backlund during one of their two WWF title feuds, I think he would have been a tremendous heel champion. Like Del Rio, Slaughter’s title reign came too late. About ten years too late.

Alberto Del Rio – He had so much potential didn’t he? Del Rio was red hot going into the Royal Rumble and could have had a memorable run as champion if things went as planned. Instead, injuries dictated a change in booking plans and Del Rio’s title reign came seven months too late. Most fans don’t even remember that Del Rio was a former champion and his last title reign ended a year ago. Nobody bought him as a champion during his reign and at the end of the day, it is just an asterisk on the list of former world champions.

Kane – I bet most fans would never guess that Kane was the answer to the trivia question, “Who ended Stone Cold’s first title reign?” Yes the Big Red Machine was once on top of the world in the WWE as a former WWE champion. Kane was a very one-dimensional champion and lucky for most of us, his title reign lasted only a day. It is hard not to rank a 24-hour champion among the worst of all-time isn’t it?

Ivan Koloff – As a kid I watched Koloff as a regular mid-card wrestler in Jim Crockett’s territory and the WWF. I really had no idea until I got older that Koloff was a former champion. Koloff was a very average wrestler who shockingly ended the title reign of Bruno Sammartino. Like his former partner in Georgia Championship Wrestling the Iron Sheik, Koloff was a one-month transitional champion. I have to imagine that one-month between Bruno Sammartino and Pedro Morales was a very long month for WWWF fans at the time.

[adinserter block=”2″]Sycho Sid – This was another tough one. I actually liked Sid quite a bit but in retrospect, he was a terrible champion. He wasn’t a great draw and his matches were among some of the worst in WWE title history. I still have nightmares of that WrestleMania X3 match with The Undertaker. He had some fun matches with Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, but who didn’t? Sorry Sycho but it was either you or The Big Show coming in at number 10 and Show wasn’t nearly as bad as you were during his title reign.

Yokozuna – I really struggled with this one because as much as I believe that Yoko was a bit of a bust as world champion, I hate to write anything negative about anyone deceased. But with all due respect, I couldn’t find anyone else more deserving of the list than Yoko. He was a hard worker but he wasn’t my cup of tea. He wasn’t a huge draw as champion and didn’t have a whole lot of great matches during his lengthy second title reign. Unfortunately by the criteria (and the fact I have never seen Stan Stasiak), he makes the list.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. You can’t blame Yoko for not being a draw. Their wasn’t any good faces outside of Bret Hart at this time (I mean c’mon; Lex Luger?).Yokozuna looked unbeatable for the better part of a year.
    Also you could tell what Slaughter was when he won the title. He was the sacrificial lamb to the American Hero, Hulk Hogan. He was good for what he was at the time.

  2. Eric, didn't he fly in on some helicopter type deal and beat Yokozuna for the belt or something like that. Maybe I have my events mixed up. I have been watching this stuff since 1986 and it’s hard to keep it all organized without going back to the god forbid "VCR" archives, which I have….

  3. I was under the impression the move was to insure the saftey of the wrestlers. I read somewhere there was a bomb threat as well. Of course that could have been all spectulation at the time and simply put out there to play up the match. You are correct, he was well past his prime. I can't believe Lex is not on your list, he did hold the belt for a limited amount of time, correct? By the time he made his way to the WWF he lacked that little something special he had when he was a Horsemen so many years ago.

  4. Eric, I have to save I disagree with two of your choices. No one absolutely no one had more heat then Slaughter, death threats and hate mail. Everyone hated slaughter for turning on his country and to have Shielk and ackbar as backup. It was classic and that was a huge paperview when he dropped the belt to Hogan. I can't believe you put Yokozuna on the list, one of the most agile big men the company had at the time and a grat seller. And come on Mr. Fuji was his manager, how can you top that? I don't think anyone besides Big Dust has ever put sold Lex Luger so well.

    • That may be true about Slaughter but he was way past his prime and as a draw he wasn't very good at all. As a matter of a fact they had to move the location for WrestleMania because the advance was terrible.

  5. The guy who created this list sux,if u don’t like a wrestler that’s ur prblm don’t critisize him idiot. Like sid vicious,the miz,kevin nash,it seems u don’t knw the history kevin nash was the longest wwe champion on late 90’s,as for sid he was the dominating star of all time in the wwe industry and as for the miz he dominated last year and was knwn as the must see wwe champ,coz he knws hw 2 make the title look good,am suprised wit ur fuckin’ list ooh Wrestlemania 13 sid vsTaker for the wwf title that was one heck of match even look at the best wrestlemania matches and that match was among them,and don’t compare the spinning wwe title wit The Big Gold Belt.THE BIG GOLD BELT IS THE BIGGEST TITLE IN ALL WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT,Spinning WWE TITLE is 2nd comparing Wit THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP the title has a millenium since 1905-to present so don’t put the World title in this list this concerns wwe title only. You suck

  6. Wow, if someone held a gun to my head and asked if ADR was ever WWE Champion I would've said no. I knew he was WHC on a couple of occasions, but can't even fathom him with the big belt. I guess that's the Litmus test.

    • ADR is a 2 time WWE champion, and has NEVER won the WHC, the only heavyweight title he has is from a mexican lucha libre organization. Think you need to start tuning in.

      • verrillo, you might want to look again before you complain about people's knowledge about Del Rio's reigns. He is a two time WWE and a two time World champion. He won the WWE title twice during the Summer of Punk (and basically helped pull Cena & Punk apart) while more recently he was World champion twice, once beating Big Show and later taking the title back from Dolph Ziggler, only to recently drop it to John Cena.

  7. I totally agree, Eric. This is a great blog. I would have ranked Kevin Nash above Miz, but it's six of one, and half a dozen of another. I definitely agree about Miz. I never bought Miz as champion. I didn't care how much they pushed him. Del Rio is a case study in NOT how to book a person for a Title contender.

    • Thanks Terri. Yeah you know I went back and forth on the two but I just absolutely hated The Miz as champ. At least Nash had some decent matches with Hart, Michaels, and even Razor. Miz had one great match vs. Lawler and that was it:)

      Thanks so much for the feedback!

      • Yeah. I understand what you mean now. I totally hated Miz as champ also. The crowd seemed to hate it also. Also if you saw Meltzer's breakdown of the ratings when Miz was champ, he LOST viewers in his segments even when there is a big star like John Cena or Edge in the segment. He was not a draw.

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