Uncrowned World Champions
March 1, 2005 by Big James Field
Well people I am feeling good about my first column and now you're going to be hit with a barrage of them. This next one is a touchy subject with me because I think it is absolutely ridiculous. I have always been a strong believer that when it comes to wrestling, what is best for the business is what should be done.
There have been so many men that have walked through those curtains and worked their ass off for a promotion, yet when the business screamed for them to be made world champion they were denied. Why you might ask" Simple - there were backstage politics that denied them their opportunity at immortality. If it wasn't the politics that did it they were shot down because of a feud between the owner and one of their family members, or they were seen worthy in the eyes of the fans but not the head honchos who run the promotion.
I am going to take you on a ride and we are going to look at a few of these men, their accomplishments and the reasons that they were never world champions.
First one up - and the most deserving in my mind anyway - is the late great Owen Hart. The brother of Bret Hart, one of the most decorated champions in the history of wrestling. Owen was primed and ready for the push back in '94 when he beat Bret at Wrestlemania X. He shocked the world that night by beating Bret. But who got the world title later that night was not Owen. Bret Hart went on later that night to defeat Yokozuna. Owen would not get a title shot until SummerSlam. That night Owen should have walked out with the WWF Championship but he didn't. Then when Shawn Michaels became champ Owen should have been the one to beat him, not Sycho Sid. Once again because of Shawn Michaels' pull in the locker room and in the offices Owen was denied. Owen went on to hold every title but the big one and then his life was cut short by a tragic accident. Now we will all be left with the "what ifs".
Next man we look at is the best technical wrestler next to Bret Hart. The man that made us all hate him because he was what he said was and that is Mr. Perfect, Curt Hennig. He was a second generation
wrestler growing up in the business. When he debuted in the WWF he took the company by storm. He captured the Intercontinental Title from the Ultimate Warrior on November 19, 1990. Mr. Perfect legitimized that title making it a major championship. He would lose it and then gain it back from Kerry Von Erich. He would then lose it to Bret Hart and never hold it again. When Bret won the title from Ric Flair, why was Curt Hennig not asked to fill in for the Warrior" Curt eventually moved to WCW where he would hold the US Title and have a run with the Tag Titles with Barry Windham. Then the powers-that-be angle was being run and they were out to retire Curt. They started that tournament for the WCW title. The man to take that title should have been Curt Hennig but who did they make champion once again" Bret Hart. Curt Hennig was in my mind the top guy in WCW before it croaked. But WCW just like the WWF ignored Curts potential to have the company rest on his shoulders. Curt went back to the WWE for awhile and was one of the final three in the Royal Rumble prior to Wrestlemania XVIII. He would stick around for a lil' while before getting in trouble for whipping Brock Lesnar's ass on the "Plane Ride From Hell" as it has been dubbed. Curt Hennig died February 10, 2003 from acute cocaine intoxication.
Last one, people, is most definitely The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith. David Smith was the brother-in-law to Bret Hart. Bulldog started his career with the Dynamite Kid in a tag team known as the British Bulldogs. They defeated the team of Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine for their first and only reign as WWE Tag Team Champions. I don't know how or why they split - I think it was something to do with Dynamite Kids injuries he sustained over the years catching up with him. But Bulldog became a singles competitor and tore through the ranks of the WWF, eventually coming up against none other than Bret Hart. They had a classic match with each other at the '92 Summerslam. Bulldog came out on top and would hold the title for a long time before being defeated by Shawn Michaels. Bulldog took some time off and then went to WCW where he started a feud with Vader who was the WCW Champ. He stayed around for a while and was then fired for severely beating a man up and causing him
permanent brain damage. Bulldog came back to the WWF when Owen and Bret were feuding and stood behind Bret. He then decided it was time for a change and he made it by turning on his replacement partner Diesel after Lex Luger was a no-show. Bulldog finally got his title shot and beat Diesel by DQ. He should have gotten a rematch but again Bret Hart got the match and the title. He later faced off against Bret but was defeated by him.. Bulldog should have had the title in his match against Diesel but for some reason the company denied him. Wait a minute - Shawn Michaels is one of Diesel's friends so once again politics and backstage bullsh*t screwed someone else. Bulldog would hold the European and Tag Titles before paying the WWF an astounding $150,000 dollars to be released from his
contract after the Screwjob in Montreal. He went back to WCW. Bulldog didn't really get anything going for him there and was injured when he landed hard in the ring. He was laid up for six months and received his release from WCW via Fed Ex. Sounds familiar doesn't it" He went back to the WWF to preserve Owen's memory after his death. He then came back and made it known that he wanted the World Title. He would win the Hardcore and European Titles but once again was not given the big one. Vince paid for Bulldog to go through rehab for his drug addiction. He couldn't handle it and left the
company again. On May 18, 2002 David Smith died while on vacation with girlfriend Andrea in British Columbia. The coroners report revealed that he had been using anabolic steroids for many years, which were a factor in his death.
Honorable Mentions: Big Boss Man, Ric Rude, Andre The Giant, Paul Orondorf, Jon "Earthquake" Tenta, Roddy Piper, Rob Van Dam, Gorilla Monsoon..
Well, there it is. I have put a lot of thought into this one. So please be fair when judging me. I don't know if politics played a major role in the final decision to not make these men champs but I think it certainly had a small one. These men were all deserving but they were passed up for some reason and I think it is a crying shame that we will never know what they could have done if they were given the chance.
by Big James Field..
Philly Bill wrote:
I agree with most of your opinions, except in honorable mentions you say Big
Boss Man, and all I
am going to say is that is absurd...I think the uncrowned world champion, and
many are going to
call me crazy, but Raven is very deserving, and I will tell you why...Raven
Scott Levy if you will
is quite possibly the most unique character ever created all you have to do is
give this guy the
mic, and be prepared to be amazed at his incredible intelligence, and his in
ring ability is also
very unique and he his incredibly gifter there as well, but Vince couldn't make
character work not once, not twice, but three times, because Vince would not
give him the mic, and
let the fans love to hate him...My Uncrowned WWE World Champion Raven perhaps
the most amazing
character ever created, but you would never know it unless you watched ECW, WCW,
or now TNA...
Jeff Sturm wrote:
Any list of best uncrowned champions has to include Ted Dibiase. He is the
best heel never to hold the title, hands down. You didn't even give him
Any article about the best uncrowned champions isnt complete without Jake "the Snake" Roberts. He just like Raven and Ted DiBiase were great heels and werent given the chance to the major singles titles.And they cant even recieve an honerable mention"
Adam Berger wrote:
First off, i'm not even going to consider the WCW
Title credible because that company was a joke. Their
"World Title" changed hands 29 times from 1999-2001.
29 times in two years! On average thats more than once
a month! The WWF Title is the only World Title that
should be considered legit. Now what is up with
leaving out Ted Dibiase!" I agree Roddy Piper, Curt
Hennig, and Andre the Giant all deserved World Title
reigns. As did Ted Dibiase. They all ran into the same
problem though, Hulk Hogan. It was Hogan who had the
strap when all these men were in their primes, and it
was Hogan who refused to drop the title to any of
them. Although in Piper's case, he never let Hogan pin
him either. As for Owen Hart and The British Bulldog,
they were great talents but not World Champion
material. As talented as Owen was he never could get
out of Bret's shadow. I have a feeling though that his
time would've came eventually, but he died before it
could happen. The Bulldog was his own worst enemy. His
use of steroids and addiction to morphine cut the
prime of his career short. It was obvious to everyone
when he returned to the WWF in 1999 that he wasn't the
same talent he once was. Ric Rude and RVD also deserve
consideration, but Ric Rude switched between WWF and
WCW too often and suffered a neck injury that cut his
career short. As for RVD, he's still got time but its
a shame he was never ECW champion. As for the rest of
your mentions; Orndorff always played second fiddle.
Piper was the top heel in the 80's. Monsoon was a much
better announcer than he was wrestler and was a heel
at a time when the WWF only had babyface champions.
Bossman and Earthquake!" Two words; Hell No! And two
last things dealing with the IC title. 1. Hennig never
beat the Warrior for that belt. Warrior vacated it
after he won the WWF Title and Hennig beat Tito
Santana in the finals of a tournament. 2. You said the
Bulldog held the IC title for "a long time". Since
when is 2 months a long time" Shelton Benjamin has had
the belt twice as long as the Bulldog. Is he an
uncrowned world champion too"
I agree Teddy D. Superfly, and bad news brown should have been champ. Also Perfect won the title in a tourny against tito santana i belive, (Warrior was forced to vacate the title) and Andre did win the title an is reconized after he beat hogan and tyed to give it to Teddy D. hence Wrestlemania IV so long!
Justin Hipple wrote:
Curt Hennig was the AWA World Champion before his first stint in the WWF. So including him in a list of "uncrowned champions" doesn't seem quite right. ------- I think DiBiase, Rude, or Piper are much better choices for the list.
David Barker wrote:
I have just finished reading your column and while I agree with most of your decisions for people who should have held the World Championship, there are a few people who you listed who I do not believe should've, and a few people you did not list that I think should have. The two you listed who I did not agree with are: The Big Boss Man and John Tenta.
People I think you should have included are: Raven, Ted DiBiase, Jake Roberts, and... Arn Anderson.
Kirsty Quested wrote:
I think you'll find Andre the Giant held the WWF World Title
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