Cesaro never won the WWE World Title

5 wrestlers who have surprisingly never won a WWE World Title

Over the last several decades, many great men have held the WWE World Title, from Bruno Sammartino to Roman Reigns. Wrestlers from all over the world have come to work for WWE with hopes of becoming world champions.

However, WWE is large and has many talented wrestlers, which means some talented wrestlers who could become world champions don't make the cut. This list will discuss several amazing stars who have never captured a WWE World Title, from different eras.


#5. Paul Orndorff never won a WWE World Title

Who else loved the Hulk Hogan/Paul Orndorff feud?!

Paul Orndorff is one of the great legends of wrestling history. He was a huge star, particularly in the 80s, with a physique notably similar to Hulk Hogan. Orndorff's character felt that Hogan didn’t respect him and began to challenge Hogan for the title.

The two superstars fought at the Big Event in 1986 for 11 minutes, but the match ended in disqualification. Eventually, they had a rematch at Saturday Night’s Main Event IX in the Blue Bar Cage.

It was a photo-finish as Hogan and Orndorff appeared to come down from the cage at the same time. The match continued, and Hogan hit a leg drop and walked out of the cage. This was the closest Orndorff ever came to winning the title.


#4. British Bulldog

The British Bulldog during his prime in WWE (then WWF)

The British Bulldog received WWE World Title matches against Bret Hart, Diesel, and Shawn Michaels. He was even part of the the Six Pack Challenge at Unforgiven 1999 to claim a vacant world championship. However, he always came up short.

Even in WCW, Bulldog received title matches such as a pair of battles against Vader. However, despite being a highly skilled wrestler, he never went beyond just a mere challenger.

Perhaps one of his best matches was against Bret Hart at In Your House Season's Beatings for the WWE World Title. The match, which resembled an Attitude Era match, featured heavy use of blood and brawling around the arena. This was unusual in WWE in 1995, but would have fit in just fine in 1998.


#3. Rikishi

Rikishi battles the Rock during the "Who Ran Over Steve Austin?" storyline

Rikishi was a beloved Attitude Era star. He was famous for being a large man with great dance skills. He'd put his rather large butt in people’s faces when they were sitting at the turnbuckle.

Rikishi didn’t get many championship shots in his career, but he was part of a six-man Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon 2000 for Kurt Angle’s WWE World Title. He took a bump from the top of the cell, chokeslammed by The Undertaker into a truck loaded with hay. He also battled for the world title in a fatal 4-way match at the UK-only pay-per-view entitled Rebellion in 2000.

Despite his popularity, Rikishi never became more than just a challenger. He may not have won the WWE World Title, but he's often remembered as being one of the most entertaining superstars of the Attitude Era.


#2. Mr. Kennedy

Mr. Kennedy's mic skills especially led him to work as an announcer for boxing

Many may have felt that Mr. Kennedy was a rising star similar to Randy Orton in the early 2000s. He would make his own introductions, announcing his weight and name on the microphone. Vince named him after his own middle name: Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Everything seemed to suggest that he’d be pushed to the moon and win a WWE World Title.

Mr. Kennedy even won the Money in the Bank briefcase at WrestleMania 23. Edge and RVD, who previously won the MITB briefcase, had won the WWE World Title. It looked like he was primed to become world champion as well, but he lost the contract to Edge on the May 7th, 2007 edition of RAW.

Mr. Kennedy also wrestled Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship at Royal Rumble 2007. While he never claimed a world title in WWE, he won the TNA World Championship twice.

#1. Cesaro

And Claudio Castagnoli is STILL #ROH World Champion after that amazing battle against Konosuke Takeshita here at #AEWBattleOfTheBelts III on TNT!

Cesaro was widely regarded in WWE as one of the best wrestlers. He often won championships in WWE, including seven tag titles and one US Championship. But he never won a WWE World Title, although he had one of the best matches of 2021 against Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship.

Despite his talents, it often seemed like Cesaro hit a glass ceiling in WWE. The quality of his match against Roman Reigns suggests that if he had been world champion, he may have given some of the best title defenses in WWE.

Eventually, he won a world title in AEW’s Ring of Honor, which could be a way to say that he still earned some of his due.

These were five former WWE wrestlers who never won the world title. Can you think of some more? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Edited by
Vishal Kataria
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